Liverpool’s Velocipede team smashes record

Posted on 08 Oct 2018 and read 1132 times
Liverpool’s Velocipede team smashes recordAt the recent World Human Powered Speed Challenge at Battle Mountain, Nevada, Paralympian Karen Darke and Ken Talbot broke the male and female world records for arm-powered speed.

By reaching 46.05mph and 51.86mph respectively, they are now the fastest and second-fastest hand cyclists in history (with Ms Darke exceeding the previous men’s record).

Their feats were achieved on a bike created through the ARION4 project — run by the University of Liverpool Velocipede Team ( with the support of engineering companies including Renishaw.

On 12 September, Ms Darke set a new female world record with a speed of 41.86mph, which was 17mph faster than the previous record.

On the same day, Mr Talbot reached a speed of 51.86mph, breaking the world record and becoming the first hand cyclist ever to exceed 50mph.

The next day, Ms Darke broke her own record by reaching 46.05mph, which surpassed the previous men’s record.

As part of the project to build the bike, Renishaw 3-D printed the central titanium support, which attaches to the head-tube to hold the layshaft and front wheel in place.

This component is the backbone of the ARION4 transmission system, allowing riders to put in as much power as possible without worrying about the structural integrity of the front of the bicycle.

Steven Bode, senior lecturer at the University of Liverpool’s School of Engineering, said: “This is the culmination of two years’ hard work by our engineering students.

“Their combined passion for engineering and pushing the limits of human potential has resulted in the success of the ARION4 riders.”

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