Tom Donhou ‘Experiments In Speed’ 100mph video trailer released

A first glimpse at Tom Donhou’s attempt to propel his own bicycle to 100mph behind a Ford Zephyr

by David Arthur   June 10, 2013  

tom donhou 100mpd 02

Tom Donhou, he of Donhou Bicycles fame, just sent us over a video trailer for his recent attempt to cycle through the 100mph barrier on his own handmade creation. The bike, which stole the show at Bespoked Bristol, features a massive 104t chainring and low slung handlebars.

Tom is fascinated by the glory days of speed record attempts during the 60s, and that spirit of adventure and the engineering challenge has clearly inspired him, as he has set off in pursuit of his own personal record. Tom has built a bicycle - without the aid of advanced computer software, wind tunnels and a team of engineers it should be noted - which he feels fits the brief.

"I built this with the intention to feel it out. I don’t know how fast it can go. [100mph is] my best guess as to what I can do. I built the bike how I thought it should look. No wind tunnels involved, it’s all grassroots. It’s done in that spirit of those guys in the 60s testing jet engines in their sheds."

So here’s the video trailer, to whet the appetite before the full documentary is released. It’s got a certain Le Mans/Steve McQueen feel to it, we think.

Tom will be using a Ford Zephyr as a pace car. If you’re wondering, the current record for a motor-paced cyclist is an astonishing 166.9mph, held by Fred Rompelberg (he broke 11 world records in all), which he set in 1995.

Turn the date back to the 1930s and 1940s, and there was a string of motor-paced records, with Alfred Letourneur pushing the speed higher on successive occasions, going past 100mph in 1941. That was on a Schwinn behind a modified midget racer.

The desire to go fast on a bicycle is evidently still strong. Most recently Frenchman François Gissy, who set a new world speed record in the rocket-powered bicycle category, going 163.4mph.

10 user comments

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There could be a serious flaw to the plan when he discovers a Ford Zephyr is unlikley to ever get to 100mph!

posted by wildoo [29 posts]
10th June 2013 - 16:15


A Ford Zephyr?

dullard's picture

posted by dullard [140 posts]
10th June 2013 - 16:28


dullard wrote:
A Ford Zephyr?

Yes that's right, a 1960’s Ford Zephyr 6 Mark III

David Arthur's picture

posted by David Arthur [1764 posts]
10th June 2013 - 17:07


this gets me really excited! This is proper 8 years old, who can go fastest, dreams realised type stuff! Makes me want to get a bigger chain ring and some flat concrete and ride my bike as fast as it can go!

posted by meehaja [27 posts]
10th June 2013 - 19:36


Why on Earth would you fit mechanical discs to a completely bespoke frameset? All I can think of when I see them is Halfords BSOs.

posted by Ham-planet [103 posts]
10th June 2013 - 23:51


It's not a record then, it's just for fun. Well, that's alright.

Charlie Horse

posted by ch [109 posts]
11th June 2013 - 1:11


What a rubbish video. Good job he had protective gear on to spray a line on the road, those spray cans can be deadly in the wrong hands Plain Face

posted by Welsh boy [160 posts]
11th June 2013 - 6:13


If he had moved as fast as the video clip, the record would have gone.


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [1018 posts]
11th June 2013 - 7:14


Love the bike, love the sentiment, love what he's doing!

posted by Ginsterdrz [41 posts]
11th June 2013 - 17:01


A Ford Zephyr was only a 4cylinder engine that ran out of wheeze about 85, you would need a Ford Zodiac which had a straight6 engine and would top 100mph easily Cool

posted by brandobiker [22 posts]
11th June 2013 - 20:50