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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2010 :  18:30:27  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In the pic you can see the changes that I am preparing to do to the Blue Sky Design velomobile kit. It arrived on Wednesday, when I was out of town. They did a GREAT job of packing and shipping the beastie.

There are quite a few large bubbles between the hand laid fiberglass in the tight areas. Most of those are in areas where I will be removing a section of the cockpit to make it more suitable for my commuting needs, building up a reinforcing flange again. The gel-coat is a good quality job. Most folks that would use this fairing in its standard configuration probably wouldn't have issues with the bubbles due to the gel-coat's thickness and strength of the fiberglass in the structural edge.

This fairing is a great value for making your own affordable velomobile. It will be a snap to make the changes that I want... MUCH easier and faster than starting to sculpt and mold from the beginning.

I'll be done with the mods in just a few weeks, and be commuting. I will probably paint it with a US flag theme.

The Flevo velomobile roof that I got from Bluevelo is mighty bitchin'. This is a high quality unit.

Jeff in Tucson


LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2010 :  14:57:48  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here is the evidence of this weekend's work!

I am always bamboozled by velomobile products that are made for the skinny guys... that's not me. Even if I was at my proper weight, my shoulders are still 23" wide. =)

I widened the upper part of the fairing and have a temporary jig in place to keep it there during the build. The area behind the rider's head has been removed so that it can be located farther rearward. "Why is it green in the photo? I am making a disposable mold from it so that I can make 2 copies. I will use those aero bumps to create the minimal height clearance that I need for my knees. The upper/rearward part of the top fairing that is front of the riders face will be extended rearward to come just past the knees and offer further protection from the sun. The molded pieces will be just the right size for knees to pass through. Bwa-haaaah!

The bottom section of the fairing has its basic fit and will be dialed in tomorrow with the addition of mounts. It will actually sit about 1 1/4" higher than what you see in the photo.

'Time to take a break. More update photos tomorrow.

Jeff in Tucson


Edited by - LunaticFringe on 11/07/2010 19:43:28
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2010 :  21:00:43  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It took a bit to dial in the belly pan to best allow the turning of the front wheels. With the current cuts, the Catrike 700 now has full capability of its standard turning radius. This velomobile will turn sharply!

I put back in some sections to close the bottom better. You can measure, measure, measure, but when you finish dialing in it is good to have pieces to put back. =)

The opening for the rear wheel in a bit wider than the 700 wheel for a reason. The wheel flexes quite a bit in turns, up to 1" in hard turns in either direction. I needed to accommodate that in the build. No, there isn't anything wrong with the build... I weigh more than I am supposed to...

In the background you can see the disposable mold for the head section.

More later, Jeff in Tucson.

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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2010 :  21:03:26  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I meant "No, there isn't anything wrong with the *wheel* build... I weigh more than I am supposed to... "

Jeff
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2010 :  18:37:53  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Small amount of sanding today. 'Need sunlight to dial it in. Tomorrow morning will do. Test of aluminized paint proves excellent bond. Will prime prior to full paint.

During the summer, the dark asphalt pavement can reach 150 degrees F. The aluminized paint will reflect much of this heat and add to the visibility of the velomobile. This will only be applied to the lower belly pan and be visible from afar at the sides as a flashy grey/silver color. The ABS surface that I am sanding is easy to deal with. The body work was almost effortless. Sanding improves the surface and removes a film of mold release.

More tomorrow!

Jeff in Tucson

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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2010 :  15:29:04  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The belly pan of the fairing is now painted with a thick layer of sandable, hi-build catalyzed primer. After completing the velo, I'll sand it and paint it with the aluminized paint. Back to work on connecting the mounts between the trike frame and the belly pan (was fast-curing in the sun during lunch).

Jeff in Tucson
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2010 :  18:39:26  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Pics showing molded knee clearance bumps, some of the belly pan mounts, etc. More mounts and test ride with the belly pan tomorrow.

Jeff in Tucson




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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2010 :  14:42:03  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It is critical that the belly pan have no major flex since it is what will support the upper section. When I made the wheel cut-outs I lost some front-to-back rigidity. With the mounts and extra support added it will be rock solid! I have foam, honeycomb and a pipe in place, ready to fiberglass with a thin layer. I'm getting ready to do that now. I might be able to do the feet cutouts after that and do the test ride today. If not, tomorrow will see that accomplished.

