Is this the fastest bike you can buy? Battle of the recumbents

Three of Britain’s top recumbent riders go head-to-head to find out who can reach the highest speed

Clock12:22, Saturday 23rd December 2023

In the world of cycling, there is a realm where speed takes on a whole new dimension, entering barely believable velocities. We’re not talking about the world of road cycling, but recumbent cycles, where mankind’s need for speed meets cutting edge technology.

Recumbent bikes are basically bullets on wheels. The recumbent element refers to the laid-back, reclined position of a rider on the bike. Creating the bullet shape, the rider and bike are covered by an aero fairing. The result is bikes that are capable of pushing the boundaries of two-wheel performance.

Here at GCN, we’ve enjoyed an obsession with recumbents for many years, putting them to the test against motorised vehicles and going behind the scenes with the Aim93 team, who have set themselves the target of breaking the world record for the fastest human-powered vehicle, which currently stands at a staggering 89.5mph.

Having delved into the world before, James 'Hank' Lowsley-Williams' need for speed hadn’t been satiated, so he decided to put three recumbents to the test at a local test track. After a few crash-filled efforts, it soon became clear that he wasn’t quite up to the job, so we turned to three recumbent experts and their unique machines.

First up was Russell Bridge, who is the third-fastest British rider in history, and his recumbent named Snoopy. Next up was Steve Slade who, at 60 years old, is one of the most experienced riders in the country with five world titles to his name. He has an equally impressive recumbent bike to live up to that status in the form of Beano.

The final competitor was Liam Goodman, the young pretender who teamed up with his Nocon recumbent to attempt to overcome his more experienced rivals.

Who would set the fastest time to come out on top in the battle of the recumbents? Watch the full video at the top of this page to find out.

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