Bruce Bursford, God of all cyclists?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by bicycle_disciple, May 3, 2006.

  1. This perhaps might be old news to some people, but i was in fact
    surprised to learn of the Ultimate, a pure aerodynamic thoroughbred,
    ridden by Bruce Bursford in the late 90's to break the existing fastest
    speed on any bicycle ! 334.6 km/h !!!

    Check this link out to share my awe :

    http://www.bikebrothers.co.uk/bruce.htm

    An excerpt from another website on Bruce and his bike :

    "The bike was built almost entirely of carbonfibre, including the
    cranks, and famously employed ceramic ball bearings to reduce rolling
    friction. Bursford, who claimed to have shaved his legs to avoid
    getting hairs caught in the transmission, set what the Bonham's press
    release calls the 'Solo Cycle World Absolute Speed Record' in 1995,
    with what has been described as "the most dramatic demonstration of
    explosive physical power in the history of sport". For those interested
    in more exact figures, Bursford's 33in thighs are said to have
    generated a stunning, if rather unlikely, 5,500 watts of power. "

    Its a sad thing that he died so horribly in a crash with a lorry, but
    if this man was alive, and if he indeed was in shape to compete in a
    tour de france, what could lance's chances have been?

    -b.d
     
    Tags:


  2. G.T.

    G.T. Guest

    "bicycle_disciple" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > This perhaps might be old news to some people, but i was in fact
    > surprised to learn of the Ultimate, a pure aerodynamic thoroughbred,
    > ridden by Bruce Bursford in the late 90's to break the existing fastest
    > speed on any bicycle ! 334.6 km/h !!!
    >
    > Check this link out to share my awe :
    >
    > http://www.bikebrothers.co.uk/bruce.htm
    >
    > Its a sad thing that he died so horribly in a crash with a lorry, but
    > if this man was alive, and if he indeed was in shape to compete in a
    > tour de france, what could lance's chances have been?


    It's sad that he died so young but do you really think he could go up hills
    well? Riding on rollers for 30 seconds is a whole lot different than riding
    even a single hilly road stage.

    Greg
     
  3. Hank Wirtz

    Hank Wirtz Guest

    "G.T." <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    >
    > "bicycle_disciple" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> This perhaps might be old news to some people, but i was in fact
    >> surprised to learn of the Ultimate, a pure aerodynamic thoroughbred,
    >> ridden by Bruce Bursford in the late 90's to break the existing
    >> fastest speed on any bicycle ! 334.6 km/h !!!
    >>
    >> Check this link out to share my awe :
    >>
    >> http://www.bikebrothers.co.uk/bruce.htm
    >>
    >> Its a sad thing that he died so horribly in a crash with a lorry, but
    >> if this man was alive, and if he indeed was in shape to compete in a
    >> tour de france, what could lance's chances have been?

    >
    > It's sad that he died so young but do you really think he could go up
    > hills well? Riding on rollers for 30 seconds is a whole lot different
    > than riding even a single hilly road stage.
    >
    > Greg
    >
    >
    >


    Sure, he was a great cyclist, but I call BS on his claim of "absolute
    bicycle speed record." You do it on rollers, you're going 0mph.

    As far as bikes that actually move, did anyone ever beat John Howard's
    152 mph mark from the early '80s? Now there's a cyclist - not only a
    speed record holder, I think he won an Ironman, and founded the RAAM.

    Any doofus claims Lance is the all-time greatest, I point them to Merckx
    and Howard.
     
  4. In article <[email protected]>, Hank Wirtz
    ([email protected]) wrote:

    > As far as bikes that actually move, did anyone ever beat John Howard's
    > 152 mph mark from the early '80s? Now there's a cyclist - not only a
    > speed record holder, I think he won an Ironman, and founded the RAAM.


    Fred Rompelberg did 167 mph at Bonneville in 1995.

