Move Over, Lance: Jet-Powered Bicycle Reaches 73 M.P.H.

By Allison Bond | June 2, 2009 3:39 pm

bikeIs bicycling the next extreme sport? Bob Maddox of Medford, Ore., recently topped 70 miles per hour riding his bicycle on a rural road, thanks to a twin-engine pulse jet he attached to the side of the bike.

Maddox rigged his bike such that pulse jets on the left side of the frame lend the vehicle power by igniting fuel and air 70 times per second. The idea wasn’t his originally: The German army used this type of jet during WWII to propel its buzz bombs, which flew at very low altitudes before dropping to Earth and exploding.

This latest contraption was the second edition of Maddox’s ridiculously speedy bikes. The first, which was powered by a single jet, sped him along at 50 m.p.h.—a leisurely pace compared to the 73 m.p.h. the newer bike achieved.

Although the bike’s engines are loud—Maddox always wears earplugs while riding—the ride is pleasantly smooth. “I feel real safe buzzing around at 50 or so,” he told Wired. Of course, while it might be speedy, a bike with an engine still can’t offer the physical and environmental benefits of a good ol’ two-wheeler.

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Discoblog: The World’s Fastest Car…Powered By Wind, That Is

Image: flickr / AMagill

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
MORE ABOUT: bicycles, engines, jets
  • David King

    That is crazy! 73 MPH on a bike! HOly SMOKES!
    lol… I am still in shock! thanks for posting this! I am impressed for sure!

  • Jandro Kirkish

    Once every 70 seconds? Pulse jets usually cycle much faster. Did you mean 70 times per second?

  • Allison Bond

    Good catch, Jandro. That was a typo…should be fixed now.


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