Hyperbike: Like swimming on land

Bikes Fun & Games

The Hyperbike, by Curtis DeForest, tries to create a human-powered vehicle that will be faster than traditional bicycles. I can see how the rider can input more energy, but that thing has to weigh a lot more than a 10 speed!

In creating the HyperBike, DeForest tried to remedy the flaws of the standard bicycle. For one thing, it has no seat; the rider stands upright. Also, the arms are used for additional power. DeForest describes pedaling the HyperBike as “swimming on dry land.” Motor vehicle speeds of at least fifty miles per hour are easily attained.

Read more about the Hyperbike

22 thoughts on “Hyperbike: Like swimming on land

  1. Anonymous says:

    At 50mph wind resistance creates a lot of drag. This device does nothing to reduce it. Even regular bicycles out grand parents ride are more streamlined than this.

    The top competitive riders today achieve 50mph on racing bicycles but they can’t maintain for longer than few seconds. World record riders on extremely streamlined recumbents can maintain 50mph for an hour.

    I’m, calling BS on the 50mph claim.

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      50mph does seem fast. I think an over-the-counter race bike weighs about 15-18 lbs (I could be wrong) How much does this bike weigh?

  2. tyler durden says:

    Safer? I see no evidence of brakes. Steering is achieved by differential drive- forward motion (and a lot of open space) is required.

    Faster? 50 mph? A human being can’t produce enough power to propel themselves through the air in a standing position at 50 mph. Think about it- a racing bike powered by a trained athlete is far more aerodynamic, yet they can’t hit 50 mph without a steep hill. I hate to try to steer this thing at that speed.

    The guy at NASA who approved the funding and the guy who built the bike must be FOBs (Friends of Bush). Your tax dollars hard at work!

  3. Default John says:

    Twisted Metal

  4. Del says:

    Very cool looking, but I think you’d spend sooooo much time focusing on the various hand/foot movements and the “wheelies” that you’d never even attempt to bring it to full speed. And at 50mph – holy crap! I can’t even imagine how awful a wipeout would be in that cage!!

    Good start for something better to come?

    1. Marc de Vinck says:


      …..and yet I still want to try it!

  5. Lance Armstrong says:

    I, too call BS on this. 50 mph is BS, “safer” is BS. In fact, it’s probably not legal in TX, where brakes that can make the braked wheel skid are required.

    Plus, it’s not a “bike” – it has 3 wheels. And terrible ground clearance.

  6. Joe Ardent says:

    You can see in the video that there are massive disc brakes on the large wheels; brakes are a non-issue.

    But yeah, I loves me some crazy human powered vehicles, and I like this idea, but the 50 mph speed claims have got to be total poppycock.

    Anyway, this video was made in 2005. I’d love to see the latest iteration, just for kicks.

  7. Volkemon says:

    Well, I followed back to where space.com got this:


    The inventor compares it to “crawling at 50mph”. Not the top speed, but a descriptive term.

    The prototype weight is 200lbs(!) but could slim down using better construction mat’ls and method.

  8. Spuffler says:

    Totally a prototype. This machine can be optimized several ways: human should be lying head or feet first to reduce wind resistance (the required movements are not dependent on operator position); the instability of the front wheel can be offset by moving the human forward of the center of gravity… just move the operator far enough that the front wheel remains on the ground when the wheel strikes a 1 inch obstacle at 30 MPH; the frame is not optimized for weight and contains redundant structures, etc.gazb

  9. Anon says:

    Absolutely priceless. 50 mph with ease? Even if he changed the design so that you were lying parallel to the ground no one would practically maintain that speed.

    This so called “inventor” is so ignorant of basic physics that he thinks the inertia of the enormous wheels will compensate for air resistance. Then he thinks there’ll be enough power left over to charge batteries and take them home to power your car. The average human going all out couldn’t power a microwave.

    This thing obliterates every advantage of a bicycle and claims to be an improvement. Congratulations, Curtis, on inventing the mobile human hamster wheel. It might be cool if you just built it for fun, but trying to pass it off as viable is lunacy. Speaking of which, have fun with it on the moon.

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