I need the belly pan to be rigidized and mounted to the frame prior to trimming off the outer flange.

I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll be able to begin the mounting of the upper section of fairing, then detail the cockpit and rear end through next week. Wahoooooo!

This is almost too easy.

Jeff in Tucson


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warren
human power expert

4795 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2010 :  18:15:08  Show Profile  Visit warren's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey Jeff, you are making good progress!
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2010 :  15:58:22  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Warren!

The mounts are now fiberglassed over and the holes for the feet are cut into the bottom. I'm going to wait about an hour to gain a touch more strength in some fresh 'glass, then test it in the parking lot... wahoo!

I'll post a pic of the beastie in the parking lot later.

Jeff in Tucson
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2010 :  16:15:28  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The trike simply lifts upward out of the mounts. A few hose clamps connect the mounts to the frame of the Catrike 700. The mounts will get a clean up during the painting process, but that's a way off. For now, I'm REALLY happy with the rigidity of the belly pan. This is going to be an excellent platform to support the rest of the fairing.

Rock solid, baby... OH YEAH!!!

Jeff in Tucson


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teubner
recumbent guru

783 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2010 :  17:45:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Feet holes? You need to recount the number ow wheels that you have. 8-)
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2010 :  17:51:38  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hah! I wish that I didn't need them, but there is a minor heel interference with the fairing and I need reverse gear quite a lot on mhy commuting route. There are some mighty bitchin' bike routes that run along roads here and they cross at intersections a few times. It's fairly easy to ride up to the crosswalk signal button, but I need to reverse back to the street/crosswalk ramp to motor onward when the light goes in my favor.

The rear foot openings extend rearward about 8" farther than I need for heel interference so that I can easily stand and exit. I could make the fairing itself strong enough to take my weight, but then I'd be carrying the extra bulk. It's a trade-off... extra heavy duty footing to stand on (weight) or minimal aero benefit. I'm already used to riding the 700 that it is based upon and have an easier time of sitting up/down when my feet are on the pavement as close to the seat as possible. Imagine a great Orca whale performing this maneuver...




Jeff in Tucson.
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2010 :  20:36:20  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It lives!!!

I test rode it in the dark in the parking lot outside of my factory. it was rock solid. Very stable. No wobble. No vibration. No rattles.

Yesssssss!

I am uploading a bad video to Youtube in a few minutes for those of you that are COMPLETELY BORED OUT OF YOUR MINDS.

Man, this is a fun project. =)

Jeff in Tucson
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2010 :  20:57:06  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Video of belly pan mounted on Catrike 700, tested in dark parking lot.

Low video quality; about 1/2 minute in length.

This velo build is being a lot of fun!

Jeff in Tucson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CriGz-E_VY4
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2010 :  08:01:25  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have no suspension, of course, since this is based upon the use of a Catrike 700.

An improvement in that area has been made indirectly, though. I use the Schwalbe Marathon tires with the thick foam under the tread. These things are awesome. I have never had a flat with them and they REALLY smooth out the little bumps.

I used to think that I'd miss having an active suspension, but our city recently repaved some major streets and bike lanes making them smooth as glass again... lucky me!

Jeff in Tucson
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2010 :  09:44:35  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The belly pan is so rigid that I can put my foot on the nose and bounce the trike up and down at the rear without seeing deflection.

Perhaps one of the workers at the resin factory accidentally dropped a bottle of Viagra into the batch that was sent down to Tucson from Phoenix...



Jeff in Tucson

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Velocity Velos
Starting Member

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2010 :  16:10:23  Show Profile  Visit Velocity Velos's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Looking good! I see that you mounted your trike much further back on the belly pan than I am doing. With all that room in the front, you can have the trunk in the nose like a Volkswagon.

Taylor Wilhour

Velocity Velos
www.velocityvelos.com
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2010 :  16:42:28  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hah! That's exactly right. When the upper hatch opens, there will be access to the storage that will be up front. I figure that I might be able to fit 3-5 plastic bags of groceries up there. There will also be the storage that is now under the seat (about 1 huge paper bag of groceries) and storage at the sides/rear of the seat (1/2 to 1 plastic bag of groceries per side).

