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In 1996 production began in Australia on a bicycle with many new features to increase its speed. The Superbike, which features a special lightweight frame, was designed by a project team headed by Lachlan Thompson from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and members of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

The conventional tubular frame has been replaced by an aerodynamically designed monocoque (single shell) made of carbon fibre–polymer composite. This material is used widely in space programmes and Formula One motor racing. Carbon fibre–polymer composite reduces aerodynamic drag because it can be:

  • accurately shaped
  • has high strength-to-weight ratio.

Records broken with Superbike
Designed and manufactured in Australia, the Superbike has re-written the records in cycle racing, achieving 23 world championships and three world records in four years.

The Australian-designed Superbike helped cyclists win:

3 gold medals 1994 Commonwealth Games (Victoria BC, Canada)
3 gold medals 1995 World Junior Track Championships (Italy)
3 gold medals 1995 World Track Championships (Bogota, Colombia)
2 bronze medals 1996 Olympic Games (Atlanta)
2 gold medals 1996 World Track Championships (Manchester, England).

Made in Australia
The development of the Superbike through the collaboration of athletes and researchers at high-tech research facilities is an example of the emergence of sports technology as an industry in Australia. Unlike most equipment used by elite athletes, the Superbike was also designed for low-cost, high-volume manufacture, for the road as well as the track.

The Superbike was manufactured in Melbourne by the company Bike Technologies, headed by former Olympic cyclist Sal Sansonetti. The advanced racing bicycle manufactured by Bike Technologies was the first bicycle manufactured in Australia since Pacific Dunlop moved Malvern Star production to Taiwan in 1990. It is an example of scientific research and engineering development applied to competitive sport.

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