Sunday, December 5, 2010

transformer bike upright/bent

very neat.

D: i had some similar ideas.
One switches between short and long wheelbase.
Necessarily is FWD with a simple pivot for chain.
The curved rails for the fairing make it pretty slick looking.

I have another idea for re-arranging components to convert a mid-steer to front steer.
Be nice to switch from over to under easily too.

Thinking on turning radius for effectively long wheelbase, midsteer.
Using handles that pivot attached rear a la Triton trike, could increase sharpness of possible turning radius.

Thinking about mid-steer, maybe placing seat on third bar attached midway fore and aft.Result is the rider does not end up on outside of turn attempting to flip bike on turn. Always stays inside the turn - and more inside as turn become sharper.
That was an idea to try to keep legs sufficiently in line with pedal on a thru-front-wheel-pedal layout. But likely works better without this fancy setup.

Still, intrigued by thru-front-wheel layout.

I'm trying to figure out is a Rohloff hub could be easily modified to take pedal attachements. But have never played with one- any ideas?
This would pretty much necessitate a mid-steer layout.
The elegance makes it worth pursuing.

I priced out capactiros and they are about 20 bux per for a c-battery size.
Inspired by John Tetz. But my idea for a low-speed high torque only brief duration is unique.
1) you can lose all that big heavy gearing.
2) no battery. at all. regenarative braking for recharge. again, compact, light.
also cheaper.
A 'bent bike really only needs a help from a stop and a killer granny gear.
This temporary boost provided at high power output from an ultracapacitor array would not last long enough to overheat and fry a motor.
It is good for 100,000s of recharge cycles.
! likely cold-resistant. I killed more batteries winter cycling.
The regenerative braking function - assist really -not enough resistance to supplant a good rear brake (maybe just on front? I don't like the front tire to lock up.) could be used otherwise to power lights sans battery al a dynamo. And consumer electronics like a cell phone or music player otherwise.
I think we are not thinking of the right 'power assist (vs supplant) for a 'bent.

D: this summer, I nearly ate a small asian woman. Not like that! >;
She didn't look and leisurely biked onto the main multiuse trail from a dirt side path. I haul on the brakes - both - hard - in panic. ...
My Cruzbike promptly became a unicycle on the front wheel. The rear tire flipped into the air and wobbled sideways. I managed to stop within a foot of hitting her.
Dumb bitch. ALWAYS look.

Also the reason I am thinking about a battering ram on the Cruzbike. Seriously.
Cars to the edge of the bike lane.
Why should ruin my godawfully expensive chainring setup on FWD bike?
Better to leave ding in their car door.
I had some idiot jump in front of my bike. Hauled on brake, couldn't risk swerving into car lane without knowing if I'd eat a car.
He was drunk with buddies. Easy enough to kick me in the head.
Lot harder if I break his knee cap.
Sorry, it is a cold hard world out there.


Monday, November 22, 2010

alfine 11 sg 700 - price

600 bux 21 seller ratings New $599.99

Again, will pass if there is no direct drive.
I'll use price difference to put downpayment on a Schlumph mountain drive.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

diy or kit cargo bike extensions

This is a welded kit.
Chop up 2 bikes carefully and you might manage a front boom/ SWB bike.

Bikes that Haul People

In East Africa, there is a population of small business entrepreneurs known as "Boda Boda" operators who use bicycles as taxis. Most start their business by purchasing a standard bike and retrofitting it with a locally manufactured seat post and special seat cushion to accommodate passengers in


D: I saw an extracycle in town. A mother was shopping with it. She said she can put 2 kids on it.

Why I was thinking of it?
I just went to great effort to reattach a bike rack to my Cruzbike kit.
The Mongoose chassis is a cheap supercycle.
The frame geometry is unusual, being rectangular.

I use the 'assit mount' to carry all the weight.
The aluminum part sheared, so I had custom steel replacements made.
Which never quite lined up.
So much tapping and drilling later, it is finally on again.
... standard frame geometry is a MUST for accessories!

I see recumbent bikes in town, and their frames never allow standard upgright bike accessories to be attached. Why reinvent the wheel?
I was thinking about this when I saw the cargo bike extension.
Is there any reason a 'bent bike could not also take a cargo bike extension at the rear?
This would allow me to have a long-wheel-base SWB for touring, with cargo capacity.
But then- take it off- a standard wheelbase SWB short wheel base.
Obviously, this makes the design tricky. It could still be a Flevo Greenmachine knockoff, sans frame suspension.
(A thudbuster, though not cheap, is still far cheaper. Assuming it works.)

I am also considering having some internal storage in the bike frame. Just use pressed sheet metal or plastic to enclose the chain area, with mount points.

The detachable-externa-frame-rucksack-seat-back is enouraging a fat-ass-granny bike seat on the bottom portion. I saw some ridiculously oversized ones at McPhails.
I don't see the point of a seat bigger than my ass, though.

Hmm, variable steering -at least maybe a swap-out cog for long/short wheelbase mode- would duplicate car 'power steering' in some respects.

I continue to ponder the left /right weight symmetry and how to get various structural elements to add up correctly, including both top and bottom chains.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

alfine 11 price

D: 307 pounds sans shifter.
That's um..
Um US about x1.5 so... um call it 450.
A bit more Canadian.
Of course, with shifter, this goes well about 500.

Still a fraction of the price of a Rohloff.
D: hmm electric pushbutton R-hub shifter.
Neat. Pointless, but neat.
Now if it was AUTOMATIC like a car...
D: good reviews though. For Shimano type.

D: the NuVinci lends itself to automatic adjustment.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

shimano alfine 11 gear sg-s700

It tripped my Google search term alert.

5th gear is direct drive- I think.
VERY nice for a day tour bike!
Yup. I'm in love.
Waiting on price.

You heard it hear FIRST.

Friday, July 23, 2010

on a foam core carbon fibre frame

The chassis of Critical Power is a carbon fiber recumbent bicycle also known as a short wheel base, remote steered, front wheel drive lowracer. The frame was constructed from a single piece of carbon fiber sandwich board, then the frame shape was cut-out of the board. The edges were laminated, and the components were installed with aluminum brackets.