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    Is it an Audi A4?
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>,
    bicycle_disciple ([email protected]) wrote:
    > This perhaps might be old news to some people, but i was in fact
    > surprised to learn of the Ultimate, a pure aerodynamic thoroughbred,
    > ridden by Bruce Bursford in the late 90's to break the existing fastest
    > speed on any bicycle ! 334.6 km/h !!!
    >
    > Check this link out to share my awe :
    >
    > http://www.bikebrothers.co.uk/bruce.htm
    >
    > An excerpt from another website on Bruce and his bike :
    >
    > "The bike was built almost entirely of carbonfibre, including the
    > cranks, and famously employed ceramic ball bearings to reduce rolling
    > friction. Bursford, who claimed to have shaved his legs to avoid
    > getting hairs caught in the transmission, set what the Bonham's press
    > release calls the 'Solo Cycle World Absolute Speed Record' in 1995,
    > with what has been described as "the most dramatic demonstration of
    > explosive physical power in the history of sport". For those interested
    > in more exact figures, Bursford's 33in thighs are said to have
    > generated a stunning, if rather unlikely, 5,500 watts of power. "
    >
    > Its a sad thing that he died so horribly in a crash with a lorry, but
    > if this man was alive, and if he indeed was in shape to compete in a
    > tour de france, what could lance's chances have been?


    Careful use of Google may turn up the following:

    "In the field of bicycle design little had changed since the "diamond
    frame" cycle was introduced in the 1890s. Alloys and plastics were used
    as they came along but the fundamental principle remained firmly rooted
    in the 19th century...". Look closely at the riding position of Mr.
    Bursford's bike, and then tell me how fundamentally different from a
    diamond frame it is. I'm told that Mr. Bursford is fond of making
    outlandish claims, such as having once been Time Trial champion of
    France and holding course records for various British road time trial
    courses which, according to a knowledgeable friend armed with the RTTC
    Handbook, don't exist. We were puzzled as to why he should need an
    ultra-lightweight carbon monocoque frame for setting roller records,
    too. But then we're nasty cynical old gits round here."

    I fear that much of Mr Bursford's activities had little to do with
    cycling and lots to do with getting his name in the newspapers.

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    Stop it! You're scarin' the Hippo...
     
  6. On Thu, 4 May 2006 11:31:28 +0100, Dave Larrington
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>,
    >bicycle_disciple ([email protected]) wrote:
    >> This perhaps might be old news to some people, but i was in fact
    >> surprised to learn of the Ultimate, a pure aerodynamic thoroughbred,
    >> ridden by Bruce Bursford in the late 90's to break the existing fastest
    >> speed on any bicycle ! 334.6 km/h !!!
    >>
    >> Check this link out to share my awe :
    >>
    >> http://www.bikebrothers.co.uk/bruce.htm
    >>
    >> An excerpt from another website on Bruce and his bike :
    >>
    >> "The bike was built almost entirely of carbonfibre, including the
    >> cranks, and famously employed ceramic ball bearings to reduce rolling
    >> friction. Bursford, who claimed to have shaved his legs to avoid
    >> getting hairs caught in the transmission, set what the Bonham's press
    >> release calls the 'Solo Cycle World Absolute Speed Record' in 1995,
    >> with what has been described as "the most dramatic demonstration of
    >> explosive physical power in the history of sport". For those interested
    >> in more exact figures, Bursford's 33in thighs are said to have
    >> generated a stunning, if rather unlikely, 5,500 watts of power. "
    >>
    >> Its a sad thing that he died so horribly in a crash with a lorry, but
    >> if this man was alive, and if he indeed was in shape to compete in a
    >> tour de france, what could lance's chances have been?

