A New Type of Vehicle

Radical Brad

Garage Hacker!
Staff member
Joined
Mar 13, 1999
Messages
5,903
Location
Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada
I have a wall full of Darwin attempt certificates. Hope I never actually get an award though!

Wish I had photos of all the "high quality downhill mountain bike" rims I tacoed on on the road when using motors on my test vehicles!
Even the 20" rim can fail if you push it...

4706

Here, the local kids admire my bleeding face after I hit a very small hole in the road on my over-volted hubmotor BMX! I was doing 35MPh or so, and hit a small hole that would have never concerned me before. Well, as you can see, the rim failed and even tore the dropouts off the front forks, which were very expensive downhill racing shocks form a mountain bike.

I can tall a dozen other stories of how flimsy ANY 26" rim has been on any vehicle expected to live in the city traffic fast lane.
On a trike, it is a complete disaster waiting to happen, especially considering side loading, something we have not even started to discuss here.

Any wheel you can pick up, place over your knee and bend in half is not suitable for anything above the normal 25 Mph expectation. And yeah, I can pick up ANY 26" wheel and fold it over my knee laterally with a moderate effort. You ain't doin' that with a motorcycle rim, or even a moped rim!

Brad
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
789
Location
Wakefield, UK
I think we all have a few Darwin nominations. I know I have several scars to show for my nominations. In all honesty I probably even deserve an award for some of the foolish stunts I didn't even receive a nomination for. Wisdom as ever comes with age though on reflection I'd trade it for youth any day and take my chances with Darwin.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
680
Location
Axedale, Victoria, Australia
Website
axerail.coffeecup.com
I'll remember this discussion the next time I see how fast I can go on a certain section of the local trail. Have managed 38kmh so far and think I will leave it at that. I have heard reports of some people exceeding 60kmh down a nearby small mountain on road bikes and have often wondered what happens at that speed if a spoke broke, followed by others. Spokes are sharp on the broken end and I don't like how I think they feel going into my flesh.

On a pitch black night trail ride recently, I approached a 90 degree gravel road crossing that usually has a very sharp surface transition from road grading. I don't know what speed I was doing but I had just come up a slope and it suddenly appeared out of the black. Thinking about the expected shock, I braked. I hit the transition with the front 20" wheels with quite a force, dislodged a pannier from the rear and dragged it across the road. Nothing else seemed out of order. The next ride, in daylight, disclosed quite a deformed front wheel.

No matter what precautions you can take, there is always a possibility of an event where you don't have time to react appropriately, overreact, or encounter things you hadn't planned on.
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
11
I certainly want you to build everything you just mentioned!
Hey, I rode a 16 foot tall bike in the city for a year, so I am all about "doing the implausible".
Having said that, I fully believe that in no way will anything less than a 48 spoke triple wall 20 inch rim handle what you are asking of it. Not even close.

I will now sit back and watch in hopes that you prove me wrong so I can think that this old dog can learn new tricks.
You're up!

Brad
The only reason why I won’t get the Darwin Award is because every single person who uses a velomobile daily doesnt. Here’s a good paragon:


In other words, using common sense and slowing down to treat them like an inverted speed bump, or just avoid them where they are. On a bicycle it can flip you over but on a long velomobile with semi-fat tires it would blow the tires.
 
Last edited:

Radical Brad

Garage Hacker!
Staff member
Joined
Mar 13, 1999
Messages
5,903
Location
Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada
Each time I bent a rim badly enough to cause me to walk home was a scenario where I was riding along the side of the road in traffic and forced into the hole. The choice is often... bend yet another rim, or end up in a headline story with the phrase "dental records" being used.

The city I used to live in is well known for having the worst drivers and roads in all of Canada.

Brad
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
11
Each time I bent a rim badly enough to cause me to walk home was a scenario where I was riding along the side of the road in traffic and forced into the hole. The choice is often... bend yet another rim, or end up in a headline story with the phrase "dental records" being used.

The city I used to live in is well known for having the worst drivers and roads in all of Canada.

Brad
There is a fundamental issue here which makes this matter difficult to understand, and even in Canada there is something to say about the weight of vehicles to the road’s durability.
A well cited Wikipedia article on this:

At the end of the day any road will degrade overtime due to weather and freeze-thaw cycling, but this can be tremendously reduced when a road is smaller and suited to much lighter vehicles. Hence I have made numerous references to Greenways, rail trails, bikeways and separate bike paths in general because these are perfectly proportioned roads for traveling by foot up to vehicles that weigh up to 100kg. Using roads like them not only make repairing them cheaper with longer times between the repairing of sections but are small enough to be done by individual people, due to their size. Since abandoned rail corridors are somewhat cleared already it would be easy to pave these types of roadways effectively with materials like bioasphalt. Not that I would want to be able to walk uninterrupted from Boston to New York City without having to be on the curb of a road but then again I can remotely see the benefits: once again someone can have the right of way to walk on a paved road and it would bring business to towns. All I can say is that it will be a significant factor of an epic manifestic essay I am going to write and publish by the end of this year. With the Coronavirus raging I hope to reach to people in need of a new direction after job losses and economic downfall lead to political changes. I had made plans to do so before all this but now I am truly motivated to attempt to write it. It is a matter of putting together the work of many people (after subscribing to hundreds of YouTube channels I’ve figured out how far this can go) to develop a new generation of open sourced, self fabricated technologies independent of tech companies who refuse to allow people to modify their products.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
680
Location
Axedale, Victoria, Australia
Website
axerail.coffeecup.com
Ditto/ There will always be room for a better mousetrap. The future should be more fertile for such things and not a repetition of the past. Although we have many things to thank the past for, it also nurtured today's problems. Time for a change and some things will never be the same.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
13
Location
Kemptville, Ontario
A great topic for discussion, thanks for starting it!

As Popshot has mentioned, I have always found that the when considering speeds greater than say 25 Mph, the choice of wheels, brakes, and suspension instantly go from lightweight bicycle components to full size motorcycle. Most of these velomobiles I see around would probably handle 99% of the road conditions, but it is that one huge pothole that turns them into twisted metal. For that reason, I have not bothered because it is not in my rule-book to make something almost good enough.

If I was taking on a project as you described, I would be starting with a street bike chassis, and probably end up with something like this (but fully electric)...

View attachment 4550

I actually really like this one. of course, not practical for us in the Great White North.


Brad
I am looking into making a velomobile out of a 1985 kawasaki vulcan motor cycle. the motor will be up front and your legs will wrap around the motor to the foot controls, andthe front tires will be back where your knees are lik a tadpole trike.
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
11
Now is a perfect time to promote a more sustainable mode of transport!
Keep up your high energy, and make a difference!

Cheers,
Brad
After spending some time getting an idea of what the exterior body shell would look like, it occurred to me this isn’t the first time a type of vehicle used extreme streamlining to go fast: take the Shinkansen


Note the nose area. Take the front car (it is not a locomotive since these types of trains use exterior electrical power to move), shrink its size to our tiny recumbent tricycle designs, have the rear end similarly to most tadpole tricycles today, and give it a bubble canopy. The way the nose is designed in the high speed trains allows for a frontal wheel to be placed inside yet wide enough to accommodate a wide range of steering. Heck, with recumbent tricycles hooked up together like this:


We might actually be onto a new form of high speed transportation between states!
 
Top