D: I could use foam wrapped in carbon fibre.
Different beast though.

Likely to test with plywood (!) frame.

To make sure all attachment points work.

A heat resistant foam would play well with resin-impregnated fibre.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I know, sad. I used canvastastic- a free demo version that imitates MS Paint.
Sad thing is that my bud Sanjay let me try Pro Engineer 2000 a few years ago, and I never used it.
I'll still need to learn it before building the Mark I.

OK, so the pic is of the Mark I (version 2) that I wish to build.
The hideous blue squiggly lines represent the general contour of a top/bottom partial fairing.
The grey parts represent the basic frame sans fairing.
I think the lower fairing may be of fiberglass or carbon fiber, and just left attached to the bike frame.
The implied fairing on the nose cone and tail box would just be lycra.
I might use pvc pipe ribs bent in a contour like an umbrella.
The Schlumph bottom bracket drive requires room for the foot to press the button.
A version that allows use of handlebar-mounted shifters would be convenient in some cases.

The fairing has the benefit of keeping the sun and weather and cold away from the rider.
However, a high ambient air temperature plus humidity will cause overheating problems.

I either need air inlets in the fairing, or the option to lower the front half to just above the knees.
Opening a vent in the tip of the nose cone would also remove an air pressure peak point.
I'm not sure how a flat fairing will actually fare in a drag test.

If the fairing is unipiece on top, and can be lowered along with the seat rear to allow a much lower profile, then the bike has
the potential to go very fast downhill with the right drive/ gear hub combo.
This has no practical application for a touring bike.
But if the bike can go that fast, then I would be afraid of crashing.
Then deforming aluminum fairing struts instead of light pvc pipe (for a mockup) would look good.
Also, the idea of the seat back/rucksack on mount securing me with the shoulder straps starts to look good.

Why bother making a short wheelbase with a long wheelbase long wheelbase, but with the pedals out front?
Cargo behind the rider. Good highracer profile. Plays well with a fairing tapering behind the rider.

One I realized the chain-thru-body-tube layout was off centre, a thudbuster could be mounted in a standard fashion in the centre. I am pondering just getting this really wide fat-ass granny seat from the bike shop.

I think in low-fairing/seat-way-back racing mode, that the thudbuster would need to be locked or removed.
The seat, being free floating, would bang on the box frame on top of the rear bike rack.

An Alice pack or other external frame backpack will face a lot of strain at the base, where it mounts to the seat rear apparatus.
I would fear it shearing while riding it. It will likely need to be reinforced considerably.
Note that all cargo must be removed from the alice pack for it to recline greatly.
Alternatively, the box mounted on the rear bike rack would need to be removable.

Can Pantour tire shocks be used to address road vibrations?

D: at 150 for a hub, not so bad.
The main issue is that they preclude stuff like a motor assist hub or a dynamo hub.
Plus I would fear the elastomer would harden in cold temperatures.

One way to address this is to mount the dynamo in the bike frame.
This works better if the chain is laid out internally like the Greenmachine.
And the frame has a suspension point for the rear tire.
Really, an entirely different beast.

Thinking about the idea of an off-centre bike frame mass distribution, I realized that 2 very heavy tubes to the left and right of centre, and just a sheet metal bit to cover the lower chain would keep the weight balanced.
The sheet metal would provide some rigidity.
However, I may still go for 2 on the right housing the chain and one heavy one on the right.
All connected with struts for rigidity.

I don't wish to tinker with 'natural' chainlines, beyond raising it above the front wheel on return.

A motor assist that does not involve the front tire hub could still mesh with the pantour.

Too bad Shimano is sitting on the internal bottom bracket dynamo...

Monday, July 19, 2010

ego blow! calculated watt output for hour on ride

D: stupid Mavic odometer has no instructions on how to calibrate to a 24" MBT tire, grr.
Mavic, you SUCK ASS.

So I've been biking in no-man's-land for speed or distance.

Anyway, I finally tweaked Mapquest to set the path I take from home to King to Heidelberg.
... It wasn't 30km.
It was... um about 15km.
It takes me LESS than an hour. I set the sim at 60mins. More like 55 these days, possibly 53.

The watt output over an hour.... 59.
Midrange accomplished amateur.
What a kick in the cojones that is.
I mean, sure, I can do bench reps with my body, perfect sets of 75 pushups, 20 chinups no prob. And much else.
I'm a generalist.
But amateur?

OK at 10 not 9 mph... about 68 watts.
11mph? 78 watts.
12 - 89.

At 13mph, I reach 100 watts for an hour- out of the limp-wristed sissy league.
Gawd, I have my work cut out for me!
Oie! About 20kph.

I mean, I can CHEAT.
Higher pressure tires. Lighter frame. Hybrid tires. Smooth rear tire. Et al.
But that is just that - cheating.
Not a better athlete. A better bike.

D: My legs run, rollerblade. Heavy squats. Deadlift- almost 500 lbs at 175 lbs!
Not specialized biking legs. Nor disproportionate. Yet.
They're starting to get the same blue veiny my chest got around 30,000 pushups this year.
But not huge yet.

I've seen the 'specialists' Guys with these monster legs grafted, Frankenstein-esque like, onto a tiny torso.
Doesn't seem worth it.
But still - I do wanna cross Canada with my legs.

I suspect I have a lotta hybrid type muscle- can convert between strength and endurance.
Lotsa room for improved vascularity.
More local glycogen storage.
Training to use lactic acid waste byproduct is still a work in progress. I do train hard to discomfort.

And what does the super wonderful science news site Sciencedaily have to say about it?
Arginine plus anti-ox.
Nuts 'n seafood. Good fer ya anyway. Healthy fat profile.
Resistance to exhale results in improved aerobic efficiency.
Coffee megadose good- but only for submax activity.
Also reduces post exercise pain 'n increase glycogen uptake.
Use with care.

