Video: World record speed in downhill mountain biking

Why would someone travel over 11,000 kilometres from his home in Austria to the Atacama region in Chile just to career down a mountain on a bike? For a world record, of course! 42-year-old Austrian downhill biking expert Max Stöckl achieved just that by cycling down the gravel on his standard mountain bike after years of preparing for the feat. His V-Max project came to fruition with a speed of 167,6 km/h being recorded around midday on 13 December 2016 on the 1200-metre long slope. His six-person team took some spectacular images back home along with their pride at creating a new world record.

 

Hunting the perfect speed. Max Stöckl from Oberndorf, near Kitzbühel in Austria, developed his passion for downhill mountain biking over 20 years ago. Infected and driven by the speed virus, he raced his way to his first speed record on snow in Les Arcs in 1999. The Austrian then beat his mark of 187 km/h in the Chilean Andes in 2007 with over 210 km/h! Having done everything he could on the snow, he then moved his focus to gravel slopes. In 2011, Max bombed down the volcanic cone of Cerro Negro in Nicaragua at 164.95 km/h. The downhill biking expert reveals that straight after setting this world record, he started to think about the V-Max project, saying: “The run wasn’t fun enough – it wasn’t a real challenge. When I came back home from Nicaragua, I started right away to look for a new mountain to ride down. We found that here in Chile.”

 

Attached Image: Projekt V-Max Abfahrt © Philip Platzer Red Bull Content Pool.JPG
Projekt V-Max Abfahrt. Credit: Philip Platzer Red Bull Content Pool.

 

One man with a special suit and a mountain bike. The Atacama Desert on South America’s Pacific Coast is one of the driest regions on the planet. No plants thrive there, and instead there are boulders and stones as far as the eye can see. This kind of unhospitable environment provided the ideal conditions for Max Stöckl in his mission to go even faster. To quench his thirst for speed, he chose a standard mountain without a name, with a summit at 3,972 metres altitude, ideal wind resistance in the surroundings, a 45-degree slope at the start area and a 1200-metre long course. The 42-year-old says, bluntly: “I wanted to have the chance to ride my bike really quickly again.” In December 2016, after two years of intensive preparations, the Austrian finally travelled to Chile with a six-person support team to set a new world record on the gravel. To make him as safe as possible, he had a special suit, an airbag – like the ones ski racers use – and a self-made helmet in two parts. That was all, when it came to high-tech gear, however, as Max Stöckl says: “My idea of downhill mountain biking is that you should be able buy everything in a shop. That means I don’t want any special parts on my bike. It should be a bike - not a motorbike without an engine.”

 

Attached Image: Projekt V-Max Max Stoeckl © Philip Platzer Red Bull Content Pool.jpg
Projekt V-Max Abfahrt. Credit: Philip Platzer Red Bull Content Pool.

 

It gets really thrilling above 160 km/h. The speed expert’s eyes light up as he describes the V-Max project: “It’s important that it feels like an adventure. We are travelling to another continent, heading into the desert for countless hours, sleeping in tents under the mountain with a good bunch of guys – it all makes for so much excitement.” Out in the desert, the Austrian had to prepare the slope before taking his first training runs down it. Max carefully felt his way up to the summit of the mountain: “You never know what is going to happen from a start point before you try it.” The downhill biker first tested the slope in a series of slower runs to get to know the route and find the ideal line. He says: “As soon as I feel safe, I ride right from the top. When you’re cycling above 160 km/h, each and every extra kilometre per hour requires an enormous effort. If you want to get an idea of the air resistance, you only have to stick your hand out of the car window when you’re driving at 150 or 160 km/h. This force has an impact on the bike and the entire body. Even though I’m no weakling, physically it is something that I have to contend with too!”

 

Attached Image: Projekt V-Max Overview © Philip Platzer Red Bull Content Pool.JPG
Projekt V-Max Abfahrt. Credit: Philip Platzer Red Bull Content Pool.

