Frankencycle heads to California

“Frankencycle,” a hydraulic-powered bicycle designed by five Murray State students, will head to Irvine, Calif., on April 10 to compete in Parker’s Chainless Challenge bike competition.

Parker’s Chainless Challenge’s main objective is to promote original thinking in a competitive setting by combining two technology platforms that are not normally associated with one another: the bicycle and fluid power.

Competing in Parker’s Challenge are Bryan McCoil, junior from Kings Park, N.Y.; Colby White, junior from Russel Springs, Ky.; Dustin Patton, junior from Murray; Bryant Harrison, senior from Dover, Tenn.; and Mohanad Maghrabi, sophomore from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Students were selected from the electro-mechanical engineering technology program and have been preparing the hydraulic powered bike since the beginning of last semester.

The goal of the challenge is to design a bike with a hydraulic drive system that can compete in a number of different events. Some of the events include ­­completing four laps around a two-mile course in 90 minutes, finishing a 200-meter sprint race and completing the efficiency challenge using a regenerative system.

Sanjeevi Chitikeshi, adviser of the project, said Murray State is the only regional university in this part of the competition.

All bicycle entries must meet criteria for reliability, maneuverability and cost effectiveness, but the biggest factor is the means of power for each bike has to be hydraulic, meaning no chain.

“We have all put in a lot of hard work and commitment to finish this project,” Maghrabi said. “I hope that it all pays off for us in the end.”

“Frankencycle” has no internal combustion system, electric motor or other modes of power. Competitors have to do a great deal of practice beforehand to make sure they are prepared and ready to go during the event.

“I believe this group of students has the skills and enthusiasm to finish the bicycle and do well at the competition,” Chitikeshi said. “Moreover, they are implementing the knowledge of what they have learned in the classroom and are using it to show what Murray State has to offer.”

 Story by Rebecca Walter, Contributing writer.