Lotus bike designer still as outspoken as ever about bike industry convservatism

Bike designer Mike Burrows will feature in forthcoming feature documentary ‘Bicycle: The Film’ sharing his usual forthright opinions about the conservative state of the bike industry in the years before Chris Boardman’s 1992 Olympic pursuit victory.

That race was won on a bike Burrows designed and that was built by Lotus. In an era when bikes were still almost entirely built from metal tubes welded together, Burrows’ low-slung one-piece frame was a revolution.

It didn’t hurt that Boardman himself was the finest pursuit rider of his generation in the peak of his powers, but it was the carbon fibre bike with the British sports car maker’s logo that got all the attention.

In this video clip, Mike Burrows says: “It was 100 years since anybody had held up a bicycle and said, ‘This goes faster.’ Innovation just didn’t happen in cycling.”

The Burrows-Lotus bike (you can see its predecessor behind Mike in the video) opened the floodgates. In 1992 Miguel Indurain won the Tour de France on a succession of steel-framed bikes. In 1993 he rolled out for the time trials on the one-piece carbon fibre Pinarello Sword.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.