Woman sets world speed record on bicycle at 147 mph

Custom bike has special gearing, 60-tooth chainrings, 17-inch wheels

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Mueller set the woman’s paced bicycle land speed record while drafting a vehicle driven by professional auto racer Shea Holbrook.

Mueller set the woman’s paced bicycle land speed record while drafting a vehicle driven by professional auto racer Shea Holbrook.

California cyclist Denise Mueller set a women’s world speed record Saturday at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats, hitting 147 miles per hour while pedaling a highly specialized bike behind a pace car.

Mueller set the woman’s paced bicycle land speed record while drafting a vehicle driven by professional auto racer Shea Holbrook. Holbrook’s precision driving, just inches ahead of Mueller’s front wheel, punched a hole in the air, minimizing wind resistance for Mueller.

The custom bike used to break the record  has double-reduction gearing, massive 60-tooth chainrings, custom built 17-inch dragster wheels with shaved tires, an elongated frame, and steering stabilizers.

The custom bike used to break the record has double-reduction gearing, massive 60-tooth chainrings, custom built 17-inch dragster wheels with shaved tires, an elongated frame, and steering stabilizers.

Mueller’s bike was custom built by Chris Garcia of SD Wheel Works with technical support from DaVinci Bikes and KHS Bicycles. It includes a range of technologies that enable Mueller to maintain stability and minimize wobble at high speeds while generating maximum power. These innovations include double-reduction gearing, massive 60-tooth chainrings, custom built 17-inch dragster wheels with shaved tires, an elongated frame, steering stabilizers, and a BodyFloat isolation seatpost that dampens harmonics and vibrations, ensuring a smooth pedaling cadence and optimal traction at speed.

The BodyFloat isolation seatpost dampens harmonics and vibrations, ensuring a smooth pedaling cadence and optimal traction at speed.

The BodyFloat isolation seatpost dampens harmonics and vibrations, ensuring a smooth pedaling cadence and optimal traction at speed.

Mueller, 43, of Carlsbad, Calif., is an accomplished bicycle and motosports racer, the current National criterium champion, and a 15-time National Champion, as well as a mother of three.

Mueller, right, is an accomplished bicycle and motosports racer, the current National criterium champion.

Mueller, right, is an accomplished bicycle and motosports racer, the current National criterium champion.

Mueller is coached by U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame member John Howard, a three-time Olympian and previous paced bicycle land speed record holder. Howard set a land speed record of 152.2 miles per hour in 1985, also on the Bonneville Salt Flats while drafting a dragster.

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Comments:

  • Big-Rob says:

    To all the haters who do not think this is a big accomplishment. Feel free to give it a try, hell try to hit half of it drafting an 18 wheeler on your road bike.

  • joe mauer says:

    Come on you peeps. It takes a ton of guts to go 147mph on a bicycle, no matter how she got there. Whoa.

    • Ryan Cooper says:

      Or she’s just an adrenaline junky. What would her three children have done if she had crashed? At that speed she would be lucky to escape able to use a wheelchair. How much is a record that relies on so much outside help worth? Any number of athletes could do much the same and with just slightly altered equipment surpass her with barely enough effort to be worth mentioning. Just replace the aluminum shocks with carbon fiber versions and the next applicant will be able to better her speed by at least a couple mph. This was reckless and barely notable, it required no skill and little effort and was just plain reckless on top of everything else.
      Athletes earn renown by physically and/or mentally surpassing their predecessors, not by using technology and technicalities to skip the work. I’m certain every coach out there will agree. This is interesting, but not notable. An average person can pass 60 mph on a normal bike, without being towed nearly up to that speed behind a car if you remove wind resistance. Those extra gears mean she needed very little more effort than the situation noted above. Add the wall to prevent side winds as well and she had it incredibly easy.

  • Alan F says:

    No drafting, coming down the Gawanus Bridge on the BQE during the1992 NYC Bike Tour, I was clocked on radar at 52.8 MPH. I can’t even imagine over 100, drafting or not!

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