Friday, December 11, 2009

how to improve my siren alarm cable lock

D: It's not bad. It could be better.

I really hafta take it off my front fork.
It is held in place with friction.
If it drops and rotates, it jams in the spokes...
I think I can tuck in on the rear seat post tube on my Cruzbike. Maybe.

So why don't I like it more?
The first impression I had was unconditionally positive.

My problems are:
- the cable is just a bit too long to be stored properly,
- the lock can removed without the key!
- the clasp does not hold the cable rolled up very well.

The cable should have been about an inch shorter. It is just a bit too long.
And once one loop of cable slips off, it starts unravelling...
The clasp came undone repeatedly on bumps. I looked down to find the cable trailing beside my rear tire...

By applying pressure on the two opposite sides, the case pops off.
From there, a screwdriver will remove the anchors.
Voila- the bike can be stolen by removing the intact lock.
The battery can be easily yanked out.

Suggestions? Cuz I really do think the idea of a siren cable lock, embedded in/on/to the bike frame is a good one!
1) a spare cable.
2) a circular motif so
3) a handle can internally 'wind up' the cable
4) the key must be used to open the lock to attach or detach it.
Like I said, at heart, a good idea.
But the devil is in the details.
Some sort of visible strobe might be a nice addition.
Hmm. Maybe I'll make a working mockup at some point.
I'll cannibalize my second siren lock.
Don't care too much- found in hardware store bargain bin for 10 bux.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

partial fairing / roll cage moped

I like the idea of a top/bottom partial fairing.
No crosswind issue.
Can keep it from being too top-heavy.

Roll bars and a little peace of mind...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

modifying rear Bicycle rack, cont'd

D: though very stiff, I did manage to close the baskets so that the narrow ends fold inside not outside.
Meaning no more issue with rubbing on the tire.

OK, I went to the bike shop and too a good look at how panniers mount on a rack.
The removable ones have heav-duty oversized hooks.
D: nice. Combines 2 panniers into wheeled handled luggage.
D: nice but not adjustable for width. Not of use to me.
Also, hard to take with you.
D: cargo bike overkill.

OK, my challenge was to accomodate both folding baskets and removable panniers.
As you can see by my pic, the standard market folding baskets get in the way of panniers.
Also, those baskets are permanently affixed.
There is no reason why an aftermarket removable-pannier set of hooks could not be used.
However, I'll assume we're talking about the standard product.
What to do?
Well you know I want a wider rack to optionally attach a third basket on top.
Yes, we could just slap a milk crate up there. But:
1) it is not a perfect match for grocery bags and
2) it places all that mass high up- this will make the bike unstable.

What we need is a capital-T cross-section from the rear of the bike.
Mount the permanent folding baskets under the ledge.
The thickness of the basket when folded then provides the backing for the panniers.
The panniers are mounted on the top outside edge of the 'T'.
All of this also provides the width necessary to mount a third basket on top.

While we are at it, I'd like to provide a vertical tube at the rack rear to mount a rear light. A basket mounted top and centre gets in the way.
Me, I like to mount lights on my helmet also to mitigate this.
It also addresses the high directionality of LED lights.

Looking at my Cruzbike, I have lots of extra height on the rack.
Frankly, a lower top will also be more stable.
I need clearance for a rear rainguard, though.
I'm gonna modify my existing rack by
1) removing it
2) chopping it thru the midline in half
3) attaching longer tubes to make it wider
4) bending it in a DIY 2x4 press to to my T shape (one half on each side)
5) thereby creating a ledge on the side
6) attaching some more narrow rube to hang the baskets under the edge
7) reattaching.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

cruzbike does stand up on 1 kickstand, rucksack mount

Um the company said just put kickstand on left, and pivot front boom all the way right.
... ok I didn't try that, LOL. It worked fine.

I will get my bud Fern to weld the basic layout for a rucksack mount soon.
To summarize,
1) made for Cruzbike
2) it is inserted into the old seat tube, now the new seat back holder
3) this is a seat-post sized pipe.
4) it requires a notch to fit past the Cruzbike seat back mount
5) this is good cuz it prevents the mount from pivotting.
6) after the round notched pipe extends high enough to be clear, a
7) square tube arrangement is welded on
8) to prevent the rucksack/backpack from pivotting sideways
9) this square tube system is telescoping, with 2 sizes of square tubing,
10) to adjust in height for either a backpack or rucksack.
11) at the top there is a 'T' branch with guides to
12) hold the pack like shoulders do.
When not in use, this folds down behind the Cruzbike seat back.
I suppose the 'shoulders' can be on hinges to also fold down. A coupla pins can raise them.
I personally get nervous with a backpack laid flat on an aftermarket pannier rack.
If it catches in the tire... ouch.
Plus the rack would not block the tire.
Even with folding baskets, there are many ways for straps to sneak in.

A problem inherent with a recumbent bicycle is the inability to wear a backpack.
As an ex-student I wear one often.
I never got into panniers, and don't like them.
They are not easy to carry off a bike, unlike a backpack.
Obviously there is no need for the telescoping rucksack option.
But for somebody pondering road trips, I need more storage.
You'd want to carefully pack the heavy stuff low to not shift the centre of balance up.

The other unorthodox solution is... use a hard-external-tube rucksack as the seat back.
So the bike literally has no seat back when you leave it.
This would require some tube modification at the bottom to function as a seat back.
I came up with this one when I read of folks cannibalizing suck rucksacks for seat backs.
Kill 2 birds with one stone, I say!
Extending this concept of dual function has benefits.
A bike light ... that is a fully functional flashlight.

The only other project I can afford this winter will be the propanetank mod'd air-horn.
I live near the universities, and students walking with their I-pods or phone-texts must be the most oblivious pedestrians on Earth!
The lil' ring sound of my bike bell just doesn't cut it.
As soon as I can replicate a train horn, I will!
The look on their face will be worth it.
Ditto cars that cut me off...

I'll post pics when I start building.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

modifying rear rack to hold 3 baskets

D the bike shop didn't have this kind.
I like it, but there is no way it could hold a significant amount of weight.
It does make the bike more adaptable, though.
Don't need luggage, say for off-roading in mud. Take it off in 3 seconds.
Also can be stolen in 3 seconds though... so one more part you need to cart off with you when you lock up yer bike.
Sometimes it feels like half a bike goes with you LOL.

OK, you know how the folding basket folds to the side?
Well an additional top central one needs to be quite different.
First of all, the narrow front/rear walls fold at the mid-point.
Also, the whole unit needs shorter walls.
The side walls need to fold down to fit on the base.
Just a bit shorter, though. The basket is about 8 1/2" high.
Keep in mind the bottom base stays put, and does not need to fold.
BUT. This unit should like clip on and off.
Though side-clip on panniers can ignore it.
Though then the side basket attachements might be in the way.
OK I've never had panniers. I think I need to study them...

The whole rack needs to be wider by a few inches.
Wide enough for a standard basket base.
This way when all three are open, they don't overlap.
The baskets are the *perfect* side for those recyclable grocery bags.

Aside - those baskets have anchors for only a 10speed style thin tube rack.
They either need dual positions, or a redundant second set for a thicker tube style.

I was looking at where my folding baskets rub front and rear on the tire.
Honestly, a much more extensive rack is desirable.
Two changes:
1) instead of the seat-post attachment for towed carts, extend the bike frame behind the front tire. Attach there.
2) widen the rack integrated into the bike frame fore and aft for the folding basket isue.
3) while yer at it, integrate a tire well /splashguard for the rear tire into this.
On my Cruzbike, there is barely any wiggle room for both the rack and rear splashguard.
My roomie's bike won't allow both cuz of the way the rack attaches to the seat post.

Imagine if cars were to be built like we build most bicycles!
Convertible- closing top aftermarket.
No headlights, signal lights or brake lights on the basic model.
You need to lose part of your steerind braking to signal.
Cuz that is how we approach bike sales!
Cheaper? Yes. But not even 3 season.

Today we have frictionless dynamos that clip magnets onto the spokes.
Hell, we could power consumer electronics without too much more effort!
We have ridiculously bright LEDs - check out some for motorcycles.
I wonder if mandating a new, brighter standard for bicycle lights would be desirable.
We can do so much MORE.
Integrated lights in the frame.
You could hide batteries in the tubing, along with a cable lock.
See Citystorm for inspiration.
I think maybe a love-child of the Giant Citystorm and the Flevobike Greenmachine would be terrific. Guess we should get them both drunk and put them in a room together, LOL.

Next stop: I ordered this cheapo UK science shop knockoff of the Realight before I realized that a bike shop in town had Realights anyway.
They don't post on their website, grr.
I modified the wiring slightly(Thanks Silvia!!!) on 2 sets.
Now I have a front light, a rear light - and 2 amber sideways running lights.
Getting hit from the side when some jerk doesn't give you straight right-of-way is common. I have had a coupla close calls that. Grr.

With the advent of cheap and bright/efficient LEDs why not include running lights on basic bicycles?
The Realight design could be modified to flash orange/sideways as well as front and rear respectively - it would be a trivial modification.

Gripe: alotta front bike lights flash in my eyes. It ruins my night vision, and is quite annoying on strobe. I don't think I need to be seen from above.
I don't get hit by many airplanes or helicopters...
but a coupla windows to the sides with orange filters? Now THAT would be useful...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

D: here is my Cruzbike kickstand.
I used some parts from a bottom bracket, then bolted the affair together.

The kickstand won't prevent the bike from toppling.
The front boom pivots.
On the last pic, you can see the bolt that would need to be wider to place a guard piece on. That would prevent the front boom from pivotting.
I tried placing a second kickstand on the front affair.
The tension the forks is under prevented that.
The bike shop couldn't figure it out either.

The bolt looks pretty hard to replace with a longer one.
I figured a coupla metal plates with a hole in each end.
Place on on the bolt, on each side of the steering tube.
Hold in place with a pin.

Voila- the kickstand would work.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

monorail meets 'bent bike- the schweeb

D: nice. But what do you do if one idiot stops?
Or starts swinging sideways, to miss the guide?

I like it.
But an elevated bicycle tube pathway over existing traffic can
1) use existing bikes
2) doesn't screw you if there is a stalled bike
3) can use said bikes where this is not.

Once off a Schweeb, yer on foot.
... Unless you have a very small folding bike.

Plus there is the fear-of-heights and being stuck hanging in mid-air.

Still, very neat.

Friday, October 23, 2009

thoughts on 'bent bike products - and others

D: I loaded up my Cruzbike with groceries last week.
I have two folding baskets mounted on a mountain bike rear rack.
They are nice - they perfectly hold those reusable grocery bags.
But each basket only holds one.
They were a bugger to mount. The baskets assume road-bike rack dimensions.
The mountain bike one is fatter.
I had to pry apart the mounting system. It looks pretty rough.

I pondered tacking a third one on top.
But the rack is a standard width.
It presumably is made for pannier strap width.
BUT that is too narrow to mount a third basket on top.
It would overlap with the side folding baskets.
Plus the baskets are not designed to fold straight down.
They *could* be though...

Problem is that a wider rack on top would not mount panniers properly.

I have never used panniers. I don't like them. I think they are bad design.
I won't leave anything unattached on my bike when unattended.
Off the bike, they are not ergonomic for human use.
What I'd want is a backpack or rucksack and a way to mount them on a bike.
Not everybody sees things this way.

So how to mount a pannier but also a full-width basket?
Some god-awful pivot point on top of the rack.
I say screw the panniers.

I cannot find a good pic of the Cruzbike seat mount at the rear.
Trust me when I say it slides into a standard seat mount post.
Anyway, basically you need a rucksack mount there.
Cut a slot along the length of a seat tube width pipe.
Have this piece on a telescoping mount.
Frankly, a square tube arrangment works better above the bottom.
It won't rotate.
Have two hooks to simulate shoulders to mount the rucksack.
When not in use, it slides down behind the seat.

Why all this?
1) a bike that mounts THREE full size folding baskets - one proprietary that folds straight down.
2) a proprietary Cruzbike-specific backpack/rucksack mount.
Talk about your niche target market!

On my Mark I design, I planned to build a rucksack mount into the back of the seat.
This would suspend the rucksack mount on the seat suspension.
A fully loaded rucksack would necessitate a change in the elastomer suspension system.
A 50 pound rucksack will change the elastomer choice.
Why a rucksack mount?
The rucksack goes with the rider once he is off the bicycle.
It is rider, not ride-centric.

Recumbents are nice, in that the luggage is BEHIND the rider potentially, not UNDER him.
Lower air drag.
This is not true of my grocery baskets.
But it would be true of a rucksack.

I think maybe you could mount two more baskets under the seat.
The easiest way would likely be to modify a rear rack mount to attach to the bike frame.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mr. Tetz graciously responds

How much power do you suppose yer motor of choice could handle before breaking?
....Probably around 1,000 watts. It wouldn't break but the winding might burn up. The model airplane guys often get 1,000 watts out of the motors for a short time (few minutes) (of course they have more cooling air that we do).

One problem for a bike though is the gear box. It would have to be huge. Higher rations to start out with and much bigger gears. My gear box is extremely light (several ounces) because I am only delivering 100 watts. Even if I wanted to double the power I would have to go to a bigger gear box.

What happens when your looking for higher power is the system grows in weight by a lot. Higher weight means the battery has to be much bigger adding even more weight. From 5 pounds it can quickly grow to 15 pounds.
Accelerating 15 extra pounds take a lot more power.

One last thing. Trying to start from a stop is very tough to do. My system is limited to no lower than 2 mph. Gearing is chosen to get he optimum range of assistance. Many commercial assists are also limited by the same gearing set ups.

So if your only looking for low end help and limited speed you can do it mainly with a high ratio gear box. The motor is easy.

I use my system for acceleration a lot. to help me get up to cruising speed.
D: I had hoped to use the supercapacitors in lieu of more batteries. They might hold up for a few seconds.
Yeah, the gearbox seems unavoidable.
I wonder if any motors have a high-torque design in mind.
Maybe model airplane motors aren't the best place to start.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

folding bike. thought on bike rack 'n bent bike

I'd post a pic, but my POS IMac won't let me change title in 'save as'. Grr..

Re: bent bike.
A short wheelbase could have a pivot for the front boom.
It could hinge up and overtop of the seat area.
This would allow it to pretend to be a normal bike to fit in a bus bike rack.

I reiterate that a swan-neck-like curvature would also allow it to absorb energy on impact.

I was looking at some high-end city-cruiser bike concept.
It weighed in at only 35 lbs with high quality steel components.
But with the same motif but aluminum... 20-30 lbs??

