Meet the Arion1 Velocipede, which was built by students at the University of Liverpool (in the UK) to win the World Human Powered Speed Challenge by becoming the first human-powered bike to hit 90 (ninety!) MPH. In case you’re not quite on your coffee at the moment, that would mean that the guy pedaling the Arion1 would be going fast enough to land him in jail on most of America’s roads without burning any oil or using any grid juice.
That’s pretty cool, even if the suggestively styled Arion1 looks more like Lelo’s latest Lyla model than it does “the world’s fastest bicycle”.
Actually, I take that back. We covered last year’s World Human Powered Speed Challenge when it went down in Battle Mountain, Nevada last September. That event saw the Dutch VeloX3, by Sebastian Bowier, set the current 83 MPH record pass … that thing looked more capsule than Cannondale, too. So, yeah- I guess that’s what go-fast bicycles look like these days, and it’s a far cry from the rough and tumble sex appeal of my old Specialized Langster.
Still, everything on the Arion1 has a purpose and a lot of thought behind it. In place of a transparent windscreen, for example, the team will use a camera and monitor that will let the rider see. The team says this move to a camera will not only reduce aerodynamic drag, but allow the rider’s head to remain in the optimum riding position. “To get to the speeds they intend to, the team will have to make sure everything is perfect, from the vehicle’s aerodynamics to the size of its wheels,” said Philippa Oldham, Head of Transport at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, of which all the ULVT are members. “It’s an extremely tough ask to get a human powered vehicle to travel at 90mph … but, with the right engineering approach, it is possible.”
Here’s a few more photos of what promises to be the next world’s fastest human-powered wheeled thing, then. Possibly NSFW.
Source | Photos: University of Liverpool, via Gizmag.