Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Getting closer

Well at least I've ridden the Tour Quickly a couple of times now. I've got to get a good distance ride in on it sometime this week to make sure all is well and fix that annoying chain to fender rattle, otherwise so far so good. The trailer is finished and functions quite nicely. A little heavier than I was hoping, but so is the bike. The car seems to pull it just fine and hey, it matches...sorta.

Nose is on and reinforced, using Pex tubing as reinforcement. Two hoops and lateral reinforcement bars on the sides. Now how to make the the front wheel turn without ruining the aerodynamics, hiding the jockey wheels, mounting the tail, and woking on lights.
Front pex reinforcement tube.
Pinstripeing with Plastidip. Sticks to Zote, flexes, doesn't rub off immediately.
Epoxy painting the frame.

Recommended reading: Hoerner's Fluid Dynamics, Tamai's The Leading Edge, The Paterek Bicycle Framebuilding Manual. Masses of knowledge in an understandable format.

Secret weapons: 12Ah 14.8v polymer Lithium Ion battery, tiny superlight 13W Metal halide helmet light, all the bits and pieces to wire up the bike with flashers ect.
Inside the trailer. Home away from home, eh? I don't have any daytime pics of the outside yet, just happy to have it finished at this point.
So my friend Dave Balfour, his friend Becky, and I attended the 2006 HPRA race directors meeting last Saturday. I am now officially directing an HPRA race at Hawkeye Downs Speedway September 16-17, 2006. And now I've got to work out the details...coming soon....Warren :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tour Quickly

Okay, so I finally got my butt in gear and brazed a bike together. Wasn't sure what to build, but I wanted a test mule for front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, different seat angles/positions, handlbar configs, ect,ect. I needed something cushy for ultra endurance events that would fit inside my foamshell, and turn around on a two lane road for time trials. And I needed to build it pretty quick and easy, since I'm just practicing up on my brazing. I'd never seen an ultra low long wheelbase so thats what I settled on.

The design:
73" long wheelbase
dual 406 wheels with room for tires 2.1 and smaller
135mm spacing on both ends for various drivetrain setups
5.5" seat height at 25-40 degrees
80 degree HT angle with about 2" trail
Remote steering with about 7" of tiller
Using a single front ring, step up pulley to raise my final gearing, and a short cage rear der with a wide range cassette in hilly areas /close range for typical race venues.

I used .049"thick 1" square tubing as my main frame tubes to help simplify layout and speed the build process. Not the light option, but it sure makes mitres easy. I triangulated the crap out of the front of the frame to help counter pedaling forces and ran the main tubes under the seat side by side to maintain vertical compliance while countering lateral movement as well. A bit of triangulation on the seat braces also to eliminate lateral movements.

I used dual steering rods to keep them under tension at all times. I'm not a real fan of indirect steering, but a three foo long tiller doesn't work too well in a shell. And I don't like trusting small steering rods under compression, so a little redundancy eases my mind.

It ends up looking like a really low version of a Tour Easy, hence the name Tour Quickly. The fenders were a late night addition, stolen from an old Stingray clone. Lowrider, eh? They are really there to keep the tires from rubbing the shell and avoid spray of course.

Believe it or not I can turn this bike around on a 10' wide lane. It turns real sharp, this was a bit of a suprise. With a little practice I should be able to whip it around real quick for TTs

The ride is very cushy as planned, maybe too cushy. I don't have enough ride time on it yet to truly tell.

Weight. I'm scared to weigh it. Just trying to keep it lighter than the Varna with the shell at this point. Lots of tubes and big brazed fillits means lots of weight.

The bike seemed rediculously long until I put the shell on it, then it's not too bad. The wheels are all the way to the ends of the shell. This puts the spare room within the shell closer to me, which is a good thing for ultra endurance where I will be carrying water bladders, food, and lighting systems.

As you might have noticed from the earlier pictures, I'm using a dual dolly wheel setup. I figure I don't want to be having to think about which side the dolly is on at the Nth hour, and they're set wide to keep me from just flipping on over anyway. Might be handy in heavy winds as well. The controls for these are still in the build phase. I know they work good when deployed and good when retracted, hopefully they work good while deploying and retracting :)

I've also got a fair bit of work to do on shell attachment, hope to finish that up this coming weekend.

These are pictures of my handy dandy fixture table at work. Nice chunk of scrap from the shop.

Here's my good friend and racing competition Rick Gritters of Pella, IA welding up my fork. Prolly the strongest part of this bike.

Another good friend, Richard(Deke) Gosen of Decorah, IA. He operates Oneota River Cycles in Decorah, great shop. Deke is my parts source and wheel man. He also puts on some the greatest mtb races in IA.

A note about the wheels on this bike. They are the nicest things on it. DT 240S disc cassette hubs, laced to Velocity Aeroheat rims with single butted 14/15 ga DT Comp spokes. Nice, light, fast, stiff, bling.
Trying out the huge Primo Comet HD tires in the pics. 406 2.1"110psi smooth tread just like the normal Comet, only bigger and beefier.

The seat I'm using is a Dave Balfour special. Very nice carbon hardshell, lightest part on the bike. Step one of conquering the world.

Anyway thats all for now. Back to building.