back to index journal

Homepage Products Contacts Us



Steve's Velomobile Project

November 24 Update

Took some measurements of the Aurora

Lenght 280cm (9' 2.25")

Width of Body 76cm (30")

Height 121cm (47.5")

Wheel base 160cm(63")

Track Width79.3cm(31.25) with 170 pound rider

Track width no load 75 cm(29.5")

Seat Height 33cm(13")

Bottom Bracket Height 49cm(19.5")

Weight 36 kg (79 pounds) subject to change

Drivetrain is Sram Dual Drive as a middrive with triple chainring at the bottom bracket. Cog on middrive is 24 while cog on driven right axle is 18 tooth.

Brakes mechanical disk brakes on the rear wheels, V-brake on the front wheel which can also be used as a braking brake.

Lights, LED turn/running lights front and back, LRD rear light/brake light, horn, provision for headlights.

November 20 Update

A few of pictures of the the second velomobile in its almost finished state

Side view in the parking lot at the shop. One of the changes to be made is to lower the front of the velomobile shell by building the structural beam a bit taller. Miscalculated when I moved the front fork forward. This will also make installing the steering rod easier. Already changed the mould to make installing the rear axles simpler and the rear wheels, as there is now too much clearance above the rear wheels. The top of the wheel well is becoming lower which will make it a very comfortable place to rest your arms. Lowered the seat from the previous version about an inch after discovering that there was room to do so without having chain interference problems. Also plan on changing the front of the bottom shell to make it a bit more aerodynamic as there is some room to do so with the added space in front of the front wheel while still leaving room for the headlights.

The LED lights work well but the headlight/vent/carrying handle opening needs improvement. Presently just reach inside the opening to wheel the velomobile around on its rear wheels but the edge is a bit sharp. Will add a 20W halogen light to the 10W light I have now. The 10W is not quite enough to clearly see the edge of the road when cars approach with high beams on. Will need to add a bit of a duct to direct the airflow past the front bulkhead and be able to control the amount of ventilation.

View of the seat and handlebar. The seat has been reclined a bit more than in the previous version. This has improved the comfort a bit. The bit thicker foam pad also helps. The handle bar is now high and needs to be lowered as much as possible. This is part of the reason for the thick foam pad. The beam mould will need to change to accommodate this. I will increase the width for the handle bar where it makes the turn to vertical and bend the upright ends in a bit narrower. This should put my hands in a bit more natural position and allow lots of hand clearance from the shell. The cutout in the carbon fibre beam through which the chain passes will be moved foward to help support the floor and allow the cutout to be a bit smaller. At the bottom of the door cutout there is a vertical flange which the door closes against. The door is held in place with a shock cord loop that hooks over a hook that is glassed on the door. This arrangment seems to work very well but needs to be moved back to make hooking it on easier. Also visible is wiring for the lights, etc. The best way we have found to hold the wiring harness to the shell seems to be some thin foam contact cemented to the shell. It's light and simple to do. The drivetrain is a SRAM Dual Drive that is located just in front of the seat. There is a separate chain that runs from a cog (24 tooth) bolted on the dual drive, where the spokes normally go, to the right rear axle which has a 18 tooth freewheel on it. It is possible to go with a regular derailleur in place of the Dual Drive and have a triple chain ring at the bottom bracket.

Have ridden the new version a little bit so far. The initial impression is that it is an improvement over the previous one. The carbon fibre used in the beam seems to soak up bumps from the front wheel quite nicely. The front wheel is fairly lightly loaded anyway so now I see no need to even consider a front suspension fork. Speed on flat and slightly rolling terrain seems faster than on any of my other bikes. The only complaint I have is that the weight is still a bit heavy for going uphill. The velomobile now weighs 79 pounds. I can see reducing this weight by a few pounds but after that the possibilites will reduce the longevity of the vehicle or drive the price up. The shell could be made lighter but I am reluctant to do this as I think it will make it a less practical everyday velomobile. Besides which I have an aversion to doing composite repairs when they could be avoided by building it tough enough in the first place.