Epod

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I came across this the other day whilst still pondering the Church Pod body on ebay mentioned in a post here. This seems like it could be easily adapted to a home build with no compound curves and a doddle to get in and out. I may even have a go at making something along these lines as my next project. Practicality would have to be the prime feature for such a project. Ease of getting in and out, weather protection and keeping the weight down.












 
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Well some ideas worth copying ? and it is nicely finished eye catching and easy to clean ?

However it states ' Don't forget the EcoCycle EPOD is designed first and foremost as a human powered vehicle. That means you can pedal it, just like your bicycle.'

Well I am not convinced of that it appears to be triple rings at the front and a single cog at the back ?

The pedals are well below the seat so hard to put any power down ?

No access to ground so is reverse purely electric ?

It also looks like the body is suspended above the chassis , usually that means bobbing whilst pedaling .

Absolute no mention of weight ?
 
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Similar to my thoughts - pretty upright seating = shorter wheelbase, less pedaling efficiency. However, it pays to look at all offerings as they breed new ideas and modifications to existing ones.

It's getting a bit like electric cars, so many from which to choose, and not a lot for the money at times.
 
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With an enclosed body you need to be higher than the pedals to get any view forward. I've seen a lot of velomobiles with just a head (or less) poking up from a body going straight out offering little view of anything within 20+ yards of the front. Not so bad on a open road but a liability in town. An electric reverse is easily done and I'd rather have a floor than the spray off the road. I don't think the body is suspended any more than any vehicle with suspension is. Rather that appears to be a very long swing arm braced underneath where there is room rather than above as is traditional. The 3rd picture down shows the members coming towards a single point which would be unlikely if not heading to a pivot. I hadn't noticed the apparent single rear cog but that's not a design feature I'd follow. The third picture down has a multispeed as does the video. I think what looks like a single in picture 5 is actually a multi if you look hard enough. Weight is always going to be an issue on any enclosed trike and will need to be avoided as much as possible. The weight of the Epod is not likely to bear much relation to anything I would build from it's inspiration. I'm currently thinking of a separate aluminium body cage on a steel chassis.
As I said practicality would need to be the prime factor should I go for something similar next and I feel this type of design meets that. There's always compromises to be made to follow any main design brief. My current trike build offers no compromise to anything but style and as such will probably be ridden only on sunny weekends. If I'm going to use a trike more often it will need to be much more user friendly.
 
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With an enclosed body you need to be higher than the pedals to get any view forward. I've seen a lot of velomobiles with just a head (or less) poking up from a body going straight out offering little view of anything within 20+ yards of the front. Not so bad on a open road but a liability in town.
Some of the velomobiles are more upright the original Cab Bike



and Leitra



However you are still sat a long way from the front.


The third picture down has a multispeed as does the video. I think what looks like a single in picture 5 is actually a multi if you look hard enough.
Yes you are right the rear mech is easily seen in the pictures , my bad !

As I said practicality would need to be the prime factor should I go for something similar next and I feel this type of design meets that. There's always compromises to be made to follow any main design brief. My current trike build offers no compromise to anything but style and as such will probably be ridden only on sunny weekends. If I'm going to use a trike more often it will need to be much more user friendly.
Spot on , I can't afford a hanger queen [ no space to keep one ] so my vehicles have to earn there living and be capable of multi-roles...

Still without riding it it is hard to tell whether it is :-

an pedal assist electric bike
or
an electric assist pedal bike

IMHO there is a big difference between the 2
 
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I guess e-Assist (as I call it) means that whatever it was before, it is now electrically assisted as and when the rider decides to use it. In the meantime, he is either pedaling, Flinstoneing, using the forces of gravity, wind, getting a push or tow, or any combination thereof at any time.
 
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Still without riding it it is hard to tell whether it is :-

an pedal assist electric bike
or
an electric assist pedal bike

IMHO there is a big difference between the 2
I agree there's a big difference but I suspect that difference is primarily decided by the rider rather than the machine.
 
