Arion 1 could be the world's fastest bicycle

But it looks like a futuristic sex toy

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No, this isn't some kind of kinky device you'd buy at Ann Summers, it's a bicycle that's competing to be the world's fastest. That's right, a bicycle.

It's called the Arion 1, and the team behind it are hoping to make it 40 times more aerodynamic than the Bugatti Veyron. They're aiming for a top speed of more than 90mph, which would be a record for a human-powered land vehicle.

All the workings are encased inside the aerodynamic shell. The person cycling has to lie down inside it to cut down on wind resistance. The only way to see where you're going is by using a video camera that points out the front.

As technically advanced as it may be, it'll still require some serious grunt to get up to anywhere near 90mph. The team – from the University of Liverpool, right here in Blighty – reckon the person cycling will need to produce 700 watts of power. An average fit cyclist can generate around 500 watts in a short burst, so whoever takes the saddle will need to be super fit.

The gear ratios will also have to be way higher than the average bike. A standard bicycle has a gear ratio of 4:1, so every time you pedal, the output gear (which powers the wheels) rotates four times. The Arion 1 will need a gear ratio of 17:1.

The University of Liverpool Velocipede (ULV) Team is currently building a prototype of the Arion 1. For an idea of how it'll look in action, check out this video of the current holder of the land speed record, the VeloX3, in action.

Source Fast Company