Two Friends Have Built A Record-Breaking 25-Foot-Tall Rideable Bike

An absurd bet at a bar five years ago started two French friends on an incredible adventure. David Peyrou and Nicolas Barrioz overcame all obstacles in their dream of building the tallest rideable bicycle in history. The astounding “Starbike,” as they called it, is currently the tallest rideable bicycle in the Guinness World Records.

With an incredible height of 7.77 meters (25 feet 5 inches), Nicolas Barrioz and David Peyrou’s “Starbike” has surpassed the previous record by 36 centimeters (1 foot 2 inches). It has two regular-sized wheels, handlebars with brake levers, and a saddle, just like any other bicycle. Its enormous frame, on the other hand, makes it stand out. A 16-meter (53-foot) chain connects the pedals to the back wheel.

“It also has a bell, in case other road users have not seen you,” Nicolas humorously noted.

Clermont-Ferrand-based Michelin offered the tires for the Starbike. David and Nicolas live in this city, proudly showing off the enormous bicycle at an annual cycling event. David accomplished the world record by riding the Starbike 100 meters independently. For safety, he wore a harness, which was not part of the bike’s balancing system.

“The bike’s speed was the key to its stability,” Nicolas explained. “It had to go at least 15-20 km/h [9-12 mph].”

The project had deeper motivations beyond setting a world record. As leaders of a bicycle-activism non-profit organization, David and Nicolas aimed to promote bicycle usage and its environmental benefits. As a car modification enthusiast, Nicolas also aimed to motivate others by showing what could be achieved with a meager €1,000 (£846; $1,075), some simple tools, and big aspirations.

Made of steel, alloy, and recycled wood, the Starbike is an incredibly environmentally sustainable machine. “Wood is an interesting material from an ecological perspective,” Nicolas remarked. “I think it will replace alloy in bicycle-frame construction in a few decades because of mineral shortages.”

The process took a while to come to fruition. The two spent around three months designing the bike and gathering the necessary components, and then they spent over two years manufacturing it. Nicolas reflected on the process, saying, “It is impossible to tell you the blood, sweat, and tears. This experience has completely transformed my worldview. Before this, I needed self-confidence; I was shy and had a negative self-opinion. Now it’s better, and sometimes I feel unstoppable; I think I can repair, build, or design anything.”

Glad of their accomplishment, Nicolas and David are considering taking on a new, big project: creating the tiniest bicycle in the world. With its current record at 8.4 centimeters (3.31 inches), it is far smaller than its enormous Starbike.

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