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.