Will research more later.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

utah trikes talks about Schlumph mountaindrive, details

Combining the Schlumpf HSD with rear internal hubs
For the ultimate in gearing solutions, we like to combine the Schlumpf HSD with internal hubs in the rear. This provides a super easy-to-shift system that is perfect for triking in mud, water, and snow. We have tested the Schlumpf HSD with the Shimano Nexus 8, Nuvinci CVP, and Rohloff SpeedHub. Note that the high torque of the 27-tooth chainring voids the Rohloff warranty, so you do this at your own risk. Under special circumstances we can fit the HSD with a 34-tooth chainring which brings it closer to Rohloff’s minimum requirement of 36 teeth.

What about efficiency?
Planetary Gears - The main criticism that I ever hear about the Schlumpf drives are the stated efficiency of the drives. According to the latest test the planetary gears are rated at 95-97% efficiency when compared to a chainring. In other words, a 68-tooth chainring would be 3-5% more efficient than the Schlumpf in overdrive. What does this mean? Well, it means that if you could actually find a 68-tooth sprocket and had it on your trike instead of the Schlumpf HSD, you might be able to go a little bit faster.

Riding with the Schlumpf
I ride with the HSD overdrive engaged probably 90% of the time. My lowest gear without downshifting the HSD is about 42 gear inches, which I find to be low enough to handle during the stop and go of my regular commute. Should I ever have to make a sudden stop, or forget to downshift, I always have a bail-out gear by just clicking the shift button.


D: I would not select a gear hub/ S Drive combo that results in the S Drive engaged most of the time.
Not a big deal, but a few % efficiency lost all the time adds up.
Better, I say, to finesse the chainring/cog combo and gear hub/S drive combo to allow near-direct drive engaged as much as possible. The Schlumph drive should only be occasionally engaged.

The potentially wide range of gear inches possible with an S drive means buying an expensive wide gear-inch range gear hub could be a waste of money.
I remain unable to locate any info that suggests the 1.65x drive is any more efficient that the 2.5x drive.
That is the only thing that would change my mind.
Plus the 2.5x range S drive will merely results in a wide area of overlap in gearing - no point at all.

Changing the gears will be simpler but slightly reminiscent of the half-step gearing used in yester-year.

A large # of teeth on the chainring and cog will result in improved efficiency but also a weight penalty. Plus technical difficulties.
D: this remains the benchmark study.

Fussing with the Rohloff min. # os teeth on the chainring is not the salient point here.
That chainring will simply be more efficient, if matched with a similarly larger cog.

E.g. NuVinci 2:1 ratio. 52-36. Or 48-24.
Can the 27 be used?

NOS Campagnolo Super Record 54T chainring *144BCD
US $129.99
End Date: Saturday Jul-24-2010 5:46:46 PDT
Buy It Now for only: US $129.99

D: well it exists.

The Nuvinci is eminently suitable to automatic gear shifting. Combined with the silent aspect, it could carve out a niche.
It should stop trying to compete on a conventional basis with gear hubs.
I'm sure even a 'dummy interface' of cheap and electric vs computerized electronic nature could work.

My design philosophy, as somebody planning to cross Canada on a touring bike, is:
1) always take the weight penalty in exchange for improved efficiency
2) expect a prolonged mid-speed level
3) anticipate the need for a 'killer granny gear' given 1).
This pretty much means a mid-range gear hub with a Schlumph drive.

I'll ask Utah Trikes about whether the 2 high speed S drives have different efficiency.
Not sure why I'd spend an extra 100 on the new Alfine 11-gear if the IM 9-gear plays well with the S drive any way.
Other than that the 400%+ range might be more use by itself prior to the fairing addition and S drive upgrade.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

fairing design. primers.

Recap: I want a fairing that is PRACTICAL.
That means
1) extends over at least half the length
2) is not on the sides to avoid crosswinds
3) is reasonably light
4) allow cooling air flow

D: How to design air intakes:

I think it's important that the vent be placed in front of the windshield as there is a high pressure zone there caused by the windshield bubble. The vent bleeds off some of this pressure. It also makes it easy to have the air blow on your face, as that's where the most blood vessels are to cool you off.

D: Doesn't this mean just put it at the nose tip.

Some basic "rules" are:

Avoid outside corners and areas of sharp streamwise curvature. Shaving off a few square inches of frontal area by carving a flat spot at the widest point will only increase the drag.

Avoid sudden changes in streamwise curvature. The hemispherical nose butting straight into a zero-curvature cylindrical section is a good example of a bad shape. There will usually be a large velocity spike near the curvature discontinuity, followed by a small separation zone.

Avoid aft-facing steps and air leaks at and behind the maximum-thickness point. The small recirculating zone behind a step might not be able to close in the aft pressure rise and might precipitate large-scale flow separation. Leaking "dead" air into the boundary layer over the pressure rise is very detrimental for the same reason. Minimizing the flow out of wheel cutouts is important. The best place to dump ventilation air flow is out of trailing edge.

The back edge or point does not have to be perfectly sharp. A good rule of thumb is that if the area of the flat base is less than drag_area/4, there will be no drag penalty. A good HPV fairing might have CD = 0.10 based on a frontal area of 5 ft^2, in which case the allowable base area would be 0.10 x 5 / 4 = 0.125 ft^2. This might make the fairing a bit shorter.

Surface finish is important, but there is a threshold roughness height k_min below which there is no further drag reduction. This is given by k_min ~ 4 sqrt(2/Cf) nu / V nu = kinematic air viscosity = 1.4e-5 m^2/s V = local flow velocity (m/s) Cf = local skin friction coefficient ~ 0.025 (nu/VL)^(1/7) L = distance from leading edge (m) For a typical fairing at V = 10 m/s this works out to Cf ~ 0.004, k_min ~ 0.1 mm = 0.005 in, which is not all that smooth -- like the surface of galvanized steel, say. A doped cloth surface is probably close to this threshold. For a speed HPV this roughness threshold would be quite smaller.