Cruzbikes - been riding mine lotsa.
The 24" youth frame tires mean I spin out going downhill at all.
I swapped out a cog but the chainring would have been prohibitively expensive to swap out.
I have wayyyy too many low end gears.
Stability of the frame means I cannot spin in very low torque slower than a certain speed.
I'm sure I have a handful of redundant low end gears.

Starting on an incline, what a bugger!
I am all about the power assist on takeoff.
I think on a decent hill, if I stopped, I'd be screwed.
Which is likely, since the front wheel drive starts skipping due to lack of traction.

That front boom, even with aluminum cranks, is massive!
Yup this kit would be sooo much better out of aluminum for the tubing.
It would also work with motif better.
Honestly the thin steel parts would look more at home on a road-bike frame.

I seem to have finally worked the kinks out of the chain and gearing.

To reiterate the kit should
1) not have 2 kits of parts and instructions
2) should have the additional neck adapter
3) a kickstand mount for a bottom bracket and
4) a locking mechanism to keep the front boom in line with the bike frame while parked

I'm curious how light an all-aluminum frame would be if I chopped up two beaters and just cobbled them together.
The seat would need to do all the adjusting, of course.
I'm also curious about under-seat-steering.

Thoughts on this winter's project- designing the Mark II aka cheap Greenmachine knockoff.

Yup I'm thinking a brief, high torque electric (or air) power assist is a good idea.
It addresses a limitation of a SWB 'bent frame.
I'm thinking Tetz's lite power assist, but with a buncha capacitors that can slowly charge off of a battery. Alternatively it could use power conditioning of a wheel dynamo. I wonder how hard the Reelight kit would be to adapt.
I'm intrigued by powering a USB appliance like my music player.
5v, 500 ma it appears.

I rather like the idea of the generic cigarette car adapter.
On a lower 'bent, the idea of a cattle prod for dogs sounds pretty good! <:

9v, 80-225ma.

The brief hi-torque power assist power supply would be well suited to this.
With 10x the power of a battery.
Plus I learned the hard way that many batteries die in sub-zero celsius weather.
Which just makes the Reelight more attractive!
Which could charge capacitors...

I'm gonna ask Tetz about this.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

bike with collapsing WHEELS!

Sorry, no pic.
I am nearly helpless on a Mac.

It took me this long to figure out cut 'n paste.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

sram i-motion 9 thoughts


D: I stand corrected.
The gears shift at a regular rate throughout most of its range.
The % change per gear is a bit more than the Rohloff.
D: I cannot figure out how that one store I mentioned can be so cheap.
I think they only have 3 in stock, and must be dumping it.

The fan sites say the chainring to cog tooth ratio must be 1.7-1.9

If I were to use this with an industrial belt, I'd want to keep the torque on the belt down.
However, with a fixed chainline and ? a series of track bike chains strung together ? the torque limit of the gear hub is the only issue.

IZUMI ECO Gold Track Chain. $23.95. Premium 1/8 " gold plated track chain. ... Weight: 277.0 g; Compatible with Shimano 10-speed drive trains [more] ..

D: OK so a chain of say 10' length on a 'bent would weigh, what, 3x that?
about a kg.

Recumbents use standard bicycle chain times two or three — sometimes more. ...
Hmm. narrow 1/2 weight nanodrive.

That was all back before anybody who matters was even born, and now it's time for the first 21st century drive train: "Nanodrive/Quarter-Twenty." This new modern universal standard cuts every dimension of a traditional chain in half! 1/4" (6.35 mm) pitch, with sprockets just 3/64" (1.19 mm) thick. In addition to cutting the weight of your chain and chainwheels in half, it also lets you fit twice as many sprockets as the old fashioned systems!

Mechanical Aspects

Although the new system has 20 rear sprockets instead of only 10, they fit in the same space, since everything is half the thickness of the old junk! Thus, they'll work with any standard frame.

The only parts you need to replace are the rear wheel, the front derailer, the rear derailer, the cassette, the crankset and chainrings, and the shifters! Nothing to it!


D: my lousy Paint pic is a revision.
Gawd I must learn Google Sketchup !

Anyway, as you can see, this addresses clearance on the front wheel with a series of cog adjustments to vary the belt line.
This is to address the idea of a one-size-fits-all industrial belt mod to work on 'bents.
It is a worth a pound or two in weight savings.

Friday, August 28, 2009

pic of proposed system for one-size-fits-all bent belt

D: this system would allow small to large riders to all use one standard size of belt.
For my purposes, it may allow me to adapt the bike to a pre-existing length of industrial toothed belt rated at least 1000 kgf.
Though this requires great care in gearing to avoid too much torque.
It probably favours a fast cadence of 100rpm or higher.

I don't think a front 26" wheel will play well with this.
I was already thinking 24" a the front.
I am unwilling to go down to 20" since the road bumps are felt severely.
Of course a 24"26" wheel layout pretty much requires alloy rims to keep the weighty feel of the spinning centrifugal momentum down.
I am not worried much about the gear and dynamo hubs since they are not at the rim.

I see that the adjustable point under the seat is also an ideal place to mount a motor assist. I was still pondering that Tetz 12V system.
I'd very much like mount a dynamo there instead of on the front wheel.

This layout precludes a chain-thru-frame layout, though, a la Green Machine.

As much as I'd dearly love a proper generator as opposed to just a dynamo, the weight penalty and complexity seem to preclude it.
The FreeCharge 12V Personal Energy Source is a lightweight, durable and efficient power source for mobile phones and other electronic devices. The self-charge system is powered entirely by winding a hand crank, so is independent of all conventional power supplies or batteries, enabling you to make and receive calls, or charge other personal electronic devices, at any time.

The FreeCharge 12V consists of a generic base unit and interfaces to the coupled device through a generic cigarette lighter socket.

My design goal was around 100 input watts to the motor and less than 10 pounds total system weight. It came in at 4.2 pounds, 1.9kg ! -- That’s every thing – motor/gearbox/freewheel/mounting bracket assembly, battery, electronic controls.


standard chainline causes grief on Cruzbike

Gah.It did it again!
I was going uphill. Switching to easier and easier granny gear.
I left the front chainring on the biggest ring - again.
With moderate force on chain, as it reached the biggest cog, the chain had least play for the tensioner, and also the most severe sideways bend.
And... jammed solid. Again.
I think maybe I need a longer chain. Another 30 bux.
I think either a smaller largest cog or a longer chain may be desirable for a Cruzbike.
This is making me fond of the idea of a straight chain line and gear hubs.
I think the 1/8" track chain has bushes that keep it from falling off sideways or flexing enough for a standard bike system.


"There are two common widths of single speed and fixed gear bicycle chains: 1/8 inch and 3/32 inch. The chainring, sprocket and chain should all be the same width. Although an 1/8-inch chain will work on a 3/32-inch chainring or sprocket, it is not ideal. A 3/32-inch chain will not work on a 1/8-inch chainring or sprocket. Because they do not need to shift from sprocket to sprocket, track chains use a full bushing to allow little flex and to be stronger. All bicycles with derailleur gears use bushingless chains which flex, making gear changing possible."

D: though a belt system would be sooo much lighter for a RWD recumbent.

Hmm. OK, the idea of getting a single custom toothed belt rated at at least 1000kpf made sounds... difficult AND expensive.
I know recumbent SWB RWD bikes are pretty niche.
But the weight savings of a toothed belt/ gear hub arrangement would be great.
I wonder what the smallest limited production run would be for this?
Of course, investing in this could result in me retiring with crates of the things in the basement still, LOL.

