Recently acknowledged by the Record Institute for Germany, Kleine Johanna is the heaviest rideable bicycle in the world, almost entirely made from scrap metal and weighing in at a whopping 4,800 lbs (2,177 kg). This unique contraption, created by Sebastian Beutler from Köthen in Germany’s Saxony-Anhalt state, measures over 5 meters in length and is almost 2 meters tall.
Despite its weight, Kleine Johanna can be pedaled into motion by a single person thanks to a truck gearbox adapted to enhance the classic bicycle gear system. It has an impressive 35 forward gears and 7 reverse gears, and can even tow up to 15 tonnes with ease.
So while you may have seen chunky bikes before, nothing compares to the remarkable Kleine Johanna.
Sebastian Beutler, a longtime creator of scrap metal vehicles, has turned his hobby into a passion over the past decade. It all started when he was just a kid trying to build a bicycle out of scrap. However, his interest in creating outrageous metal machines intensified after he became seriously ill in 2011 and had to give up his “normal working life.”
This has been a project in Beutler’s workshop for three years, and he estimates he spent around 2500 hours working on it. Despite his family and friends urging him to stop, he persisted and is now the proud owner of a remarkable feat of engineering.
Surprisingly, Kleine Johanna even has a built-in engine, but its purpose is only to power an alternator that charges the user’s cellphone. It is not built for speed, and while Beutler didn’t disclose the bike’s top speed, he plans to ride it to the Baltic Sea, a 389-kilometer journey that he anticipates will take about a month to complete.
The Record Institute for Germany acknowledged Kleine Johanna – German for ‘Little Joana’ – as the heaviest bicycle in the world, and a Guinness World Records acknowledgment is probably just a matter of time.