As far as "truck suck" or crosswind sensitivity, there is very little that can be done other than reduce the height and side area as much as possible. The "airfoil" shape of the fairing will have little effect.

D: hmm the nose-tip based air intake should try to play well with the top/bottom fairing edge.

. Recumbent Cycling Ontario claims that a recumbent's higher terminal velocity permits speeds 34 percent faster than an upright bike. Recumbent bikes climb slowly because they are heavier and the rider cannot pull up on the handlebars. All other things being equal, a road bike is faster on a hilly course than a recumbent.

Read more: Recumbent Vs. Road Bike Speed |

D: but I'm using it to keep warm and/or keep the sun off/keep cool.
I am north-Euro and will MOULT in noonday sun!

D: I've always thought nosecones and tailboxes look nice and do very little.
They defy the rules of thumb for good physics.

D: right now, I"m thinking the bottom fairing and tirewell shells just stay put as basic construction.
The top part can be removed.
For slow tooling around in hilly offroad conditions, this is a good compromise.
D: - always thought wisil missile was innnovative. Apparently didn't work so well.

I'm imagining an air inlet in the nose tip.

Possibly the front half of the top drops down to just above knees, leaving head exposed. But that makes it all very complex.
Worse yet is if I want the bottom top half to optionally drop down for a 'lowracer' layout - very reclined anyway.
No real pracical reason on a tour bike.
But take off the ALICE pack and recline it on the ammo box 'n you've got yer basic layout for breaking highway speed limits...
Making me think that a crash cage might be a good idea on that layout.
Which would require a long wheelbase for stability.
The gearing is a bugger.

Alfine 408% -11 gear.
18 inch granny gear.
73.44 gear inch top gear.
183.6 with 2.5x Schlumph hyperdrive.

Obviously that is overkill.
A 15" super-granny gear is likely to find much more utility.

I'm waiting on Schlumph about efficiency and the high vs hyper speed options.

speed and watts. e motor/generator assist

D: DO like idea of combo motor/generator.
At night, power lights.
Don't need assist during day? Power electronic device like cellphone or music player.
Need assist- route to motor/generator in drive chain.

I confess that a frame-based suspension makes sense if one embeds a hub of some variety in the frame.

Hmm, solidslot motors weigh in at 18lbs.
Not what I had in mind.

D: since the tetz system has weight from the gearing for it, lot to be said for low speed to start.

thinking for granny gear uphill 'n from start at light or on incline.
so want lotsa torque but very low spin.

not sure what app would have this.

Monday, July 5, 2010

modified mark I 'stretch model' SWB. gear hubs.

D - am on a Mac so don't have access to simple Paint program.
I miss my PC.

Will post pic later.
Was doodling at work with my idea for a short wheel base recumbent.
See 'Mark I'.
Basically a simplified DIY cheap Flevobike GreenMachine knockoff.
With chain to rear tire inside the bike frame itself.
That means gear hubs.

I was looking at the Nuvinci and Imotion 9.
The latest Nuvinci N360 has an impressive 360% range versus the IM9's 340%.
But Nuvinci has always been evasive about efficiency.
And even at 30% lighter, it is still POUNDS heavier than the IM9.
Not sure if the gee-whiz factor could be worth it.

But while looking, I found reference to a new mid-level gear hub, the Alfine 11-gear!
D - I fear we are dealing with 'vapourware' right now.
The gear range doesn't add up, for example.

The numbers don’t add up! The original article says the 11-speed hub has a range of 409% with two 17% jumps and eight 13% jumps. Doing the math, 11 gears and those jumps is only 363.9%.

I played around with the numbers in a spreadsheet, and I had to increase the jumps quite a bit to get to 409%. I ended up with two 20% jumps and eight 14% jumps resulting in 410.7%.

The challenge with gearing for my bent bike layout is
1) must be gear hubs
2) should be cheap and light
3) must have good granny gear for going uphill with the extra weight but
4) can use a very high 'gear inch' at the other end to use the low drag to go fast downhill!
On top of that, ideally the gear hub most efficient 'direct drive' would be in the typical all-day cruising speed for a touring bike.
The Rohloff hub does as much as one hub can do, but is very expensive. It will be lighter than trying to pair a mid-range hub to a Schlumph bottom bracket drive, and likely more efficient.

I have sent an e-mail query to Schlumph about whether their highspeed and hyperspeed x1.65 and x2.5 models have different efficiency.
After all, at x2.5 for their Hyperspeed model, if that is the same efficiency, then I might as well just get the cheaper IM9 hub to go with it.

I thought about it and think the NuVinci only makes sense if silent cycling is a priority.
if so, then I would also pair it with a chainless belted drive.
I talked to the maintenance guys at work and they directed me to Canada Bearings in Kitchener for good industrial belts.
Since a belt would not be the correct length, I would need to use my adjustable frame geometry proposal (see earlier blog).

E.g IM9 340% range x 2.5 SHD. With 18" granny gear base, good range.
E.g. Alfine 11 408% range x 1.65 SH. With " ", good range.
The price ranges from 8-900 bux, circa.
The bike can get by without the Schlumph until I can afford it.
I can tweak the chainring/cog arrangement a bit to make up for it.
STRETCH SWB 'bent bike.

I am not sure why nobody has proposed this. It is not much of a stretch from current designs.
I suggest
1) begin with a standard SWB layout, much like a Bachetta/Greenmachine.
2) extend the rear portion behind the rider's seat.
This is much like an upright cargo bike.
If we begin with a typical 48" wheelbase, adding 12" results in a 60" wheelbase.
This is much like a typical long wheelbase recumbent.
So why bother, you ask?
Drag profile. Fairing design.
I'd like to point out I'm designing the Mark I for crossing canada on.
That means steady mid-speed all-day biking.
It must be a practical road design. It can be plenty stable and not too nimble- like a long wheelbase is good at.
It needs to be resistant to crosswind and 'truck suck'.
It needs some limited offroad capability, primarily the ability to handle some gravel on a road shoulder and some dirt trails.
It needs to carry quite a lot of cargo.

