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Encourage DIY improvements

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atlas_shrugged View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 February 2020 at 11:22am
A BHPC member made a brilliant point about the recumbent bike world maturing and that members are able to buy off-the-shelf cycles.
 
What can be done to encourage DIY improvements - marginal gains - such as adding fairings etc. This would really bring back a spirit of innovation back to the club.
 
There are many members who already do this and it is always a humbling privilege to try out their latest creations at BHPC events.
 
What do we need to do to encourage more of this in the BHPC?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Woolly Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2020 at 2:36pm
Here are a few suggestions Brian:

Update and re-publish "So You Want to Buid an HPV?" with latest ideas in aero, suspension, new materials and ways of using them that don't require a CNC machine shop or autoclave.

Keep publishing new builds in Laidback Cyclist, highlighting what is different and the reasoning for the build rather than buying or modifying an existing item. Maybe even do modern reviews on some of the more interesting historic machines, how they work, methods of construction and why they are or are not competitive today. Timed comparisons would be interesting too if you had a suitable Stig.

You could consider a competition for members to build a new feature with the results published in LC and sharing plans to make it easier for others to replicate. A feature would be a lot simpler than a complete bike/trike and could be more accessible for DIYers. It could be retracting stabilisers, adjustable steering, improved chain control, even just a new bike stand? We'll leave all wheel steering for the fanatics eh? ;-)

The current race scoring system doesn't encourage going beyond a single fairing as that puts you into the unlimited class with Beano, Milan, Bream etc which could be seen to be out of peoples expertise, pocket, fitness levels or all three. An intermediate step would allow experimenting with aero without having to make a full fairing and if it goes well, maybe the full fairing will follow?

Sharing ideas and seeing what others have achieved is likely to inspire providing that the effort is not seen as requiring specialist equipment or thousands of hours of work. It is easy now to set your sights on a velomobile as the ultimate goal but they are very expensive and if you want a tandem version where do you buy that? There is so much potential for innovation outside of the commercial market and since we have pretty much an unlimited opportunity that isn't restricted by the UCI, why don't we make more of it? There are a lot of very clever people out there that could contribute to incremental improvements and that can be seen readily in some of the threads in this forum. Not everyone may be interested in building stuff but might have ideas. Getting those together through teamwork in person or across the forum can only help
Ross Low Racer 77 - beware of unexpected changes of direction
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote antonin_d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2020 at 5:40pm
I agree, it is one of the things I love about the HPV community - there are so many incredibly skilled and creative builders! It's really inspiring!

I wish I had the skills to give it a go too, but to be honest I am already pretty scared by many maintenance tasks on my off-the-shelf cycles. Changing the cassette and chain of my Quest felt like a crazy project already. The fact that I use it to go from A to B, with basically no fallback plan beyond my limited toolbox if something breaks down, does not encourage very experimental ideas… (I am pretty sure I will end up calling a car recovery company one day, and they will laugh!) Also, in trying to promote recumbent bikes to friends and family, I try to play down the need for mechanics skills to deal with these non-standard beasts, as it puts people off easily. That encourages me not to go overboard with customizations on my own bikes.
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Kim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2020 at 7:35pm
My impression is that this is a thing that the HPV community already does very well.  I'm reminded of the comment a friend made after spectating at the Worlds Championships two years ago - that it was amazing to see what were obviously extremely expensive commercially produced machines competing on almost an equal footing with ones that had obviously been cobbled together in someone's shed.

I reckon the main barriers to innovation are things that people are unlikely to be able to overcome with simple encouragement, such as lack of decent space to work or store tools and materials, and the time required to develop new skills.

Having overcome antonin_d's point about fallback options at around the time I first bought a recumbent (once you have two bikes, you can be a bit more confident about maintenance, as it won't leave you without transport), I'm generally willing to have a go at things, within the limitations of what can reasonably be achieved on the kitchen table of a rented house.  I managed to make a set of wheel covers last year, which seems like the sort of thing that's achievable by most people with access to a Stanley knife and a ruler.

(I also note that fairings tend to be quite awkward to store and transport.  Perhaps this is an aspect that's ripe for innovation?)


Edited by Kim - 13 February 2020 at 7:40pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote realnutter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2020 at 9:32pm
Hi all... I'm new here, with a self build (flevo-racer) under way, and a second self-designed recumbent in the planning stage.

I wouldn't be building at all without access to my local hackspace.

If you've never heard of a hackspace, then the motto is really all you need to know: 

"a community-run workshop where people come to share tools and knowledge".

