How to build a solar-powered bike (lots of photos)

Raf van Hulle crosses first into Canton province in China. He went on to win the Sun Trip 2018 race from Lyon, France, to Guangzhou, China.
© Courtesy the Sun Trip

Congratulations to Sun Trip 2018 race winner, Belgian Raf van Hulle, who covered the 12,000 kilometres (7,500 miles) distance from Lyon, France to Guangzhou, China, in 49 days - via Germany, Ukraine, Russia, then Kazakhstan. He pedal-powered it through a quarter of that distance without solar assist, to be sure not to burn up his battery in temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the Gobi desert.

Specs on his winning cycle are included here with a bunch of photos featuring the range of creative ways solar panels can be installed to power a bicycle.

This is the third Sun Trip international race. The Sun Trip lets participants select their route, provides emergency support and GPS tracking, and highlights the solar powered bikes participants dream up to carry them on their race to the finish line. The news blog tells exciting stories of the participants as they face technical and tourist challenges, including setting a new record of 427 km in a day (Team MND – Douze Cycles – Eric Morel), bouncing back from breakdowns, or succumbing to technical defeat when the fixes no longer hold up, getting stopped by the police, and other adventures.

If the photos here give you ideas, you can learn more about the Sun Trip 2018 race, or sign up for the Sun Trip Tour 2019 (this is the second "Tour" covering a route inside France).

Technology behind winner Raf van Hulle's ride

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike tandem

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike Justin and Anne Sophie

Sun Trip 2018 solar camper bike

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike Herman Segers

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike 2-wheel recumbent

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike 2-wheel recumbent with trailer

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike Youssef and Mohamed

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike Viguier brothers

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike Danu Jenni

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike tandem

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike classic with trailer

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike Cathy Pozzobon

Sun Trip 2018 tandem 3

Sun Trip 2018 solar bike camper Jurgen Burkholz

Disappointed you reached the end? Check out even more solar bike photos on the Sun Trip 2018 solar bike slideshow.

How to build a solar-powered bike (lots of photos)
These pictures from the Sun Trip 2018 race prove the only limit is imagination. Congratulations to Sun Trip race winner Raf van Hulle (tech spec of his bike below).

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