Most recumbents just try to tack cargo on wherever it will fit as an afterthought.
I imagine a dedicated trailer could also make sense. One with a teardrop fairing shape.
I am thinking of what is basically a highracer design. I'll never use a lowracer since the lack of see-and-be-seen with traffic scares the living heck out of me!
So all the cross-section for air resistance is basically above the tires.
So the fairing needs to be above the tires.
The only cross-wind fairing part will be very near the ground - the tires and the lower bike frame. That is it. There is little wind near the ground, plus this will not leverage the bike sideways to make it tilt.
There is NO fairing whatsoever above tire level on the sides.
There IS a fairing top and bottom along the whole length.
Lyrcra can be used to variably improve drag profile on the sides, where there is no fairing.
I am thinking of a coupla spandex bits to simulate a nose cone and tail box, with the option for more in the middle.
Cooling issues require a vent of some variety or tilting fairing that can send more air flow onto the cyclist.

I had initially considered a mesh-seat-back only and solid bottom seat.
But a dedicated touring bike is not a commuting bike.
Mostly I'll be reclined and pedalling, not traffic stop-and-go.
Plus I don't like having a sweaty ASS. Eww.
So now I'm thinking of a one-piece mesh bucket seat.
The suspension - a thudbuster of sorts- I'm proposing isolates the rider from the frame.
Combined with front fork suspension, this mimics a full suspension bike.
Though on bumpy ground, the frame weight will make it catch more air than a full suspension bike would get.
Plus road vibrations disrupting laminar air flow on the fairing is a very real consideration.
Using elastomer shock mounts where the fairing attaches should address this and more cheaply than Pantour wheel hubs.

(I have some space shuttle shock absorbing material lying around from a custom ballistic vest I designed. It was used in orthopedic shoe pads. Not cheap!)

The bottom fairing does have some lycra where the legs must come down.

OK, imagine a SWB bent bike from the top.
You have c. 2/3 width at the pedals.
The shoulders are the widest part. This also means the steering hands are widest.
With a USS steering arrangement, this means that lower down, the fairing must still be wide forward of the torso.
Behind the cyclist we have cargo storage. In my case I will likely use Alice pack or thereabouts as the seat back.
I just take it with me when I get off the bike.
The pack is somewhat narrower than shoulders, as wide as the legs.
Behind that, we continue the gradual taper of width with whatever we wanna attach to a bike rack.
I was thinking I'd like to weld a .50cal ammo box the the bike rack for some sort of secure weather-resistant storage.
This leaves the sides open in theory for either folding baskets or panniers.
With the fabric removed from the alice pack (which needs mesh now to support the back), the seat back can recline as far as the
ammo pack, which it then rests upon at a severe tilt.
If we allow a pivoting fairing arrangement, the fairing can be lowered along with the cyclist.
This has no practical use on a road tour.
It would be strictly be of use to show just how damn fast this thing can go on a track or downhill.
Taken to the logical extreme, this feature in the Mark II III IV and V designs, along with a fold-down seat and steering, allows the fairing to be fully closed like a clamshell. This renders the bike theft-resistant and weather-proof.

OK, so now you should see the benefit of a SWB 'stretch' layout.
Even without a partial fairing, it allows for a lot of cargo storage with a surprisingly good drag profile.
Combined with a partial fairing, the drag profile should be brilliant. For a partial fairing.
I have no interest in a full fairing, other than the adjustable clamshell design I just described above.

I suspect I could tweak the steering properties for around-town commuting by adjusting the front fork angle.
Or incorporating some sort of variable steering I am still trying to figure out.

Presently, I am concerned that the whole bike frame is off centre and weighted to the right.
Using a thicker strut on the left with all the cabling in it would offset this.

I have some ideas about embedding a 12V light electric motor assist/ generator (dynamo ish) in the frame to power consumer electronics on road tours.


Friday, May 21, 2010

my cruzbike seat bruised my back!

D - took my Cruzbike conversion kit out on cruise. 40km to Heidelburg 'n back. Nice paved edge.

My back felt a bit uncomfortable. I squirmed, trying to make it more comfy.
I had some cramping in my lower back from all the squirming.
Training hard now, so don't notice a lil' more discomfort.
Day later, look in mirror in bathroom.
I'm bruised and chafed!!!

WTF? You gotta be kidding me. From a seat?
Cuz I had the temerity to wear normal blue jean shorts with a belt?
Instead of some little fitness bunny spandex. I happen to not like the look of 3 golf balls stuffed in my shorts.

The seat is a failure. It is a beta-test that should not have passed the experimental stage.

The screws to the seat back need to be recessed, which then would allow the use of thicker but softer foam padding.
The foam is 2-layer. The first is soft. The second is HARD.

The kit ought to come with a warning label. GRR.

I'm improvving a fix, ruining the seat back in the process.

To say I'm not impressed is an understatement.

I'm chopping and slashing and banging away a solution.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

bikes in the sky with diamonds

Tires attached to a wire. Suspended in space?
(Turns green and pukes.) No thanks.

But the others...

Elevating bike lanes addresses the clash with drivers.

Parking garages.
When land is cheap, every little developer has their own little parking lot.
Those parking lots are too small to practically build a multi-level parking garage when intensification occurs.
Well, if you treat each clump of 4 developments holistically, and regulate building placement respectively, you can build said
parking garages later.

Friday, May 7, 2010

ALICE pack frame for seat back?


During the Viet Nam War the US Army struggled to define what sort of pack the soldiers should have and what they should put in the pack. That War in the jungles of Southeast Asia was nearly over before engineers in the Army with a contractor, Natick Laboratories, settled on the best kinds of packs. These workers called their product the All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment or ALICE. There was a large ALICE, a medium ALICE, and a small ALICE.


D: that looks so hard-core.

I don't much care for the side bags.
I'd prefer a taller rucksack height.
To lower drag.