I'm in London, and my nearest hackspace is in Wembley. (https://london.hackspace.org.uk).

There, I've had access to a decent lathe, and a TIG welder, which has enabled me to build the metal bits of my bike... All for £15 per month. It's a great place just to hang out too... there's almost always someone there doing something interesting!

There are similar places in many major towns across the country, and the world, but few people seem to know about them....

So now you do!

Matt


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote RoyMacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2020 at 8:33pm
Originally posted by Kim Kim wrote:


(I also note that fairings tend to be quite awkward to store and transport.  Perhaps this is an aspect that's ripe for innovation?)

Hi Kim.

On the Wasp I used to roll mine up and put it in my taibox. Ride to Herne Hill Velodrome and put it back on to train with the UK Olympic Sprint Team every day before the Manchester Velodrome was built. I used to take the place of the motor bike as I could ride at 40 mph for a short period. Not everybody can say they beat Chris Hoy.Wink  Great thing aerodynamics.
All the best.
Roy

  


Edited by RoyMacdonald - 14 February 2020 at 8:34pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Balor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2020 at 7:36pm
Adding a fairing is NOT a "marginal' gain.
A good full fairing can make you easily 1.5 times faster on the flats.

It does come with huge detriments though - ingress/egress issues, size, weight, costs, vulnerability to wind gust/truck suck.

A truly innovative projects that can result in a quantum leap in 'bent tech', should concentrate on two things:

1. Make partial fairings work much better (NOT an easy task, they usually suck)
2. Make full fairings much more practicable.


1 - require a VERY intimate knowledge of aerodynamics and might not be possible anyway under wide range of conditions, manipulating turbulent air, deattaching and attaching it back is extremely complex issue.
2 - I'm currently working on that:

Since fullly faired HPVs have significant ingress-egress issues and travel and much higher speeds, static stability is must to prevent a 'low-side' in case of loss of traction and for help with ingrees-egress. That dictates a multitrack HPV.

Unfortunately, multitrack HPVs in their most easily faired form (tadpole trikes) suffer from a host of issues like being extremely low and hence vision/visibility issues, insufficient rollover resistance despite of that, complexity of steering and suspension (and MUST have full suspension on a fully faired HPV unless you only ride track - period), rear traction issues resulting in fishtailing (and rollover), etc.

Hephaestus in his blog has a series of posts regarding a 'perfect commuter', culminating in this:
http://lefthandedcyclist.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-optimal-all-weather-ped-electric.html

One may say that those requirements are too strict... I daresay that even that would not be enough for a commuter, 'being able to be hit by a car and survive largely unscathed' is something that I'd add, myself, or 'suffer a high-speed crash' and the same - otherwise it still looks like a poor replacement for a car...

Anyway, I'm currently building a space frame 'diamond quad' that would utilise same 'tilt plus' mode as suggested by Hephaestus:
Limited lean (angle of about 20-25 deg, so you will no lowside over when hitting tilt limit) combined with multi track dynamics for turns  of higher g-force.

I'll be using iLean for 'outrigger' wheels, they provide excellent suspension on their own plus i'll use a torsion spring for the axle. By adding a lever to directly control i-lean axle, I'll be able to (to a point) decouple 'roll from yaw' axis - it is already did to positive effect on leaning trikes like Tripendo.

This should allow me to have CG higher, track narrower than most trikes, but still about 1G of cornering potential, static stability on demand and a (relatively) easily faired profile.

Space frame should take the brunt of all impacts, the shell will be of foam and provide only aerodynamics and protection from elements.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoyMacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2020 at 8:01pm
Foam Fairings were very popular in the 1990's

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Balor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2020 at 6:20am
Soft'ish fairings are effective but do not provide crash protection (coroplast is more or less an exception to this).
Combining a space frame that completely encloses the rider and a soft fairing should allow one to have the best of both worlds - stiffness, lightness AND crash protection.
Foam is also sound damping and good insulator.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Balor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2020 at 6:29am
And admittedly, 'spirit of innovation' seems to be pretty much dead - 'old generation' is aging and seem to be lost most of the interest, and new generation does not seem to be interested much except a few outliers like yours truly, at least that's how it is on all english-speaking forums (and russian-speaking forums too).
Only trike business is more or less stable (or even expanding), despite their shortcomings - which tells us that an other direction one should innovate when it comes to two-wheeled bents - controlabilty (that would require openly admitting that bents are inferior to DFs in that way and few people seem to be willing to admit that, not manufacturers to be sure).

Maybe things are different on French/German forums?
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