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1/4 RC models for off-the-shelf parts

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runcyclexcski View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 June 2017 at 6:50pm
Been researching suspension, steering, drivetrains, etc for a few weeks now. Velomobiles seem to be in this uncanny valley of being not proper cars (with powers 1/50 or less than that of a car), but too complex to be bicycles. Since I am thinking of something that would be traffic- and weather worthy, I am leaning towards the car 'design points'. In the long run, I would like to leave space for an electric motor as well, just waiting for battery technology to catch up. In the mean time, the lighter and faster I can make it for human power, the better it will work as an EV as well.

So... I was looking at suspension parts for 'small cars' like ATVs, racing karts, etc. There is a big market for parts, for a very good price, in all kinds of quality materials. Still, those are way too heavy, as they are meant to handle 20+ HP and 600 lb in weight (400 lb being the rider...)-- an overkill for a velo. But I do not want to make my own miniature axles, hubs, etc, either. OK, there are some useful components on McMaster that look like scaled-down versions of drive-shafts, but they are still heavy-duty,

Then I've looked at specs of large RC toys (1/4 scale), and found that some of them weigh 40 lbs and are powered by 3+ HP motors. 3HPs is way more than a VM is expected to deliver. There are plenty of parts for those (strange) RC things, as the market is probably worth 10x the velo market :) . I never thought much of the RC field, particularly the monster truck stuff (sorry if I offended any RC enthusiasts). But, for once, I was ready to embrace them, as the RCers might be a good source of off-the shelf parts for velos, as long as parts are made of quality materials (steel, AL etc). What do you think?



Edited by runcyclexcski - 04 June 2017 at 6:51pm
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Yanto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yanto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2017 at 7:19am
Velomobile parts have been developed over 20 odd years, light mostly simple and cheap. I don't know what complexity you are referring to which makes them not a bicycle, but yes they aren't bicycles, velomobiles have 3 or 4 wheels for starters, and they most certainly are not cars.

Why don't you come and have a look at a velomobile and have a chat?
Ian, not so ex racer but still of dubious capability
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runcyclexcski View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote runcyclexcski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2017 at 11:55am
Actually, I am visiting the folks that make the Quest, so, it is on my schedule.

At 7000+ quid a piece, cheap is not the first word that comes to mind... :) I have ridden recumbent bikes and trikes, so, I am familiar with the tadpole design. I am a looking for something different, as I want the drivetrain to be sealed.
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Yanto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yanto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2017 at 12:06pm
I didn't say Velomobiles were cheap, I said the components are (the bespoke items), the cost (high) of velomobiles is due to being hand built in a relatively few numbers.

I would say this though, despite my Df being "expensive" there are still a lot of bicycles that cost as much, and I'm much faster in my Df than i ever could be on a bike, so £/performance given they win hands down for me.

I don't think I can help you though if you are going to Dronten, but as you are you might as well go round the corner and have a look at the Df as well and talk to Ymte.

Good luck and keep us posted on how you get on.

Ian
Ian, not so ex racer but still of dubious capability
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runcyclexcski View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote runcyclexcski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2017 at 4:11pm
>>>due to being hand built in a relatively few numbers

Ian -- yes, I agree that this is what drives the cost. So I am researching for low-tech methods to build v-mobiles, as enthusiasts and hobbyists have time on their hands, and since I am investing my time I might as well try smth different, so that people can learn from my mistakes.
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Yanto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yanto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2017 at 5:43pm
Ian, not so ex racer but still of dubious capability
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