MAVIC: I give up.
YOu suck. Ass. Still.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

vw ebike fits in spare tire space in trunk


The bike has a range of 12.5 miles, and it's designed to draw a charge from the car itself so you won't need to worry about plugging it in. Unfortunately, there's no word yet on when you'll be able to put one in your own trunk—one tire and zero kickstands will have to suffice for now. [Fast Company]

D: I wonder if they think to start including power plugs in the trunk? ...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

mavic, you suck ASS

D: I just wasted five minutes of my life.
Since I cannot find how to set up my odometer to my tire size in your 'manual',
I checked your web site. Again.
Five minutes of pointless slick flashy animations later, there is still no sign of a complete and preferably language-specific manual.
Or, in fact, manuals for ANY of your products.

Or contact information of any sort.

I'd just like to say it again.

Mavic, you SUCK.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

odometer. review mavic mtech 7. plans for cruzbike.

D: I suspect the product is fine.
But installing and using it, just wow.
The instructions are mock-worthy.
There must be a dozen different languages on there - meaning only a few lines of English.
The instructions promise me the Mavic website will have more complete directions.
I mucked around trying to find the odometer for a few minutes.
First the interface tried to shoehorn you into a certain type of bicycle frame.
Why would generic items not be listed under 'other'?
Then it only lists their newest products.
OK I think this unit is a year or two old.
It was being dumped for half listed price last fall.
But why not provide support for your product line?

My mods to the Cruzbike this summer will include:
1) a 48 to 50ish tooth chainring.
I figure I can eke out a few more % of gear inches that way.
I just need to avoid spinning out on the pedals around 30kph.
2) rucksack mount. In seat tube.
D: attach 2 sets of freelights. I wish to use 2 of them as sideways amber 'running lights'.
I have nearly been creamed a times by folks pulling right on a red.
Every little bit helps.
If nothing else, they're pretty clearly gonna be in the wrong while my bike, lit up like a Christmas tree, sits in the intersection.
4) a propane tank powered air horn.
5) modify a rear luggage rack. Make it wider on top. Make a folding top-and-centre basket.
6) adjust the existing side-folding baskets to detach easily on L-bracket slots.
The standard road-bike kit is a huge pain in the ass with the 'fatty' mountain bike rack.
The attachement points have been jamming the racks when I try to close them.
7) use some PVC pipe with a slot to mount a standard bike light on the rear of the luggage rack.
This would be useful for many bikes.

None of these projects are anywhere near 100 bux.
I'm pretty much broke, so that's it this year.

Even the Mark I seat will wait.
1) rucksack for backrest
2) dual thudbuster suspended seat

D: I obviously do not plan to cross the country on my Cruzbike. It weighs 60 pounds with my cheap frame.
But it is nice to cruise the local countryside on.

use external frame rucksack as 'bent bike seat back

D: pic of a vintage 80s Kelty rucksack.
Various other external tube frame ones are available.

I propose using the rucksack as a modular seat back.
Just have 2 posts the bottom of the tubes mount on.
The tube base would need to be modified slightly.

When you get up from your bike, the seat back goes with it.
This means anybody who steals your bike could not in fact ride it away.

This kills 2 birds with one stone.
Why have a seat back AND a rucksack for road trips?
I will not be able to afford to build the Mark I this year.
I might submit the design to this year's everybody-bike contest.
But this is one way to keep the weight down.
I am still intrigued by the challenge of matching the weight of a Flevobike GreenMachine.

Finding a toothed industrial belt of the correct length to replace a chain is proving difficult.
A one-size-fits-all 'bent bike solution would involve a chain arrangement involving a variable triangular layout.
That way, the single belt would always be the correct length.
See an earlier blog on that.

The Mark I, sans under-seat-suspension that looks like a pair of thudbusters, should be relatively light.
However, I have no interest in riding a bike without suspension.
I'd be tempted to have a 26" up front- 24" minimum.
And a 28-29" at the rear.
This would reduce impact when all that weight from camping gear is on the rear tire.
A seat and pedal boom that can extend forward would keep the weight distribution 40% forward/ 60% rear.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

keep your dog on a leash. or else reinforced U-lock.

Bitch about unleashed dogs.

I have had a number of experiences with unleashed dogs.
1) high school. I was biking to a friend's place to go swimming.
Somebody's big-dog puppy was loose.
It chased me.
I didn't want to kick a puppy.
So it managed to get in front of my front tire.
I crashed my bike and my bike and I both got mangled.

2) biking to work outside town, a pit bull frothing at the mouth chased me down.
My boss and I had little chitchat with the owner. My boss had already negotiated with that dog, with a shotgun loaded with rock salt.
Just remember 2 words. Dark chocolate.

3) I had some moron's family pet dog try to savage my leg on the Iron Horse Trail.
I provoke all the same instincts in a dog as a running deer or antelope while on a bike.
Its teeth skittered across my jeans.
I now carry a U-lock with cast-iron T-joints reinforced on the joints. Makes it hard to steal the bike. Other uses too.
The big square iron end cap is minimaxed for dogs and sheet metal.
And I have NO sense of humour about being bit.
If you are too stupid to keep your dog leashed, well, it looks like you'll soon be in the market for a new puppy.
It only takes one swing.
I'm not extending the benefit of the doubt to a dog that is running me down, next time. I cannot afford to.
If the dog pulls my face off, your heartfelt apology and obvious idiocy is no consolation to me.
It's too bad that I am not legally allowed to express my displeasure with the owner, who is at fault - the dog isn't to blame.
How to:

Get 3/4" cast-iron T-joints.
I don't like welding, since the heat tends to damage the lock mechansim.
I read something about some quasi-gel epoxy.
Grinding out the threading is a serious bitch.
It is tedious with a hand drill and grinder.
Notice the threaded insert in the T-joints.

This layout makes breaking the lock hard. The liquid nitrogen- to - joint trick does not work well.
I lost my key once, though, and proved I can cut thru such a lock in 2 minutes with a hack saw.
I imagine it would take very little time with a grinder.

