Back in November last year Sir Chris Hoy announced that he would be developing his own range of HOY bikes with us. Since then he has been working closely with our product guys James Olsen and Joel Natale to develop the first 7 bikes which will be available in late May. Sir Chris has scrutinised over every aspect – putting the prototypes through their paces, asking question and making suggestions from his vast experience.
It is a partnership that has pushed our product team and forced them to do things differently to anything they’ve done previously. James described working with Chris as like designing a custom frame for someone; “It’s a two-way process and the result is different to the result I’d arrive at working with my own methods.” Sir Chris, James, and Joel (as well as a few other lucky people) have been testing pre production samples and it’s a collaboration James is extremely optimistic about: “My first ride on a Hoy road bike put a smile on my face. It felt familiar in some ways but it wasn’t quite the bike I’d design alone. It felt better for it.”
Chris has many ideas about the bikes as well as a willingness to let James’ design experience take over in other areas. He is very conscious that not everyone wants to ride in the way that he is conditioned to and the outcome is a great compromise. The road bikes aren’t back-breakingly aggressive nor do they have a particularly tall head tube, delivering a ride which with a slightly different cockpit set-up fitted both Sir Chris and James. Testing is now complete and the initial 7 launch bikes have been finalised and signed off by Sir Chris who is due to visit the factory later next month during production.
There will be 3 road bikes and 4 city bikes to start with, featuring 6061 aluminium frame, whilst the 105 and Ultegra road bikes get a higher-strength 6066 aluminium alloy frame for wider variations in wall thickness. The thin-wall tubing with triple-butted tapered down and top tubes (seat tube also on 6066 models) help deliver a responsive ride with great stiffness to weight ratio. We decide to start with alu frames – carbon is for future ranges; we’re not buying any open-mold frames for Hoy bikes so it’ll take time to develop this area. We’re a small team and can’t do everything at once, and do it properly needless to say that doesn’t thwart our vision. A steel Keirin bike is a possibility too…
The road range features an entry level Shimano Tiagra equipped bike for £850, whilst for an extra £150 you get Shimano 105 gearing with RS10 wheels fitted to the higher grade 6066-tubed frame with the standard full carbon fork. The top of the range model further boasts Shimano Ultegra components and Mavic Aksium wheel/tyre system for £1350.
The city bikes are fast-rolling, lightweight hybrids and similar in many design areas to the road bikes. There are 4 price-point options, starting at £550 for the entry level model featuring 1×8 Sram X4, disc brakes and 6061 alloy frame and fork. For £620 you get upgraded 1×10 Sram X5 gearing, and another £100 sees a carbon fork, 2×10 X5/8x gearing, and upgraded disc brakes added. The top of the range City bike packs 2×10 X7/Rival gearing mix with upgraded brakes for optimal shifting and stopping power.
HOY bikes will come in a wide size range, catering for riders from 4’10” (XXS) up to 6’4” (XL) with small increments through the sizes for optimal fit and a consistent increase in reach and stack. Riders will further be able to specify bar width and stem length for a refined fit that best suits their riding. The fit concept is very important – we want to offer bikes that are unique and this means not being too generic with regard to geometry numbers, sizing, or how we can adapt the fitting and tailor it for each individual’s riding needs.
HOY bikes will be available exclusively through Evans Cycles and stock is expected late May.