PVD Land Speed Record Bike

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Team McCall USA

Gordon McCall was put in touch with me through my friend Dan Kyle. Dan is a motorcycle tuner that knew that I knew a lot about building bicycle frames as well as motorcycle science. see: Team McCallUSA

Previous Record Bike

Fred Rompelberg is the current record holder. 268.831 km/h. 167.044 mph.

This is as close a scetch of Fred's bike that I could make from photographic details. The wheels are about 22 inches in diameter.

The Rider

Gordon says he can put out *** watts for extended periods and *** at peak.

The Chasis

The frame will be constructed of 4130 tubing. The goal is to make the bike as light as possible, as stable as possible, as fast as possible, and most importantly AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE.

At speeds over 170mph, the forces going through the frame are huge even on apparently smooth surfaces.

At this point, the bike is going to have front suspension and a solid rear for maximum power transmission. The tire in the rear will be doing most of the work.

Rough Print for Team McCall USA Bike

Tubing Choices

Special tubes avalable:

  • True Temper Tandem Boom Tube, F1-TDBT, 2.125 x 1.375 Oval x 0.9mm Wall x 692mm Long ($32.40 from Henry James)
  • Reynolds 525 Tandem Base Tube, KC120, 1.968 (50mm) x 0.984 (25mm) Oval x 0.035 (0.9mm) Wall x 760mm Long
  • Reynolds 525 Tandem Base Tube, KC111, 1.500 (38.1mm) Round x 0.039 (1.0mm) Wall x 760mm Long
  • Reynolds 853 BX2709, 34mm x 28mm Oval x 650mm Long, 7/5/7 Butted
  • Reynolds 853 BX2805, 34mm x 28mm Opposed Oval x 635mm Long, 7/5/7 Butted
  • Columbus Cyclex, TCMA22, 48mm x 28mm Oval x 1.2mm wall x 680mm Long.

More choices at Chassis Shop

The Dropouts

In house design, watejet cut from .3125 4130 Cro-mo.

It has not been decided if the rear wheel postion will be fixed or adjustable.

Frame Jig Mondification

The longest chainstay length my current jig (Anvil Journeyman) will handle is 490mm.

Don from anvil is going to be making a new chainstay arm for my jig that will handle 490mm to about 725mm.



  • Front Wheel - 12.30 lbs (tires - 6.25 lbs, rims - 6.05 lbs)
  • Rear Wheel - 12.30 lbs
  • Left Fork Leg - 6.05 lbs
  • Right Fork Leg - 6.05 lbs
  • Front Rotor - 3.60 lbs
  • Front Caliper - 1.60 lbs
  • Front Master - 0.90 lbs

Total weight of what you gave me - 42.80 lbs.

Lets say we can shave a pound of weight from each wheel, then we are down to 40.80 lbs.

My estimate of the additional parts:

  • Triple clamp and steerer - 3.50 lbs.
  • Head Bearings - 0.50 lbs
  • Axles - 0.75 lbs
  • Stem, Seat, Seatpost, Handlebars, Grips, Front Cranks, Front BB, Pedals - 5.50 lbs.
  • Sprocket adapter to rear wheel - 0.75 lbs
  • Double/Triple Reduction Gearing, Spindles, and Chain - 4.00 lbs
  • Steering Damper - 1.00 lbs
  • Paint and Decals - 0.50 lbs.

16.50 additional pounds (very rough estimate).

That brings us to 57.30 lbs BEFORE I even add the frame which will probably be at least 12 lbs.

I am very concerned about the amount of energy required to accelerate a 70 lb bike.

Some decisions really have to be made. I'm really thinking about this right now. I'm looking for the eureaka moment.

Rims & Hubs

Decision- Will lace some 17x2.5" rims from Buchanan to some special Phil wood hubs. Drilling and lacing to be decided.

