Friday, 23 February 2018

Noise inside a velomobile

From my experience in riding velomobiles I have found one of the most irritating aspects to be the amount of noise (rumbling) when inside a moving velomobile. All this noise adds up to rider fatigue and makes the velomobile annoying to use when compared to a diamond frame bicycle.

Commercial fiberglass or carbon fibre monocoques are hollow tubes that echo like a drum with all the drivetrain and road on tyre noise as well as the suspension noise being transmitted to the rider.

Quest Velomobile Fiberglass Monocoque 

Solutions? I really like the foam shells of John Tetz the only issue with this construction method is the labour involved and the shell only provides limited crash worthiness. But it is lightweight and noise would be minimal due to the sound absorbing properties of the foam.

John Tetz Foamshell Velomobile
John Tetz Foamshell

Another great design is this Softshell concept velomobile has been made by Czech designer Martin Miklica. This approach would mitigate noise but if the fabric is too tight it may cause a drum effect.

Martin Miklica Softshell

Of course there are other solutions such as used in the car industry such as acoustic soundproofing, rubber mounted sub chassis etc. etc. but this approach always adds weight which is undesirable in a velomobile. Maybe even an approach of using all three of the above for one design could be a way of making riding a velomobile a quieter experience?

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