Video: Graeme Obree's record-attempt recumbent rolls out
Former Hour Record holder unveils bike he'll use for speed record
As we've previously reported, former Hour Record holder and national treasure Graeme Obree is preparing for an attempt on the human-powered land speed record. True to form, Obree has been designing and building his own bike for the attempt, and he's just released a video of its maiden flight.
It's an intriguing machine. Previous speed record human-powered vehicles have been standard recumbents, as far as there is such a thing. Current record holder Sam Whittington used a supine position, leaning back but facing forward, and turned conventional cranks and pedals when he powered his Varna Tempest to 83mph in 2009.
Obree, as you might expect, has thrown out the rule book. For a start, he'll be riding 'Beastie' in a head-down, prone position. The idea is clearly to get into a lower and therefore more aerodynamic position, but it doesn't exactly look comfortable. In the video, though, Obree says it “feels great!”
A set of cranks needs quite a lot of vertical space, increasing the frontal area of the bike, so Obree has thrown them out too. Instead the bike has a treadle drive, with levers turning a chainring and chain drive.
It's a wobbly-looking beast, but that's not unusual – low-profile recumbents often need helpers to get them started. When you're that close to the ground, you don't have much time to correct a wobble before you fall.
Obree has previously said he'll have a carbon fibre and Kevlar skin to streamline the bike. He'll need it if he's to beat Whittington's record, let alone the 100mph mark he's set for himself. We can't wait to see Beastie in action with a full shell!
Meanwhile, here's the video: