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Steve's Velomobile Project


May 22 Update

Here is a picture of the hinge arrangement for the rear suspension. The hinges are made with some carbon and glass fiber in a simple jig wrapped around a rod and compression moulded. They seem to be adding strenght where the rear axles pivot and have stiffened up the suspension a bit by removing some flex that might have been there before they were added. I have been abusing them a bit lately and they are holding up well.

Below is a picture of the plug for the cover for the derailleur. I have made a part from this to check that it is the correct size and will now make a mould so that the finished side is on the outside.

Did a trial fit of the vent duct and will have to add a bit to the mould to get it right. The good news is the duct only weighs 85 grams and can probably get a bit lighter yet.

May 19 Update

Have finished making the mould and a part to create the front vent duct. Still have to install it and try it out. Very peasant in the mornings at about 12C even zipping down the hill at 65kph. Much warmer at about 30C riding home the last few days. On the fairly flat sections there is enough ventilation at 15 kph to be reasonable as the shell keeps the direct sun off but going really slow up hills is a bit hot. Hopefully the additon of a front vent will help with this.

Made up a new seat a few weeks back and have now finally installed it. The new seat is about half the weight of the old one and I want to try some ventilation holes in it to make it even lighter. It will now flip foward to make getting stuff in the back easier.

Helment, a four litre ice cream container and bag that holds repair kit keys etc. in the back. There is also some bits of foam under these items. Two twenty litre packs would fit on top of this fairly easily.

May 2 Progress

Presently working on finishing off the Red Aurora. It still needs a bit of a mechanical tune up as when it was used at the Left Coast Velomobile Gathering it was in less an optimal shape. I am still a bit susprised that we managed to have it together and rideable in time. Some late nights spent to do this.

We are adding the lights and still need to completely enclose the chain from road grim. I have made a roughly shaped cover for the derailleur which needs refinement before we make a proper mould from it. The chain from the Dual Drive to the rear axle also needs a cover. This one will be a one of a kind cover as I will modify the hull slightly so I can use a much smaller cover for the rear chain on future Auroras.

Hope to be able to start on the next velomobile in a couple of weeks for a customer who plans on adding a electric assist for his 40 km daily commute.



Left Coast Velomobile Gathering

Four thousand and fifteen km and we are back from the first LCVG. We had an interesting time and got to briefly try out some other velomobiles. Here a picture of the set up we used to transport them. Th trailer towed very well and did not seem to add much drag. I am sure that the trailer is heavier than the velomobiles.

Below is a group picture of the velomobiles on Sunday's ride.

Elrey's Versatile is a very nice machine. Well built, solid, lots of room inside looks great and well cared for. He is selling it when his new one arrives so this could be a great purchase for the lucky person. contact him at

I was quite impressed with Craig Johnsen's homebuilt velomobile based on the Trice Mirco. Craig has done a really nice job, its the white one with the red stripe. It's quite noisy inside with both covers on so a head out design might be better if adding a shell to a partially suspended trike. . The major difference between the Aurora and these velomobiles is that the others are quite low to the ground. I intensionally decided to be taller to see and be seen in traffic. The Aurora is at about door height for a small car while the others are a bit below. The Aurora also has substantially more storage room inside. To the left is Joel's solar powered velomobile with an electric assist and a sound system. You would pedal up beside Joel and he would need to turn the sound down so you could talk. I suspect that the two wheel velomobile would easily be quicker than a trike configuration but the trike is so much more user friendly.

On the flats all these velomobiles seemed to be "similar" in speed. The quickest bike on the Sunday ride was Micheal's Stilletto,a really nice light carbon fibre LWB with fairing that climbs well, with a body sock. This configuration seems to have some of the benefits of a velomobile but with very little weight added. . The strongest rider in the group is Elrey and he lead the way. Craig and I would slowly gain on him on a long gentle hills where the lower weight of our velos may have been a factor but I think Elrey has riding the Versatile dialled in where he conserves energy on the uphills and rides to manitain a constant effort. On my ride home today I went just a little slower than normal up the last hill and just enjoyed the nice day. This seems a better way to deal with the extra weight than just going for it. Seeing some other velomibles up close and riding with them reasured me that we are on the right track.

On the Saturday's ride through town it was quite neat to see people's reactions as we all went by. A very positive reaction to say the least. The gathering was good fun and hopefully we can make it back again next year.