Bicycles

Aerovelo tops human-powered speed record with 89.59 mph bullet bike

Aerovelo tops human-powered sp...
The Aerovelo Eta uses a bullet-shaped shell to cut through the air
The Aerovelo Eta uses a bullet-shaped shell to cut through the air
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The Aerovelo Eta uses a bullet-shaped shell to cut through the air
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The Aerovelo Eta uses a bullet-shaped shell to cut through the air
The Aerovelo team alongside its record-breaking creation
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The Aerovelo team alongside its record-breaking creation
A look under the shell of the Aerovelo Eta 
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A look under the shell of the Aerovelo Eta 
The team at Aerovelo explains its Eta bike to students
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The team at Aerovelo explains its Eta bike to students
The egg-shaped Aerovelo Eta managed to hit 89.59 mph
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The egg-shaped Aerovelo Eta managed to hit 89.59 mph
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Aerovelo has set a new human-powered speed record using its specially designed aero bike. Running at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada, the egg-shaped Aerovelo Eta managed to hit 89.59 mph (144.17 km/h).

As is often the case with record attempts, things didn't go perfectly to plan early on. The weather in Nevada was cooler, and the winds higher, than expected, and there were lots of bugs around. A run on Thursday yielded 87.6 mph (140.98 km/h), before a bug spattered on the front of the bullet-shaped shield ruined the team's Friday run.

Finally, with temperatures on the rise, an anti-bug coating applied to the bike's shell and some extra oil on the bearings, the team nailed a new, 89.59 mph (144.17 km/h) record, usurping its 2015 record by 2.94 mph (4.73 km/h) in the process.

The team at Aerovelo will continue to refine the Eta over the coming year, with the goal of beating its own record next year.

Check out footage of the Aerovelo Eta breaking through 88 mph, complete with a nod to Back to the Future, below.

Source: Aerovelo

Bicycle hits 88 mph, travels back in time!

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6 comments
Bob Stuart
For decades, the University teams were well out of the running. Aerovelo finally got their lessons lined up, but they raised funds on the promise of developing a practical velomobile next, and have reneged on that to keep racing.
wle
how do they know there wasn;t a tail wind?
2. a "bug spatter" ruined the first attempt? sounds more like a head wind...
EcoLogical
For aerodynamics the 'fish' shape and now the 'bullet' shape prove that a sleek nose and tapered back have the lowest drag coefficient. Auto manufacturers could learn something from Aerovelo ... 'boxy' trucks, vans, CUVs and SUVs are aerodynamic disasters, subsequently wasting huge amounts of energy pushing air around. Tesla seems to be the only auto manufacturer that understands aerodynamics ... the Model S/X/≡ all have a sleek front end (no grille) and tapered rear window. GM's Bolt EV with the boxy rear is the epitome of poor aerodynamics (the wiper on the back window is a dead give away that a vacuum is created pulling the car back).
windykites
You are telling us this bike was specially designed. Well I never would have guessed it. The bullet shape helps it get through the air better! What do you know?
Apart from my sarcasm, an amazing achievement! I was surprised that the bug caused some unwanted air resistance. Extra oil! wow they think of everything!(sarcasm alert)
More info would have been good, such as how many gears; how long to build up speed; how many calories were burned by the rider.
Calson
Some credit should go the unmentioned person powering the craft as it takes a good deal of power and endurance to take any bicycle to these speeds and sustain it for a distance. No mention of the second run as normally two runs, one in each direction within a specified time period, are required for official record status.
ArnoldLigtvoet
I was there at the start of this run helping out as a volunteer. The races take place each year on the SR305 just outside Battle Mountain Nevada. This section of road is straight for about 6 miles and has a nearly flat profile, plus the plain in located at 1400 meter above sea level.
The bikes are built by teams from around the world, both student teams and privateers. Aerovelo consists of a group of alumni from the university of Toronto lead by Todd Reichert (also the engine of the bike) and Cameron Robertson. Together they also created the worlds first flapping wing human powered airplane and were awarded the Sikorsky price for building the fist human powered helicopter.
The race itself takes place on the highway which is closed for that reason. The bikes have a 5 mile course to accelerate and then the last 200 meters are timed. This timing station also measures wind to make sure it is within the limits for a legal run. Todd first broke the record bringing it to just over 88miles per hour (hence the back to the future hint) and later brought it to over 89! The bikes are fully powered by the rider and can only be pushed for 15 meter at start.