The World Human Powered Speed Championships at Battle Mountain, Nevada. The overall speed record was broken by a team from the Delft University of Technology and VU University Amsterdam. Watch the video…
The record-breaking bike of the Delft University of Technology and VU University Amsterdam. Image © Rick Robson
The record attempts during WHPSC 2013, was held on highway 305 (which was close off) during last weekend and all the cyclists had to qualify on a 3,2 km long track. The qualification consisted of three heats, with each 5 cyclists.
The cyclists of the WHPSC had five kilometers to accelerate before their speed measured for a distance of 200 meters. After that there was 2 kilometers more to slow down.
Finally the human-powered speed record was set at the new level of 133.78 km/h (83 mph), from students of the Delft University of Technology and the VU University Amsterdam.
The speeds were measured over a distance of 200 meters, after accelerating on an eight kilometer straight road in the desert of Nevada (USA). “It was incredibly exciting. We had 6 days to break the record, but in the beginning we found some technical problems. We spend a couple of nights to solve everything. When you break the record, after three evenings of bad weather, at the last possible chance, it feels incredible”, says the proud team manager Wouter Lion.
The team made great use of advanced computer simulations. They showed what speed the bicycle should reach at certain power, delivered by the cyclist. “From the data of the record attempts earlier this week, we noticed a big problem that prevented the VeloX3 bicycle to reach high speeds”, says Wouter Lion. “The computer simulations showed that the bike should have gone a lot faster than it did and after a thorough analysis of the data, the problem turned out to be an aerodynamic problem. When pedaling at high power inside the VeloX3, the outer shell turned out to deform slightly because of the force”, says Wouter Lion. The students managed to find a clever solution, so the problem was solved yesterday.