Students in the Netherlands unveiled a new high-tech bike – built with the help of partners including AkzoNobel – which they hope will power them into the record books for the second time.
Revealed as part of a wind tunnel test staged in Delft, the Velox-IV project involves members of the Dutch Human Power Team and AkzoNobel paint experts combining talent, teamwork and technology in an effort to break the 133.78 km/h (83 mph) speed racing record for men which they set in 2013. This year, the students will also be attempting to break the speed record for women.
Made up of talented engineers from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and the VU University Amsterdam, the team has developed an improved recumbent bike with the ongoing help of experts from the company's Sikkens paint brand. The Velox-IV now features a more advanced, durable and ultra-light coatings system which offers improved aerodynamics and includes a new clearcoat developed with expertise gained while working with the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team.
Ton Büchner, CEO of AkzoNobel and a TU Delft graduate, said: "I'm particularly enthusiastic about our continued partnership with the Human Power Team. We attach great value to driving innovation, developing talent and delivering leading performance. This collaboration brings them all together, while also providing us with an opportunity to test our products and benefit from the insights and ideas driving the next generation of engineers."
The VeloX-IV is 10 percent shorter than last year's model and has already shown 20 percent less wind resistance. It has two pilots this year, Rik Houwers and female cyclist Christien Veelenturf. It’s the first time that the Human Power Team will also be attempting to break the speed record for women competitors.
Commenting on the new bike, Dennis Berckmoes, chief engineer of the Human Power Team, added: "Thanks to the Sikkens coatings supplied by AkzoNobel, we are able to achieve optimal benefits from the aerodynamic shape. We therefore hope to reach even higher speeds than last year and add a new world record to our achievements."
The World Human Powered Speed Challenge races will take place in the Nevada desert in September.
AkzoNobel also partners with University Racing Eindhoven for electric race car
AkzoNobel and Sikkens have also entered into a new partnership with University Racing Eindhoven to supply coatings for an electric race car.
The team builds a car from scratch each year and the 2014 model – the URE09 –features an advanced Sikkens system with a special focus on weight reduction. Unveiled today, the vehicle will take part in races being held during the summer at Silverstone (UK), Hockenheim (Germany) and Barcelona (Spain).