The main problem with this beast of a lock is carrying it.
The mod won't allow it to mount in the kit that comes with the lock.

I am not scared animals with this lock.

Keep in mind that recumbent bike puts the rider face-to-muzzle with a large dog.
And is not a good position to kick from.
Plus the bike is too low to hide behind.

Just keep in mind that a car still wins, being a ton of steel.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

hallow'een costume. tron outfit- and lightcycle?

Lotsa folks made the old Tron outfits.
Reflective or electroluminescent tape or wire. And so on. Nice.
But the LIGHTCYCLE is what made Tron so cool.

I have pondered how to make one.
1) recumbent frame
2) pedal crank thru front wheel
3) fiberglass body.

D: Unfortunately, such an arrangement seems to preclude decent gearing.
Other than one reference to a unicycle Schlumph drive, nada.

I suppose a hideously complex arrangement could involve.
1) dual matching bottom brackets on each side of the front tire,
2) a chain running to a gear set
3) which in turn attaches on both sides at the front tire axle.
My head hurts...

Since this is just a costume prop, I say just have a penny-and-farthing-esque single gear.
This is gonna CRAWL along while you spin out on cadence.
But it moves.
I think I'd need spandex slits to put my feet down.
Visibility will seriously be terrible.
I think I'd need additional sideways vision slits.
Or I'd be scared just about anywhere.

I don't think anybody has made one, and the new Tron movie is coming out soon.
Nice way to work at the bar this year... I often dress up for Hallow'een.

Monday, March 1, 2010

thoughts. cruzbike rucksack mount

I COULD just drill a hole in the seat post, to keep a backpack mount from pivot-ing sideways.
However, I wish to minimize invasive and destructive mods.
The post will be flush with the top lip of the seat back.
In fact, I may need to trim the seat back - notch it.
Well, the seat back has a complex curve that could be used to brace the pack mount post.
We don't need to imitate the ogive of the seat back.
All we need is cross bar the width of the seat back.
With two prongs that nestle inside either side of the seat lip on left and right.
This should brace the sack/pack mount.

So far, I have a series of 3 tubes that nestle together to work around existing bike architecture.
The seat post has a knurled end that makes the design trickier.
In order, from the bottom:
1) a pipe inside the full width of the seat tube
2) a pipe recessed to fit thru the knurled seat tube end
3) once above the top of the seat post, we can expand back to whatever diameter suits us.
Or just leave the narrow tube- probably more elegant.

The easiest telescoping mount arrangement would be a series of holes with a bolt across, or pin.
But switching back to a standard seat tube width would allow us to use a spare removable seat post lever.
Hmm. We need an adjustable clamp for the seat-brace-stabilizer crossbar, unless we plan to leave the post at one height.
A clamp of some variety seems appropriate.
The telescoping tube is still useful to compact the unit when not in use.
I don't really want it visible when not in use, so I'd like it to drop down behind the seat.
I'd LIKE the 'shoulder/arm hooks' for the sack/pack to fold down when not in use.
But that is pretty fancy.
I suppose the clunktek version would be welding on a flange with a drilled hole in it at the top of the central pack mount tube.
Then we use a bolt or pin to adjust the 'shoulder hook' units on a pivot.
Hmm. Running a strap across would secure the sack/pack into place.

Obviously we wish to keep the centre of balance down. A properly packed rucksack will do this.
There is the issue that we have a front-wheel-drive bike with even more weight over the rear tire.

The FWD inherently suffers from this flaw in a recumbent layout.
This flaw would not exist in a RWD design.

I suppose this favours a seat-forward design for FWD, with a front boom as extending forward as possible.
Looking at a Cruzbike layout, this would require some modification.

Aside: on a standard bike layout, I always thought an additional strut to form an trailer hitch' behind the rear wheel made sense.
Then instead of this huge off-centre trailer arm we would have instead a short and simple one.
This design would have great utility.

The benefit of such a design on the front wheel would be to act as a bumper in the event of an impact.
A soft aluminum tube could be designed with a curve in it. This way, it would deform and absorb energy in an impact.
It could work out cheaper than allowing the front wheel to take the impact.

The front tire, with a boom extension would allow a Cruzbike rider to load payload- ballast - low and in front of both the front tire as well as pedals. However I suspect this arrangement would result in erratic steering.
In this case, the combination of FWD and Cruzbike-front-boom design is not useful.
A standard SWB layout, however, would allow some tweaks to make this design work.
It would likely involve a triangular (or sturdy single tube) extension from around the pedals going downwards.
This could then take some sort of standard luggage mount.
For example, say, a sideways-facing pannier or a luggage rack.
Again, this is only of use to address traction in a FWD layout.

A bike with a seat and boom that can both move forward in SWB layout would allow one to shift the rider's Centre of Balance (CoB) forward to offset the additional weight of a rucksack at the rear.
I think most SWB aim for a weight distribution of 40% forward/ 60 rear.

D: a power-assist FWD non-boom 'bent bike would work well.
Strap the battery pack low and front on the extension I describe.
You can can use a triangular 2-tube design too. A chopped up rear wheel setup could work bolted onto the front wheel.
The low-and-front battery adds ballast to the front wheel for traction purposes. At the same time, the electric motor on the REAR tire distributes the torque on tires, resulting in 2-wheel drive. Both help prevent the front wheel from skipping on gravel on an incline. Dual suspension helps to keep the tires in contact with bumpy ground.
I expect my seat-suspension Mark I approach will NOT accomplish the latter as well.
The mass and momentum of the frame itself will result in 'catching air'. Still, the simple frame geometry and elegant seat-rider-suspension system does keep the mass of the rider from having this result. It is still much superior to no suspension.
It may also result in a cheaper overall cost, with a simple frame geometry sans suspension.
I suppose the design could be supplemented with tire-hub elastomer suspension.
Also, for the purpose of a fairing, the latter is more desirable. I don't want road vibration to induce turbulence, thereby delaminating the air flow in contact with the fairing.
An alternative approach I am considering involves elastomer-vibe-dampening mounts where the fairing contacts the frame.

