Monday, March 6, 2017

Three carbon booms
These were a long time getting done.  I used a bend piece of alumium as the pattern and while the moulds worked out well some how when assembled the width ended up being .42 on a mm too wide to fit the bottom bracket shell.   As I used some clear gel in the mould I could carefully sand a bit off to make it the right size.  

The procedure I used was to first brush clear coat into the mould.  Once this was hard four or five layers of carbon were laid in the mould being carefull to make sure they fit in the corners well.  This part was infused.  Once I had both sides done they were removed from the mould, trimmed to size and put back in the mould to be bonded together using a blander to push the joining material to the inside the boom.  Once out of the mould and bit of fill in the join line and then a layer of carbon it make it all neat.  

Also in the picture is the headlight assembly with a carbon and glass mounting bracket.  The bracket has a fair bit of adjustability so the light position can be fine tuned to the shell.  There is a captured nut bonded inside the front of the boom so it is possible to adjust the mounting position without having to reach in with a wrench.  

Saturday, June 25, 2016

New Seat for Milan SL

The seat installed in my SL. Through the holes in the pad and seat you can see the supporting foam part the seat sits on.  As this seat doesn't have ribs on the back you would probably break it without the support from the foam bit that transfers the load to the shell.  This is particularly true when getting in and out.  It does have a recess in the seat that the foam pad sits in and the edges have a flange to add some stiffness.
Seat and pad

The real pressing need for the seat is that I needed to gain a tiny bit of extra space inside the SL.  I found that riding without the one layer ventisit pad gave me enough extra room but I didn't fit the seat very well.  A few pressure points that made riding for more than short while impossible.  I built a heavy thick seat so I could remove material to change the shape. At first I just removed a small area where I had issues but after using it for while decided to add the bigger recess for the pad.  Simpler and it will fit more than just myself.  The recess is one thickness of the ventisit material so it can be used instead of the foam pad. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NACA pic

The NACA duct just out of the mould and trimmed up ready to be bonded in.  I suppose that you could even bond it in with silicone but I will most likely glass it in place or use a higher strength adhesive.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Carbon Rear Swing Arm/NACA Duct/Milan XL(MaX) Progress

The third try at building a carbon swing arm for the Milan.  It is still a work in progress but very nearly ready.  Still needs to have nicely machined dropouts rather than the present trial ones.  The steel version of this weighs in at 1150 g while this one is 700 g. 

Two views of the NACA duct installed.  The NACA duct itself weighs in at around 30 g.  You end up adding a good portion of that weight to bond it in place.  The duct is made to fit onto the door with a small flange that matches the shape of the door.  The tricky part is cutting the hole to just the right size.   You should be able to retro fit this into existing doors with some care and patience.  I have tried it out a couple of times now  and it moves a surprising amount of air.  I can feel the flow almost at my face once you get to about 20 kph.   If you ride with the hood I would highly recommend adding one.  Also in the picture you can see the larger knee pumps in the door so I can pedal the SL without having to move the BB forward of my favored spot.   I will eventually make a new door as this one was a bit of an experiment with the laminate and I cut out the knee bumps and made them slightly larger.  This door now overlaps the shell so water runs off to the outside.  There is still the rain gutter under it which very effectively stiffens the edge of the cockpit opening.  The knee bumps being larger than the original ones must be slowing me down.  I sure can't tell as the SL is a real rocket even compared to the GT which is already pretty quick.   On some of the hills here it is scary fast.  I use the brakes more than with the GT.  

Lots of progress on the larger Milan.  I may end up calling in the Milan MX.  Most of the moulds are now made and the first two bottom parts are moulded.  I ended up having to remake the rib mould that stiffens the sides.  They are a few days away from being done and then we can carry on assembling the velo.  Looking forward to being able to sit in it and see how big it is.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Lights, 103 km ride

Here you can see the mounting bracket I have made up for some Lezyne lights.  Just three layers of carbon around a 1" tube,a teardrop shaped price of wood and a bolt to hold it on.  The tube is stiff enough to be a tight spring fit around the light such that you can slide it in and out.  I use them as daytime flashing lights.  Definitely lights to be seen by as the normal headlights are brighter by they don.t have a flashing function.  
The second pattern for a NACA duct is in the background while the mould for it is in the foreground.  The mould is ready to be used so I can try the duct out in the door.  With the hood on this should help by being able to direct some of the airflow onto the front visor.  I will have to experiment some to see how it can be made to work best.    

