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Francois Gissy hits 285 km/h on his rocket-powered bicycle

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November 18, 2013

Francois Gissy on his rocket-powered bicycle

Francois Gissy on his rocket-powered bicycle

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On May 19 of this year, Francois Gissy claimed a new land speed world record by reaching 263 km/h (163 mph) on a rocket-powered bicycle. Now the flying Frenchman has gone even faster, hitting a peak speed of 285 km/h (177 mph) in just 6.7 seconds, making it the fastest anyone has ever ridden a bicycle.

The 285 km/h run took place at Interlaken, Switzerland, on October 7 on just 790 m (2,590 ft) worth of usable track. The acceleration phase of the Hublot-sponsored run took 350 m (1,148 ft), with the remainder of the track required for braking.

Gissy was straddling a canister of concentrated liquid hydrogen peroxide that provided the fuel for the rocket on the record attempt, which also saw him do the quarter mile (402 m) in 7.3 seconds. His rocket-powered ride outdoes the 268.8 km/h (167 mph) achieved by Fred Rompelberg slipstreaming behind a dragster in 1995, which if certified, will make it the fastest anyone has ever traveled on a bicycle.

The video below shows the run wasn't always smooth riding, with the vibrations from the rough track causing the rear axle to loosen significantly.

Source: Hublot

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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12 Comments

It's not a bicycle if it's got a rocket engine! It's a rocket propelled motorcycle, surely. Was he pedalling at 177mph? If this record stands it's a triumph for stupidity not derring-do!

If he was catapulted on a bicycle that would be OK, but you cannot have a motorised, rocket-propelled or anything propelled machine and call it a bicycle, even if it has bike gears and brakes.

The Master
19th November, 2013 @ 02:29 am PST

Nothing like straddling a bottle of organic acid be twine Ur legs. Cool record and good nothing went wrong as the pilot would have suffered some horrific acid burns. Most likely died having the lower part of the body eaten away.

So brave pilot :D

Toffe Kaal
19th November, 2013 @ 04:30 am PST

A perplexifier as many articles are on gizmag, but quite an accomplishment.

Dave B13
19th November, 2013 @ 07:15 am PST

When I climb up on Santa's knee next month, I'm going to tell him that I have been good all year, and I would like to find one of these under the tree on Xmas morn. Ralph L. Seifer, Long Beach, California.

rseifer
19th November, 2013 @ 10:05 am PST

I bet his insurance company loves him for the HUGE premiums he must pay!

The Skud
19th November, 2013 @ 05:20 pm PST

Sorry "Master" but "bicycle" simply means "two wheels" NOT "pedal-powered"

nutcase
19th November, 2013 @ 06:30 pm PST

Nutcase,

I think Master-guy is right. There is a reason he mounted pedals and a chain on the vehicle even if he does not use them. I think his machine is qualified as "bicycle with motorised support". The word you are looking for is "two wheeler" as bicycle actively revers to it being propelled by human power.

Thijmen Put
20th November, 2013 @ 03:18 am PST

That feat deserved a better Video coverage, even a local Marriage and event covering Video Reporter,from a Photo Shop, would do better.

Edgar Castelo
20th November, 2013 @ 04:27 am PST

He isn't the fastest person on a bicycle - I saw on Discovery an american being pulled by a car on that salt trail in the desert - he reached 300 km/h, but was not "self"-propelled, if you can say that about a rocketcycle

Dan Vasii
29th November, 2013 @ 12:22 am PST

Isn't there a faster way to get to the grocery store and back before the ice cream melts?

donwine
20th January, 2014 @ 07:01 pm PST

I hear both sides. Still, I'm with the "not a bicycle" group. I see this machine has 2 wheels. I see he's mounted some bicycle transmission components. But neither these pedals, nor his muscles are propelling the 2-wheel machine.

To avoid such boring, semantic debate, I'd suggest the term "human powered vehicle" be used in articles discussing "bicycle" speed feats. Then we'll know what we're looking at and the writer can skip the meaningless comparisons to fossil-fuel powered vehicles or rockets or whatever.

duh3000
25th April, 2014 @ 08:05 am PDT

They should put these small jet engines as an option on small planes..For emergency landings would save hundreds of lives

Michael Donovan
10th November, 2014 @ 11:49 am PST
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