How fast can a bicycle go? Francois Gissy was determined to find out – and a collection of brands ranging from Michelin to Ferrari were willing to help. The result was a rocket bicycle that handily beat the Ferrari in acceleration, set a new world record, and has to be seen to be believed.
The trials are all the more incredible because the bike looks so normal, although in this case looks are a little deceiving. The brakes are average, but the bike frame itself was built with the help of Gissy’s Spanish contacts in Exotic Thermo Engineering (Gissy is something of a modern, European Evel Knievel). As for the three rockets strapped to the back, those are filled with concentrated, hydrogen peroxide-based rocket fuel, definitely not standard issue.
The result was a group of tests that made world records for Gissy, rocket engine designer Neracher Arnold, and bikes. The first test saw the bike scoot along to reach 166 km/h (around 103 mph). The second test with the Ferrari tagging alongside reached 260 km/h. The third test, designed to go all out, reaching 333 km/h, over 205 mph.
You’ll notice that Gissy lies down straight on the book in a vaguely “skeleton” luge position. That’s so he won’t get torn apart by the speeds – and Gissy is planning to take it up a notch, too. The next goal? A more professional attempt called the “Spine Crusher” designed to go more than 400 km/h in less than two seconds.
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