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Saturday, December 31, 2011

High Speed Velomobiles

Just in case anyone is wondering just how fast a velomobile can go, lets start with a couple of videos going gently down hills.
The aerodynamic advantage of these vehicles means it can attain very high speeds(up to 70mph in some cases) going down slightly sloping hills. In some cases riders in Europe who may have to deal with slopes of several miles going down mountain roads, drag chutes are deployed to help keep the speed under control.
In some cases riders of these vehicles can attain great speed on level ground. All of these vehicles you will see are road going. I will not show you Battle Mountain streamliners, because most of those cannot be used on a public street. At least not without a team of people helping you to get in and out of the streamliner.

Both of these vehicles are of the Team Blueshift racing team that races in the Australian International Pedal Prix. I will do a story on them in the future. That could be the racing of the future. Very exciting to watch, and they upload lots of videos to Youtube.

The videos you see here are taken with the vehicles running 60 mph or so.







Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Columbia Cycle Works Tripod




Here is an interesting design. This vehicle is called Tripod. It is made and sold by The Columbia Cycle Works    http://columbiacycleworks.com/index.php?
option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=2 located in Portland, Oregon. Colombia Cycle Works appears to have focused their design for a velomobile solely on keeping the occupant out of the elements. It features a fully enclosed cockpit with windows all around. Visibility should not be a factor at all. And at a price of $4300 US, it is hard to overlook this as a possibility. Particularly when, as the website states, it comes with an electric assist motor. There would almost certainly still be some aerodynamic benefit, although not nearly as much as in something like a Trisled or Quest. But then it is certainly a heck of a lot cheaper too.



Monday, December 26, 2011

Goblin Motors Rampage


We cater to enthusiasts of ‘Green’ products that conserve energy, those with suspended or revoked licenses, recipients of DUI / DWI, and those that are looking for alternative transportation. Our products are based upon recumbent bicycles, tricycles, motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, motors, fairings, trunks, high mpg, high gas mileage, velomobiles, WHPSC (World human Powered Speed Championships), industrial design, fiberglass and composites, sublime green paint, headlights, taillights, turn signals, brake lights, safety, bike lanes and paths for commuting, travel, transportation, going to work and the grocery store. No more taking the bus! Personal freedom is yours for the taking.






Here is an interesting vehicle from Goblin motors. The Rampage as they are calling it, is a traditional delta trike platform( one front wheel, two rear) built off the new Rans Trizard trike. It is basically another shell that goes over an existing bike. Very good design for stability at high speeds. Delta platform trikes are more stable at high speeds than tadpole designs, but do not handle as well. Conversely a tadpole design is better at cornering, but tends to wag their tails at higher speeds. Obviously this is a generality and several designs of both have been built that take care of those problems. Not having seen any top views though, it is hard to tell how aerodynamic it is from the pictures, but does show a (lunatic fringe) streamliner at the bottom of their page that this was designed after. The 100% aluminum clad side paneled velomobile is said to start at $7295 US.

We cater to enthusiasts of ‘Green’ products that conserve energy, those with suspended or revoked licenses, recipients of DUI / DWI, and those that are looking for alternative transportation. Our products are based upon recumbent bicycles, tricycles, motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, motors, fairings, trunks, high mpg, high gas mileage, velomobiles, WHPSC (World human Powered Speed Championships), industrial design, fiberglass and composites, sublime green paint, headlights, taillights, turn signals, brake lights, safety, bike lanes and paths for commuting, travel, transportation, going to work and the grocery store. No more taking the bus! Personal freedom is yours for the taking.
For those of you looking for a little aerodynamic advantage without the entire bodywork, they also sell rear sectioned fairings for tadpole recumbent trikes. They have side storage pockets and a streamlined rear section for prices ranging from 600 to 1100 dollars or so. It all depends on what you want and how much work you want to put into it.


http://www.goblinmotors.com/html/goblin_rampage_velomobile_-_go.html

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Velocity Velos

velo driver

If Velocity Velos velomobile looks familiar, you would be correct. They company  located at http://velocityvelos.com/index.html in your browser window, takes the shell made by Blue Sky Designs and combines it with a TerraTrike. The TerraTrike is a widely known and very popular tadpole recumbent trike. These guys offer everything from a simple canopy-less velo for around $3600 US all the way up to a fully tinted, electric assist full canopy velo for around $6200 US and everything in between. All in all they offer 12 different combinations for you to choose from. This may be the best deal around, at the price they offer. The website also states they will sell you the body less the trike. The nicest thing I like about this design, is a completely closed canopy without restricting rider visibility.

