Frank Bartell’s 1926 Appelhans
Frank Bartell set the human-powered land speed record on this bike in 1935. Riding behind Tom Mix’s supercharged Auburn, Frank averaged just over 80 miles per hour along the Golden State Highway. Frank’s record lasted until 1941, when Alf Letourneur blasted to 108mph on a heavily modified Schwinn Paramount. Today the record is held by something that barely resembles a regular bicycle.
This bike started life as an Appelhans track bike. The front chainring has 84 teeth (counting the skip-tooth spaces), and the back cog would have been a 6 tooth for the record attempt. Frank used it hard, and it endured many crashes on the way to a half-dozen six-day track race wins. Sometime around 1932 Pop Brennan replaced the seat stays on the bike.