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High speed cycling the Dutch way

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by: Hans van der Broek
high speed cycling the dutch way

 

Students from Delft and Amsterdam test high-tech recumbent bike on F-16 landing strip

The Human Power Team, a project run by students from TU Delft and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, tested their new aerodynamic recumbent bike, the VeloX 8, last Sunday. The landing strip of Military base Woensdrecht, which is usually the place F-16’s take off, was used by athletes Jennifer Breet and Lieke the Cock to cycle 74 km/h (46 mph) in their bike that was custom made for them by the students. Their goal is to break the world record, currently at 122 km/h (76 mph), this September in the Nevada desert.
“We are very proud that we reached 74 km/h today; a very promising result. At the world record attempt, the road will be much longer, which means we have a lot more time to accelerate to our top speed. Besides that, the record run won’t be at sea level, which means there is lower air density and because of that there is less air resistance”. Stephanie Wiechers explains, Team Manager of the Human Power Team and Aerospace Engineering student at TU Delft.

VeloX Team, #sustainability, #cycling

Image by: Bas de Meijer

High-tech bicycle

These kind of speeds are mostly possible because of the streamlined design of the VeloX. “On a regular bike, the wind will slow you down a lot”, Wiechers explains. Because of that, the team has focussed on reducing the air resistance this year. “Months have been spent designing a bike that both suits our athletes perfectly and is as aerodynamic as possible. We came up with a completely new gear changing system, which is much more compact. The result: the smallest bike the team has ever built”. The bicycle resembles a bullet, and does not have a window - everything is done to make sure the aerodynamics are as good as possible.

Human Power Team

“Cycling at these speeds is not only due to the design of the bike”, Wiechers explains. “The athlete is just as important. It is the combination of human and machine that matters”. The team believes they are as successful as they are because of the cooperation between the movement science students from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the engineers from TU Delft.

Last year

The team of students managed to become world champion in 2017, but did not break the world record. The 121.5 km/h Aniek Rooderkerken reached was just under the world record of 121.8 km/h. This year, the team is working as hard as they can to make sure the record is Dutch hands.

Image cover: Bas de Meijer, http://basfotografie.com

http://www.hptdelft.nl/

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World traveler, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Has countless ideas and set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. Has an opinion about everything and unlimited thoughts about a better world. He likes hiking and climbed numerous 5.000 m.
World traveler, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Has countless ideas and set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. Has an opinion about everything and unlimited thoughts about a better world. He likes hiking and climbed numerous 5.000 m.
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