Fixed-gear bicycle enthusiasts and speed freaks, prepare to bow to thy mother ship. Frame builder Tom Donhou and his company — Donhou Bicycles — has mounted a monster chainring onto a custom bike he hopes will top out at 100 miles per hour.
Spotted at the 2013 Bespoked Bristol, the UK’s handmade bicycle show, the road bike’s hubcap-sized chainring has an astonishing 104 teeth. For comparison, a typical road bike has around 50 teeth on its biggest ring.
According to NPR, Donhou claims the bike has been “tested to 60 mph on the road” and “what started as just a bit of fun started to get a lot more serious pretty quick and now we’re gunning for a 100 mph” run.
Besides the massive chainring, Donhou’s bike looks fairly similar to most road bikes, except the handle bars have been dropped extra low so the rider can reduce their profile and, therefore, their drag.
However, don’t expect to see Donhou zipping through the streets of London at 100 mph. To achieve the century mark — which has been accomplished — cyclists usually veer into the sport of “motorpacing,” which involves drafting a lead vehicle on a long stretch of road or track to reduce drag.
“Where I come from there’s lots of old disused airstrips left over from the 2nd World War,” Donhou writes. To him it all made perfect sense: “Build the bike, go to the airstrip, draft the car and see how she goes!”
Credit: Donhou Bicycles X Spindle Productions