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Thread: Sail bike?

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    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Sail bike?

    I'm sure someone has done this. After fighting the wind the other day, it seemed to me that there is a market for a sail-driven bike. The sail could be mounted on a post behind the rider, and be turned to take advantage of the prevaling wind. With tacking, it could be used even when the wind is coming from a frontal angle. Seems to me that with just a small boost speeds of 30mph could be common (yeah, I know -- for some of you they already are).

    Does anyone know of such an invention?

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    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    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.
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

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    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatadonut
    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.
    Some boats sail faster than the wind. If this is true with boats, where there is substantial water drag, it should be even more true with sail-powered land craft.

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    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    OK, having done some 30 seconds of research and thought about this, I'll concede that a sail can, in fact, go faster than the wind. (If anyone else has questions about this, just google "sail faster than wind") However, you need to be able to trim the sails, and that would be an impressive feat of engineering and/or riding on a bicycle.
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

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    holyrollin' FlatTop's Avatar
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    I saw this in a '50s-'60s issue of either Popular Mechanics or Popular Science, a small news writeup with only one photo. It was a four-wheeler made of bicycle parts, with a small sail. Builder was English, and it appeared to be a one-off, not produced in quantity.

    Managing a sail on a two-wheeler might be demanding. Would be an interesting design project.

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    One thing to consider is the side thrust on the wheels. 48 spoke BMX would be good. Sidehacks trash wheels for the same reason.

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    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    I sail. You can defineitely go much faster than the wind. Ice boats (on blades like skates) can go over 100 mph. One of the problems to overcome with a sailbike would be the heeling induced by the sail. Think of how those boats are leaned way over in the wind. A thought I had is a sail on a skateboard, sort of like a land windsurfer...
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

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    don't pedal backwards... MacG's Avatar
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    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!
    from Minneapolis, with bike love

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    google "kite buggy" or "land yacht" Hell, while you're at it, check out kiteboarding... it's my obsession before the windy season ended and biking took over...

    it's all about kites.....

    it won't work on a bike though... the sideways pull of the sail/kite would fight the gyroscopic stability of the spinning wheels, you would lose it.

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    meb
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    I'm sure someone has done this. After fighting the wind the other day, it seemed to me that there is a market for a sail-driven bike. The sail could be mounted on a post behind the rider, and be turned to take advantage of the prevaling wind. With tacking, it could be used even when the wind is coming from a frontal angle. Seems to me that with just a small boost speeds of 30mph could be common (yeah, I know -- for some of you they already are).

    Does anyone know of such an invention?
    http://www.rans.com/25C_Early_Years.htm
    http://paulworden.freeservers.com/Safety%20Sail.htm
    http://traylorfwd.home.mindspring.com/sailbikes.html

    http://www.ihpva.org/wiki/index.php/Sail_Bike

    I've gathered the parts I need to sail my tadpole, but haven't had time to put it together.

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    meb
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacG
    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!
    Tom Traylor has had his bike over 55 mph:

    http://traylorfwd.home.mindspring.com/sailbikes.html

    And RANS had one of their trikes over 90 mph.

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Let's reinvent the wheel here. 10 seconds of googling turned up the
    North American Land Sailing Association.

    http://www.windline.net/land_sailing_links.htm

    They've been working on the technology for 50 years.
    http://www.nalsa.org/landsailing_in_america.htm

    MacG, I think you owe a beer to Bob Schumacher, 116.7 mph with a 30 mph wind.
    http://www.nalsa.org/speed_record.htm

    Looks fun.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 11-16-05 at 07:35 PM.

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    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    The Iron Duck uh? Looks pretty cool.

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    I thought I'd go ahead and revive this thread since it's an interesting topic. Sounds like my thinking is pretty similar - I was thinking about the idea. It also occured to me that a recumbent would be more well suited for a sail because of the lower center of gravity.

    That said, as others have mentioned a small, adjustable, removable sail on a standard bike might be useful in some situations. If you were traveling with a tailwind or light sidewind, it could provide a useful boost. This is especially true with hills: if you're riding a long, steady incline with a tailwind, it seems to me that a sail would make climbing much easier. Since you would be going that fast, there'd be a little to no drag effect.

    Obviously there are conditions where a sail would be a hindrance: When you are riding on flat or downcline surface with little or no wind a sail would obviously create a great deal of resistance (which it why it would need to be easily removable). An obviously it's probably not a good idea in the city, only on an open road (even then it would need to be fairly small). But I'm really curious if anyone has had any progress and success with this idea.

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    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanK
    I thought I'd go ahead and revive this thread since it's an interesting topic. Sounds like my thinking is pretty similar - I was thinking about the idea. It also occured to me that a recumbent would be more well suited for a sail because of the lower center of gravity.