Easier review navigation

We now have a menu on the left hand side for easy navigation of our reviews.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New address

O.K. guys we are now active. We are now simply www.velomobilenews.com. No .blogspot.com or anything else. Tell your friends and neighbors the new site for all your recumbent and velomobile news is right here. Easy to say, easy to remember.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Streamliner lowracer

O.K. so I've showed you this picture before. Here is what I intend to do. This is actually my first attempt at building a bicycle from scratch, learning to weld and such. I am going to rebuild this bike into a lowracer recumbent with roadbike tires. The front will have a high pressure 20 inch bmx tire. The back will remain a 26 inch, but also with a high pressure tire. I am going to get this finished as a lowracer first, then I will start working on a full fairing for this bike. I will probably make a door of some sort and bomb bay doors at the bottom that are spring loaded. They will swing open when you put your feet down to stop. I will also be using a NACA style duct system in the very front that ducts incoming cool air over the rider starting at the feet and exiting a slot in the back. The vent will be necessary for cooling because of the heat that will build up inside, even when cool outside(imagine your car with the windows rolled up and you exercising).

Stay tuned as I post updates on the progress of the build.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Good website for builders

Found a website full of wonderful information a while back.  For those of us who want to build our own bikes http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/whatsup.htm is a wonderful resource of information for anyone who wants to try building a bike, fairing or even a streamliner. Lots of great science, engineering and practical advice to people looking for information on designs and such. Check it out and search it. It has more information than most of us will need for our builds.

Project starts

For those of you who would like a velomobile but like me do not have thousands to spend on one, I will be starting a new project velomobile I am building from scratch. I will attempt to go step by step for those of us who have no past skills welding or making fiberglass composite shells. I will also be starting a show on youtube in the near future. Stay tuned for further updates.

Nice review on the Sinner Mango here.

http://www.hembrow.eu/personal/sinnermango.html

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Velomobiles, the environment and possible solutions.

O.K. lets start with a few problems I have noticed. First of all some of us believe that the environment needs help. We need clean burning, sustainable fuels and solutions for a cleaner future. Whether global warming is real or not, I don't think we want to return the the Victorian Age. Some of the more romantic parts might be cool to bring back, but what I worry about is the pollution. During the Victorian Era the industrial revolution caused the burning of wood, oil and coal without regard to its detrimental effects. It is widely known that the Victorian Era brought about the fancy ornate interiors as a result of the fact that the outside of the houses where commonly covered in soot. Since the outside of the houses where generally soot covered, they focused on making the interiors as ornate as possible for entertaining of guests and impressing people, since you couldn't impress people with the outside of your house because it was covered in soot.

What people in the environmental movement need to realize is this. We live in a free market economy and as such must live by its rules. I have heard suggestions such as adding 4 dollars a gallon to gas as a tax. Such a ploy would quickly loose support from Republicans and Democrats alike. It would be political suicide for anybody to support such a bill. It would also cause numerous problems for the economy in general. Take for example the fact that the US is a much larger area than Europe. That alone makes it almost impossible for people to bike and take mass transit to most places outside of a major metropolitan area. The real estate is simply too spread out. It is a great idea to implement in cities. I even read a new study saying that 50% of us live in cities now, so this direction can help a great deal. The problem is that the other 50% does not live in the city. I know people that work for a major retailers distribution center that drive one to two hours a day to go to work. They are paid almost twenty dollars an hour, so they have an incentive to drive that far. Most of the people who live in these rural areas are poorer people and may not have the resources to move. The cost of their rent or mortgage is fractional the cost of moving to a city.

