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Should I build a Flevo?

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realnutter View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 December 2019 at 9:38pm
Hi all...  I'm new to the forum, and to HPVs in general, although I've been a cyclist most of my life.
I've been a biker for 30 years, and was involved in the Feet Forward motorcycle scene for a while, so I'm pretty au fait with recumbent bikes.

I moved to London 5 months ago, ditched the car, and have relied on a motorcycle for transport that TfL  couldn't cover. I wanted to go greener, and built myself a (slightly illegal) electric bike. It's a modern 29er mountain bike with a Chinese electrification kit.. 1500W hub motor and controller... And it's bloody awful to ride!

I went for a front hub motor, to try and balance the bike end to end.. the battery pack lives over the back wheel. It'll happily spin the front wheel in the dry, and feels wobbly as hell with the battery so high up. It's not a pleasant riding experience!

So, based on my knowledge of recumbents, I scouted around for ideas, and found that the Flevo-Racer plans were now freely available, and would let me re-use most of my components...  wheels, chainset, brakes could all come from the mountain bike, the front hub motor would become the back wheel, and thus much less likely to spin, and I could usefully dangle all the heavy bits, like the battery and controller under my bum.

So all seemed well... I started buying the steel to build a Flevo frame, and bought a Flevo seat to go on top..... 

But......  they seem to have fallen out of fashion. And this is why I'm asking... Have they been completely out-evolved by other front drive recumbents, like the Cruz style? Will I be shooting myself in the foot by carrying on with my plans?

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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: 02 December 2019 at 7:28am
I can't say whether they've fallen out of favour, were they ever in? Anecdotally commenting they are difficult to ride, I can't help but think that with motor, battery and too much power it would still be an interesting ride. The MBB Cruz style are certainly present in the racing scene which may indicate they are a better proposition and of course can be home built, Gav "Tattoo" in Jersey springs to mind as one builder. There is a flevo on fleabay ATM

EDIT: PS welcome to the forum, you might get wider and more responces on Facebook groups if you do the Fb thing.

Edited by Yanto - 02 December 2019 at 7:31am
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legs_larry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote legs_larry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 7:45am
There used to be a piece on Bikefix' webby SCIENCE in which Darth Stuart wrote of the trials and tribulations of learning to ride one. It might even still be there...

a bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Balor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Balor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 7:49am
if you want FWD MBB formafactor, don't go with overly slack angles unless you'll install an extremely strong return to center spring - they have huge flop factor, plus greatest steering inertia of all designs.
You may eventually learn to steer with your legs, but I, for instance, never did.

A design like this minimises steering inertia, nullify flop and still allow for full suspension.

Pedalling hard does eventually get tiring on the arms to counter 'pedal feedback' (on very long, 100+ km rides), but with a motor I don't think this is much of a issue, learning to counter pedal steer is very fast and easy, dealing with tons of flop and steering inertia is not.

Note that with large wheels you need long legs and/or short cranks to reach pedals, or higher BB (which will lead to greater brake dive and pedal bob - in this iteration the bike does not bob nearly at all).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stormbird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 December 2019 at 10:52pm
Hi there

Welcome to the party.

Those ' free 'plans are actually for a very complicated bike with many custom parts or parts requiring machining ?

Look at the Duschar joint[s]s ?

There is a very steep learning curve for a Flevo Bike unlike a Python there is no natural stability and the bike front end has to be kept upright at all times using the feet.
It was said the BHPC club had one once that was sold to a member who failing to learn to ride it sold it on to someone else ad infinitum !
Unless really mastered it is probably a dangerous bike to ride in London traffic.

There is a selection of recumbent plans here that may prove easier to build and learn to ride in the long run ?

Good luck Paul

Edited by stormbird - 19 December 2019 at 10:55pm
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