Published: 4 August 2014

Search for rider of world’s fastest bike

arion1_imeche_render1 RESIZE

A team of engineering students from the University of Liverpool are searching for a volunteer rider to take to the saddle of a specially designed pedal cycle in an attempt to break the record for the fastest human-powered vehicle.

The University of Liverpool Velocipede Team (ULV Team) is behind the design for the ARION1 velocipede – an entirely pedal-powered vehicle which, when complete, is expected to reach speeds of 90mph and generate enough power to light the average UK home.

They will attempt to break the land speed record for both male and female riders by topping the 83.13 mph record set in September 2013 by TU Delft and VU Amsterdam universities.

ARION1 will be ready to race by May 2015, and the team will attempt the record in September 2015 at the World Human Power Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada.

Having partnered with world-class sport scientists, the team is now hoping to select two male and two female riders who will train under a specially devised year-long programme, ready to compete in September 2015. The riders will be just five inches from the floor and will need to generate over 700 watts of pure human power.

ARION1, which emits zero carbon emissions, weighs less than 25 kilos, is 98.4% efficient and will travel at almost double the current sprint cycling record.

Commenting on the search for the riders, Ben said: “There is currently a huge appetite for professional cycling, which really works in our favour. We want to combine a fantastic technical challenge with the human endeavour it will take to complete it. ARION1 is a perfect match of engineering refinement and physical endurance.”

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The team is currently testing the aerodynamics of the ARION1 which is entirely encased in a shell or ‘fairing’ designed to cut through the air.  They are on course to have manufactured and tested a wind tunnel model by October this year.

Team Leader Ben Hogan explains: “Aerodynamics plays a great part in getting the design of the ARION1 right. We need to get the air flow working perfectly, and minimize drag.”

The ULV Team (pictured above) has already received a lot of publicity and support, and has recently been offered the use of the aerodynamic testing facilities at MIRA.

Ben added: “MIRA’s loan of its wind tunnels in September is so helpful and we are very grateful. We have carried out extensive aerodynamic computer modelling using the University’s high performance computing facilities. What we are aiming to achieve at MIRA is a validation of our computer modelling, using real wind tunnel results.”

The project has been part-funded by Friends of the University of Liverpool which awarded the team £9,000 to design and build ARION1.

In addition to the support from the University of Liverpool and MIRA, a number of other companies are helping the team work towards its goal. A current list of sponsors is available here where companies can also enquire about getting on board.

For further information and to fill out the ARION1 Rider Application please visit: http://ulvteam.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ARION1-Rider-Application.pdf. Any enquiries about the project can be directed to the team at http://ulvteam.co.uk/contact/.

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