Thursday, December 20, 2012

Keeping the Rain Out

This is the part that will keep the rain that runs in along the door edge off of me.  This will fix one of the only criticisms I have come across of the Milan.  There are still the usual ones of cost and weight but they also apply to all other velomobiles.

The flange the door closes on slants inward so any water getting to it will run inside the velo.  The above part has three purposes:  the first to direct water into the bottom of the velomobile, the second to round off the otherwise sharp edge of the door lip and the third to stiffen up the door edge.  One could make the edge thicker but this will add more weight than the above part.   The other choice would be to use a soft gasket the door closes down onto.  For my experience with gaskets in kayaks, this was not the way I wanted to go.  Besides, the finished look of the Milan is nicer without the gasket sticking out. There is a small gap between the front of the hood and the door just above my shoulder.  This lets most of the rain in.  Now with the gutter it can no longer drip down onto me. 

The rain gutter is two layers of carbon fibre with a third layer on the inside edge. Weight of the part is less than 50 grams. If you cost it out based on weight and the time it takes to make it, it might be one of the most expensive bits in the Milan.  At first I thought I could get away with a contact laminated part, but it needs to be vaccuum bagged as the material doesn't always stay in the sharp contours. 

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