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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 09-21-08, 05:42 PM   #1
beetz12
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Fastest bicycle - 80+ Mph

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V2FgwN_re4

Does anyone know how much these bikes run for?

And would any of you own one if you could?
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Old 09-21-08, 05:45 PM   #2
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V2FgwN_re4

Does anyone know how much these bikes run for?

And would any of you own one if you could?
More than a comparable upright. No.
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Old 09-21-08, 05:45 PM   #3
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build it yourself... I've saw a guy in Bonneville with one of these, it was a custom built machine, don't think anyone is in production.
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Old 09-21-08, 05:51 PM   #4
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I would guess they are all one off custom bikes.
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Old 09-21-08, 05:52 PM   #5
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John Howard went 152.2 mph on a bike in a draft.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py94okBKDU0
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Old 09-21-08, 06:01 PM   #6
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John Howard went 152.2 mph on a bike in a draft.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py94okBKDU0
Wow that's an impressive setup. And the world record is 166.94mph. Crazy!
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Old 09-21-08, 06:57 PM   #7
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I've seen info on building these super streamlined bikes before but I have never heard of any "production" models. All of them are custom built that I know of. I cycled that stretch of road twenty years ago. I was going considerably slower though.
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Old 09-21-08, 07:02 PM   #8
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those bikes are really worthless for anything other than setting records, you can hardly breath in there and pretty much have a limited amount of air, you can not turn the bike and you'll be joining the ranks of the white bearded male 'bent riders, except yours will be a bit more aero than theirs are, and you won't get bugs in your mouth, but after a while you won't get oxygen either, so it's almost a fair trade off.
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Old 09-21-08, 07:09 PM   #9
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Wouldn't be hard to make if you're somewhat handy with fiberglass. Just take a recumbent, put a huge chainring in the front and the smallest cassette you can find in the back (I've seen them down to 9 teeth), and then fabricate a fiberglass aero shield for it. Make it look like a teardrop and you'll be in good shape.
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Old 09-21-08, 07:12 PM   #10
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On Thursday, Sam (in the video) set a new record of 82.33 mph. Drafting not allowed.

There are molds for the Varna shells, but the shells are made one at a time, usually by the person who wants it. You can spend $15-20 grand on one. It'd be cool to have one, but they're not very practical to ride - no way to stop, or even to get out, without assistance. The streamliners I see at HPV races are more practical; most have landing gear, and hinges and interior latches for the tops.
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Old 09-22-08, 07:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by beetz12 View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V2FgwN_re4

Does anyone know how much these bikes run for?

And would any of you own one if you could?
That's old news. Last Thursday, Sam Whittingham set a new human-powered speed record of 82.33mph at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada. This means he claims the $25,000 .deciMach prize for exceeding 1/10 the speed of sound on a flat road under his own power.

Picture of the deed:
http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/whps...y/IMG_1015.jpg
And a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMUNOLwW0io
A rundown of the week's results:
http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/whpsc2008/results.htm

Building a competitive vehicle generally takes a couple months' work and several thousand dollars in materials. The Cal Poly "Primal" bike was built in about 2 months- but they've been building streamliners for years and years and pulled in a bunch of favors to get in built in time.

There's plenty of variations on design philosophy- the vehicles that are competitive at Battle Mountain represent speed-at-all-costs extreme. Other bikes have been built with more practical requirements in mind. There's a number of "how-to's" here: http://www.recumbents.com/home.asp?U...il/whatsup.htm .

I want to build a hardshell streamlined bike for myself, even though I know I'll have to accept some compromises. It's just something I want to do.
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Old 09-22-08, 08:29 PM   #12
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IIRC, the Varna uses a 24 inch drive wheel and has a mid-drive to step up the gearing. I haven't seen the specs on the gearing, but I'd expect it to run around 300 inches. That's the equivalent of a 150/11 combination (or a 50/11 with a 3:1 step-up ratio at the mid-drive, i.e. the 50T drives a 16T, which is on the same shaft as a 48T and the 48T drives the 11T.) Without the mid-drive, even a 9T cog would require a 120T chainring to get the necessary gearing.
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Old 09-22-08, 08:34 PM   #13
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didn't some crazy person go like 137mph on a open cockpit mountain bike down the side of a mountain?
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Old 09-22-08, 08:38 PM   #14
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IIRC, the Varna uses a 24 inch drive wheel and has a mid-drive to step up the gearing. I haven't seen the specs on the gearing, but I'd expect it to run around 300 inches. That's the equivalent of a 150/11 combination (or a 50/11 with a 3:1 step-up ratio at the mid-drive, i.e. the 50T drives a 16T, which is on the same shaft as a 48T and the 48T drives the 11T.) Without the mid-drive, even a 9T cog would require a 120T chainring to get the necessary gearing.
You mean like this?
http://www.ohpv.org/albums/bm2004/va...s/varnas16.htm