The giant motors in the penthouse of the big buildings I work in use an array of giant springs to keep the motors suspended. Little vibration reaches the building frame.

I reiterate my aesthetic concern about the Cruzbike Conversion Kit- as well as their other designs.
The narrow steel tubes slapped onto a fat aluminum mountain bike frame looks out of place.
The kit would look right at home on a narrow steel tube diamond frame.
Though we'd need a lower top tube for the seat.

A kit made for a mountain bike ought to have the visual theme of the bike frame tubing.

Just to test, Maybe I'lll slap together 2 old alum. MTB frames. This would test for how light a bike can be.
It would also show how a bike can be visually more pleasing.

The Conversion Kit ought to be wide-diameter tubing, even if it remains steel.
The floppy front end suggests that every effort should be made to keep the weight of the kit down.
I certainly noticed a difference when I acquired aluminum pedal cranks!

Since I don't have kids, I tend not to think of them regarding bike design.
But the vicinity of the rucksack mount could as easily accommodate a children's seat.
This would allow them better sightlines, with something to look at other than an adult's back.
D: the elevated rear kid seat on an upright would be VERY unstable.
D: in low position, rear, on upright. The CoB is low but again, the kid looks at the adult's back.
The cargo bike layout is sooo handy but soo rare.
I wonder if anybody has designed a modular standard/cargo bike dual layout.
Just pull off the rear and swap out.
Even more fun would be telescopiing frame struts.
It recesses and nestles forward to be a 'standard bike'.
Just pull coupla pins- or use clamps - and pull out to telescope into carbo bike position.
Alotta overdesign - and mass- to do so though...

D: to avoid stray straps and feet in the rear tire, just building the bike from the get-go with a rear mount for luggage makes sense. We can mount a find wire guard around the rear tire.

Using mounting points for panniers, we can easily modify standard commercial folding luggage racks to hook on in the same fashion.
The only design that makes sense for permanently (standard commercial) affixed folding racks would involve a recessed edge.
The folded rack becomes the base of a higher mounted pannier. This would be a pretty heavy arrangement, though.
I remain intrigued by the idea of a standard-size folding luggage rack that mounts on an overly-wide pannier mount.
Hmm, a few months later and the design is pretty much complete in my head.
Keep in mind that I write stories and compose music as I drift between wakefulness and dream.
My subconscious is much more clever than my conscious, LOL!

In retrospect, I should get a mountain bike frame with 29" tires.
If I see a Y-frame of this variety, then I'll likely go to the effort of pulling the bent bike kit off the youth 24" tire frame.
I suspect I'm too heavy for the shocks also.
The 24" tires with standard gears would spin out around 25kph.
I cheaped out and bought a new bottom gear. That eked out a few KPHs.
The bigger improvement was prohibitively expensive- a new chainring.
It would have had me spinning out at 30kph.
But I CRUISE at 30kph.
Even a 26" tire would have led to the same problem.
Thus my desire to switch to a 29er frame.
I am checking in at Recycle Cycles, a used bike shop that operates as part of the Kitchener Work Centre.
Those guys have been very helpful!
I doubt they'll have something as particular as a 29er alum. frame y-suspension bike.
But hope springs eternal.

Since the Mark I design is simply NOT in the budget this year, I need to fiddle with the kit I have.

Friday, February 5, 2010

details for a seat post Cruzbike rucksack mount

Huh, I cannot find a decent pic.

OK, so the adjustable seat post on a bike is a pretty complex geometry.
Wide at the base, in contact with a bike frame.
Narrow for a stretch at the top portion.
Knurled inwards at the very top.
To insert a backpack/rucksack mount would require 3 widths then.
It need to be wider at the base to not slip out.

The mount would still want to pivot sideways.
I'd almost consider tacking a square tube onto the base.
But this would then require a different seat-rear-mount part.
It gets complicated in a hurry.

Also, I don't think the pipe will clear the seat back. I'd hafta chop a notch out of the top of the seat back.

Then there is the issue of clipping the back of the rider's head.
It might make sense to
1) make a headrest attachment,
2) recess the pack mount rearward with a zigzag in the tube.

Then we still need to address a telescoping tube to adjust for a rucksack!
A 2 part fold-out arm might be better.
1) the first part on each side swings up, and the two halves clip together.
2) and additional hinge point then open to simulate shoulders to hood a backpack or rucksack on to.

Rucksacks are packed for hiking. That means the heavy stuff at the bottom.
They will not present much air resistance if mostly behind the rider.
This is unlike panniers on the front and rear tires, for example.

Also, I like a human not bike centric storage system.
I have NEVER liked panniers for this reason. They are not easy to carry.
I want a bike I can use to get to a nice location -and then I go hiking.
That means I take my storage with me. Or it gets stolen.
That means ... a backpack. Or a rucksack.

A recumbant seat back precludes simply wearing a backpack.

I suspect a seat design could be built that would attach the rucksack directly.
This might ultimately be the superior layout.
It is far to invasive for me to attempt now though.
I'd just ruin my seat!

I think I need to drill a hole thru my seat tube. Use a pin or bolt to keep it from rotating.
Accept that my prototype will not telescope or have all those hinges.
It just needs 2 settings:
1) short backpack, completely behind the seat,
2) tall rucksack, behind the rider's head.

Obviously this layout allow a decent partial fairing.
Which is exactly what I had in mind!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

trussed carbon fiber wound frame - omg hi tek

Engineers used elements of architecture and geometry to create a strong but lightweight triangle-based isotruss bicycle frame. To make a road bike or mountain bike, the isotruss is first wound with carbon fiber using a sheet that holds the tension constant. The engineers then hand-wind Kevlar strands over the isotruss. The process creates a bike with a large strength-to-weight ratio.

D: incredible.

I had already raided the patent site for some tricks. But THIS. OMG.

Just wow.

I like the carbon fiber that is already impregnated with resin.
Toss in big oven and voila.
Takes a big oven...