One of Popular Science’s hallmarks has always been its DIY articles, but the latest entry even had the headline writer cautioning readers that maybe it’s not such a good idea to try this one at home. The project: London-based bicycle builder Tom Donhou re-engineered a bike so that he could travel at 80 mph.
As the article points out, the average cyclist will probably max out at 30 mph. So how did he do it? He more than doubled the number of teeth on the chain. He also improved the bike’s stability by building the frame from steel Columbus MAX tubes, and placed the chaining as low as possible. He used tubular tires that are glued directly to the rim to avoid having the tires fly off the wheel during the test run.
Donhou also had to modify a car with wooden extensions to serve as a pace car and wind barrier. By traveling directly behind the vehicle, he was able to block the wind and maintain aerodynamic efficiency.
Based on tests, the bike could go up to 100 mph. Oddly enough, the world speed record on a bicycle, set in 1995, still sits at an astonishing 167 mph. You can read more about that record here. You can view a 10-minute documentary about Donhou’s bike below.
Source: Popular Science