This is the solution. Since we live in a free market lets use it to our advantages. Take the electric car for example. We shouldn't be making it mandatory that people have to sell it or buy it, make it better. Make an electric car that is better than an internal combustion engine car. Having driven the Nissan Leaf, I can tell you for a fact that it is indeed a better car. Period. The only thing holding it back is its apparent lack of range. Sell the car for its better points. Its quieter, simpler, cheaper to fuel and cheaper to maintain. Then add to that the life expectancy for an electric car is far greater than its internal combustion cousin. What we need to do is sell the sustainable products as being better products and people will want to buy them. People will resist buying things they are made to buy, even if it is good for them. We need to get people to buy them because they are better, not because they are made to.
Organic Transit

 
Organic Transit http://www.organictransit.com/index.php is currently taking orders for a new concept they intend to sell. Once they hit 300 they will start producing them. These types of vehicles are commonly known as pedicabs. These are without a doubt some of the best designs I have seen. Here are some of the specs of the above vehicle known as the Elf. Ripped right from their website...
  • Purpose: Personal Commuting & recreation
  • 1 Person + (passenger jump seat)
  • Can carry 5-8 bags of groceries and up to 200lbs payload
  • Range: 30 Miles with each 8lb 48V Battery Pack
  • Speed: 25MPH
  • Full Lighting: Headlights, Brake lights, Blinkers, Warning Flashers
  • Poly-Carbonate/ Composite Body
  • Length- 7’
  • Width – 42”
  • Height – 62”
  • Weight – 93 Lbs.
  • Price: $3,700 US Plus Shipping/Handling and applicable Taxes

 The vehicle just above is called Truckette. Here are its features.....


  • Purpose: Business/Utility/Delivery/Food Service/Vending
  • 1 Person + (passenger jump seat)
  • Can Carry 20 Bags of Groceries and up to 350Lbs Payload*
  • Range: 30 Miles with each 8Lb. 48V Battery Pack
  • Speed: 20MPH
  • Full Lighting: Headlights, Brake Lights, Turn Signals, Warning Flashers
  • Poly Carbonate Composite Body
  • Pedal Drivetrain: CVT Automatic Transmission
  • Length- 7’2”
  • Width – 40”
  • Height – 62”
  • Weight – 87 Lbs.
  • Price: $3,400 US Plus Shipping/Handling and applicable Taxes
The vehicles listed above are known as pedicabs and not velomobiles for two distinct reasons. First off, they have the ability to carry passengers and or cargo and are therefore bigger and heavier than velomobiles. Second, because of their size, less aerodynamic shape and higher weight compared to a velomobile they will be harder to pedal as fast as a velomobile. They do normally have an electric drive train to help with the speed and distance you can cover and  as you can see, the price and functionality makes them look very good for the pocketbook. This could be an excellent vehicle for urban use or around town. Hopefully they can get this concept off the ground and start producing them.



Friday, December 16, 2011

Bluevelo Team 
The Team velomobile is available for $8250 Canadian. It was is produced in North America and uses the tried and true Cab Bike design. Very streamlined and excellent on price, this velomobile is an excellent velo for the money. Definitely something you should check out. Look to http://www.bluevelo.com/page2.html for more information.

Thursday, December 15, 2011



Trisled velomobiles


O.K. without a doubt my favorite manufacturer is our Australian friends at Trisled. They have 4 racing velomobiles and 2 road going velomobiles to choose from. They also have 2 more regular, tadpole, recumbent trikes. They can be located at    http://www.trisled.com.au/index.asp.

On The Road




The most interesting road going is the Rotovelo. Seen here the Rotovelo is made using a roto-molded fairing, making it probably the most durable velomobile on the market. The molded design can also be lit from within and the light will show through the body making the entire fairing glow from within. It is listed at 5990 dollars Australian.



The velomobile to the left and at the top of the page is called the Avatar. This has the benefit of super streamlining in the design.  It should be the fastest of any road going velomobile, but it is hard to tell without actually being in one. This one lists for just under 15,000 dollars Australian.





On The Track



Formula Trisled
This one is the Formula Trisled. It starts at AU $3700 and goes up to AU $4200 including the fairing shown here.  This is the racing version of the Trisled velomobiles. They also list a fastback design, but do not show the fairing as seen below.


FastBack


FB10The one you see to your right is simply called FB10. This is on of the fastest seen racing in the Australian International Pedal Prix, which we will go into in later posts. It start at AU $6700. This is one of my favorite designs. But it is not my absolute favorite. For that  I will have to introduce you to.......



