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Aerodynamic bike helps break land speed record

21 September 2016

Liverpool University’s Velocipede (ULV) team broke the British Land Speed Record for a human-powered vehicle with their aerodynamic recumbent bike, ARION2.

ARION2 (Credit: University of Liverpool)

Ken Buckley and Yasmin Tredell, riders with the ULV Team, broke the British land speed records for both male and female at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge which took place last week at Battle Mountain in the Nevada desert.

The award means Yasmin is now the second fastest woman in the world, and the fastest British woman, having achieved a speed of 71.05mph smashing the previous British record of 42.5mph.

The ULV team’s male rider, Ken Buckley, broke his own British land speed record of 75.03mph, which he set last year on ARION1, with a new speed of 76.59mph.

The ULV Team and their riders now hold both the male and female British speed records for a human powered vehicle. During the course of the Challenge a new men’s world record was set at 89.59mph by Canadian Todd Reichert and Team Aerovelo. The women’s world record stands at 75.69mph .

The ULV team is sponsored by Rathbone Investment Management and supported by Friends of the University of Liverpool.

ULV Team Leader, Rob McKenzie, said “it was an amazing experience taking part in the World Human Power Speed Challenge and for both Yasmin and Ken to set new British land speed records. It is the culmination of two years of work and the entire team, both those in Nevada and back in Liverpool, are absolutely ecstatic about the team’s achievement.

ARION2 (Credit: University of Liverpool)

“The whole team has worked tirelessly to improve the design of ARION2 and this has really paid off. We would like to thank Rathbones and all our other sponsors, without their support this incredible project would not have been possible.”

Designed and built as part of a two-year Engineering degree project, ARION2 featured several technological improvements from its predecessor ARION1 including updated aerodynamics, reduced weight, changes to the steering mechanisms and transmission, and a move to front-wheel drive.

The World Human Powered Speed Challenge takes place on State Route 305, a 1,408m altitude road in Nevada that allows riders an acceleration zone of over four miles, enabling them to reach their maximum velocity before being timed over a 200m distance.

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