 

Emotional moment. After completing eight test runs, the Austrian was ready to speed through a perfect final run on 13 December at 11:35 local time, clocking up a speed of 167,6 km/h on the saddle. It took the new world-record holder eleven seconds and 650 metres to reach his top speed. The 42-year-old was overwhelmed – and completely out of breath – straight after his daring run, saying: “We were working for two years to be on the mountain on this day. We had tears in our eyes even at the start. It was really emotional. Now I want to go home to see my family and see my daughter grow up!” Perhaps the most special thing about Max Stöckl’s record is that he has achieved it without being a professional sportsman. He is an entrepreneur first and foremost, and runs his own mountain bike racing team, MS Racing. He was both relieved and delighted in summarising, saying: “It was so exhausting, even though the ride only lasted for 20 seconds. I just can’t express the feeling in words. Even if you know it is only going to be 10 or 15 km/h quicker than the last training run – standing up on the summit of the mountain, looking down and feeling the adrenaline was a very moving moment!” Starting from April 20, 2017, a documentary about the “V-Max” project is available on www.redbull.tv.

 

Attached Image: Projekt V-Max Messung © Philip Platzer Red Bull Content Pool.JPG
Projekt V-Max Abfahrt. Credit: Philip Platzer Red Bull Content Pool.






35 Comments

Comments

myth125, Feb 09 2017 01:51

Excellent, well done.

Cruz Addict, Feb 09 2017 01:51

hmm, maybe if his front wheel was running true he could have gone faster?

still an awesome achievement though. frikken maniac.

ØÐINSȪƝ, Feb 09 2017 01:53

*careen

popcorn_skollie, Feb 09 2017 01:59

Yoh!

That's next level.

Proof that only the fastest pinners wear tight broekies. 

shaper, Feb 09 2017 01:59

Cool !!

BaGearA, Feb 09 2017 02:01

Was this not done by Erik ( something ) Baron ? 

 

And on many mountains  but then he had that really bad crash?

 

 

Well done to this chap tho 

Rider3000, Feb 09 2017 02:09

I think my mother in law would go faster downhill than that.... if we can get her on a bike that is ... :whistling:

coppi, Feb 09 2017 02:10

Mad Max  :nuke:

Slowbee, Feb 09 2017 02:14

umm why did he fall over at the end ?

BikeHuber, Feb 09 2017 02:22

don't quite see the point of this....but hey well done!

 

Looks like lots of room for improvement  (disk wheels, skinny handlebars, no drivetrain etc etc)

Meezo, Feb 09 2017 02:31

shimano brakes!

 

KEEF!

popcorn_skollie, Feb 09 2017 02:36

umm why did he fall over at the end ?

 

I've done that before after a hectic run.

Just to breath and collect myself while i reflect on what a close call that was jumping off the pavement.

Super_mil, Feb 09 2017 02:47

That Mondraker Summum seems to win everything these days.

Bomberman, Feb 09 2017 03:02

 

Why would someone travel over 11,000 kilometres from his home in Austria to the Atacama region in Chile just to career down a mountain on a bike? For a world record, of course! 42-year-old Austrian downhill biking expert Max Stöckl achieved just that by cycling down the gravel on his standard mountain bike after years of preparing for the feat. His V-Max project came to fruition with a speed of 167,6 km/h being recorded around midday on 13 December 2016 on the 1200-metre long slope. His six-person team took some spectacular images back home along with their pride at creating a new world record.


Click here to view the article

 

mmmm....... 


Attached Images

  • Attached Image: Hold-my-beer-10.jpg

Radman, Feb 09 2017 03:04

shimano brakes!

 

KEEF!

 

Explains why he couldn't go down that hill slowly

NickGM, Feb 09 2017 03:22

Definitely didn't achieve speeds like that riding clean.

Mamil, Feb 09 2017 04:30

167kmph - on a standard downhill bike - die muishond down the cobra.

IH8MUD, Feb 09 2017 04:54

Eric Barone also tried this and fell hos "gat af" 

 

coppi, Feb 09 2017 05:59

He still achieved great speed and survived........you?


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lechatnoir, Feb 09 2017 07:30

wow! that's amazing. but that scenery... pure eye candy

'Dale, Feb 09 2017 08:48

Wowwwwweeeeeeeeee 🚀

Eddy Gordo, Feb 09 2017 08:59

damn, the fastest I went on a mtb is 100km/h. 

Well done to him.

Wish I could give it a try though

EmptyB, Feb 09 2017 09:00

Child's play...

bertusras, Feb 10 2017 08:05

*careen

 

If you're an American, for the rest of the world, it's career.

Edge_Design, Feb 10 2017 08:46

You can only imagine how fast he could have been on a 29er!