AquilaAquila. This is without a doubt my favorite designed velomobile of all time. To see why see the video at the bottom of this page. This design has vents for cooling, an opaque roof for shade and a fully enclosed cabin space. In the AIPP it is also without  a doubt the fastest velo on the track. It lists for AU $ 8500. Although this beautiful design was intended for racing, I see  no reason it couldn't be used on the street. Just add lights mirrors, and go!

AquilaAquila




Aquila11
Steintrikes Thunderstorm

Thuinderstorm

The Steintrikes Thunderstorm is the newer, lower version of the Leitra velomobile. It is designed to be lower, faster and more comfortable than the Leitra that it replaces. The fairing can be removed for riding if desired. The entire front canopy hinges forward for easy entry and exit. The site located at http://www.steintrikes.com/trike/thunderstorm.php can provide you with more information except the price. 

Thuinderstorm

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waw



The Waw is a popular design which features side mirrors, wheel disks and a full aerodynamic canopy with vents. It is one of the longest, but is also one of the most aerodynamic. The canopy can be removed for fair weather riding, but I could not find a price on this one. Probably best to check out https://sites.google.com/site/mobilitylabbe/Home/waw for more information.

Aerorider Sport


The Aerorider Sport available from http://www.aerorider.com/en/sunrider.html does not list a price, but one would have to imagine it is pretty high. It features a composite structure, hydraulic brakes, a cycle computer, a 48 volt electric assist, vents, battery monitors and lights. You need to contact them for the price though. They also have a concept version shown on their website. It appears to have a full enclosure with a windshield wiper and NACA ducts on the side.


Aurora 


The Aurora is another creation from our friends at http://velomobiles.ca/Aurora.html. It is one of the few designs that goes with the delta trike pattern( one front wheel, two rear). It is also the only one that seems to pull it off with an aerodynamic shape. If you want something different(like a velomobile isn't different enough) this one is available for 7200 dollars Canadian with the roof option.
Borealis



The Borealis velomobile from http://velomobiles.ca/Borealis.html is a body you can buy that fits over top of the Trice QNT tadpole recumbent trike or newer Sprint NT. The total cost of a shell with lights and made out of Kevlar looks to be just over 5000 dollar Canadian.  If you already have one of these trikes you might check this out. It is a very nice design aerodynamically.
Flevobike Orca

27042011-2508-800px


The Flevobike Orca is available starting at 7500 Euros and is made with front drum and rear disk brakes. The large cover can be opened with a hinge. This is an update to the well known Versatile. The wheels on this model mount directly to the body, eliminating harsh road bumps passed through to the rider. This bike comes complete with lights, signals, horn buzzer, an ignition lock for the electrical system composite wheels a Rohloff speed hub and rear view mirrors. At this price point fully loaded with all the options, this may be the deal to beat. Check out http://www.flevobike.nl/en/products/orca for more details.

Flevobike Alleweder

DNs_LFQonGrass.jpg (127234 bytes)

The Flevobike Alleweder has a distinctive double hump front end and is one of the cheaper velomobiles you will run across. At $4495 kit price or $6995 fully assembled, you can find this one at http://www.velomobileusa.com/.  One thing you will notice is the fact that this may be the only velomobile made out of aluminum. It is produced in Midland, Texas here in the United States.
Ocean Cycle Challanger

 Velomobile shell


Here is a nice design made to fit on the popular ICE trikes. It can be bought assembled or as a kit. The website currently says it is in prototype stages, but says the production model will have wing mirrors, signals and lights using LEDs.  They appear to be looking at a blower for the front windscreen also.  The fully enclosed design also features a manual wiper for the front screen. The windows are said to be made replaceable and are not difficult to replace. This one should be an interesting one to follow. Check out http://oceancycle.co.uk/products,velomobileShell for more details.


Blue Sky Designs


Blue Sky Designs are known for mainly selling the BUG E electric vehicle. They also sell bodywork so you can build your own velomobile using their fairing, canopy and bodywork. They will work with you with your design, but you need to use your own recumbent tadpole trike as a base for the bodywork. As of this writing, you can get the canopy and body work from them at http://www.blueskydsn.com/kit.html for a price of 1,000 dollars US for the bodywork and canopy. All you need is use a recumbent trike. Below are the dimensions of the trike.



Below here is the BugE. It is not a velomobile but reverse trike using electric motors and moped running gear. It is registered as a motor vehicle and comes with paperwork to get it registered for street use. It is sold as a kit and must be assembled.