D: this would require a conversion kit that interacts with standard bicycle components.

As always, I doubt a big company rep will talk to a lone innovator, but I'll try.
Gates company seems promising...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

# of gears in i-motion 9, thoughts

Make & Model Range 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th

Sram i-Motion 9 340% 0.54 0.62 0.73 0.85 1 1.17 1.38 1.61 1.84
D: THAT'S the secret the SRAM rep wouldn't tell me?!
It's what I thought it'd be.

The percent hop between gears is pretty choppy.
Compare to the Rohloff, with uniform steps.
plus .09, plus .11, plus .15, plus .15...
Not ideal, but likely tolerable.
It does mean going above/below personal preference on cadence.
It means mid-range, one must spin-out with too high a cadence for comfort prior to switching.


I probably listed this last year, but this is a frickin' terrific article!

Point is that the devil is in the details.
If yer out of yer cadence but in an ideal gear, the result is similar to in yer cadence but in a less-than-ideal gear.

Weight versus Drag.
A fairing pays for itself- at speed.
Uphill it is a bugger.
Then there is cross-wind.

If I build a fairing-less cycle with commuting in mind, the gearing simply will NOT be what I need for a road tour with a fairing.
The gearing for commuting can be midrange, and mid-level gear hub will suffice.
I don't have alotta weight or severe hills for low gearing.
I will just coast downhill, and won't be racing, so no high gearing either.
BUT put this cycle on a road tour with a ruck sack, after a day (or week) of steady cycling, and the demands are extreme.

I mentioned my Mark I, and contrasted it with the FB Green Machine.
Well oddly I can make up the weight penalty of the Schlumf Mountaindrive.
(I'd go to a larger chaingring for the default gear hub arrangement on the road tour.)
I can offset the weight via an industrial toothed belt.
The whole thing is sealed, so other than ambient humidity, there are no environmental considerations.

D: basic primer on gear hubs.


OK just one question.
Why for the love of god?
This is a damn penny-and-farthing.
It'd creep along at, what, 10kph tops?

Now tack a Rohloff hub where the pedals go, and Bob's yer uncle!
No idea how to attach it.

You listening, big impersonal unreactive corporation?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

im9 vs nuvinci gear hub

Amendment: yesterday's dream bike has an issue.
It shows rear steering.
This has NEVER worked.
I just assumed it used a Python mid-steer layout, which CAN work.

I do like the Triton-trike style steering handles.

I pondered an around-the cyclist version, versus underneath.


D: Niagara Cycle Works seems to have both good variety and great prices.

Let's put the Nuvinci and I-motion 9 head to head:
IM9, 270 bux, c. 2kg.
NV, 350, TWICE the weight.
As intrigued as I am by the continuous variable drive, I just gotta say no.
Plus changing the tire becomes a huge task.
Meaning monofork.
Meaning theft issue of very expensive wheel.

The Rohloff also weighs 2kg.
Meaning with Schlumf Drive, the 350% range hub plus .4x option of the Schlumf will weigh more.
However, it STILL costs less than the Rohloff at $1400.
Schlumf Drive 400-500 bux.

Obviously, if price is an issue, the R-hub is plain out.
But if weight is at a premium, it's the winner.

I can buy a 250 buck IM9 at first for commuting, then for touring get a Mountaindrive for the partial-fairing/rucksack payload.
I'll need a granny gear from hell, particularly after protracted multi-day cycling.

Again, the internal single chain of the Mark I means no frame-embedded hub drive.
It will be on the rear tire.
Changing tires on the road means the IM9 too.
And anti-theft precludes monofork, or else a long cable (the siren one is long).

D: Dualdrive costs 450 bux.
Just by way of comparison.

Does anybody know of an industrial belt that could be modified to drive a SWB recumbent/ RWD?

nice fold down bike design.
Also nice.
I cannot imagine those lil' wheels on potholes...


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

sexiest bike concept EVER

D: fuzed some upright designs into 'bent bike.

1) that style of upright
2) steering from Triton trike
3) mid steer from Python DIY

But mixed together, man, that would be one sweet ride!

This design can go with 20" wheels where my concept cannot.
I was just gonna put the pedal crank thru the front wheel axle.
Sufficient road clearance pretty much dictates 24-26" wheels.
And that pretty much precludes a lowracer, if only to see over one's own knees.

A problem with 26" wheels is for people with short stature to stop and steady the bike.
The Orca is a good example of this problem.

D: note how the body suspension pivot point pretty much cries out 'internal gear hub'.
Leaving the wheel hubs naked, or for...
The right hub depends on the rider, his planned type of ride, and the bike gearing.

I'm pondering chain efficiency.
This favours the largest chainring possible.
But then we face a weight penalty.
Having 2 medium sized toothed chainrings/cogs is likely a decent compromise.

Keeping the chain taut is tricky if the front boom is not adjustable.
A slight pivot, even with an internal-in-frame chainline is doable.
You'd wanna switch from square to rectangular tubing for that.
And it still works better with a frame pivot point and embedded gear hub.

A taut chain is important for effiency.

I was pondering how a FB GM (Flevobike Green machine) layout could be made at home.
I think the frame will try to twist sideways.
The front and rear parts are both off-centre, to work around wheels.
In my case, the front boom is on say the left, and rear the right.

I looked at Fuller's 'octet truss'.
This can be simulated somewhat by welding triangular cross struts in a left-right layout.

I'm sure a weight sweet spot exists.

D: I had the chance to try an electrical power assist last weekend.
It was a lithium bionx unit.
Nice assist, but wow does full assist ever drain the battery fast.

D: a bike frame starts running out of places to attach widgets in a hurry.
I'm all about the fold out baskets.
Even so, they preclude use of a luggage unit - a pannier.
A bent bike might favour some attached under the seat and beside the rear tire.

Monday, August 17, 2009

thoughts on DIY mod to house wheel dynamo hub in a bottom bracket

D: I would like a dynamo in the bottom bracket.
However, Shimano controls the patent and shows no signs of making this product.
They do make wheel hubs though.
Well... I *could* make a custom bottom bracket.
It could be big enough to accomodate a wheel hub.
I suspect there will be issues with diameter difference between a pedal crank axle and a wheel axle.
This is not insurmountable, though I may require expensive high-end metal.

As an aside, one could also place gears here in lieu of a wheel gear hub.
The benefit would be
1) harder to steal
2) less in way for tire changes
3) no mass to accelerate on the wheel, which deals with centrifugal force too.

D: OK it's called a spindle and not axle.

I had endless grief with terminology building the Cruzbike.
The instruction used on set of terms.
The bike shop didn't even know what they were talking about.
I.e. Threadless or not front steering tube.

There are so many bottom bracket arrangements!

"Ashtabula (One-Piece)

With an Ashtabula crank and bottom bracket, the spindle and crank arms are a single piece. The bottom bracket shell is large..."
D: maybe I don't need to go custom.
D: here's a pic.
Nice overview of brackets, various pics.

D: I guess a dynamo is not a true electrical generator somehow.
My bud Ryan is intriged by the idea of regenerative braking on a bicycle.
I suspect the weight penalty is prohibitive.
I think the lightest I found would be electromagnetic, which would involve elaborate and demand power control.
D: I suppose yer suspension could power a battery or capacitor too.
Why waste all that energy?
The bumpier the road, the better the energy harvest.

