ULTIMATE BIKE 001
Some years ago, while visiting a cycling event on the continent, I met a keen cyclist and cycle designer, Bruce Bursford, who had a distinct and singular aim. To design and ride to a world record the best bicycle ever made. We talked about his ambition. We discussed the training methods he was to employ – and we discussed the ‘dream-machine’ he had in mind. Little did I realise as we spoke that I was to become involved in one of the most revolutionary sport and design projects of the Twentieth Century. A project that would involve the gathering together of some of the finest minds in their respective fields – including the world of aerospace, Formula 1, and ’21st Century’ materials, computing, design techniques and communications. My main input into the Ultimate Bike project which utilises technology and materials used in jet fighters like the Harrier, has been to ensure that Bruce, and his tandem partner Cefyn Lloyd were able to develop their psychological attitudes which enables them to tap into the inner resources necessary for them to perform to the maximum of their potential. The result was, on august 23rd 1995 at Brooklands Aviation and Motor Museum in England (the home of British record breaking), what has been called ‘one of the most formidable demonstrations of explosive physical power in sporting history’ – and a day that changed cycling for ever. Bruce rode The Lola Bike 001 to a new world absolute speed record – on the rolling road – 207.9mph. The first time a pedal cycle had broken the elusive 200 mph barrier and breaking the old record, which had stood since 1988 by over 55 mph. Bruce was inspired to design ‘Ultimate Bike 001’ during a visit to Germany in the early 80’s and by his first encounter with the Bauhaus. This was the final piece of the jigsaw for Bruce. Here was what he had been looking for. The result was a pure form which was functional and pleasing to the eye. In Bruce’s own words ‘it looked right and performed as well as its looks promised’.
‘Ultimate Bike 001’ is an exquisite example of what can be achieved by applying to peaceful pursuits technologies developed for weapons. And an example of what an effective team of specialists can achieve when working towards a worthwhile goal. The promotion of cycling is important for all of us as we enter the 21st Century. I would go further and say that a decision to use the cycle more, wherever practical, and particularly for the short journeys we all have to make, is the most beneficial any individual can make to improve not just his or her personal health and well-being but also that of our environment. The automobile is choking our cities and towns, is slowly eroding the quality of the very air we breathe.
For the past eighteen months ‘Ultimate Bike 001’ has hung, framed, in the main entrance hall of my home, alongside my collection of Dali. It has attracted visitors, television and film crews from around the world. Almost without exception when first seen its futuristic end ‘alien’ appearance, renders the viewer speechless.
It is an early glimpse into the design potential of the 21st Century. ‘Ultimate Bike 001’ is an icon for the next century.
279 BRUCE BURSFORD, U.K. Ultimate Bike 001, 1995 the first bicycle to break the 200mph limit, on a rolling road together with certificate of world record, timed by Datron.
Frame: High Modulus Carbon fibre-reinforced epoxy resin, manufactured by Lola, designed to aircraft ratio 4:1. ceramic bearings, campagnolo pedals, titanium axial on bottom bracket specially prepared aircraft aluminium inserts Tubulars for record attempt Continental Olympic, adapted for speed record.
Wheel: Traditional spoke with carbon fibre cloth construction.
Handlebars: Gull wing design, tri bar position and aircraft wing section.
The Bike has the properties of an aircraft wing, it is a vertical wing 4:1 ratio, giving inbuilt advantage of 10% to speed.
Important Notice: This is sold as a collector’s item and not as a means of transport.
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