Features Graphic Display

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Go-One Evolution


I won't go into to much detail about the first Go One velomobile. Lets just say that the Evolution is indeed an evolution in its design. The original did not have the sweeping tapered rear end this one has. The aerodynamic capabilities of the velomobile are best when the rear end tapers like an airplane wing. The first one did not do that. This one is indeed one of the best designs on the market. A simple design with a full enclosure.  It is manufactured in Germany and can be shipped anywhere in the US. Check out http://www.go-one.us/models/go-one-evolution for more information. The price comes in at just under 13,000 dollars, but the hard top roof is a 2,000 dollar option. If I was buying this velomobile I would almost assuredly have to pay the extra two grand for the knowledge that my aerodynamics where at their most optimal. As with all velomobiles lighting and directional signals are optional, but this one even has an electrical ventilation system as an option too.
Sunrider


Welcome the Sunrider. Manufactured in the Netherlands, the Sunrider can be purchased from http://www.go-one.us/models/sunrider-velomobile
for a price of under 11,000 dollars. As you can see it is similar to the Sinner Mango and the Strada, but has a contoured front end and a roof/windscreen setup that can be taken down and stored in the vehicle.  The Sunrider comes with a full suspension, dual front disk brakes instead of drums, mirrors and lights. The Sunrider also has an opening canopy that provides for easy access.
Vector HPV


Without a doubt the one I want and cannot buy is the Vector. Built back in the 1980's to compete in the IHPSC races, the Vector is easily the most streamlined and close to the ground. I believe the had 24 inch sew up tires in front and a 700c rear wheel. It had a lexan canopy and was constructed with 2 inch tubing. Apparently the huge clear canopy caused a few problems. It would cook you on warm days and fog up on cool days.

If  you want to know about something really close in design stay tuned, I will be uploading a velomobile in the near future that could be a production version of this. It probably isn't, but it definitely has some of the same design cues.
Check out the link below for some more information on the Vector.
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/vector/vector.htm
Sinner Mango

The Sinner Mango is brought to you by the people at www.sinnerbikes.com. Pricing as seen from the people at http://www.go-one.us/models/mango/parts-accessories is as follows. The Sinner Mango Plus is listed at $10,884, the Sinner Mango Sport is $11,620 and the Sinner Mango Red Edition is $13,764 all US dollars. They also list lots of optional equipment . As you can see the Sinner Mango is constructed of fiberglass and features a fully enclosed drive train as well as a full dash made of carbon fiber. There is also a carbon fiber version of the  Mango + available. Their are three models to choose from, the Mango Tour model seems to be the most promising.  The Tour model has included items like a bell, a bike computer, battery charger, cover with foam cap, pump, spare tire and paste stuff.  It is fully ready for a cross country trip if you like.

Once again here is a random video from youtube. As you can see these velomobiles are some of the most popular.  There is a large number of Sinner Mango videos I have found on youtube. Some of the videos are a half hour long or more. Obviously a velomobile is a much more comfortable bike to ride than a traditional bike all while requiring up to 50 percent less effort or more to pedal the same speed as an upright bike. The video on the right shows the speed capabilities of a Mango. This one reached 111 kph on a downhill ride.

Update: had a fellow reader link me to some sites showing lots of wonderful pictures. Here are a few from http://vulkanlandbiker.at/gallery/Mango-Velomobil-211-Velomobiel I won't upload many, the files are huge.
Velomobil Sinner Mango ohne Deckel

Sinner Mango velomobile 211 Pachauer

Sinner Mango velomobile 211 Front top

Mango velomobile 211 rear
Mango velomobile 211 page view


Cab Bike


The Cab Bike is yet another is available at www.bluevelo.com. Produced in Canada and Engineered in Germany, it has a base price of just about 10,000 dollars, This little gem has the benefit of a clam shell type front opening and a front windshield wiper. It also has all the necessary items like a horn, lights and such as options. This one is also available as an electric assist model. It has a full suspension, internal hubs and the rear motor is built into the wheels hub.

It is interesting to note that an extra cost option replaces the electric assist with a 14 speed Rohloff internally shifting hub. We assume this replaces the electric assist as a result of both of them using the internal hub of the rear wheel. This seems to be one of the few fully enclosed cabin velomobiles with a windshield wiper.