Any talented electrical engies out there?
What is the weight a bicycle -ready electromagnetic generator?
It is estimated that regenerative braking systems currently see 31.3% efficiency;

D: a strong enough setup would remove the need for a mechanical brake.
This implies the front wheel because
1) it works better for regenerative braking and
2) not locking up the front brake is actually desirable to avoid losing control.
Energy efficiency potential for single vehicle: 5 - 10% ...
Sweet! Why waste all that energy with a stationary bike rig?
Even charging USB devices and cell phones is pretty brilliant.

I refer again back to Tetz's awesome setup.
D: I suppose it could be mod'd to double as a generator.
You could listen to tunes or chat on a (hand free) cell phone without draining batteries.
I'd recommend helmet-mounted speakers to allow listening for traffic.

D: the FWD Cruzbike layour encourages:
1) extra weight at the front end - like a battery and
2) dual drive wheels, with a power assist on the rear wheel, to deal with steep hills.

A commuter bike can use lotsa torque at slow speeds for red lights and hills.
But a touring bike could use much less torque but at medium speeds.
You can have two wheels with motors mounted, or you could swap out motors on the bike frame.

Again, I'm intrigued by the idea of a partial fairing with solar panels.
It could assist you all day and/or charge yer electronics.
But given the measly power offered by the sun, maybe charging commuter batteries during the day for the return trip home is desirable.
This would allows 2x the power to be used as assist, since half does not need to be saved for the return trip home.
A simple wall-plug arrangement could also work.

While we're at it, the motor assist could also be housed in the bottom bracket.

A poor man's Greenmachine could involve a Nuvinci or IM9 hub drive mounted in the frame at the pivot point for the suspension.
Then or later, one could add a Schlumpf bottom bracket drive.
The price still comes in wayyy below a Rohloff.
Though if they ever release the 580% range version, I might not care.

I do think my Mark I, with its single enclosed in-the-tube-frame chain is elegant.
Such an arrangment DOES mean a gear hub must occupy the rear wheel.
I don't like this from the point of view of theft risk.
The dual parallel bike frame is very easy to secure with a bike lock.

I'm tempted to try an industrial drive belt in lieu of a chain, with potentially pounds of savings, plus less noise.
I imagine torque would cause it to slip.
You'd need very good granny gearing for hills.
A Schlumpf drive would address that.

The many benefits of a belt – nearly impossible to break or cut, long life, no grease, easier on pants legs, no rust, no stretching, low maintenance – are offset to a great extent by the current lack of a derailleur design that can handle a belt

D: a belted design pretty much demands a gear hub.

D: maybe I'll try to modify some industrial belt for the Mark I GM-homage bike.
It would be one of the few mods that would improve the already terrific Flevobike!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

olympic cyclist dream bike, cruzbike continued

D: other than the electronics, this is a mishmash of various existing conceptual bikes.

"The new bike design has a built-in locking system that can only be activated and opened by the owner's fingerprint. The computer-equipped machine can also monitor the amount of calories burned. Made of carbon fiber, it will even have a battery that will assist you when going up a steep hill, as well as puncture-proof, self-inflating tires."
D: I have a 120db siren alarm cable lock on my Cruzbike.
I am not particularly impressed with the package though.
I suspect the plastic joint could be broken with a hit.
Also, all it takes is two pointed items to pop the case open.
Using the key as the basis to open it would address that.
Also, I bought 3, and 1 siren didn't work. The quality control is meh.

D: I think I mashed the chain guide on my Cruzbike.
They took off the guard to fit the aluminum cranks.
Unfortunately, the front end of the CB is massive and has a habit of swinging around.

I went to the shop to ask for better gearing at the high end.
It is a standard 21 gear mountain bike arrangement, Shimano, freewheel.
The 48 vs 42 tooth chainring would cost about 300 bux !!! nope.
But a 13 vs 14 tooth swap would only cost 30 bux.
This gives me about 10 vs 15% increase in range at high speed. I find a CB bike favours less granny gear and more high speed gearing.
High cadence seems to introduce instability, whereas more slow-but-strong pedalling is very stable.
My youth frame 'spins out' around 20-25kph. If I can stably ride at cadence at 30kph, then I'll be happy.
The 60 pound beast (with accessories) favours just coasting downhill anyway.

In the shop...
I asked them to take off the biggest gear - that's the one that caused the chain jam.
I don't use it anyway.
I DO wish to place some additional padding at my lower back. Pushing hard while applying torque, I bruised my lower back. It was tender for a few days.
I think I'll hafta add the padding above the seat. The tape-and-velcro affair underneath does not lend itself to modification. I'm looking for some mid-resistance foam for that.
I do wish the screws for the seat mount had been recessed.
As it is, the seat padding has 2 layers of foam- very rigid and very soft.
Without screw heads sticking in yer back, perhaps a more layered foam layout involving ? 3 layers would be more comfortable. The rigid foam could be thinner.

Aside - I'm curious why the factory does not attach the metal seat edge trim with silicone.

Seat idea - a seat back with some flex to it, attached to a frame, could allow for custom lower back curvature for any rider, of any height.
Maybe I'll try that on the Mark I.

One more thing. I installed that kickstand thru the unused bottom bracket.
It worked well enough- except the front boom would pivot and pull over the bike.
So I need an additional kickstand on the front boom.
A small latch for the boom would hold it in line with the bike frame.

Thinking about the CB conversion kit, I think:
1) the tube diameters they selected feel like a road bike motif.
2) the tubes should be large aluminum ones for a mountain bike frame.
3) the bottom bracket needs a plug of some kind to look finished.
4) the chopper handlebars should be an option in the basic kit
This would mean swapping parts. Ditto the superman bars from Silvio, if a kit mod can be made.
5) multiple kits of parts and instructions are redundant and confusing
6) instead, include the aftermarket different-size steering tube I needed to order
7) make a DVD!!! With a tutorial, this is a DIY project.

I'm curious how light a CB layout can be made.
I think I'll grab a coupla beater hardtails and have my pal Fern weld them.
I'll just chop off the redundant pedal axle.
I think the seat should be the part that adjusts for rider height.
Might need to modify one tube for the seat position.
Instead of rear suspension, I can test my dual-'bent-Thudbuster layout.
I *could* use the CB bike, but would need to make a faux-seat-post for that.
Hmm, thinking about that, finding some square tubing for the top tube might be easier.
No chance for the seat to rotate sideways and fall down.
I guess that could be tacked onto a round tube on top.
(Image won't load.)

This woman's frame seems adequate too.

That is something an upright bike has going for it - the diamond frame dual triangle layout is as strong and light as possible.
A lot of LWB 'bents attempt to emulate this geometry as best they can.

The SWB lot seems to gravitate toward one rigid tube.
The Bacchetta series, for example.
One hi-end frame weighs in at only 23 pounds!
(see pic)
I understand why they prop up the seat back on the frame - it's light.
But my suspended-seat concept requires a free-floating seat.
It needs its own rail mount.
For that matter, a rail could in theory allow more range of motion, with the seat extending rearwards past the frame itself, towards the rear tire.
The idea is use the simple no-suspension frame geometry.
Then get fancy with the seat mount.
It has potential as an aftermarket accessory on, say, the Bacchetta series.
But I fear one-size-fits-all would be too much to hope for.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cruzbike tweaks continued

Well, I think I need more chain length.
I think 2 gears that both use the most chain pull the um tensioner derailleur things together and they jam.
So, really, nothing to do with Cruzbike.
One cable does hang low to ground, could get caught in rough terrain.
I'll likely tie that off to be higher.