Marchesini Forged Aluminum

Marchesini 125 GP forged magnesium Wheels, 2.50”x17”, 63.5mm x 431.8mm

Brake rotor drilling is 6 holes @ 74mm dia. M6x1

Hub bearings - SKF 6203-2RS1/C3 & 6202-2RS

  • 6203 - 17mm ID, 40mm OD, 12mm WD
  • 6202 - 15mm ID, 35mm OD, 11mm WD

The current record bike used 18" diameter rims.

Carbon Rims

Spoked Wheels

One concept is to lace some downhill bicycle hubs to some Excel 2.50x17" alloy rims with either 32 (XS32U, EFS32U) or 36 (XS36U, EFS36U)holes. Larger sized bicycle spokes could be used to save weight and using a radial lacing pattern.

RK-Excel USA
Claimed rim weight - 4.0 lbs


Suggested rim size to tire

50/80-17 1.20X17
60/80-17 1.40X17
70/80-17 1.60X17
80/80-17 1.85x17
100/80-17 2.50X17

60/90-17 1.40X17
70/90-17 1.60x17
80/90-17 1.85X17

50/100-17 1.20X17
60/100-17 1.40X17

Excel EB_411 17x1.40


The spokes could be DT Champion 2.34mm spokes.

Also, Sapim of Belgium makes straight gauge spokes in 2.3, 2.6, and 2.9mm diameters.

also, 12 gauge, 2.6mm, 0.104" spokes from Central wheel

Then the issue is to make a safe tubeless conversion.

The Tires

Decision- Exectutive decision to go with the Dunlops that we have. They will be shaved.

The tires need to be:

  • W 270 km/h (169 mph)
  • Y 300 km/h (188 mph)
  • ZR above 240 km/h (150 mph)

howards bike - 50cc motorcycle Slick. 1.5” 218 Dunlop Racing RR6

Solar Car Tires



Donlop Tires is helping us with some killer rubber. We really need to use the fastest hardest rubber that they have available. We also need to use the smallest tire.

The current record bike used tires with a diameter of 20.4 inches on 18 inch rims.

We Received B compound. too soft.

(125cc slicks)

6.25 lbs.

C-Medium Compound

Rim Range - 2.15-2.5"
Recomended rim - 2.5"
Max width - 3.46"/88mm
Max Diameter - 22.68"/576mm
Suggested Roadrace psi - 25-27

I wish that we could find something that was a lower profile, like the rain tire but with hard compound and slick.

Compound- WA
Max Width - 3.45"/88mm
Max Diameter - 22.64/575mm

The tires will probably need to be shaved to reduce contact patch and to save grams.

Tires should be W (168mph) or Y (186mph) rated.

Drag Race Tires?

Mickey Thomson ET Front 3004 22.0/2.5-17 (4 lbs.) http://www.mickeythompsontires.com/strip.php?item=ETFront http://www.kosman.net/tires.htm

Smaller Tire Options

Most tires that run any smaller than what we currently have tend to be of fairly poor quality.

Power VTX 50/90-17, 70/80-17, 80/80-17 (150 kph)
M-800 80/80-17 (180 kph)
M-700 80/80-17 (180 kph)
CM 1, CM 2, CM 3, CM 7, 60/80-17
CM 5, CM 6, 65/80-17, 55/80-17
zap Street Star 2.25-17
MAXING 2.0-17 (180 km/hr)
HF-918 50/100-17, 60/90-17, 70/90-17, 80/90-17
HF-261a 50/90-17, 60/90-17, 70/90-17, 80/90-17
VRM 282 50/80-17, 60/80-17, 70/80-17

Tire Shaving

The Front End

Decision- We will be going with a Fox 40 set to 6" travel and the stiffest spring we can.

The Fork Legs

Ohlins 125 GP gas fork. FG 251. 95mm Stroke.


  • Left Fork Leg - 6.05 lbs
  • Right Fork Leg - 6.05 lbs
  • Top clamp diameter - 45mm
  • Lower clamp diameter - 48mm
  • Min top of clamps distances - 5.500"
  • Max OAL clamp distances - 9.125"
  • Lower range 3.750"
  • Upper range - 1.500"
  • Axle clamp diameter - 1.100"
  • Axle clamp width - 1.500"
  • Axle clamp seems on center with slider.