    >
    >Careful use of Google may turn up the following:
    >
    >"In the field of bicycle design little had changed since the "diamond
    >frame" cycle was introduced in the 1890s. Alloys and plastics were used
    >as they came along but the fundamental principle remained firmly rooted
    >in the 19th century...". Look closely at the riding position of Mr.
    >Bursford's bike, and then tell me how fundamentally different from a
    >diamond frame it is. I'm told that Mr. Bursford is fond of making
    >outlandish claims, such as having once been Time Trial champion of
    >France and holding course records for various British road time trial
    >courses which, according to a knowledgeable friend armed with the RTTC
    >Handbook, don't exist. We were puzzled as to why he should need an
    >ultra-lightweight carbon monocoque frame for setting roller records,
    >too. But then we're nasty cynical old gits round here."
    >
    >I fear that much of Mr Bursford's activities had little to do with
    >cycling and lots to do with getting his name in the newspapers.


    Dear Dave,

    If we plug 5,500 watts into this bicycle speed calculator,
    select rollers for the bicycle type, and choose Times Roman
    for the font, the result is--

    http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm

    Drat! I can't find a field for the number of readers.

    Well, precise calculations may not be possible, but I think
    that any rider capable of claiming to generate over 5,000
    watts is likely to get his name in the newspapers.

    Cheers,

    Carl Fogel
     
  7. bicycle_disciple wrote:

    > Its a sad thing that he died so horribly in a crash with a lorry, but
    > if this man was alive, and if he indeed was in shape to compete in a
    > tour de france, what could lance's chances have been?


    Let's not beat around the bush here. He was mown down from behind by a
    lorry driver who was more interested in his mobile phone than the road
    ahead. The driver was fined £500 and banned from driving for one year.
    I assume he lost his job as a consequence, but it still seems a fairly
    light punishment. In the UK as in the US, the system tends to be unduly
    lenient on drivers; cyclists are considered to be a lower form of life.
     
  8. Ted Bennett

    Ted Bennett Guest

    Dave Larrington <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Hank Wirtz ([email protected]) wrote:
    >
    > > As far as bikes that actually move, did anyone ever beat John Howard's
    > > 152 mph mark from the early '80s? Now there's a cyclist - not only a
    > > speed record holder, I think he won an Ironman, and founded the RAAM.

    >
    > Fred Rompelberg did 167 mph at Bonneville in 1995.


    Although it's rather impressive to be able to pedal any bike to that
    speed, it should be noted that those records were acheived in nearly
    still (relative to the bike) air. Anyone who rides a bike knows that
    it's the moving air that keeps us from going really, really fast.

    I understand that speeds could be very high on the moon, but alas, mass
    is the same.

    --
    Ted Bennett
     
  9. On Fri, 05 May 2006 02:06:36 GMT, Ted Bennett
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Dave Larrington <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Hank Wirtz ([email protected]) wrote:
    >>
    >> > As far as bikes that actually move, did anyone ever beat John Howard's
    >> > 152 mph mark from the early '80s? Now there's a cyclist - not only a
    >> > speed record holder, I think he won an Ironman, and founded the RAAM.

    >>
    >> Fred Rompelberg did 167 mph at Bonneville in 1995.

    >
    >Although it's rather impressive to be able to pedal any bike to that
    >speed, it should be noted that those records were acheived in nearly
    >still (relative to the bike) air. Anyone who rides a bike knows that
    >it's the moving air that keeps us from going really, really fast.
    >
    >I understand that speeds could be very high on the moon, but alas, mass
    >is the same.


    Dear Ted,

    The mass is the same on the moon, but with only 1/6th of
    earth's gravity you can zoom up astoundingly steep hills.

    Downhills are a bit disappointing because although there's
    no wind drag, you have only 1/6th of earth's gravity pulling
    you down.

    On the flats, you're enormously faster. Although you have to
    accelerate the same mass, there's no wind drag at all, and
    even the rolling resistance is reduced with only 1/6th of
    earth's gravity deforming the tires. You just keep
    accelerating and accelerating to fantastic speeds. A 53x11
    won't be nearly high enough.

