The Flying Rider bike leaves you hanging

Interesting Engineering
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When David Schwartz was sitting in his living room watching the Tour de France 2011 the riders came to a stretch of uphill. It was at this point that he realised that the bodies of the riders were bobbing up and down as they were pedalling their bikes. This is when he thought that if their backs had something to push up against they would be better and the vertical motion would then be converted to increased leverage on the pedals. With this thought he came up with the Flying Rider bike in prototype form.


[Image Source: Flying Rider]

The Flying Rider began life as a typical 1988 Schwinn bike. He took away the seat tube along with top tube and replaced them with steel tubing, the tubing arches up and over the back of the person riding it. Now you might think that this is the weirdest thing about this back, but there is more. The rider of the bike is then suspended from the tubing by a harness.


[Image Source: Flying Rider]

When pressing down on the pedals when climbing up a hill or when sprinting to a finish line, the back finds resistance with the tubing that is caged around the person. Schwartz said that this means that pedalling efficiency is gained by about 10% for a rider weighing around 170lb.


[Image Source: Flying Rider]

The recumbent bicycle is said to offer an advantage very similar to this, the rider has to push off against the seat while riding. It is said to be similar to the difference of standing next to a fridge out in the open and trying to push it and standing at the side of it and pushing it while you are braced up against a brick wall.


[Image Source: Flying Rider]

The bike also has tethers that can be used on a regular bike and these go around the lower back of the rider and they are then attached to the top tubing. This means that just as if you are on the Flying Rider bike, they hold the rider down and power is concentrated on the pedals.


[Image Source: Flying Rider]

The prototype of the Flying Rider does look very odd indeed and at the moment Schwartz is currently working hard on a carbon fibre version of the bike. He hopes that he will be able to complete it in time for the Interbike trade show, which is set to take place in September.


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