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WillStewart
Starting Member

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2011 :  06:24:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Has anyone here built their own bodysock?

What were the challenging points, lessons learned, things you'd do differently?

I'm preparing to begin design for one on a Rans Rocket with an Mueller XT front fairing, so any suggestions would be helpful.

teubner
recumbent guru

785 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2011 :  07:24:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I built a poor-man's Gold Rush Replica out of my EZ-1 15 years ago. Body sock was good for 2.4 mph, records reveal.
1. Wrapped the Lycra all the way around the front of the windscreen, and hooked it to the bottom of the windscreen. No Velcro to mess with. Very easy on-off.
2. Zipper going back from the windscreen toward my head for getting in-out.
3. Speedo mounted just back of the windscreen so that I could stick it through a hole in the Lycra.
4. Rear supports made from PVC tubing (make a wood mold and cycle it in the oven to get trailing curves).
5. Rear mast to the rear of the back tire for maximum enclosure.
6. Sewing Lycra is a 2-person operaton. One person holds it stretched, and the other runs the sewing machine.
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WillStewart
Starting Member

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2011 :  09:24:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
These are all very helpful hints. Do you have any pictures? What did you fasten the Lycra with?
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teubner
recumbent guru

785 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2011 :  10:18:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have pictures, but they are on slides from back then. I will try to locate and take digital pictures.
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Richard Myers
recumbent enthusiast

USA
195 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2011 :  13:39:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You need to know how to sow Lycra and practice with Lycra from a fabric store like Joanne's but you need heavy Lycra and good metal zippers to make a good body sock . It tales a lot of pinning and fitting to build a tight fitting sock like my Jester has. Take a look at my pictures (the link under my name )and you can get an idea what I am talking bout.
Check out www.spandexworld.com
Richard Myers
Ohio
http://tinyurl.com/3445gr

Edited by - Richard Myers on 02/27/2011 13:49:46
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WillStewart
Starting Member

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2011 :  14:40:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Richard, when you say pinning and fitting, you are stretching the fabric across the frame, pinning it down, and making marks were you are going to cut/stitch? Any tricks you can share?

Teubner, thanks, that will be helpful.
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Richard Myers
recumbent enthusiast

USA
195 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2011 :  17:41:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First question Do you know how to sew Spandex / Lycra ? Can you install long zippers ? If the answer is NO then you need to find some one that can. I started sewing when I was very young and I had my sister help me get started with the curve of the nose. I used a lot of pinning and clips to stretch and form the Lycra. Make sure you have a lot of extra material as you can cut the excess of after final sewing. I sowed a practice tail box and separate nose cone out of dress material Spandex before I tackled the full fairing. The lighter weight Spandex forms and sews easier then the heavy Lycra I bought over the internet. Big long zippers are tricky to install as you need more slack then you think. The long zippers came from a boat builders supply and were one long piece that I cut and installed the zipper hardware. The fairing I built is much more difficult then a body sock that you would sow for a Tour Easy. The steel frame on my jester is 3/16 steel rod and is stronger and almost as light as aluminum. If you looked at my trike fairing the red striped is a plastic table cloth over a steel frame, the green one uses a steel / bamboo, poster board construction with a plastic table cloth glued over the poster board.
Hope this helps.

Richard Myers
Ohio
http://tinyurl.com/3445gr
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Jeff Wills
human power supergeek

USA
1203 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2011 :  20:20:40  Show Profile  Visit Jeff Wills's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The OHPV gang has a couple of seamstresses that sew up body socks often. This helps because our wet weather takes its toll on Lycra fabric- those who have them wear them out in a couple years.

It helps that we've got Terracycle nearby- their tailsock frame supports a bodysock as well, and they recently took over WindWrap so we have the basics right here in town. There have been a few homebrew body socks at our races, but Tweety's Bacchetta Aero Basso is pretty similar to your Rocket, so these pictures will help you through the process:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bacchetta_aero/sets/72157603586385202/





__________________
Jeff Wills
All my bikes:
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/Gallery/index.html

Edited by - Jeff Wills on 02/27/2011 20:21:02
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WillStewart
Starting Member

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2011 :  04:19:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very good tips, hints, and photo tutorial on the whole process from Richard, Jeff, and teubner. Thanks! It does appear to be more involved than I originally estimated, so with the hot summer not too far off in the distance, I may continue with my XT fairing and and making a mount for the tailsock, and give the fuller body sock careful consideration and planning for Fall rollout.

