After setting the world speed cycling record of 83.13 mph (133.78 km/h) last year with the composites-intensive VeloX 3 recumbent bike, The Human Power team at Delft University of Technology and the VU University of Amsterdam aim to break that record with their next bike, the VeloX 4.
The new VeloX 4 will have 20 percent lower air resistance due to a more aerodynamic shell shape, more efficient power transmission due to front-wheel drive, extra air cooling and easier handling with a detachable shell.
The shell is made from Daron resin and the aerodynamic camera casing and air inlet are 3D printed with Somos NeXt resins. The chain rollers are made from Stanyl high performance polyamide 46, which is lighter than steel and reduces friction and resistance. This alone boosts the VeloX 4’s speed by 1 km/h.
“The main focus of the VeloX 4 designers was on road-holding ability, air resistance and crash protection,” explained Thomas Wegman, marketing manager for DSM Composite Resins, a company that supplied many parts to the team. “We helped them translate this into the use of stiffer materials, so that deformation at high speed can be prevented and the optimal aerodynamic shape is retained even in at high air pressures.”
Wegman said the students’ project taught DSM some new things about composites, as well. “Traditionally, DSM’s resins were used in particular in glass fiber reinforced composite parts, and projects like the VeloX have taught us a lot about how our materials work with carbon fibers,” he said.