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I guess e-Assist (as I call it) means that whatever it was before, it is now electrically assisted as and when the rider decides to use it. In the meantime, he is either pedaling, Flinstoneing, using the forces of gravity, wind, getting a push or tow, or any combination thereof at any time.
That is valid should you be adding e-assist to an existing originally made to be pedalled vehicle.

When designing one from the ground up to have e-assist there is a tipping point where the vehicle exceeds [ usually weight , could be gearing or unsuitable pedalling position etc etc ] the ability for it to be pedalled at a rate reasonable for the road and use it is made for.

Once you cross that point you have designed a vehicle that is electric with the ability to be pedalled , knowing full well that no one would take the vehicle out should say the batteries be flat and expect to pedal it ?
 
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I must say that I am enamored with this design. For years I have wanted to build a velomobile to ride the 34 mile round trip commute I had. Is it strange that I want it even more after I just retired? One thing is sure: I'll have more time to bodge it up!
 
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I've been considering this a lot and think the prototype for the above is actually a better bet as a base for my design:-





The production design looks a bit overly large and therefore heavy. This would be simpler to make and a lot of the front and rear iron-mongery can simply be dispensed with. A basic door one side and a similarly panelled non-door the other with Series Land Rover style sliding windows for ventilation or protection would top it off nicely. Again, lard is the thing to control to make it practical so no front suspension as it requires a lot of extra weight. Rear suspension probably saves weight as a weedier rear wheel triangle can be utilised because a lot of force will be transmitted to the spring which itself would weigh very little and the spring is really the only item of significance in using rear suspension. Not having rear suspension would require a rear attachment able to sustain all the loads itself and would almost certainly be heavier. Rather than a flat screen I'd curve the top and bottom fixing to curve the screen to to help rain run off. A basic steel T shaped chassis and various profiles of aluminium for the body with corrugated plastic and polycarbonate windows.

The prototype looks to have an all steel chassis and dispensing with that front suspension makes that unnecessary. Anything above the floor has only the body to support plus possibly a mount for the handlebars. I'd overhang the windscreen and roof slightly so with the door closed it tucks just underneath that overhang for a better water and draught exclusion. Something like this is never going to be absolutely watertight and that's not an aim but it ought to keep the vast bulk off you and sliding windows at the sides would make it pleasant in sunshine too. I could even design about 1 to 1.5 cubic foot of under seat storage should I wish to though that would add some weight. Without the boot / trunk I could raise the floor more and save the weight between the two levels and also make the seat mount itself less lardy as it wouldn't need to tip.

Careful choice and orientation of body and door frame profiles will help with weatherproofing. This simple set of choices appear to be missing from a great many similar designs including the production model here.

 
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Does the prototype have pedals ? the nose looks very short ?

Following the Landrover idea you could make the door tops/windows removable for the better weather ? just store them inside in case ?
 
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There are vids on Youtube showing them pedalling it. I thought the same but with a relatively upright seat it does shorten the overall length needed. A good idea about complete removal of the side windows. It'll not add much weight and will be a very welcome feature.
 
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A lot of steel in that frame. Why not have the pedals between the front wheel?
Bringing the front wheels back parallel to the pedals would then block easy access getting in and out. It may be possible to move them without creating such an obstacle by repositioning / re-angling the rider somewhat. Also those front wheels are a large diameter. Smaller 20" ones would be easier to reposition and it's 20" I'd be using.
 
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I could even design about 1 to 1.5 cubic foot of under seat storage should I wish to though that would add some weight. Without the boot / trunk I could raise the floor more and save the weight between the two levels and also make the seat mount itself less lardy as it wouldn't need to tip.
I do think you need some [ quite a bit really ] storage , a vehicle this size is very limited if you can't carry 2 or 3 shopping bags worth of stuff , and inside to protect it from the elements ?

It would cut down how useful or how many journeys you would make in it if you couldn't do that ?

regards Paul
 
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Notice the pedal powered load carriers were delta trikes YES YES YES ....
 
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Notice the pedal powered load carriers were delta trikes YES YES YES ....
That might be because they can be tipped up for easy/rapid unloading. Enables a quick turnaround for getting another load.

It would be interesting to know what they were actually carting though.
 
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