Btw, the Free Form Fashions email address no longer seems to be working. Are they still in business? http://bikeroute.com/FreeFormFashions/index.php
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Richard Myers
recumbent enthusiast

USA
195 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2011 :  08:26:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Glad to help, 3 more things. I put the Spandex on inside out so I could mark and pin and sew it then reversed it. This leaves all the seams on the inside. I also used bios tape on the edges and flat tape where I wanted to affix snaps. I used fabric glue to tack the tapes and some places I used the glue instead of sewing it. I also use Chloroplast on the bottom of my Jester and used snapped to fasten the Spandex fairing to it. If I had used Spandex the chain would tear it up.
You can learn a lot by building a fabric tail box first.

Richard Myers
Ohio
http://tinyurl.com/3445gr
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teubner
recumbent guru

785 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2011 :  17:04:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Getting digital pictures of spandex faired EZ-1 from slides. Off-topic.
1. Locate slides in big-box-o-slides: 3 hours.
2. See that slides are from Seattle Film Works, who also sent a digital version in sfw format.
3. Achieve years long goal of converting hundreds of sfw files to jpg files: 4 hours
4. Realize that desired slides pre-date SFW sending digital versions.
5. Set up slide projector and camera on tripod in basement. 0.5 hours
6. Realize that camera batteries are dead and plug in external power.
7. Plug in slide prjector and have basement go black.
8. Unplug slide projector and go reset circuit breaker.
9. Examine slide projector cord and see that insulation has degraded and cracked off near projector.
10. Make plan to repair slide projector in the future.
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Preston
Starting Member

USA
32 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2011 :  17:20:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Teubner-

Sounds like a lot of electronic/electrical problem considering what you do for a living

Preston Seu
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Jeff Wills
human power supergeek

USA
1203 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2011 :  17:37:38  Show Profile  Visit Jeff Wills's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by WillStewart

Very good tips, hints, and photo tutorial on the whole process from Richard, Jeff, and teubner. Thanks! It does appear to be more involved than I originally estimated, so with the hot summer not too far off in the distance, I may continue with my XT fairing and and making a mount for the tailsock, and give the fuller body sock careful consideration and planning for Fall rollout.




Actually, a couple of the 'socked riders around here use them year 'round. Being under a sock and in the shade keeps the hot sun off your skin and there's still some air circulation to cool you down. If that's not enough, a spritz of water on the inside of the fabric will cool the air under the fairing quite effectively.

FWIW: Edna Van Gundy (below) gave me this tip. She's used it on a couple rides in the Eastern Oregon desert, when it's 105 degrees in the shade. She reported that it was so effective that she had to stop and climb out from under the sock due to the chill.



__________________
Jeff Wills
All my bikes:
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/Gallery/index.html
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WillStewart
Starting Member

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2011 :  19:25:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Richard, thanks much for the additional hints - am discussing with the better half on the possibilities.

teubner - Wow, you really have gone all out, I should buy you several beers next time I'm in town.

Jeff, in this area, the heat is a very humid heat, and water based cooling techniques do not have much effect, nor does casual ventilation. You have a point about the sun, though. I will look around, however, for Southeastern bodysock adherents to see how they handle the summer.
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teubner
recumbent guru

785 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2011 :  06:55:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry for the long delay. Just took a while to get my ducks in a row.
Warren posted my pictures at
http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/teubner/Poor%20Man's%20GRR%2020110322.doc
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WillStewart
Starting Member

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2011 :  08:39:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many very good leads and lessons learned - thanks!

Does anyone have anything like a DIY helmet rear fairing? It seems the helmet/head turbulence is left up to relatively standard helmets in most of the socked solutions.

There are some specialty helmets for DF racers, though they are targeted for a leaning forward posture that is not relevant to bent riders.



I did see at least one recumbent helmet fairing, though it is a bit involved for my DIY project mindset;



Edited by - WillStewart on 05/24/2011 09:09:15
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Upright Mike
human power expert

USA
3404 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2011 :  16:55:31  Show Profile  Visit Upright Mike's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Will,
Some have tried to modify their helmets to make them more aero, but it has been pretty much decided that for HPRA or IHPVA races, such modifications are illegal, and the helmets couldn't be used for racing. Any modifications to a helmet, could conflict with how the manufacturer certifed the unmodified helmet. A lawyer would have a great day proving negligence on the part of the race organizers by allowing a person to get hurt by a modified helmet.
Perhaps the only acceptable thing that can be done to helmets is taping under the tail of some aero helmets. This makes them more aero, and I got that info right from someone whose been in the wind tunnel and has done HPV racing.
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WillStewart
Starting Member

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2011 :  04:06:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As tomorrow the temperature hits 95F with high humidity here, one bodysock consideration that keeps coming back to mind is air circulation, which Jeff Wills has already touched on above. I'd like to explore it a little more, as I've seen bodysocks where there are framing components that holds the lycra/spandex away from the cyclist (like Jeff's, Tweety's, etc), which presumably helps with air circulation. I've also seen bodysocks where the front fairing and Tailsok scaffold seemed to be the primary support and the lycra is in close contact with the sides of the cyclist.