On the island here there is a New Years's Eve Epic Ride.   The goal is to ride about 100 km for the day and less if you are less ambitious.You start out at 9 am and the first section is a going north to Granite Bay about 20 km away.   I wasn't sure if I could ride by upright bike for three hours and about half the distance is on gravel road so I ended up using my short wheel base recumbent. It proved a bit tricky on some of the downhills when you encountered loose gravel.  Once at Granite Bay you ride back up to the paved road and then the group splits up.  The less ambitious folks head back to the start and ride the rest of the 100 km on the less hilly and mostly paved south end of the island.  The more ambitious ride out to Surge Narrows on a very twisty and steep road that is mostly gravel.  I rode back to the start and then home for lunch and to change bikes.  It was a welcome change to ride the Milan.  Much warmer and quicker, it being less hilly helps too.  The first bit was cold as it was at or below freezing so staying warm wasn't easy.  I stopped briefly at Granite Bay to take a picture and was soon back on the bike to try warm up a bit.  I slowed down going downhill a few times just to stay a bit warmer. Rode the last half in the velomobile and was nice and warm except my feet started to get cold after a couple of hours.  I could have put the neoprene covers on the cycling shoes or switched to regular shoes which would have solved the cold foot problem.   Ended up riding most of the day to get the 103 km in with over 1700 meters of climbing.   I have ridden over 250 km in a day that seemed less difficult.   There was a great turn out for the ride this year with about 60 participants.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fit in Milan SL, Progress, ETC

I have finally gotten the Milan SL so I can fit into it properly.  I could pedal it before but I had to extend the BB forward from my optimal position.  The reason I now fit is that we built a new door gives me a bit more knee clearance.  Here is a picture of the new mould just after laying it up.

 It still needs to be trimmed to size,  sanded smooth, polished and waxed.  I did make a couple of trail parts off the plug to be sure I got the fit right.

So the size that fits the Milan SL is an X seam of 44" measured by sitting against a wall and measuring the distance to your heels with your leg flat on the floor and your foot at right angles to the floor.  My X seam measures 45" and you may fit if you are this size but I would recommend a test fit just to be sure.  I will have my SL here for this.  If you are willing to extend the BB position forward getting a fit if you are tall is a bit easier.

We do now have a few orders.  Looks like we will be able to build at least one per month maybe  more once we get better at the process.  I am surprised at how long the ones to date have taken but there has been a bit of a learning curve.  I am sometimes my worst enemy as I kept making improvements but I can now see that those are mostly done.  I will still make improvements as I find this part of building them interesting.

The pattern of the Milan XL? or Milan Max? is now ready to mould.  After laying up the door mould I will have to set up my supplied air respirator for laying up this much larger part.  Its OK in the summer but if I ventilate the shop for hand laminating at this time of year it gets too cold rather quickly.

I have had a couple of rides in the rain and at below freezing and as a result put the hood on.  At 80 kph rain really hurts your face.  I even found myself braking to limit the effect.  I had the hood on with only a partial front visor( an experiment) and it was plenty chilly at speed as the wind hit my forehead just above my glasses.   I will also have to find my over boots for the cycling shoes as my feet got cold after an hour or so.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Larger Milan

We have been working on building the pattern for a slightly larger Milan for a while now.  It has languished for quite some time but has seen some work lately while I have been waiting for parts to arrive for  Milans that are on order.   It is a bit taller, about 2 cm at the shoulders and a bit more at your feet.  Most importantly it is longer by 8 cm with the door opening moving forward the same amount.   The limitation for really tall folks in the GT was that if they had really long legs their shins would not clear the front edge of the door unless you moved the bottom bracket further forward.  Short cranks help some for this but mostly you ended up with the bottom bracket too far forward to be in a good pedaling position.   I have also increased the width at the shoulders by 6 cm.  So now if you only just fit in the Quest you will have space in the Milan XL.  Any suggestions for a better name?
Here you can see the extra width at the shoulder.  I have the first side almost done and just need to make more templates to be sure the two sides end up being the same.  
The other side with the template in place where all the fill needs to go.  I have left the shell open just in case I need to add some material on the inside.  I did need to cut some away and fill in the nose to get a nice shape as just cutting the  original apart and rejoining it longer caused a bump to show up.  The orange bit is the modification to add the rain gutter to the mould.