The Yoke

A special lightweight yoke is going to be required. The goal is to have a 1.125" steerer extention so that different stems can be redily avalable for rider position adjustment. I think that this makes sence.

Risse Racing (not contacted yet). 1.5" offset.

If not available, then DKG

or Dan Hanebrink, this link may work better.

The Headstock & Bearings

The larger the headstock the better. Current bicycle technologies are durable and light. The Cane Creek Double XC 1.5" Flush headset should maximize the headstock area.

  • Stack Height - 14.7mm
  • Lower Stack Height - 6.4mm
  • Upper Stack height - 8.3mm

Cane Creek 1point5 flush.jpg Park 758-S 1point5 cutter.jpg Park 750 1point5 cone.jpg

The Steering Damper



Decision- Pursut bars.

Flat or Pursuit?

25.4, 26.0, 31.8mm??

40, 42, 44mm width??


Thomson Elite X4

The Brakes

too big and heavy

Brembo 125 GP


  • Front Rotor - 3.60 lbs
  • Diameter- 305mm

155mm Dia./ 3.5mm thick rear rotor mounted up front?


  • Brembo MC Radial
  • Front Caliper - 1.60 lbs
  • Stamped part # - 5G19-508
  • Sticker Number - XA3B861
  • Bolt Spacing 4.25"

We are trying to get a much smaller, twin piston rear type caliper instead. Something like a Yoyodyne 32mm 2 piston Rear Caliper.



  • Front Master - 0.90 lbs
  • Axial
  • Marked - 10462023 on package
  • Stamped - 7E3D-13

16x18 Radial brake master cylinder for single caliper ?

Mount Geometry

  • Radial tangent - 4.100" from axle
  • Bolt spacing - 4.250"
  • Clearance radius - 1.343"



The Drivetrain


A 20.7 times reduction will be needed to get the bike over record speed (180mph) at 130rpm crank speed.

To match our goal of 180mph on the wheels that have been selected at 130 crank rpm, we will need twin 77/17 reductions.

The rear wheel will be spinning approximately 2700 rpm. Front crank 130 rpm. Jack shaft, 590 rpm.

The current world record bike used double reduction gearing, 70/13 teeth & 60/15 teeth, an overall reduction of about 21.5 and 114.2 ft of development. The bike used tires mounted on 18" rims with an overall diameter of 20.4 inches.


  • Front 42.5mm (check)
  • Rear - 60mm (check)

Double or Triple Reduction

A triple reduction with a front freewheel can use 53/19-53/19-53/21 for a 19.64 reduction.

A double reduction will require a 65/14-65/15 for a 20.12 reduction. (65 tooth rings are available)

Or if custom rings are made, then 76/17-76/17 for a 19.98 reduction

The triple reduction chain wraps 1231 degrees per crank rotation. (but the added weight and drag from the additional drivetrain reduces the effiecincy of this option considerably.

The double reduction with the 65 tooth rings is a little less efficient since the chain wraps 1267 degrees per crank rotation.

The double reduction with the 76 tooth rings is much more efficient than either of these options with 1088 degrees of wrap per crank rotation. About 14% more effiecient due to chain friction.

So, Custom rings must be made with 76 or more teeth.


177.5mm Cranks may be goal. Difficult.

  • 2008 Dura-Ace Track cranks - ? 144 BCD, 175mm, Octalink
  • 2008 Truvative Omnium Cranks w/ Ceramic Bearings. 144 BCD, avaliable up to 180mm length as OEM
    • 175mm 006115259040
    • SRAM BlackBox GXP ceramc bearing cups Road English 006415031000
  • FSA SLK Tandem Front 130mm BCD, 175mm, LSD
  • Ultegra Tandem Front 130mm BCD, 175mm, LSD
  • Miche 1907A - 144 BCD, 175mm

Jack shaft

White w/ freewheel

Each hub on the jack shaft should have a standard M22x1.0 thread for crank removal tool.

