Penny Farthing 1 Hour World Record attempt

Hi Everyone,

On the 15th June I will be attempting to break the long standing 1 hour world record for a penny farthing.

The record is one of the oldest standing cycle records being set in 1886. 22 miles 150 yards.

The record is a drafted record and we are doing it with a team of 9 others. The team contains some of the best riders in Europe as well as Mark Beaumont. The majority of them are riding the UDC Penny farthings.

We are going to be riding at the Herne Hill velodrome. This velodrome was built in 1891 and is the location of the last UK record. It was built in the heyday of penny farthings so has lower banking than modern ones. This makes it a pleasure to ride on.

The team is sponsored by R Whites and Altura.

Some stats.
I will be riding a 50" UDC Penny Farthing with 89mm cranks. The majority are riding bigger wheels (Mark rides a 56") but have longer cranks (100 or 114).
World record pace = 22.4 mph
My cadence at WR pace = 151
We will be riding as a pursuit group with 2 changes per lap
Power required for WR pace (on front) = 325w

3d camera video of us training

Video release

You can see bits about the building of the special penny farthings on our facebook page.


So awesome! I love the deep-section rim and solid rear wheel on the red one :sunglasses:

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but when you’re running such short cranks how do you adjust the saddle? All yours still look to be pressed right up against the frame.

Also interested to see it’s a drafted record rather than a solo one - is there a separate one for solo (and is anyone in your crew going for it?) :smiley:

Good luck, Roger. That’s a hell of a project.

It is a nice touch that it is at the same place as the existing record.

At my fittest (a few years ago now) I never quite made the full 13 miles in an elapsed hour on the Coker Big 1 with 150mm cranks (I did 12.95) but I remember the intensity of the training: pedalling flat out for an hour, night after night.

They all will have solid rear wheels. The front disc is just for advertising and coming off for the record, but the rear gives advantage.

Ahh, Eagle eyes! To get less wind resistance and still be able to apply power to the pedals (getting as close to the optimum 50 degrees) you need to put the saddle right up the front. You have almost all the weight on the front wheel and nothing on the rear. So much so that during the wet sessions the rear wheel tends to slide down the track on the corners if you back off at all.

There is not a solo record. When these records were set, it was not the done thing. We are conforming to the rules set out in 1890’s but without the drugs!

This record is amazing, it is not a walk in the park or a done deal. It was set when all racers rode penny farthings and the top riders at the peak of their fitness in their 20’s went for this record. We have Mark Beaumont on our team and unless something goes wrong he will be the one to get the record.

The World record was set in USA, the British was set at Herne Hill.


Seems amazing attempt. Good luck Roger :slight_smile:

So when the media ask about the Jiffy bag with no proper audit trail, we can be confident it was malt loaf for therapeutic use only?

Absolutely… definitely not Cocaine and Strychnine mix.

According to Map My Run, I hit a peak speed of 32.9 mph on my evening ride on the 36 today. My advice to you is to time your ride using Map My Run in an area with poor signal and the record will be yours.:smiley:

So what you’re telling us here is that Mark isn’t one of the best riders in Europe? :astonished:

ha ha, no he is one of the best riders in the World! :slight_smile:

Less than a week to go.

We did out last session on Saturday at the nocturne race in London. I was pipped by Richard Thoday to the finish on a great race. It was so close that the timing got it wrong and placed me first! We had most of the team riding (not mark) and our fitness showed by coming 1,2,3,5,6. I am certainly the fittest I have been for years.

We are hoping to have the event live streamed. We have BBC breakfast TV interviews in the morning and GCN are filming the record!


Good Luck Roger and gang :slight_smile:

(I tried posting a few days ago but I guess there wasn’t enough steam built up in order to post :roll_eyes: )

Could someone do me a big favour and record the interview and put it on YouTube please.


If you have access to a live link, it would be great to watch!
I don’t think we will be able to see the interview this side of the pond:(

I’ve been looking forward to this since you posted!
Good Luck!

From Mark Beaumont’s Facebook page:

“It’s happening tomorrow! If you are in London or surround, feel free to come along to Herne Hill Velodrome to whoop and cheer! Just finalising plans to Facebook LIVE the R Whites Penny Farthing Hour Record attempt which starts at 1.20pm - so watch this space #pennyhour #forthelightermoments World Cycling Revival Global Cycling Network”

Good luck!!!

Looks like they beat the British record but missed out on the world record

I should also add, well done. Quite an effort, I am sure. You should all be proud!

Was Joff Summerfield one of the riders? I want to know if there were two people who cycled around the world in the team (Joff did it on a Penny). This would also partially clarify what the other pennys were (Joff builds his own).

Also wondering if anyone had a penny (maybe Per-Olof Kippel himself?), as I think they look beautiful. No offense to UDC intended, just my personal preference.

Wow, congrats! And if you’re ur group is still willing, I’m sure that WR is within your grasp!

Here it is on the BBC, with some video.