    But when you zoom into a corner, you crash.

    Twice.

    The first time, you simply overshoot the corner because with
    only 1/6th of earth's gravity to hold the tires down to slow
    the same mass and inertia, you might as well be trying to
    brake on ice. The front tire skids with even a light touch
    on the brake.

    The second time, you cautiously slow down to a reasonable
    earth cornering speed in plenty of time, but crash again
    because--d'oh!--with only 1/6th of earth's gravity to hold
    the tires down and the same mass and inertia, you might as
    well be trying to corner on ice.

    There are some minor atmospheric difficulties concerning
    breathing, tire pressure, and temperature, but we mustn't
    quibble.

    Cheers,

    Carl Fogel
     
  10. Ted Bennett writes:

    >>> As far as bikes that actually move, did anyone ever beat John
    >>> Howard's 152 mph mark from the early '80s? Now there's a cyclist -
    >>> not only a speed record holder, I think he won an Ironman, and
    >>> founded the RAAM.


    >> Fred Rompelberg did 167 mph at Bonneville in 1995.


    > Although it's rather impressive to be able to pedal any bike to that
    > speed, it should be noted that those records were achieved in nearly
    > still (relative to the bike) air. Anyone who rides a bike knows
    > that it's the moving air that keeps us from going really, really
    > fast.


    > I understand that speeds could be very high on the moon, but alas,
    > mass is the same.


    http://www.newuniquevideos.com/DISTRIBUTION/john_howard.html

    Gravity and inertia have nothing to do with these land speed records
    as I have explained in these threads in the past. John Howard's
    effort is more familiar to me because I saw the bicycle and the man at
    InterBike at the time and got the details. The bicycle had a gear
    ratio so high you could not propel it by means of the pedals. It used
    a double set of chain ratios in series with large chainwheels and
    small driven sprockets to achieve a ratio with which he presumably
    could keep up with the wheel speed, although I doubt it.

    In order to not lose the bicyclist at speed, the throttle was on the
    bicycle and the bicycle was brought up to speed by towing it on a
    tether until the vortex behind the windscreen was great enough to push
    the rider, who had to use braking to not ram the bumper bar. I'm sure
    some readers have ridden in a convertible car and had their hair blown
    forward into their faces. This is the mode of propulsion. Meanwhile
    his feet were going around, but he could just as well had a 52-11 road
    gear and let it freewheel while he was turning the pedals.

    Interestingly, on one of the early runs, no valve caps were used, so
    that centrifugal force opened a Schrader valve, causing a flat.
    That was exciting. We don't need no steenkin valve caps!

    So what does gravity have to do with this?

    Jobst Brandt
     
  11. In article <[email protected]>,
    ([email protected]) wrote:

    > Interestingly, on one of the early runs, no valve caps were used, so
    > that centrifugal force opened a Schrader valve, causing a flat.
    > That was exciting. We don't need no steenkin valve caps!


    We found a similar thing fettling the Kingcycle Mango at Battle Mountain
    in 2002. It has extenders on its (Presta) valves which prevented the
    screw-down part of the valve from being, well, screwed down. Cranking
    the thing over on the work stand revealed that the valve would dump all
    the air at about 100 mph. Rider Rob English allowed that he could
    probably live with that...

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    Beware of the opion.
     
  12. In article <[email protected]>,
    oilfreeandhappy ([email protected]) wrote:
    > I only hit 149 MPH on my mountain bike yesterday. I was having an OFF
    > day, and the wind was against me. Maybe tomorrow I'll break the
    > record.


    YA Alan Holmes AICMFP

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    Ha ha, you fool! You've fallen victim to one of the classic blunders!
    The most famous is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia"
     
  13. On 3 May 2006 17:03:18 -0700, "bicycle_disciple"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Its a sad thing that he died so horribly in a crash with a lorry, but
    >if this man was alive, and if he indeed was in shape to compete in a
    >tour de france, what could lance's chances have been?


