Made up of eight engineering students, the University of Liverpool Velocipede (ULV) Team is designing the Arion 1 to reach speeds of more than 90 miles per hour.

In appearance, the Arion 1 looks less like a bicycle than a futuristic sex toy. From the outside, it appears to have neither wheels nor a driver. But looks can be deceiving. The Arion 1 is actually a bicycle encased in an aerodynamic shell that has been designed, much like an airplane's wings, with an inverted teardrop shape to allow it to cut through the air as easily as possible.

A bicyclist has to lie down inside the Arion 1. With the rider as low as possible to the ground, the Arion 1 will be able to cut down on wind resistance. Since the driver is fully enclosed in the aerodynamic shell, there's no way for him or her to see outside, requiring a video camera system to steer.

Right now, the ULV Team is building a prototype of the Arion 1 called the Arion 0, which they hope will help them identify any kinks in the design. The clock is ticking: the ULV Team needs the Arion 1 to be ready to race by May 2015 to have a short at the record.

The World's Fastest Bike Looks Like A 90-MPH Space Dildo

A team of engineering students has designed the world's weirdest-looking bike to try and break the human-powered land speed record.

Every year in Battle Mountain, Nevada, some of the world's top engineering minds meet to race exotic bicycles across the windswept desert in an attempt to set the world land speed record for human-powered vehicles. Currently, that record is 83.1 miles an hour as held by the Dutch-made XeloX3, but now there's a new challenger from the U.K.: the Arion 1.

Made up of eight engineering students, the University of Liverpool Velocipede (ULV) Team is designing the Arion 1 to reach speeds of more than 90 miles per hour. Currently in the design stage, the Arion 1 represents the team's hopes of taking the world land speed record for human-powered vehicles in both the male and female divisions.

In appearance, the Arion 1 looks less like a bicycle than a futuristic sex toy. From the outside, it appears to have neither wheels nor a driver. But looks can be deceiving. The Arion 1 is actually a bicycle encased in an aerodynamic shell that has been designed, much like an airplane's wings, with an inverted teardrop shape to allow it to cut through the air as easily as possible. It's thanks to this shell that the ULV Team believes that the Arion 1 will be able to break top speeds, while also protecting the rider inside from getting bugs in his or her teeth.

A bicyclist has to lie down Inside the Arion 1. With the rider as low as possible to the ground, the Arion 1 will be able to cut down on wind resistance. Since the driver is fully enclosed in the aerodynamic shell, there's no way for him or her to see outside, requiring a video camera system to steer. It will take some muscular calves to get the Arion 1 up to top speed: the ULV Team anticipates that for a rider to reach 90-plus miles an hour, he or she will need to generate up to 700 watts of power. In comparison, the average fit cyclist can generate 100 to 200 watts of cycling hour for a sustainable period, and 500 or more watts in bursts of up to a few minutes.

It will also take some incredible engineering to make the Arion 1's speed possible. A standard bicycle has a gear ration of 4:1, which means that every time a bicyclist pedals once, the output gear—the gear that powers the actual wheels of the bicycle—rotates four times. The ULV Team says that on the Arion 1, the gear ratio will have to be closer to 17:1. "The engineering presents many challenges," Patrick Harper, an engineer of the ULV Team, tells me. "We're trying to make our vehicle around 40 times more aerodynamic than a Bugatti Veyron. That's no mean feat!"

Right now, the ULV Team is building a prototype of the Arion 1 called the Arion 0, which they hope will help them identify any kinks in the design. The clock is ticking: the ULV Team needs the Arion 1 to be ready to race by May 2015 to have a shot at the record.

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