Marcus Burghardt descended at 130.7kph on stage nine of the Tour de France, according to cyclingweekly.co.uk, what is the fastest a cyclist can go? As it turns out the max speed is almost triple that of Burghardt!
Let’s start with downhill then! There are two guys competing for records on snow and gravel: Eric Barone and Markus Stöckl.
Éric Barone from France is holds the world speed record for bicycle, on both snow and gravel. On snow he reached the speed record of 222kph achieved in Les Arcs, France and on gravel his speed record is 172kph reached at the Cerro Negro volcano, Nicaragua. For these records he used a special prototyped bicycle.
Éric Barone after reaching the record
The other record holder is Markus Stöckl, Austrian mountain bike established the speed record descending on a serial production mountain bike. On snow the speed reached was 210 km/h in 2007 on the slope of La Prava, Chile. And on gravel he reached 164.95 km/h in 2011 on the same volcano as Barone in Nicaragua.
Markus Stöckl going downhill!
Fred Rompelberg from Maastricht, the Netherlands is current holder of the Absolute Speed World Record Cycling with incredible 268,8kmh. The record was reached with a motor paced bicycle in 1995 on a custom bicycle behind a dragster of the Strasburg Drag Racing Team and took place on a salt lake in Utah, USA.
Fred Rompelberg on the lake
Bruce Bursford holds a different record for the fastest speed on a bicycle on a treadmill at 334.6 km/h in 1996 that he achieved on a 1 million dollar bicycle prototype.
The unreal bike Bruce Bursford reached the record on
The next two records are on streamlined recumbent bicycles or aerovelos, the bikes that look and ride like bullets.
In 2015 Todd Reichert reached the top speed of 139.4kmh on a faired recumbent on a flat surface on a highway in Nevada USA.
As for women the fastest is Barbara Buatois, a French cyclist that reached 121.4kmh on a 200-meter flying start speed trial at Battle Mountain, USA in 2009.
Barbara Buatois getting packed into her bike
For some strange cycling speed records see Vittorio Innocente who in 2001 set the speed record for underwater cycling when he pedalled 1,200 metres in a swimming pool at an average speed of 87cm/second or 3.1kph.
Vittorio Innocente cycling underwater looks like a dream
Markus Riese from Germany cycled 50 km backwards in a time of 1 hr 46 min 59 sec on a track in Darmstadt, Germany in 2003, he reached the average speed of 28kmh!
What is your top speed? If you can’t pedal on ground go underwater or turn backwards, I am sure cycling will get more creative and fast in the years to come!