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The Fastest Human-Powered Vehicle In the World Is a Ridiculous Bike That Just Broke 85 MPH

A group of humans put one of its humans in a crazy, covered bike. That human broke a world speed record for a human-powered vehicle. Aaaand now I feel even more like a motionless fat-accumulating sloth.


It all went down Thursday morning in Battle Mountain, Nevada, at the 16th annual World Human Powered Speed Challenge. AeroVelo, a three-year-old Toronto-based design firm whose partners include Google and the University of Toronto, broke the 200-meter men’s record with a speed of 85.71 miles per hour. The previous record was 83.13 miles per hour.

The victorious vehicle is the Eta speedbike, a 55-pound, aerodynamic, bullet-like bike enclosed with a carbon-honeycomb shell and whose frame is made with carbon fiber. Inside, the driver nearly lies down, almost parallel with the ground, a bit like a recumbent bike. To navigate, the pilot consults an on-screen display powered by dual SD cameras, while pedaling his or her way into fame.


The contest is still underway, so amazingly, it’s possible that another vehicle could even best the Eta’s blistering 85 mile per hour clip. Whew! It’ll take more than a Huffy to beat that one.

Illustration for article titled The Fastest Human-Powered Vehicle In the World Is a Ridiculous Bike That Just Broke 85 MPH

[International Human Powered Vehicle Association via Engadget]

Top GIF via AeroVelo YouTube (footage from a 2014 race)

Bottom image via AeroVelo Facebook

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I'd be curious about how they get that thing to slow down. I'm assuming that they're not able to use standard bicycle brakes, as they would probably disintegrate from the friction required to reduce the RPMs. Did they go with an automotive-style brake or go the parachute route, since this is essentially a human powered rocket car?