World’s Longest Bike Looks Like the Support Structures of a Walmart Store

World Longest Bike 2015 5 photos
Photo: Guinness World Records
Worlds Longest Bike 2015Worlds Longest Bike 2015Worlds Longest Bike 2015Worlds Longest Bike 2015
How does somebody even come up with something like this? What's the thought process behind it? What kind of design team is behind this? Honestly, it literally looks like a steel crane with a steamroller on the back.
We all know the Dutch love their bikes. And we all know they can be a little loopy from all that giggle-bush. So it comes with no surprise that a Dutch team would put together the world’s longest bike back in 2015. Long enough to even go down in the Guinness Book of World Records.

But when you set out to build the world's longest functional bike, you would think that a better-looking design could come about. Well, apparently, it’s not that easy to build something this long and functional. So when the team at Dutch cycling organization Mijl Van Mares Werkploeg decided to tackle this project, they were faced with challenges right from the start.

You know, it all looks good on paper, but it’s not until you get in the lab that you can show what you’ve learned. And it seems this group did learn something. First off, the bike is considered the World’s Longest, but it kind of cheats at the game, it’s not all one piece.

Worlds Longest Bike 2015
Photo: Guinness World Records
Since the bike is 117 ft. 5 in. (35.79 m) long and can ridden around town, but only on straight roads, the team had to build it from separate pieces and must reassemble each time they move to a new ride site. Its’ composed of aluminum trusses. This allows for the bike to hold under its own unsupported weight. Steel would be to heavy and buckle under its own length, and carbon fiber is just too darned expensive.

Linked together, tip to tail, the structure is completed, but at opposite ends, obviously the bike ends. It’s here where the propulsion system and maneuverability of the vehicle come into play, which isn’t much really, when you see it.

At the front of this world record lies the front fork and the handlebars. There really isn't much on this side except a wide tire to offer stability to the ride, and a heavy-duty disc brake. At the other side sits the propulsion system for the bike. Check out the video just to see what I'm trying to describe.

Worlds Longest Bike 2015
Photo: Guinness World Records
I'm just gonna say it looks like a steamroller, no wheel in sight. I mean, it is a wheel, but it’s also not. There aren't many wheels that can offer the necessary friction and weight to hold something like this to the ground and allow it to move forward. This steamroller wheel is operated like on any other bicycle, by the rider's effort exerted onto the pedals.

This wheel has another function as well. Because of the length of the bike, the width of the wheel acts to stabilize the entire structure. In order to set this record, a bike like this has to be able to sustain itself upright when in motion.

Frank Pel, team leader of the longest bike record, was asked, “Why do you do it?” The response: “Because it is a challenge for us.

I get it, you have some cash to spend, and simply bored of your usual ‘everybody’s got one’ type of car. So you and your buddies get together for a Saturday drink and talk about how much money breaking a world record. I mean, why not?

Just try to remember that records are meant to be broken.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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