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Velomobile question.

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flyinerin View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 January 2021 at 11:02am
Hi everyone.

My name is Aeryn (long time lurker first time poster!). I tool the plunge last year and purchased myself a Raptobike low racer. 
I'd been fascinated with recumbents for years and the Rapto' hasn't disappointed. After a lifetime of struggling to get comfortable on upright road bikes, the comfort and sheer speed of the Raptobike has been a delight. I've ridden it at every opportunity and covered quite a mileage already.

Anyway, I've just accepted a new job which is just under 70km from my house. In my current job, I've been able to cycle to work everyday and the prospect of having to drive to my new role isn't one I relish!

I am up for using the Rapto' as an occasional commuter as I can fairly happily twiddle along at 35kmh-ish on the flat, but it would be amazing to have something quicker that can also carry some luggage - a Velomobile seems like a possible solution.

I was wondering if there are any Velomobile commuters here? What sort of distance to you cover on your ride to work? Do you reckon 70 clicks is a bit mad?
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RoyMacdonald View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoyMacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2021 at 2:02pm
Hi Aeryn

Welcome to the forum.Thumbs Up

No that's quite a nice mileage for a Velomobile. You can always use your car when you are not in the mood for cycling after all, but in all probability you will be wishing you had a longer commute after a few months. It's great to have some carrying capacity that doesn't affect your speed. My commute used to be about 18 km on a Kingcycle with all the fairings, and I soon found myself dropping in to Herne Hill velodrome for an extra 35 km in the evenings. And I was always up for site visits. (I was an architect)

All the best.
Roy



 


Edited by RoyMacdonald - 21 January 2021 at 4:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Arellcat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2021 at 3:54pm
Prior to lockdown I was commuting about 15km each way in my Quest.  The terrain, if not the traffic, is rather favourable going to the office but it's hard work coming home.  It usually ends up as a bit over an hour (moving time) for there and back.  I ride bikes in any weather, but I don't take the Quest out in snow.  Fortunately WFH for the past year almost has made me rather blasé about the weather; with five inches of snow on the ground currently and usually unploughed roads in the village it can be impossible to get my Quest to the main roads that the buses use.  The same journey made on my Elephant Bike, to give a comparison, is 45 minutes to the office and about an hour coming home.

If I were doing 70km each way and the terrain wasn't flat I think I would look very hard at electric assist options for a velo.  I have neither the time nor the energy for that kind of distance and fit in a nine hour working day!


Edited by Arellcat - 21 January 2021 at 4:10pm
carbon Quest, Lightning P-38, RANS Sequoia, Orange Five, Elephant Bike, Brompton, Stumpjumper
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyinerin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2021 at 8:51am
Thank you both for the information. Most helpful.

The ride I am considering is from Redhill in Surrey to White Waltham aerodrome just west of Maidenhead. I've planned the route on ridewithGPS and the elevation profile looks to be reasonably flat so hopefully it will suit a Velo'.

I guess now I just need to find a decent second hand Velomobile. Sadly I don't think my budget will stretch to a shiny new one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GeoffBird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2021 at 2:56pm
I agree with Becky - unless you are superhuman, it sounds too far to me to do regularly, even if it's on the flat. Steep hills make a massive dent in your average speed in a velomobile in my limited experience, especially if you have no run-up. Could you drive part way and cycle the rest, maybe?

Edited by GeoffBird - 22 January 2021 at 2:57pm
Right Time - Right Place - Wrong Speed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoyMacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2021 at 3:59pm
Maybe I should have added my commute return journey meant a 350 meter climb as I lived at the top of Crystal Palace. By Friday I was finding it hard but not hard enough to put me off doing it and getting up on the Saturday at 5:00 am to have breakfast before riding to the Velodrome to train with the pro's. Averaging 30 - 34 mph on the level velodrome in the fully faired Kingcycle Wasp. I would hit 50 mph on the downhill around the South Circular. My average speed was 25 mph on the road. I was faster than the average speed of cars on the roads in London.

The only trouble I had was starting on a bike on such a steep hill if I got blocked by cars and had to stop. The rear wheel would spin and I would fall off sometimes. But of course that cannot happen on a 3 wheeled Velomobile. 

Velomobiles are very efficient machines. Until you try riding one for yourself keep an open mind. I'm slow now because I'm 77 and had a major stroke in 2019. I can still ride up 1 in 10 hills locally though in my After 7.

All the best.
Roy


Edited by RoyMacdonald - 22 January 2021 at 4:08pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyinerin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2021 at 4:06pm
I think I'm up for trying it. I reckon it would be do-able in a velo'.

I rode the Raptobike half way along my planned route and it took just about an hour at lunchtime today.

I don't think it is something i would want to do everyday though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoyMacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2021 at 4:10pm
Good for you Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Yanto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2021 at 5:26pm
I used to commute 90 odd km each way up to 3 times per week averaging between 33 and 38 Km/h, the first few times I did it I certainly knew it, but after time the legs became used to it.

PS I may be selling one of my velomobiles soon Wink

PPS this was the last time I did it, after that I became a full time home worker:https://ridewithgps.com/trips/35551561


Edited by Yanto - 22 January 2021 at 5:28pm
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flyinerin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyinerin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2021 at 5:23pm
That is awesome Yanto - I'm impressed! Just shows what is possible with an HPV.

Do you mind if I ask which model velomobile you used for those commutes?
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