The 2012 World Human Powered Speed Challenge at Battle Mountain comes to a close today. Official results are tabulated here with breaking news from the blog of one of the offical timers. There have been no records broken as yet, but a new record has been set.
As well as the high profile withdrawal, for this year at least, of Graeme Obree, Sam Whittingham has also decided to give this year a miss. After defending and advancing his record for 12 years, he has decided that 13 would be 1 year too many. None-the-less there has been a full field with teams from all over, but have been beset with technical and weather problems, with a number of crashes and “illegal” winds.
The team from Trisled in Australia, brought two machines, a bike (Nitro Glycerine) and a trike (Completely Overzealous). Though Trisled are competing at Battle Mountain for the first time their have already honed their skills to a high level in the well developed Australian human powered racing scene. Conventional wisdom has gone the route of dropping the third wheel to save rolling resistance anf hopefully also reduce cross-section. It has no doubt come as a supprise therefore to many that Trisled’s trike powered by Gareth Hanks has bested 70 mph to set a record for three wheels of 71.79 mph. This achievement has been recognised by the IHPVA who have upgraded the rules to recognise fully faired three wheels, as a separate class. Well-done to the Trisled team for showing that there is still life in the conventional velomobile format!
The Dutch team from Delft with VeloX2 have not yet broken the record but are edging closer. Jan Bos is now the third fastest human.
More next week once the dust has settled.
With thanks to Jun Nog for the photo’s from her blog. The secret to Trisled’s succuess (beside their musceles)? – Wax!
As reported on Wim Schermer’s blog the K_Drive elliptical crank system is to be made available by Alligt, the manufacturer of the Alleweder and Sunrider family of velomobiles. Alligt intends to present the new drive at the 7th international Velomobile Seminar in a few weeks time.
Like many, if not all, modern innovations in cycle technology the K-Drive can be traced back to the period of intense creativity in the late 1800s. The modern form was developed by Miles Kingsbury and successfully used on the Kingcycle but the mechanism itself appears to have been first described in 1890.
The renewed interest, which has lead Alligt to start production, came from the University of Delft’s current attempt on the Human Powered Land Speed Record with their VeloX 2 HPV. To optimize aerodynamics the Human Power Team’s research and experience with VeloX 1, lead them to conclude that the way forward is to significantly reduce the frontal cross section of the nose. However the size of this section is determined largely by the swept volume required for the cranks, pedals and feet of the rider. It therefore became necessary to develop a transmission that could reduce the vertical dimension of this volume. Patrick Fenner of Deferred Procrastination calculates this reduction to be of the order of 45%. His post on the K-Drive gives a good overview and also includes a demonstration video of the Human Power Team’s drive in motion. Of course the proof of the pudding will be in the eating with 26 days to go till the test at Battle Mountain.
Alligt already produce a nice collection of specialist parts for recumbents and velomobiles and this should prove useful home builders and potentially commercial manufactures who are looking to emulate the approach of the Human Power Team and VeloX 2.