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Retro tech gallery: 1996 Lotus Sport 110

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Even nearly 20 years later, the Lotus Sport 110 still looks sleek, modern, and undeniably fast

Even nearly 20 years later, the Lotus Sport 110 still looks sleek, modern, and undeniably fast
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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While aerodynamic performance is only recently hitting the mainstream, frame designer Mike Burrows and the folks at Lotus Sport clearly already had a handle on it in the early 1990s

While aerodynamic performance is only recently hitting the mainstream, frame designer Mike Burrows and the folks at Lotus Sport clearly already had a handle on it in the early 1990s
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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One can only imagine what road bikes might look like today had the UCI not enacted the Lugano Charter in 2000

One can only imagine what road bikes might look like today had the UCI not enacted the Lugano Charter in 2000
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The massive chain stays flare out as they approach the rear dropouts

The massive chain stays flare out as they approach the rear dropouts
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The custom made Vision integrated aero bars feature grips that are just 37cm apart

The custom made Vision integrated aero bars feature grips that are just 37cm apart
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Russian 666 rear disc was made of tensioned Kevlar and was extremely light for its day

The Russian 666 rear disc was made of tensioned Kevlar and was extremely light for its day
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The integrated seatmast is admittedly a rather crude design. The mast had to be cut to fit and holes needed to be drilled for the bolts. Ignore the bent saddle rails, by the way. This saddle was installed just for show by the bike's owner, former US national hour record holder Colby Pearce

The integrated seatmast is admittedly a rather crude design. The mast had to be cut to fit and holes needed to be drilled for the bolts. Ignore the bent saddle rails, by the way. This saddle was installed just for show by the bike's owner, former US national hour record holder Colby Pearce
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Dropouts are interchangeable should you decide to install a rear derailleur

Dropouts are interchangeable should you decide to install a rear derailleur
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The radically low-and-long position pictured here wouldn't be allowed under current UCI rules

The radically low-and-long position pictured here wouldn't be allowed under current UCI rules
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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While the Lotus Sport 108 was a dedicated track machine, the 110 model was designed to be used on the road too

While the Lotus Sport 108 was a dedicated track machine, the 110 model was designed to be used on the road too
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The frame finishes off with a sharp trailing edge

The frame finishes off with a sharp trailing edge
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Since there was no down tube, the top tube is unusually big to support the torsional loads of the entire front end

Since there was no down tube, the top tube is unusually big to support the torsional loads of the entire front end
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The front of the Lotus Sport 110's bottom bracket area resembles the bulbous bow of a ship. That perhaps isn't surprising given that the latter is designed to reduce drag as a boat cuts through the water

The front of the Lotus Sport 110's bottom bracket area resembles the bulbous bow of a ship. That perhaps isn't surprising given that the latter is designed to reduce drag as a boat cuts through the water
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Such radical shaping unfortunately is currently outlawed by cycling's governing body, the UCI

Such radical shaping unfortunately is currently outlawed by cycling's governing body, the UCI
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The bottom bracket area is massively built-up so as to smooth the airflow in this region

The bottom bracket area is massively built-up so as to smooth the airflow in this region
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Colby Pearce used this Lotus Sport 110 to set the US hour record in 1995

Colby Pearce used this Lotus Sport 110 to set the US hour record in 1995
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

Cycling's governing body enacted the Lugano Charter in 2000 – a wide-reaching document with far-limiting technical guidelines that forever changed the course of road bike development. Those rules were first drafted in 1996, though, and one could easily argue that one of the inspirations for those restrictions was Lotus Sport's iconic 108 and 110. Even two decades later, it's still one of the fastest shapes around.