Building a VeloMobile - Page 13 of 13


Figure 78

Two weeks have past and the snow is really holding on this year. Although temperatures are getting above zero during the day, there are still 2-3 feet of snow out there, so getting to my makeshift workshop is almost impossible. The next step of this build will be determining the overall widths of the body at the front and rear so that the horizontal support rails can be installed, making the body into a single shape. Since this full skeleton will not fit around the stairwell to the basement, I have to switch to outdoor building in the old trailer at the bottom of the hill. To see where I build bikes, check out the mini webisode entitled, "Dodging the Rain", under the Tutorials section. This waiting game between spring and summer is always difficult as I am just itching to get out and build bikes!

I placed the panels over the wheels on the Aurora Trike just for a test fitting. The new trike will be about 3 or 4 inches wider than the Aurora, but I can still use it as a guide to determine the profile of the two sides as they run from rear to front. The widest part of the body will be at the rear, which will be about half an inch wider than the under seat steering on each side. It seems as though I could probably squeeze into the width of the Aurora, but it would be so tight that my knuckles would probably rub on the side panels during a tight turn. With over seat steering, I could probably squeeze into a body this wide, but my goal here is not to make a slipstream racing machine. I would rather have the extra width for comfort and stability.

Figure 79

The difference between the rear width (A) and front width (B) will be at least 12 inches and must begin to taper ahead of the rear wheel wells so that the wheels aren't at a different angle than the framework over them. To create this tapered profile, more slots will be cut into the angle iron framework, but this time on the other part of the angle iron, 90 degrees from the initial cuts that make the side profile. I will probably make eight or more cuts just ahead of the rear wheel and make a slight arc so that the transition is gradual, making a curve in about a 2 foot length.

Figure 80

Sitting between the side panels, it would appear that the optimal rear width would be shoulder width plus 2 inches on each side, and about the same at the front, having about 2 inches between the end of the pedals and the sides. So, now I will have to wait for at least another week for the snow to melt so that I can get the body out of the basement and into the outdoor workshop to complete the horizontal adjoining sections of angle iron. The rest of the velomobile body should come together quickly now and I will be moving on to the base vehicle soon.

Stay tuned. This is an ongoing project and will be updated about once every two weeks. We are also publishing this build log on our newsletter, so if you would like to keep tabs on this project, please subscribe to our newsletter.

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