Since I'm in a area (DC suburbs) with relatively high summer heat and humidity approximately 4 months out of the year, and I'm looking to commute 3-4 times per week (over 40 miles round trip with 500' of ascent in the last few miles on the return trip), what would be the recommendations be of those familiar with bodysocks in similar conditions? The answer seems obvious, but "the only source of knowledge is experience." -- Albert Einstien

Edited by - WillStewart on 05/29/2011 04:18:28
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WillStewart
Starting Member

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 06/03/2011 :  06:22:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ran across a bodysocked TE rider (exactly like the sock configuration above) on this morning's commute (approx 50F this morning), and he said that he doesn't use the sock when temperatures exceed 75F (higher when dry, lower when very humid), though bikes with it roughly 8 1/2 months a year (doing about 7000 miles a year for the last three years). He reverts to the front fairing only in summer.

This provides additional momentum to the type of design that Jeff Wills and Tweeter implemented, at least in my particular situation. One mitigation to hot weather riding would be to use only the Tailsok (and perhaps the XT fairing).

The "go the extra mile" challenge to me would be to come up with a design where I didn't have to reconfigure the scaffolding to go between the different fairings. Anyone else try this yet?
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Jeff Wills
human power supergeek

USA
1203 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2011 :  15:24:23  Show Profile  Visit Jeff Wills's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by WillStewart


The "go the extra mile" challenge to me would be to come up with a design where I didn't have to reconfigure the scaffolding to go between the different fairings. Anyone else try this yet?



I don't know exactly what you have in mind, but I have seen Edna and Dave (her husband) start with the sock completely closed, then unzip the top as the day warms up, then peel the top velcro for more ventilation, then detach the forward part of the sock and tuck it behind the seat to create a tailsock. That's one of the beauties of a bodysock: it can be reconfigured mid-ride with the correct zippers and velcro.


__________________
Jeff Wills
All my bikes:
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/Gallery/index.html
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Upright Mike
human power expert

USA
3404 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2011 :  02:46:06  Show Profile  Visit Upright Mike's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Rich Myers Banana flavored Jester! This is one of the coolest DIY bodysocks I've seen. Narrower and probably faster than an F40. He told me, the seat had to be tilted up a bit for him to see over the top. Him and Garrie worked on the fiberglass nose cone's shape.
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Upright Mike
human power expert

USA
3404 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2011 :  02:50:26  Show Profile  Visit Upright Mike's Homepage  Reply with Quote
More picts of Richard's creation....
http://s47.photobucket.com/albums/f152/uprightmike/Florida2010/












Edited by - Upright Mike on 06/05/2011 02:52:20
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WillStewart
Starting Member

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2011 :  05:07:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Myers

You need to know how to sow Lycra and practice with Lycra from a fabric store like Joanne's but you need heavy Lycra and good metal zippers to make a good body sock .



I've tried looking for heavy lycra, though see references to grades 20D, 30D, 40D, 70D without finding further information.

At one link, I found Spandura and Super Stretch Spandex, is this in line with what you were recommending?

http://www.seattlefabrics.com/stretch.html
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WillStewart
Starting Member

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2012 :  16:48:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm currently holding off on building a bodysock, as I'm biking to a commuter bus stop, putting the bike on the bus, taking the bike off the bus 24 miles later, and biking the last leg. Even with riding the bus, the full round trip bike distance is 44 miles. Taking the sock off each time I reach the bus stop and stowing it seems like so much wear and tear (and a bit of a hassle), so if I have a work location change, that will mean a new look at this.

Edited by - WillStewart on 02/06/2012 16:54:07
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alevand
human power supergeek

USA
1885 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2012 :  05:04:10  Show Profile  Visit alevand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I didn't know that Rich Meyers' banana bike was so ugly underneath. The blue foam must be crash padding.

C:
Tony Levand
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mhelander
recumbent enthusiast

Finland
344 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2012 :  05:07:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alevand

I didn't know that Rich Meyers' banana bike was so ugly underneath. The blue foam must be crash padding.


It'll also serve as fixture to keep fabric from leaning inward from gap between fixed front fairing and rider. You can see fabric bending inside because of vacuum inside fairing when in speed.

(Just tinkering...)

Cheers,
-Mika
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