    Pretty damn good. Explosive power doesn't mean squat on the Tour.


    Jasper
     
  14. Ben Pfaff

    Ben Pfaff Guest

    [email protected] writes:

    [these snips are possibly misleading, but I think I'm making a
    valid point]

    >> I understand that speeds could be very high on the moon, but alas,
    >> mass is the same.


    [...]

    > So what does gravity have to do with this?


    It seems to me that you could go very fast on the moon because
    there's no wind resistance. Of course, all the gear you'd be
    carrying, like oxygen bottles and a pressure suit, would weigh
    you down.
    --
    Ben Pfaff
    email: [email protected]
    web: http://benpfaff.org
     
  15. Ted Bennett

    Ted Bennett Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] wrote:

    > Ted Bennett writes:
    >
    > >>> As far as bikes that actually move, did anyone ever beat John
    > >>> Howard's 152 mph mark from the early '80s? Now there's a cyclist -
    > >>> not only a speed record holder, I think he won an Ironman, and
    > >>> founded the RAAM.

    >
    > >> Fred Rompelberg did 167 mph at Bonneville in 1995.

    >
    > > Although it's rather impressive to be able to pedal any bike to that
    > > speed, it should be noted that those records were achieved in nearly
    > > still (relative to the bike) air. Anyone who rides a bike knows
    > > that it's the moving air that keeps us from going really, really
    > > fast.

    >
    > > I understand that speeds could be very high on the moon, but alas,
    > > mass is the same.

    >
    > http://www.newuniquevideos.com/DISTRIBUTION/john_howard.html
    >
    > Gravity and inertia have nothing to do with these land speed records
    > as I have explained in these threads in the past. John Howard's
    > effort is more familiar to me because I saw the bicycle and the man at
    > InterBike at the time and got the details. The bicycle had a gear
    > ratio so high you could not propel it by means of the pedals. It used
    > a double set of chain ratios in series with large chainwheels and
    > small driven sprockets to achieve a ratio with which he presumably
    > could keep up with the wheel speed, although I doubt it.
    >
    > In order to not lose the bicyclist at speed, the throttle was on the
    > bicycle and the bicycle was brought up to speed by towing it on a
    > tether until the vortex behind the windscreen was great enough to push
    > the rider, who had to use braking to not ram the bumper bar. I'm sure
    > some readers have ridden in a convertible car and had their hair blown
    > forward into their faces. This is the mode of propulsion. Meanwhile
    > his feet were going around, but he could just as well had a 52-11 road
    > gear and let it freewheel while he was turning the pedals.
    >
    > Interestingly, on one of the early runs, no valve caps were used, so
    > that centrifugal force opened a Schrader valve, causing a flat.
    > That was exciting. We don't need no steenkin valve caps!
    >
    > So what does gravity have to do with this?
    >
    > Jobst Brandt


    Nothing, and I did not claim that it did. I was talking about the lack
    of air resistance. Eliminate that, by a windscreen or a lack of an
    atmosphere, and the speeds go way up.

    The comment about mass and inertia was intended to illustrate that those
    are independent of gravity, that is, a crash at the high speeds possible
    on the moon would be a serious event.

    Carl Fogel evidently grasped that, but you did not.

    --
    Ted Bennett
     
  16. Ted Bennett writes:

    >>>>> As far as bikes that actually move, did anyone ever beat John
    >>>>> Howard's 152 mph mark from the early '80s? Now there's a cyclist
    >>>>> - not only a speed record holder, I think he won an Ironman, and
    >>>>> founded the RAAM.


    >>>> Fred Rompelberg did 167 mph at Bonneville in 1995.


    >>> Although it's rather impressive to be able to pedal any bike to
    >>> that speed, it should be noted that those records were achieved in
    >>> nearly still (relative to the bike) air. Anyone who rides a bike
    >>> knows that it's the moving air that keeps us from going really,
    >>> really fast.


