What Does the World's Fastest Bicycle Look Like?

The shell of the Arion1, a new bike being developed by the University of Liverpool Velocipede Team. (Courtesy of University of Liverpool Velocipede Team)

You can't see the wheels or pedals from the outside, but engineers-in-training say this is destined to be the fastest man-powered vehicle in the world.

The engineering students from the University of Liverpool in England have designed the ARION1 Velocipede to be so aerodynamic that it can reach speeds up to 90 miles per hour, no fossil fuel needed, according to university officials.

"To get to the speeds they intend to, the team will have to make sure everything is perfect, from the vehicle's aerodynamics to the size of its wheels," said Philippa Oldham, the head of transport at the school's Institution of Mechanical Engineers. "It's an extremely tough ask to get a human-powered vehicle to travel at 90 mph - and a leap into the unknown - but with the right engineering approach, it is possible."

In this design, the bicyclist pedals recumbent from inside the vehicle, using a camera to look at the road in front of him. Students are hoping to beat the previous top speed of a bicycle - 83.13 miles per hour - set by a Dutch team last year.

The bike will be ready to race by May 2015, university officials said, and will do so in the World Human Power Speed Challenge held in September that year in Nevada.

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