You might be able to call yourself King of the Mountain on your local turf, but The Red Baron is truly the one man who deserves the title. On March 28th, 2015 Eric Barone dropped into a high alpine glacier at Vars Ski Resort in the French Alps, and set the new world mountain bike speed record of 223.30 km/h, or 138.75 mph.
Barone was intent on beating the current on-snow record of 222.22 km/h, which he set himself in the year 2000 at Les Arcs ski resort. 23 technicians were on hand to inform Barone that 15 years later, he had accomplished his goal and set a new world record.
Click past the break for photos of Barone’s bike and speed suit.
On the day of the attempt, the Red Baron had some tough conditions to contend with. The snow track is located at 8850ft altitude, so while Barone was setting up at 7:30am temperatures were at -4° f and winds were gusting up to 43 mph, making it hard to hold his bike upright at the start line. Furthermore the first thousand feet of the track was made of rough ice which Barone took a ‘freeride line’ down, according to his website.
Stephane Guillaume, head of fork and shock development for SR Suntour worked closely with Barone on the bike’s design. For suspension, the bike uses a stock Auron fork chassis with customized internals and the travel reduced by 70mm. The rear shock is Suntour’s new Unair model, which Bikerumor recently reported on.
Barone’s new record was the culmination of a three year project with an exorbitant price tag. Over $87,000 USD was spent just on developing the F2.0 prototype bike, and after track construction and other costs the investment into the project totaled $195,000. But hey, he did go 1.08 km/h faster!
For more about Eric Barone’s speed records, check out his personal website here.