I sat on the trike with the upper fairing lowered onto me today. That was so cool. I wanted to take off for a ride.

Today, I trim off the outer flange of the belly pan and build the inner flange that will hold the upper fairing in place. Tomorrow, I will take a stab at mounting the upper fairing to the new inner flange... we'll see if I have time for that (business to run).

More pics Mon or Tues.

Onward.

Jeff in Tucson
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2010 :  18:33:57  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
OK, I'm done for tonight. I cut the flange off of the belly pan and leveled the edge a tiny bit. Easy.

No pics too tired.

It is surprising how much more narrow the fairing is visually without that huge exterior flange. I've got the front wheels lined up just right. Left to right centered. Front to back, lined up with the max width of the fairing.

It's weird to rip it around in the parking lot and feel no air down low and lots of air whooshing around up top. Weird.

Onward.

Jeff in Tucson
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teubner
recumbent guru

783 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2010 :  20:08:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had quite a few miles on the Orange Varna delta trike with just the bottom tub, and it was as fast as my relativley high bottom bracket SWB.
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2010 :  17:13:06  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've got a secret weapon that you'll see in a few weeks. It is a gift from the Formica Corporation...

Hint... I need to get further along in the development of the rear tail section first.



Jeff in Tucson
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2010 :  14:59:39  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I cut the top bulge (area over the feet) and flange off of the top section of fairing to prep it for attachment to the belly pan... holy cow! That thing is REALLY flexible without its flange and cap!!

It laid on the floor on its side like a giant white lasagna noodle. I was careful to not stress the nose... didn't want to fold it, creating extra body work to do.

It will be plenty strong after mounting to the belly pan and building the cockpit area back up... it's just a freaky feeling to chop up a $1,000 piece of fiberglass to use in a different way.

Jeff in Tucson
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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2010 :  18:53:58  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
One pic shows the wheel cutouts in the upper fairing. Eventually, there will be some work on the edge/lip of the fender openings to strengthen. The openings will probably be opened up a bit larger in diameter to accommodate independent fenders that are coming in from Catrike tomorrow.

The pic of the belly pan shows the inner flange that is now in place. It appears along the upper edge of the belly pan as a darker area. The fiberglass has a mold release agent and green PVA underneath it so that it will release easily after bonding it to the upper fairing section. The flange aligns with the edge of the belly pan and, where near the black foam reinforcements, aligns with the foam to help support the upper section in correct position during positioning.

Tomorrow, I will lower the upper fairing section onto the bell pan, secure it to the belly pan's edge a little at a time using quick set CA adhesive, then bond the upper section to the new flange using fiberglass. The flange will then be a permanent part of the upper section, releasing from the belly pan below, when I'm ready. In use, the fairings will be held together with fasteners that pass through the flange and the belly pan.

Jeff in Tucson



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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2010 :  19:43:21  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
OK, I couldn't stand it... the fresh flange fiberglass had strengthened up enough to place the upper fairing on it temporarily for a look-see.

Sure, it looks a little bit funky right now... but we're in a transitional stage! Bwah-haaaaaah!

The tail will be detailed out, the fairing will be widened in the pilot shoulder area, hatch work and knee bumps will be added rearward, etc. There might even be some nose work... we'll see. I might round the area where upper and lower fairings meet, rather than the 'pointy' effect of where they come together. We'll see how it develops.

It was fun to take a look at the basic structure, though. This is certainly going fairly quickly compared to a 'from scratch' build.

Jeff in Tucson

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LunaticFringe
recumbent enthusiast

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2010 :  17:57:33  Show Profile  Visit LunaticFringe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Not much work done on the velo today. Catrike fenders came in... fit was perfect.

It is so nice to be able to use a $130 fender kit (all 3 wheels total) rather than build an enclosed wheel well. I live in Arizona where it almost never gets below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, even at night in winter, so I don't need this vehicle to be fully enclosed. It almost never rains either, but when it does, it's crazy monsoon activity.

So, I have fenders now.

More tomorrow.

Jeff in Tucson

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