Sunday, November 29, 2009

Posting Schedule and random news

From RandomPictures

I haven't been posting much lately. Mostly due to the new house and because work has changed lately requiring more hours but also due to the fact that it is the winter. I will continue to run this blog and will post interesting items. For instance Arnold of Raptobike is planning a FWD trike design and has reserved the name I am hoping for a tilting trike out of this.

With the winter and my longer commute I find myself wishing for a trike to commute with. Especially a trike with a fairing, aka a velomobile. In the US, Bent Up Cycles has become the premium velomobile dealer. Dana carries the bluevelo Team, the Greenspeed Glyde and seems likely to start carrying the Quest version produced by Bluevelo under license from Velomobiel. Dana imports VK2s from Poland and carries a number of other European brands. If a tilting trike comes to the US my money says Dana will carry it, especially if there is a velomobile version.

At least that is my hope since I don't want to ever get a second car and prefer to find a car alternative in a velomobile. I don't think I will need the large carrying capacity of the quest. If I can carry groceries for dinner and a gallon of milk then it will be enough for me. My mostly likely day to day cargo is the commuting load. A laptop, a change of clothes, tools and a jacket. With this in mind I want a lighter weight velo and a narrower track. This leads me down the narrow wheelbase of a tilting delta trike framework. I see enough room for the basics in a turtledeck behind the seat and the tilting delta format is good for stability even in the wet leaves I sometimes traverse. Something like the Munzo TT would be nearly ideal with the indirect steering and the take apart frame for transport.

I think a functional, fast, velomobile would be nearly ideal 3/4s of the year and my raptobike would be my summer bike. I could outfit it for fun, lightweight, road cycling and keep the velomobile platform setup for commuting and foul weather. I would love to try this. If I have to make my own shell I will need to experiment with a tailbox for the raptobike first. Cleaning the garage of all the crap from the move becomes a priority then. Ah well, back to the reasons why I am not posting as much, too busy. I will continue to post but not quite as much as I had been.


NathanielSalzman said...

I'm trying to understand the licensing rules and what not for velomobiles. Fiberglass is not rocket science and so I'm really curious why there aren't more shells and complete shrouded bikes/trikes available to compete with what's in the market right now, especially at $7200+ each. Is there some sort of patent or something around making a fiberglass bike enclosure? Otherwise, I've got half a mind to just start building these one at a time in my shop as part of the Project Streetliner prototyping process.

Duncan Watson said...

I don't believe there are any patents applicable right now on the basic concept. There are numerous home builts that are around, some by engineers who are well aware of how to do patent searches. John Tetz has some examples of solid engineering around streamlined bikes. Wisil has a lot of data on building bikes and fairings.

I would love to see more commercially available. Especially with a tilting trike underneath the hood.

Anonymous said...

A VM based on the Munzo TT has a great chance to make a very pleasant ride. I have ridden the TT and boy, what absolute fun it is! Whatever the speed, it makes you feel very quick and agile. If you want to build a velomobile around it I suppose there are some issues to overcome - ground clearance when tilting, the single front wheel to brake on, stability at standstill - but never mind, I'm sure that the 'trikers grin' will never leave your face.