I bought some spare used bottom bracket threaded bits.
Threading in a bit to the thicker portion, then I'm chopping off excess with grinder.
I should have drilled a wider hole in the kickstand, so a bolt would be flush with the axle hole size.
I'm drilling an off-centre hole for where the little nub inserts, to keep the kickstand from shifting.

D: the trim on the edge of the seat pulls off nearly constantly.
I used some tape.
A better solution would be use some silicone caulking to attach it.

To reiterate, a kit part that mounts an axle-type kickstand thru the old bottom bracket would create a nice, finished look.
The empty bottom bracket is an eyesore.

Even the short wheelbase for the youth frame is actually good at speed.
I find a high cadence is less stable.
A slow steady cadence with constant pressure is ideal.
I'm thinking about losing the one gear that caused the jam.
I'd like to add a higher ratio one at the bottom, for high speed.
Not sure how few teeth are available.
Would be easier than an even larger largest chainring. And lighter.

I finally like a mirror on a bike.
On a chopper-steering CB 'bent, it is at comfy eye level.
It doesn't vibrate much.

I think aluminum tubing on the Cruzbike conversion kit might be desirable.
The front end is frickin' HEAVY, even with aluminum cranks.
And it flops around a lot.
After all, with a mountain bike Y-frame backing it, motif-wise, a thick tube visually looks better. The joint pieces could still be steel.

I'd highly recommend standard round tubing frames for Cruzbikes.
Mine has a lot of odd geometry, and finding places to anchor accessories is a problem.

My thoughts turn to the Mark I.
That is, the DIY Greenmachine knockoff.
Will measure, get square stainless tubing for frame welded this summer by pal Fern.
I won't likely really seal the chain inside.
I can do so later.
The bike will test:
1) variant thudbuster suspension on seat
2) test a backpack /rucksack mount system. Though the CB can do that now.

I'll likely start with a NuVinci hub drive, followed by a Schlumph Hyperdrive later.
Of course, I'd LIKE one of those new 580% Rholoffs but $$$.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

cruzbike malfunction, idea for another item in the kit

Disaster strikes!

I had put a coupla hours on the Cruzbike.

I was on the other side of town.
I was going uphill.
There was a fair bit of torque on the gears.
I tried switching down the gear, to increase my cadence.
Somehow, the whole chain derailleur affair ended up in this jammed bunch.
No more pedal power.
Since I could not recall the initial layout of the parts, I could not begin to guess how to fix it.
I'll try to find some earlier pics for the details.

I wonder if these bikes are prone to this, or if my rebuild was not laid out properly.
There had been a bit of grinding on those gear changes earlier in the ride.

Product idea: A centrally located kickstand makes the most sense for a Cruzbike.
Some way to lock the front wheel straight would be nice too.
Anyway, the kit leaves an ugly empty bottom bracket on the original bike frame.
This is a PERFECT place to put the kickstand!
I'll be using a couple big washers, some smaller ones, and a fat bolt that spans the width.
I'll use these to attach a standard kickstand.

Once again, if Cruzbike would stop throwing all parts for all kits together, the savings could be applied to the nonstandard front steering tube *thingie* I needed to order aftermarket.
Plus the above suggested layout for the kickstand in the bottom bracket could be made much more slick in the kit.
I don't think this would cost more!
I had more redundant (and misleading/confusing) parts from the kit I received...

I'd really like to see an adaptor for the kit that allows the 'Superman' steering from their other bike.

I solicit feedback from other Cruzbike owners.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

cruzbike, amended. back from shop.

Well, I had my pal Sanjay over.
We tried to sort through the parts for the two kits thrown together.
After hours, we concluded we were simply missing a part we needed.
We needed an aftermarket ... um the thing inside the steering tube.
The diameter was wrong.
I took it to the shop - McPhail's - Sanjay swore by Jamie the mechanic's prowess.
Anyway, a few weeks later I got my bike back.
I guess the wrong sleeve to adjust spacing had been ordered.
But it is WORKING now.

I foolishly tried to replace the kickstand on the rear axle.
I had forgotten that Mike needed to place the whole thing in a clamp to put the rear tire on.
Much jumping on the bike frame later, I managed to re-attach the rear tire, sans new longer kickstand.
This turned out OK.
I plan to use the now-empty old bottom bracket with some bolt and washer affair to mount the kickstand more centrally.
A Cruzbike has a whole lot of front to it.
The alternative would have been to mount a kickstand fore and aft.
OR get one of the heavier bike types, with dual ground points, mounted centrally and underneath.
They are all but impossible to find now.

I weighed the bike.
Keep in mind, it IS based on an all-steel youth frame.
It does have a pannier mount and 2 side baskets mounted.
It came to... 55 pounds. OM- F- G.

I'm not sure how much instability was removed from the bike by a proper and professional front fork construction, instead of the improv job I used.
I HAVE been balancing by walking on railroad track rails all year.
I am so good that I need to put my hands in my pocket to make it challenging.
Plus my yoga routine helps.
I took it to work and let the coworkers try it.
They looked like a bunch of drunks, LOL!
I do think a standard non front-boom SWB 'bent is easier to ride.

So here is a thought.
Instead of confusingly cobbling together parts for two kits, instead include the aftermarket front-tube insert that will be required on many bikes.
I'm sure the cost would be about the same.

And for the love of all things holy, include a DVD on how-to!!!

With the youth wheelbase (coupla inches less) and gearing, the bike is pretty much capped at 20-25kph.
It is a fine workhorse of a commuter bike.
Until my steering skill improves, I would not want to go faster anyway.
Poor handling introduces some instability around 20kph.

Nobody has made oval chainrings help much.
I suspect this is due to pursuit of efficiency in the layout rather than ergonomic considerations.
Having said that, a few modifications to standard pedalling technique suffice.

I.e. a GreenMachine knockoff.
To test my suspended-seat suspension system on rigid frames.
And a backpack/rucksack luggage mount system.
My pal Fern is a genius welding stainless steel (and titanium even).
So it'll be stainless steel tubing, burnished.
Borrowed from the Python mid-steer DIY design.

While the initial Thudbuster-derived suspension system will be a dual arrangement, the final version could be off-centre, one-side-only elastomer.
I'll just go very light on the elastomer.
That is, I'll have TWO very lightweight elastomer pads in lieu of one heavy one.
A very interesting product.
I'll likely buy one to try it out.
NOT cheap...]

I've been using my roomie's bike.
It has a seat post suspension mount. The seat is gel-filled but narrow.
I STILL bruise my seat bones when at all off road!
Those old spring-mounted fat-ass wide granny seats are wayyyyy better.
Just not fashionable.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

integral rucksack as seat back on 'bent

D: on a diamond-frame bicycle I typically wear a backpack to carry stuff.
I never really got into panniers.
I attach baskets at the bike rear too.

On a recumbent, one cannot wear a backpack.
I suppose a backpack could be layed down flat and bungeed to the pannier mount.
But I'm always afraid of all those straps dangling getting caught in the wheel.

Furthermore, one cannot attach a taller rucksack in this fashion due to length.
One use of a recumbent I had in mind was a road tour.

I also wished that panniers were more able to be carried as a backpack when removed from the bike.
In other words, I think the walker and not the biker element should be central to design.

