UniSA’s School of Engineering, in conjunction with Santos, have successfully designed and constructed the World’s Longest Bike. Second year mechanical engineering students were set this design challenge as a class project in 2014. The final design was derived from the best contributions by students, and in conjunction with Santos engineers, the bike was constructed by local South Australian manufacturing company Weldrite. This project is an example of the industry engaged, real life projects that engineering students at UniSA are involved in. Santos is a large employer of engineering graduates from South Australian universities and as the major sponsor of the Santos Tour Down Under, an event that UniSA also sponsors, this project was a fantastic collaboration.
On January 17 2015, the 42 meter big bike was assembled at Rundle Road, Adelaide as part of the Santos Tour Down Under, and after a bumpy start, was successfully ridden 100 meters to break the previous Guinness World Record set in 2011 in the Netherlands of 35.79 meters.
Watch the bike in action
The World's Longest Bike was featured in ScopeTV's Interesting Vehicles episode on Saturday, 18 April 2015. Check it out here.
Big bike facts
- The bike will have to travel 100 metres unaided to officially break the current world record which stands at 35.79 metres, set in August 2011 in the Netherlands.
- The official length measurement recorded is the distance from the front wheel to the back wheel.
- Total weight of the bicycle without riders is 2.5 tonnes. The bike is so heavy as it needs to be strong enough to accommodate the flexing of steel that occurs over such a distance and not hit the ground.
- The bicycle consists of six detachable 6-metre sections plus a detachable front and rear wheel section – making a total length of 41.9 metres.
- Top speed has been calculated at 10 km/h.
- It has 20 seats and 19 sets of pedals. The person steering is the only person not required to pedal. It has six interconnected bicycle chains running in parallel, totalling a distance of approximately 90 metres.
- It takes approximately two hours to join the sections together and connect the bicycle chains.
- The front tyre is from an aircraft and the rear wheel is a custom made metal drum approximately 80 cm wide.
- It is equipped with disc brakes that operate on the rear wheel that is operated by the last rider.
- The bicycle was primarily constructed by Weldrite, a small manufacturing workshop in northern Adelaide using the technical drawings designed by University students and technical staff. It took three weeks to construct.
- To qualify for a Guinness Book record as the World’s Longest Bicycle, Santos and the University of SA must comply with (and provide evidence of) a number of criteria. These include:
- The bicycle must be ridden in the same way as a standard one and powered by pedal and chain
- Have two wheels
- Be ridden for a minimum distance of 100 metres continuously and unassisted and not touch the ground
- The distance travelled and bicycle length must be measured by a qualified surveyor in the presence of two independent witnesses
More information about the World's Longest Bike