Markus ‘Max’ Stöckl zooms into the record books.
Markus ‘Max’ Stöckl hits a top speed of 167.6 km/h on a standard mountain bike hurtling down a mountain with in Chile’s Atacama desert.
Now then, the specifics of this record need clarifying.
This 167.6 km/h record is for piloting a regular can-buy-in-a-shop bike. And piloting it on dirt, not snow.
In just 11 seconds and at a speed of 167.6 km/h with a standard mountain bike, whose components you could buy yourself in the high street. A Mondraker Summum by the looks of it.
Previous on-dirt records have been set at the French ski resort of Les Arcs and on a volcano in Nicaragua among others.
For his latest attempt on 13 December – sealed following eight practice runs – it was the barren Chilean desert on a nameless 4,000 metre mountain with a 45 degree slope which was the location.
After the finish Stöckl said: “I’m back on the mountain without a name in the middle of the desert. It’s tricky because it’s all rocky and loose at the start. It was such a long time and standing up there was like we already cried at the start. It was great fun.”
Getting to 100km/h and then 120, Stöckl explained was straightforward but, as the descent ran out, the increased speed was harder to come by.
“It’s hard to reach top speed. After 160, each km/h is a huge effort. If you want to reach a certain goal then you have to put it all in.”
Stöckl wore a specially designed, figure-hugging suit, complete with aero-wedges behind his calves. There was even a built-in airbag in case he came a cropper.
His helmet was a two-piece affair; a normal helmet, combined with another aerodynamically designed construction.
Despite all this bespoke carbon garb and numerous sessions beforehand in a wind tunnel, it is impressive that they used a commercially available mountain bike.
“It’s a standard mountain bike so there’s no part on the bike that you cannot buy,” Stöckl explained. “Sure, it’s a high-end bike with the best parts of it but you can buy any part, nothing has been specially made.”