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World record Human Powered Speed

The Human Power Team is a team of students from the TU Delft en VU Amsterdam. Their goal is to design and build an aerodynamic recumbent, and break the World record!

The Team was founded in September 2010. That year the team broke the European and student record at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada. The cyclist, Sebastiaan Bowier, broke the record with a speed of 80 mph (or 129 km/h). The next year team 2.0 also attempted to break the world record of 82 mph (or 133 km/h). But unfortunately,
Sebastiaan Bowier, didn`t manage to go any faster than 80 mph.
The second cyclist, Jan Bos (former speed skater), set a personal record of 78 mph (or 126 km/h).

Het HPT Delft en Amsterdam op de Dekra baan. HPT Delft en Amsterdam is in Senftenberg voor de recordpogingen op de Dekra baan.
Het HPT Delft en Amsterdam op de Dekra baan. HPT Delft en Amsterdam is in Senftenberg voor de recordpogingen op de Dekra baan.

Currently a brand new team of students are designing a new and even faster Human Powered Vehicle to break the current world record!

Reaching the world record is a very big challenge. It is not just about making an aerodynamic, efficient and as light as possible vehicle. It is also important to find and select the best cyclist.

Multidisciplinary is a keyword in Human Powered Vehicle racing. That is why the Human Power Team consists of 3 important parts:

  •  The TU Delft part who is responsible for designing and building the vehicle
  • The VU Amsterdam part who focus on the human part. This means they select and train the cyclist, but also research into things like ergonomics and power delivery
  • The cyclists who can focus completely on getting ready for a record level performance on 1 discipline

The team consists mostly of members who spend their free time doing this, but some team members can contribute to the team as a part of the University curriculum.

One of the innovations in the new Velox, is de the drivetrain. A quote of the HPTdelft team: “Of course, we will use a chain and sprocket, like any other bicycle. But what makes our Velox special is the use of planetary gears. The reason behind this gearing system is that we have small tires and a very high top speed. This means that we need a pretty high gear ratio. By using planetary gears, we only need 1 set of chains and a normal size sprocket. In order to keep the design compact and efficient we plan to build our own planetary gear system which will be integrated inside the back wheel.

“The choice for an Apex Dynamics PSII gearbox is made after we have received extensively instructions and information of Apex Dynamics BV about technical possibilities and different type of gearboxes. Eventually we selected the PSII-B for the low weight, high efficiency and smooth running. The gearbox is designed inside the wheel and forms the bearing portion of the rear suspension. This drivetrain will be tested before we travel to Battle Mountain, Nevada on September 16, 2013.”

For more information, visit the homepage of HPTdelft, below you can watch a movie of the 2012 attempt.

Apex Dynamics wishes the HPTdelft team a lot of success with this challenge and we will keep you informed about the progress.