I'm pretty sure this is the Varna Mephisto, which is now owned by Easy Racers. "Fast" Freddy did 75 mph in it on Friday, while his daughter Tanya did 63mph Saturday morning. Freddy's not doing too bad for a 51-year-old.
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Old 09-22-08, 08:42 PM   #15
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didn't some crazy person go like 137mph on a open cockpit mountain bike down the side of a mountain?
Yeah, but that's downhill. The streamlined bikes at Battle Mountain are hitting these speeds on a flat road. With a good slope, they'd be going 300mph (and the crashes would be that much more spectacular).
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Old 09-22-08, 08:45 PM   #16
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Yeah, but that's downhill. The streamlined bikes at Battle Mountain are hitting these speeds on a flat road. With a good slope, they'd be going 300mph (and the crashes would be that much more spectacular).
omg...a crash at 300mph would be friggin crazy!!!! well, what they waiting for?!?! lets get this streamline bikes going down a hill!!!!!!
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Old 09-22-08, 09:07 PM   #17
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Build it yourself. I've seen this man at several area rides. He always seems to be enjoying himself.
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Old 09-22-08, 09:52 PM   #18
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Whoa. whoa. whoa.


Did you hear in the video that they said that their lowest gear is harder than any racing bicycle?

Do you believe that?

and yes I'm sure a kevlar plated bicycle is very expensive. *rolls eyes*
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Old 09-22-08, 09:57 PM   #19
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Does the Varna have an SRM?
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Old 09-22-08, 10:04 PM   #20
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That guy that directly powers the rear wheel.

ROFL. That's extremly funny. I bet he's got a lot of kelvar on that bike/body.
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Old 09-23-08, 10:29 PM   #21
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Does the Varna have an SRM?
Yep. Somewhere around the Internet there's plots of Sam's previous record run from 2002 and his run in 2003 that ended in an 80+ mph crash. I couldn't find them, but here's a couple from Matt Weaver: http://www.speed101.com/sprint/2001sprints.htm
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Old 09-24-08, 07:16 AM   #22
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if you had a long enough vacuum chamber, a lightweight pressure suit and a source of O2 you could probably beat this record easy on a regular ole road bike
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Old 09-24-08, 08:00 AM   #23
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didn't some crazy person go like 137mph on a open cockpit mountain bike down the side of a mountain?
On a Peugeot.....
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Old 09-24-08, 09:29 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Szczuldo View Post
those bikes are really worthless for anything other than setting records, you can hardly breath in there and pretty much have a limited amount of air, you can not turn the bike and you'll be joining the ranks of the white bearded male 'bent riders, except yours will be a bit more aero than theirs are, and you won't get bugs in your mouth, but after a while you won't get oxygen either, so it's almost a fair trade off.
You can get around a velodrome in those, I've done it. Also, you get plenty of oxygen in around the wheels. For whoever said you should make these out of fiberglass, go carbon and it'll be tons lighter.
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Old 09-24-08, 08:16 PM   #25
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You can get around a velodrome in those, I've done it. Also, you get plenty of oxygen in around the wheels. For whoever said you should make these out of fiberglass, go carbon and it'll be tons lighter.
The streamliners I've had a hand in building have had a couple layers of carbon fiber with a layer of Kevlar inside. The carbon fiber gives it strength while the Kevlar gives it impact and abrasion resistance.

BTW: if you've got really long arms like me, you'll probably get recruited to squeegee epoxy around in the bottom of the fairing mold. This will result in epoxy in your armpit hair. This is not fun.
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