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Thread: Sail bike?

  1. #26
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    I am not sure the question of 2 wheels vs. 3 was answered. Most of the links don't work on this resurrected thread from 05! I think that 2 wheels would work, sailboards have no keel to speak of, so the riders steers the board to make the thrust vectors aligning to go the path they choose.

    I do not think the side thrusts would be too great, bike would lean strongly into a wind, but the wind would be pushing, so the main thrust vector is close to aligned with the wheel.

  2. #27
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    Each time I've done long distance (Canada to Mx) rides, I've thought about this "sail" idea. I'm not an engineer, but my concept is to use the wind only when its coming from the rearward direction. The mechanism I have in mind would resemble half of an umbrella when open. Some configuration of strong light fabric attached to lightweight "stays". It would require an easily accessible lever(?) located on the top post or seat post to instantly open to take advantage of the wind, or close the sail, so as not to fight a headwind. I'm not sold on a sail attached to the front set of the bike, and rising like on a sail boat. My gut sez visibility issues, sideways tipping forces, etc While these issues may not be a problem for three wheelers on ice or sand with plenty of maneuvering room, traveling on the side of the road is hazardous enough without adding to it... (but then again, I'm not an engineer) Just a thought.

  3. #28
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Trikes are the thing with a mast sail, or a Kite Tow..

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatadonut View Post
    speeds of 30 mph? Maybe I'm misunderstanding sailing, but in my mind, it would be much harder to go 30mph unless the wind was going that fast as well.

    Sailing isn't like an electric motor. It doesn't help you go faster, it just helps you more closely match the speed of the wind.
    Counter intuitively, sailboats sail faster into the wind than with it, and can exceed wind speed under certain conditions. But they're limited in terms of angle and cannot sail closer than about 40° into the wind, with the fastest angle about 55-60° off the bow.

    The reason you go faster upwind than down is that when sailing upwind, as you pick up speed you add to the wind speed, and get more power whereas when going downwind, you lose tailwind and power as you go faster.

    BTW- Iceboats can hit speeds of well over 100mph in 20-25mph winds, with records of roughly 7x the wind speed. Some years back people built sail trikes based on the design of iceboats. Sail bikes can really fly, buy they need large open spaces to operate in.

    The problem with sail bikes is that they're limited to following roads which might turn directly into the wind putting the sailbike "in irons".
    Last edited by FBinNY; 01-02-13 at 04:37 PM.
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  5. #30
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Holy zombie thread. This thread was started before they had internal combustion engines, I think. Wow.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Holy zombie thread. This thread was started before they had internal combustion engines, I think. Wow.
    2004-2013, could this be a new record?, and not that many posts.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  7. #32
    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacG View Post
    The only way to sail a bike faster than the wind is to have a wide vehicle that can resist a serious tipping power.

    A run, when the wind is at your back, allows you to approach the speed of the wind and applies little to no tipping force to the craft.

    When the sail is hauled in and the craft turned to cross the wind, then the speed picks up. I think the optimum angle (for a boat) is about 30 degrees off of the wind on either side. The elusive component that allows a sailboar to move forwards and not just blow sideways is the keel or board. The boat has what is literally a wing flying through the water underneath it. The propulsion (other than on a run, when you have a floating parachute) is caused by the fighting of the wing under the water against the wing in the air (the sail).

    If you had a wide trike, you could probably sail crosswind. The keel's job would be provided by the wheels (preventing the sideways motion of the craft) and as long as the rig was wide enough to be stable, you could probably get some speed up.

    The biggest problem is that you are heavily limited by the direction of the wind, so you would probably only be able to sail in a large open area, like the salt flats or a big sports field. I don't think that a sail would be able to provide any advantages or even be very feasable in town or on trails, unfortunately.

    That said, I'll put in a six pack to the first person to create a sailbike capable of traveling crosswind at speeds greater than the measured wind (without pedal/motor assistance, naturally). Gentlemen (and ladies); start your welders!

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  8. #33
    the digitalmouse digitalmouse's Avatar
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    to add to the zombie revival:

    I've tried the Whike at a past SPEZI special bikes show in Germany. Was actually impressed when it got underway with a crosswind on the test track.

    current ride: 2010 Steintrike Nomad with Wildcat nose fairing https://picasaweb.google.com/jimm.pratt/NomadWildcat

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  9. #34
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    From the picture of bike above, I think it can exercise the ham muscle fully.

  10. #35
    Not quite there yet Matariki's Avatar
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    When I was 11 or 12, I put a sail made out of a piece of plastic on my bike. It didn't go well, but I did appreciate the immediate feedback.

  11. #36
    Senior Member Chugosh's Avatar
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    The whole idea is so cool!
    Not real handy for the el cheapo rider to get into, though.
    At least if the wind will not blow, you still have your pedals.
    1983 Fuji S-12 S with cruiser handle bars and a rack, but no kickstand.

  12. #37
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    Sail bike has a standard 1.6 m2 sail and can reach speeds up to 50 km/h ( 31 mph ) with wind speeds of 4-5 bft (13-24 mph ). It can be legally used on both bike lanes and streets in the Netherlands and UK. Activating the front brake releases the sail's spinlock, assuring there will be no more wind-propulsion.The Whike features a three piece aluminium mast that can be stowed away on board when not needed. It is also equipped with 18 gears and the front sprockets are custom made for the Whike. To maintain safe and responsive stopping the trike is fitted with disk brakes on all wheels. The cycle also has a handbrake function to prevent it sailing away while without rider. The frame is available in black or white chromium molybdenum alloy steel, other colours are possible for an additional €100. The Whike weighs 23 kgs including the sail and can carry a maximum weight of 115 kgs including luggage. The sail also has the advantage of aiding visibility of the cycle on the roads.

  13. #38
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    i think its called knots when your referring to speed while sailing not mph or kms for wind power.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaMenace View Post
    i think its called knots when your referring to speed while sailing not mph or kms for wind power.
    Not quite. knots are nautical miles per hour. A nautical mile is 1.15 (land) miles, so a knot = 1.15mph. The issue isn't the power source (sail, wind) but whether you're in a boat at sea.
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  15. #40
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Not quite. knots are nautical miles per hour. A nautical mile is 1.15 (land) miles, so a knot = 1.15mph. The issue isn't the power source (sail, wind) but whether you're in a boat at sea.
    And yet airplanes also use the term "knot" when referring to wind speed and air speed... so indeed the term is NOT limited to water based craft. The nautical mile is the key here... and the key is that a "nautical mile" is roughly equivalent to one minute of arc of latitude.

    The nautical mile remains in use by sea and air navigators worldwide because of its convenience when working with charts.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nautical_mile

  16. #41
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    I invented a 43 panel Tyvek inner-frame sail for my 2 wheel bike. all explained here -http://www.roadrecumbent.com/
    Last edited by roadrecumbent; 12-10-13 at 04:43 PM.

  17. #42
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    PRE GOPRO


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    Last edited by oddjob2; 12-13-13 at 08:24 AM.
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