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Video: Craig MacLean hits 142mph on the Rollapaluza rollers - using Guy Martin's bike

Olympic and Paralympic medallist beats benchmark speed set by Dave LeGrys

Olympic medallist Craig MacLean has set a speed of an astonishing 142 miles an hour on a Rollapaluza rig – using the Rourke bike that was built for Isle of Man TT racer Guy Martin for his TV series Speed last year, when he set a new British draft-assisted record of 112mph.

Like Martin, the benchmark time that MacLean was targeting had been set by Dave LeGrys, although according to Rollapaluza, ahead of the event at London’s Look Mum No Hands, “it was not clear just what the potential maximum speed would be, or indeed if it would be even possible to get the huge 380 inch gear turning without the ‘tow’ required when the bike is on the road.”

MacLean, his calves strapped with gaffer tape to provide clearance from the bikes double transmission, posted a time of 11.34 seconds for 500 metres – that’s an average of 99.2mph from a standing start, and 142mph in the maximum speed test.

The 42-year-old is one of only two athletes to have won medals at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games; in 2000, he helped Great Britain take silver in the team sprint at the Olympic Games in Sydney, and in 2012 in London he acted as pilot to Anthony Kappes, the pair winning gold in the men’s sprint (B) at the Paralympic Games.

The best women’s times were set by Jennifer Crouch, with 14.09 seconds for the 500m and 113.1 mph maximum speed – even though she was the only rider taking to a Rollapaluza rig for the first time.

Rollapaluza says that while there are a variety of stationary bike records, there does not appear to be an official one, pointing out that Bruce Bursford's speed of over 300kmh was achieved on powered rollers that took him to 100mph before he made his attempt.

Caspar Hughes from Rollapaluza added. "Dave Legrys' 1986 record of 126 mph was always our target and reference point for this attempt, though ultimately the challenge was to see how fast it was possible to go using this amazing bike and our regular rigs, so we won't be calling Guinness."

Here are the results:


Fastest Speed

Craig MacLean (Dolan Bikes): 142 mph / 227 kph
Rob Reed (The Bicycle Society): 134.1mph / 214.6kmh
James Sullivan (Brixton CC): 130mph / 208kmh
Atiba Quildan (Twickenham CC): 120.4mph / 192.6kmh


Craig Maclean (Dolan Bikes): 11.34 seconds (average cadence 88.2rpm)
Rob Reed (The Bicycle Society): 11.70 seconds
Atiba Quildan (Twickenham CC): 12.06 seconds
James Sullivan (Brixton CC): 12.50 seconds


Fastest Speed

Jennifer Crouch (London Dynamo): 113.1mph / 181kmh
Sam Sullivan (Brixton CC): 107.8mph / 172.5kmh


Jennifer Crouch (London Dynamo): 14.09 seconds
Sam Sullivan (Brixton CC): 14.25 seconds

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Aapje | 9 years ago

Hmm, I happen to believe that his speed was 0 mph.

velobetty | 9 years ago

There were a couple of rounds to this, one on the standard bike and then a round on the Rourke bike. Was an immense evening though!  1

notfastenough | 9 years ago

Did you mean to omit Guy Martin's name from the first para? Sounds wrong without it.

The bit that leaves me speechless about this is taking a 380-inch gear from a standing start, yet still managing to cover 500 in 11.34!

Wookie | 9 years ago

I wander what Robert Förstemann would do on the bike

only1redders | 9 years ago

Craig Maclean had the biggest guns in that sprint relay squad. He was/is a BIG guy

levermonkey | 9 years ago

When they took the Kilo out of the Olympic Games they lost one of the purist events and we lost a great Olympian. Yes I know that he was Men's Sprint first rider but strangely I always see him as a Kilo rider.

That said Olympic loss is Paralympic gain with him becoming only the second athlete to gain medals in both. Not sure who is going to beat 142mph though unless we build a time machine and fetch the younger version.  16

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