Well, I was trying to figure out how to attach a rucksack to a recumbent bike.
On my Cruzbike, I'm gonna insert a tube in the seat tube of the mountain bike frame.
I'd like to make it telescoping to adjust height.
I imagine a curved T shape at the top, to simulate shoulders.

Some folks use a pack external metal frame to make their recumbent seat back.

Use a largely intact and portable rucksack as the seat back.
Look at the pic.
You'd hafta have a slot to hold the base of the pack.
Or you could make the bottom modular, to slide the bottom tubes onto a mount tube set.
To use as a backpack you'd then attach the part you sawed off.
I imagine some packs use press-fit tubes and would not require modification.

Hmm, I cannot find a good pic of the seat rear.
Anyway, the standard bike seat tube is used to anchor the rear of the Cruzbike seat.
There is an open tube at the top, with an indent to prevent sliding.
A tube with a slot would fit securely.
On a 3 tube (big-small-big) telescoping arrangement, you could keep it retracted when not in use. Or for a small backpack.
Obviously, the old hiking trick of placing heavy objects low is desirable.
The whole thing should be on an angle (already is) for a tall rucksack.
You don't want to increase air resistance or make the bike more top-heavy.

Cruzbike mods.
I've been reading over oval chainrings.
Some old Biopace ones are cheapest.
But the O.symetric ones are potentially usable too.

I have a cheapo-bike frame. It uses 2 not 1 tubes for the seat area.
This elevates the seat a few more inches.
I'll likely get my welder bud to chop one off, then reinforce it.
I'll try to get him to go with motif, to make it look right still.
We added some screw holes for the seat.
Psychologically, I wanted the seat more secure.
I'm sure it would have been fine.
But my Mark1 will have square tube frame for the reason of stability.

We're gonna try a before 'n after with circular and oval chainrings.
I'll try to record a video.

I wrote Cruzbike and suggested they offer the steering handlebars for the Silvio as an option on the conversion kit.
The big chopper ones must be massive, make the bike boom-heavy, and the shipping costs were more than the handlebars were! They really drove up the price.
Also, I would be curious about an under-seat steering retrofit.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Human-powered cycle breaks the decimach barrier

"Sam Whittingham, who lives and works on Quadra Island, BC has won the $25,000 Decimach prize, riding his Georgiev designed enclosed recumbent bike at over 82 mph or 132 Kph at Battle Mountain, Nevada.

Sam has become well known as the builder of Naked Bicycles, and winner of the grand prize at this year's Handmade Bicycle Show in Portland, Oregon.

While many admired his craftsmanship, few were aware that he has for several years been the fastest cyclist on the planet.

With his latest success that will likely change."


D: a decimach, BTW, is one-tenth the speed of sound.

With muscle power alone.
A combination of raw organic horsepower and a very nice set of wheels.


In theory, one could use a recumbent bicycle with a fairing to travel between cities, or even across the country.
In reality, there are so few highways one can bike on that one cannot do so.

I constantly find it amazing. We will lay down endless acres of asphalt, so long as it is for powered vehicles. But the moment we suggest human-powered modes of transportation, suddenly the concept is too expensive.
All that is required is a paved road edge of a metre in width.
The wear and tear on the road surface is negligible for light vehicles.

This is the same myopic viewpoint that we also see in Waterloo.
We see so few multi-use trails.
The cost of an asphalt trail amounts to double that of a sidewalk.
But the surface is friendly to many more modes of transporation.

For example, I rollerblade.
Blading on a sidewalk is no fun, and difficult.
This deters folks from choosing to use a muscle-powered means of transit.

Also, the bike lanes in town have not yet been cleaned this year.
I called this concern in a week ago.
It is nearly JUNE.

The great shame of bike lanes in Waterloo, Father David Bauer drive, has not been cleaned since last SUMMER.

Recumbent bikes are more sensitive to road surface conditions than a normal bike.
For example, one cannot hop a curve on one to jump up a few inches.

But imagine it- bike friendly path-ways away from traffic, or at least well thought out bike lanes.
That don't play leap frog with the bus service.
That are in decent condition, flat and even.
That are maintained as if they are in fact a road.
That aren't filled with broken glass and gravel to hide that broken glass.
Which - wait for it- displaces the cyclist onto either the sidewalk or the road anyway.
Or maybe that would-be cyclist reacts by simply driving to work, thereby clogging the roads even worse and contributing to smog and high fuel prices.

Monday, May 4, 2009

greenmachine flevobike now has North American dealer!
Get them here!

I cannot find a price. Expect some sticker shock.

Rear suspension, disc brakes, mudguards and a propstand are standard - and because of the rear suspension, the bike can be packed down a lot. Take off the seat and wheels, and the rear swingarm will rotate 180 degrees. It’s not something you’d want to do every day, but for travel it makes it a much smaller package.
"greenmachine porn" pics here.
The GreenMachine starts at £2995 for the standard bike with spoked wheels, mudguards and propstand, and the tailbag is £140

D: with a x 1.5 currency conversion, that's ummm about $4500-$5000.
But what a bike!

I found it so inspiring that my Mark I custom bike will be an homage to it.
D: just need to find a scrap 20-26" wheeled SWB 'bent to scavenge for parts.
I don't imagine this will work out any cheaper than just buying a FB-GM otherwise.
(I don't have $5000 around - at least not for a bike!)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

integral basket. air horn dreams.

D: looks nice. Isn't.
Ever dangle groceries from yer handlebars?
Good way to crash.
All that weight,high up on the bars will affect steering.

I have considered 'bumpers' on a bike.
Extend the frame to cover the wheels.
Less crumpled tires.
Would also provide a mount point for such things.

Something I have considered as a product is The Boom.
I found my handlebars lacked enough space to mount all my doo-dahs.
Plus detaching them - or leaving them - was a pain to deal with potential theft.
The Boom clamps onto the steering tube. It extends over the front wheel.
Obviously, lacking ranged or remote controls, stuff like a bell and horn must remain
mounted on the handlebars.

Aside: my Zound air horn broke in no time. It won't refill.
They need a threaded and robust adapter for refills.
D: rig this up to a motorbike air horn, or even big-rig or train!
Don't use it in residential areas at night.
Or on folks with weak hearts.

But for the idiotic U students that wander around with their I-pods in their ears, it's just the ticket. And the look on their face is PRICELESS.

D: Tetz's 12V power assist could work.
I think you'd hafta use a capacitor to keep the charge strong enough for a few seconds.
I had considered that for the 'start at green light on angle on 'bent bike' issue anyway.
Check out the battery-sized supercapacitors on market!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

good gear hubs never cheaper

I am selling 5 brand new (in sealed boxes) NuVinci Hubs 32 hole hubs for $275 each including Priority Mail Shipping with Insurance.

A friend asked me to help him sell these NuVinci Hubs, that he purchased wholesale, for a small production run of Ebikes that drive through the gears. He really likes the hubs for manual use. For his ebikes he decided he wanted something that shifted up in regular increments because he could manage his watt usage better (both motor and pedaling are through the rear hub).

He paid $300 apiece for them. He said to sell them for $275 each ("lets get rid of them") including priority mail shipping with insurance.

D: I have seen some on sale for about that.

Watch out for the 'controller not included' prices though!


D: IM9 should be lighter, more efficient.
NV more cool, 'n sooo easy to automate gear changing. Up. Down.

A 350% range is practical for most commuters.
Don't try offroad, severe hills or loads, or racing though.

Schlumph Hyperdrive or Mountaindrive is an option.
Not cheap.