Front chainline range at shaft should be 40-50mm

Phil bb

Davinci Double Freewheel Block. How about a single? LSD.


  • 76 Tooth Rings will have a pitch diameter of 12.099"
  • 2 will be required, both with 144mm BCD.
  • 3/16" thick with weight reduction an stiffness ribs.

Paragon, Phil Wood, or White.

A better choice could be Highpath Engineering

MDT does ovals as customs. These run in the $500 each range.


65 tooth 130mm chainring


144 BCD to match the Dura-ace track cranks. 5/16-3/8" thick.


White Industries - LSD? 17 teeth is a minimum for high speed drive systems.

Fixed Cogs

Phil Wood. If they can do LSD fixed, then things will fall into place.

Get 16, 17, and 18 teeth LSD cogs.

17 teeth is a minimum for high speed drive systems.


For our two 76-17 reductions, spaced at 13.1" appart, a chain length of 102 links will be required for each reduction.

The chain will be moving at 21651.5 inches per minute at record speeds. That is 1804.3 ft./min.

Centrifugal pull = (chain weight per foot x (fpm)^2)/115,900 Total chain tension = working load + cenrifugal pull

I ordered two KMC K710SL-TI SuperLite Kool Chain 1/8" Gold, 112 links, for the chain.

Izumi Chain Mfg. Ltd. - 1/2 x 1/8 Izumi V or Izumi 25-2 or Izumi 25T-2 motorcycle chain (9.01 kN Tensile Strength)

Available from EuroAsia Imports - Izumi V

KMC Devil D101 - Titanium Nitride. light and strong.

KMC Kool K710SL - TiN, KMC USA 909-392-2045

Other Details

With the 76-17 reduction, a minimum spacing of 9.375" is required for 120 degrees of chain wrap on the smaller cog. At 13" spacing, the wrap is about 138 degrees, safe.

At 13 inch spacing between a 74 tooth ring and a 16 tooth ring, the included chain angle will be 41.5 degrees, a wrap angle of 138.5 degrees. 120 degrees is considered the minimum for any roller chain drive. The planned gearing range should be sufficient.

Where P is the pitch of the chain, and N is the number of teeth on the sprocket;

Pitch Diameter = Chain Pitch / Sin (180/Teeth)

Outside Diameter = P × (0.6 + cot ( 180° ÷ N) )

Sprocket thickness = 0.93 × Roller Width - 0.006"

Maximum Pitch = (900 ÷ rpm )^2/3

Ceramic Bearings

Hub bearings - SKF 6203-2RS1/C3 & 6202-2RS

Expected cost - $600 for both wheels, $300 for both bottom brackets.



Boca Bearing

CBR Bearing


The bike will be tested on street using twin 45/22 drivetrains for a total reduction of 7 times reduction rather than the over 20 times reduciton of the record setup.

This reduction corresponds to a single reduction of 77/11.

Record Attempt


Hated by most. Salt sprays. Too wet and soft this year.

Edwards Airforce Base

The 7.5 mile main runway is the prefered venue. This is the same strip that the space shuttle lands on the west coast.

The entire air base is said to have an 18" crown for drainage. Essentially, This place is as flat as you can get.

Is this enough room? Let's assume that 1 mile will be required to come to a stop from 180mph.

180 mph = 180 * 0.44703 = 80.47 meters/second
6.5 miles = 6.5 * 1609.3 = 10460.45 meters
30 minutes = 30 * 60 = 1800 Seconds
x(t) = .5*a*t^2 + v0*t + c

a= vf/t a= 80.47/1800 = 0.04471 m/s^2

How many seconds should it take to go from 0 to 30 mph at this acceleration?

30 mph = 30 * 0.44703 = 13.411 m/s

t = vf/a

t= 13.411 / 0.04471

t = 299.96 seconds (5 minutes)

Hyundai Proving Ground

Probably not good, but worth keeping in mind.

Research Links