Friday, 1 March 2013

Scalable Velo Design

Scalable design? Well at the moment it is a case of "one size fits all" or in the case of the Quest velomobile two sizes fit all. Using a design that is scaleable to the size of rider has two advantanges...
  1. Sized to fit the rider, a snug fit for the rider in the fairing. Makes the velomobile size appropriate for the rider - why pedal more mass than needed?
  2. Smaller - tighter fit fairing allows smaller frontal area  making velomobile more aerodynamic - again size appropriate to the rider.

Current velomobile practice is monocoque hard fairing designs, while very well built and great looking vehicles they have a number of compromises to allow to suit to a wide range of riders. My design will be made from Coroplast/coreflute to allow a 'custom fit' using a master template which will be able to be scaled to fit different riders.I have already got the base shape finalised, this shape was arrived at after two prototypes were built and lessons learn't from these ...
This velomobile was the second of the two I have built. The shape was sleeker and faster than the first. The chassis had rear suspension but nothing on the front wheels. All up weight was 20.5kg. Unfortunately this velo was rolled at 50 km/hr at a local soapbox trolley derby, the rider walked away with only a small scratch on his forehead. A  great testament to the toughness of coroplast/corflute. The body was knackered but the chassis was fine with the flexible body being able absorb a lot of the energy of the crash. Even so with a bit of Duct Tape and zip ties it finished the day with the second fastest time down the hill. (no pedalling).

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