Bicycle Forest has one on a teardrop trike.

D: might be best to pay upfront.
Although one can also retrofit with a Schlumph later.
The range WITH the Rohloff would be insane.
Watch the gear inches and torque ratio stuff though.

Using a mountain drive (2.5:1 reduction) with a Rohloff will void the warrenty on the Rohloff hub. As the input is too low

Sure, a maintained new bike is more efficient.
But hubs are no fuss, no muss!

I've had quite a few bikes rust out.

Easy to seal all away with sealed hubs.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

rail road riding bike

D: I had a daydream somewhat like this.
Rails in town had been cordoned off for bicycle use.
Bikes had clamps on the wheels that let them stay upright on rails.
For roads, they arced over in bridges.

I saw suspended walkways in Detroit. I imagine that is mostly viewed as a nice place to mug folks.

Still, something covered against the weather would be nice.

Needless to say, I imagined recumbents.
But I got to thinking.
If one partitions off the left/right side, and forced air at stations one way or the other, then at say 30kph wind folks are getting a 'power assist'.
Simpler than tricking out every bike with a power assist.

A full fairing on a recumbent is less an issue with a wheel clamp to keep it upright.
No chance of accidents blocking the way.

Close your eyes. Imagine cycle tubes elevated above traffic.
Getting to work by going 30kph non stop.
(Optional turnoffs as per trains).
All those little human powered bikes flitting about.
Nice, huh?

Friday, February 27, 2009

transforming bikes

D: a trike with built-in baby carriage. The baby is up front to cushion any impacts you have with cars, LOL.

D: I saw a vid last year of an upright bike that could transform into a semi-'bent.

I wonder if that inspired me to consider a variable seat height. The height of the seat means it must be on its own boom.

Also, I am pondering a dual-mode front and mid-steerer.
This would require re-arranging some pins in the frame.
It would reuse the steering grips for either under or over seat steering.

Regarding the variable height seat on a recumbent - this was my way of
1) having a low drag fast bike but
2) a good visibility option for commuting in traffic.
I will never use a lowrider in traffic!
Even the short wheelbase recumbent 'highrider' seemed very low.
That is part of why I settled on a Cruzbike.

The highracers would be brutal on the pot-holes around here.
Our winter freeze-thaw cycle wreaks havoc on roads.

Aside- regarding my Mark I bike design contest offering, with the suspension built into the seat...
For intense cycling, one wants the suspension between wheel and frame.
Otherwise, the bike loses contact with the ground and doesn't hug the riding surface.
However, given the frame simplicity that results, I am willing to accept the trade-off.
Plus also recall that light wheels make for a light feeling bike frame.
It is less punitive for acceleration - imparting all that centrifugal force.
It gets wasted in braking as heat anyway.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

mechanical and electronic gear shifters, hydraulic drive, bottom bracket dynamo

The good and the bad and the prohibitively expensive.

Two earlier attempts at electronic gear changing by a French company, Mavic, often malfunctioned in rain. Another company, Campagnolo, has delayed bringing its version to market because of the economic downturn.

D: only 4000 bux (!!!) and reliant on a battery...

There was a nifty earlier attempt by Browning. The gear changing method is something else. (pic)

The critical feature that differentiates the Browning from standard derailleur systems is the continuous gear/chain engagement during shifting, there is no skipping or grinding even under the heaviest loads. The transmission will shift under any combination of speed, cadence and pedaling force. Shifts are smooth, fast and nearly silent. The chain stays fully in contact with the gear teeth during either up or down shifts. In contrast, even with the best standard derailleurs, on upshifts, the chain loses contact with the smaller sprocket before it is fully engaged on the large sprocket which often leads to grinding or skipping under heavy loads.

Another unique feature of the Browning transmission is that it is ideally suited for complete electric operation including computer controlled automatic shifting. This eliminates derailleur cables and cable adjustment.

D: I had pondered the idea of computer control after studying the efficiency analysis of the Rohloff gear hub.
Love these guys!
As you can see, the Rohloff's efficiency varies by 4%, depending on the gear.
That is because the number of internal gears engaged varies.
I think between 1 and 4 at a time.
Obviously direct drive is always preferable.

D: yet another lament by me. I asked about the I-motion 9 internal gears.
Not like I couldn't crack one open to find out.
I got the third degree and then no answer to my question anyway.

OK - back to the Rohloff. A computer would be able to accommodate the gear efficiency versus optimal cadence equation. For example, let us a say that a certain cyclist spins at 80rpm best. In a good gear - one with fewer internal gears engaged - maybe we want him/her/it/them (sigh) to expand the cadence range by say 5 or 10 rpm prior to gear shifting.
Conversely, in an inefficient gear, we might wish to reduce the spread of cadence in that gear by a like amount. This is just the sort of equation a computer could do easily and well.

Frankly, the simpler solution is to use a NuVinci hub with a continuous variable gear. Then it's a simple matter of up and down.

A quick aside on drive efficiency.
1) a non gear-hub is likely ideally a bit more efficient. Dust, grit, rust et al makes me think is only true in theory.
2) a severe chain wrap around a small sprocket is inefficient
3) a taught chain is a must
4) oddly, lube seemed to serve no purpose here.

Another aside- a hydraulic drive was designed but never seemed to reach the market.
It would have the potential to allow dual-drive on a bike.
Pretty terrific for snow and up hills/gravel on a front wheel drive 'bent.
Their site doesn't even seem to up any more.

Yet another unrelated aside. Shimano has the patent on a bottom bracket internal dynamo generator. I think this is to suppress it, so they can promote their wheel hub dynamos.

D: I like the idea of all the expensive components embedded within the frame itself.
This way, the wheels are 'naked'. They can be stolen but won't be worth much.
Or they can be used for other options.

Since my partial fairing closing-clamshell design (and the later pure-design 'lobster') covers the frame when closed and locked shut, the frame ought to be pretty safe.
Embedding some police anti-theft devices like RFIDs could also help.
With carbon composites hiding some RFIDs during construction is a snap.
There would be no way to remove them without causing catastrophic failure in the frame.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

bus bike rack dictates basic geometry for commuter

D: Waterloo has a similar rack.
That was not something I considered when I settled on a front-boom SWB Cruzbike.
The triangular boom prevents the swing arm from rising.
With care, I might be able to put the bike on backwards, if I leave the (old front ) rear tire bare.

I had considered whether a SWB non-boom bike could have the pedal tube on a pivot mount. It could swing up and out of the way.
Alternatively, enough clearance and careful tube geometry could help.

Has anybody successfully mounted their SWB 'bent bike on a bus bike rack?

It certainly precludes a LWB or even MWB.

Lament: with a DVD and more care in the parts/instructions list, a Cruzbike would be very simple to build at home, as opposed to highly challenging like it is.
They could expand their customer base with a training DVD that costs one dollar...

A few more asides on Cruzbike construction:
1) bike shops don't use the same terms from threaded/threadless front fork bits
Simply including this bit, since all the cheap Y-frames will need it anyway would be nice.
2) NO bike shops in town sold the tool I needed to open the bottom bracket
3) you need TWO sets of Allen hex wrenches.
4) psychologically, I just had to drill more holes to mount the seat. No good reason.

Update: my bud Ryan found a talented cheap welder. My pal Fern is a whiz with stainless but is not as close.
We're gonna use scrap to make the first clunky version of my 'bike contest' SWB.
See an earlier entry- it is the one inspired by the GreenMachine.