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.
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.
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 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.