    >>> I understand that speeds could be very high on the moon, but alas,
    >>> mass is the same.


    http://www.newuniquevideos.com/DISTRIBUTION/john_howard.html

    >> Gravity and inertia have nothing to do with these land speed
    >> records as I have explained in these threads in the past. John
    >> Howard's effort is more familiar to me because I saw the bicycle
    >> and the man at InterBike at the time and got the details. The
    >> bicycle had a gear ratio so high you could not propel it by means
    >> of the pedals. It used a double set of chain ratios in series with
    >> large chainwheels and small driven sprockets to achieve a ratio
    >> with which he presumably could keep up with the wheel speed,
    >> although I doubt it.


    >> In order to not lose the bicyclist at speed, the throttle was on
    >> the bicycle and the bicycle was brought up to speed by towing it on
    >> a tether until the vortex behind the windscreen was great enough to
    >> push the rider, who had to use braking to not ram the bumper bar.
    >> I'm sure some readers have ridden in a convertible car and had
    >> their hair blown forward into their faces. This is the mode of
    >> propulsion. Meanwhile his feet were going around, but he could
    >> just as well had a 52-11 road gear and let it freewheel while he
    >> was turning the pedals.


    >> Interestingly, on one of the early runs, no valve caps were used,
    >> so that centrifugal force opened a Schrader valve, causing a flat.
    >> That was exciting. We don't need no steenkin valve caps!


    >> So what does gravity have to do with this?


    > Nothing, and I did not claim that it did. I was talking about the
    > lack of air resistance. Eliminate that, by a windscreen or a lack
    > of an atmosphere, and the speeds go way up.


    Without earth's atmosphere, the whole project would not work, the air
    vortex behind the windscreen propelling the bicyclist. Without
    atmosphere the rider would have no propulsion, and as I pointed out,
    the gear on his bicycle was so high that friction and rolling
    resistance made it unridable.

    > The comment about mass and inertia was intended to illustrate that
    > those are independent of gravity, that is, a crash at the high
    > speeds possible on the moon would be a serious event.


    > Carl Fogel evidently grasped that, but you did not.


    I doubt it. The whole idea you present misses the method and how it
    works. Your theoretical proposal has no physical principals on which
    to stand. That, I did get. Your after-the-fact reinterpretation of
    what your comments might have meant is not convincing.

    Jobst Brandt
     
  17. [email protected] wrote:

    > On Thu, 4 May 2006 11:31:28 +0100, Dave Larrington
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >



    > ... I'm told that Mr. Bursford is fond of making
    > >outlandish claims, such as having once been Time Trial champion of
    > >France and holding course records for various British road time trial
    > >courses which, according to a knowledgeable friend armed with the RTTC
    > >Handbook, don't exist. We were puzzled as to why he should need an
    > >ultra-lightweight carbon monocoque frame for setting roller records,
    > >too. But then we're nasty cynical old gits round here."
    > >
    > >I fear that much of Mr Bursford's activities had little to do with
    > >cycling and lots to do with getting his name in the newspapers.


    I remember being very cynical at the time, too. As I recall the record
    didn't stand because, among other reasons, the entire weight was not
    supported by the rollers.
    >
    > If we plug 5,500 watts into this bicycle speed calculator,
    > select rollers for the bicycle type, and choose Times Roman
    > for the font, the result is--
    >
    > http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm
    >
    > Drat! I can't find a field for the number of readers.
    >
    > Well, precise calculations may not be possible, but I think
    > that any rider capable of claiming to generate over 5,000
    > watts is likely to get his name in the newspapers.
    >

    Using the same calculator, I find that riding before a 220 mph tailwind
    - which is effectively what he was doing - should take about 450 watts
    of power. If all his super-low-rolling-resistence bearings were doing
    their jeb properly, then he wasn't even working hard enough to hit
    30mph on a level road.
     
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