Lightning F-40

The World's Fastest Production Bicycle — made in the USA.

Lightning F-40

Read this owner's F-40 Testimonial!

Is it a rocket? Is it a car? No, it's a push bike clad in aerodynamic fairing. Malcolm Lamming, of Angmering, West Sussex, uses his unusual bike for his 64-mile round-trip into and out of work at Portsmouth each day. Mr Lamming, 42, an engineering manager, flies past becalmed traffic on the US-made Lightning F-40, which he bought in Germany. The machine cost £4,000 and has a top cruising speed of 35mph.

The London Times

Record Setting Performance

The Lightning F-40 is the fastest production bike ever to hit the street! Among its many world records is the ultimate road test — the Race Across America. The four-man relay completed the 3,000 mile (4,800 km) course in five days, one hour — an average speed of 25 mph (40 kph) a record that still stands, decades later. Read the story of this amazing race and record here: HPV RAAM Story. The two F-40s used to set this record are also still ridden regularly.

The result of years of research, the patented F-40 has all of the performance advantages of a fully-faired custom racer, but is also practical enough for everyday riding, commuting and touring. It's the ideal all-around performance bike. The spandex fairing means excellent ventilation, stability in crosswinds and results in an overall weight of only 33 pounds! The fairing is also great protection from cold or rainy weather.

This F-40 owner rode with the pros.

Here are two F-40s descending. The conventional bikes being passed are in fact also moving, they just look like they are standing still.

The F-40’s cruising speed is 50 percent faster than a standard bicycle and 6-10 mph faster than an unfaired Lightning. So if you can cruise at 18 now, say hello to 28 mph! Scores of cyclists worldwide now use the F-40 for sport and century rides, touring, and daily commuting.

At the International Human Power Speed Championships in Eureka, California in August 1994 I rode my Lightning F-40 in the 200 metre sprint in 10.73 seconds. That is 67.1 km/h or 41.69 mph. Zach Kaplan

The F-40 is based on the P-38, so you can buy a P-38 bike and later add the F-40 body and fairing. If you decide to upgrade a P-38 to an F-40, note that we highly recommend also installing the rear disc brake and front suspension. Once installed the entire fairing can be removed for open air riding, or for transporting the bike in just 5-10 minutes.

Andreas at Interlaken on a Lightning F-40

What's it like to ride?

The Lightning F-40 is the easiest to ride fully-faired bicycle in the world. Once you've mastered the P-38, riding an F-40 is a simple adjustment. To start and stop, just slip your foot through one of the side slits in the spandex fairing to balance the bike. To get in out, just unzip the curved zipper. If you like the wind in your face, leave the windshield at home, or snap it on for the ultimate in aerodynamic performance.

WARNING: Due to the extreme level of performance achieved by the F-40, it is recommended for experienced riders only.

Obviously, aerodynamics are important on flat and down-hill sections, but aerodynamics can play an important role on moderate hills and rollers. Check out Gerry Pease's analysis of the balance between aerodynamics and weight.

Many records have been set on the F-40; see our Racing Section, and the many stories about F-40 racers who've piloted the bike to victory!

NEW For 2011: 20" Aerospoke Carbon front wheel with Panaracer Minits Tough

Key Features of the F-40

Red F-40 with middle section unzipped and long racing windshield

The Lightning F-40 in the Race Across America

F-40s line up for a big ride

Rear rack platform detail, allows luggage to be carried behind seat

Rack platform

Lightning’s Cyber Test Rides: See our collection of video clips showing Lightning bikes in action.

How to mount your Lightning F-40

Lightning F-40 Specifications

Model F-40
Sizes M, L, XL
Rider Height 5'2" - 6'6"
Weight 32 - 34 pounds
Height 50"
Length 78 - 86"
Width 22"
Seat Height 18 - 20"
Seat back angle 50 - 65 degrees
Wheelbase 42 - 45.5"
Frame 4130 Chromoly aircraft steel tubing, nickel silver brazed, with custom investment cast seat lugs, and forged dropouts
Fork S-1 Chromoly, coil spring suspended, 1.5" travel
Braze-ons Water bottle (2), pump peg (for Zefal HP pump), drop-out eyelets, cable guides, Headlight battery
Finish Two-stage electrostatic baked-on urethane powder
Frame Colors
See Full Color Chart
Azure Blue, Royal Blue, Red, Black, or Yellow. See the Accessories page for custom colors; see below for fairing colors.
Stem and Bars Custom oversize aluminum stem, heliarc welded to 22.2 mm (7/8-inch) drop handlebars
Seat Patent-pending Ergofit bend with TIG welded and heat treated aluminum frame. Nylon mesh back with fitted foam cushion.
Chain Idlers Machined Delrin with precision sealed bearing
Crankset Shimano 105; 30×46×60; 170 to 175 mm
Cassette Shimano LX, 11-36, 10 speed NEW
Pedals Clipless (optional)
Front derailleur Shimano 105
Rear derailleur Shimano LX NEW
Shifters Shimano Dura-Ace Bar End
Gear range 22 - 145 inches
Brakes Avid BB7
Brake levers Tektro / Hayes
Hubs Shimano XT
Front rim Aerospoke carbon 20" 5 spoke
Front tire Schwalb City Jet 20", 100 psi
Rear rim Sun CR18 700c, 36 spoke (1)
Rear tire Panaracer T-Serve, 700 × 28c, 105 psi
Chain KMC Z9000
Headset Shimano 105
Bottom Bracket Shimano 105 tube spindle
Fairing Fiberglass nose, Lexan windshield, Spandex middle and rear with aluminum support frameset.
Fairing colors Blue, Red, Yellow


Description MSRP
F-40 $6,500
Rear luggage platform and rack, add $100
Long racing windshield, quick release pivoting mount, add $220
Nightsun light system, includes tail light, add $350
F-40 Chassis, no fairing, includes rear wheel cover $4,500
Note: The F-40 uses the P-38 frame; see this special note on the Frameset page for more information.

The F-40 is custom built to order. To place an order, contact your closest Lightning dealer, or the factory. E-mail us if you have additional questions about this amazing bicycle.

Copyright © Lightning Cycle Dynamics, 1977–2015