    That said, as others have mentioned a small, adjustable, removable sail on a standard bike might be useful in some situations. If you were traveling with a tailwind or light sidewind, it could provide a useful boost. This is especially true with hills: if you're riding a long, steady incline with a tailwind, it seems to me that a sail would make climbing much easier. Since you would be going that fast, there'd be a little to no drag effect.

    Obviously there are conditions where a sail would be a hindrance: When you are riding on flat or downcline surface with little or no wind a sail would obviously create a great deal of resistance (which it why it would need to be easily removable). An obviously it's probably not a good idea in the city, only on an open road (even then it would need to be fairly small). But I'm really curious if anyone has had any progress and success with this idea.
    Well, I'm in the middle of stripping and rebuilding a bike to be amphibious, maybe i'll throw a sail on and let you know how it goes
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

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    meb
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanK
    I thought I'd go ahead and revive this thread since it's an interesting topic. Sounds like my thinking is pretty similar - I was thinking about the idea. It also occured to me that a recumbent would be more well suited for a sail because of the lower center of gravity.

    That said, as others have mentioned a small, adjustable, removable sail on a standard bike might be useful in some situations. If you were traveling with a tailwind or light sidewind, it could provide a useful boost. This is especially true with hills: if you're riding a long, steady incline with a tailwind, it seems to me that a sail would make climbing much easier. Since you would be going that fast, there'd be a little to no drag effect.

    Obviously there are conditions where a sail would be a hindrance: When you are riding on flat or downcline surface with little or no wind a sail would obviously create a great deal of resistance (which it why it would need to be easily removable). An obviously it's probably not a good idea in the city, only on an open road (even then it would need to be fairly small). But I'm really curious if anyone has had any progress and success with this idea.
    I discussed the possibility of a recumbent sailbike a few years ago with Tom Traylor. He pointed out that it would be very hard to shift your weight quickly enough on a recumbent to accomodate the wind gusts. So as far as a bike, I'm inclined to agree with Tom that an upright sailbike would be easier to control than a recumbent. However, with regard to a trike or a quad, I'm inclined to think the lower recumbent cg would be benefit on a cycle having a wider track.

    In the DC area where I live, there are many bike trails. I'm looking at systems having sails that would remain within the 36 inch width of my recumbent trike.

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    I sail, windsurf, Kite buggy, land sail, kite board/surf, with 10+ years experience in Kite power vehicles.

    IHMO, roads are not the place to take advantage of the wind. If you have a big open area like Ivanpah dried lake, or hard pack beaches, you can play with sail powered land vehicles. Small grass fields are not enough to get up to speed.
    We had people show up at Ivanpah and El Mirage with sail powered wheelchairs and yes, kite and sail powered bicycles. they are mostly a curiousity, not very efficient or quick. The limited ability to resist side loading and deteriorated controlabity is the main detriment.

    However, even tho it is not an effective form of transport. The dreamer, tinker and artist in each one of us must be fed. Go ahead and build it! it will be fulfilling and fun.

    Meb, if you want to try kite power, drop me an IM
    If you are not having any fun, it's all your fault

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    hmm

    my guess was going to be long based sociable tandem trike, and i thought i was going to be thought of as a genius, but the long based trike was one of the first photos i saw...
    not any sociable tandems though...i guess i'm still a ******* genius

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    meb
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    Quote Originally Posted by poopncow
    I sail, windsurf, Kite buggy, land sail, kite board/surf, with 10+ years experience in Kite power vehicles.

    IHMO, roads are not the place to take advantage of the wind. If you have a big open area like Ivanpah dried lake, or hard pack beaches, you can play with sail powered land vehicles. Small grass fields are not enough to get up to speed.
    We had people show up at Ivanpah and El Mirage with sail powered wheelchairs and yes, kite and sail powered bicycles. they are mostly a curiousity, not very efficient or quick. The limited ability to resist side loading and deteriorated controlabity is the main detriment.

    However, even tho it is not an effective form of transport. The dreamer, tinker and artist in each one of us must be fed. Go ahead and build it! it will be fulfilling and fun.

    Meb, if you want to try kite power, drop me an IM
    When people show up with kite power for bikes, what size kites are they using?
    Are the kites tethered via string?
    Or is the concept different?
    How much propulsion does the kite achieve?

    Would think a tethered kite would limit you to travelling with tailwinds. Is that the case.


    As for road sail vehicles, the concept has been tried proven and manufactured by RANS:
    http://www.rans.com/25C_Early_Years.htm

    And Worden has shown a small airfoil providing satisfactory supplement on a smaller sail suitable for bike trails:
    http://paulworden.freeservers.com/Safety%20Sail.htm

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    meb
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    We don't need no stinking low center of gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanK
    I thought I'd go ahead and revive this thread since it's an interesting topic. Sounds like my thinking is pretty similar - I was thinking about the idea. It also occured to me that a recumbent would be more well suited for a sail because of the lower center of gravity.

    That said, as others have mentioned a small, adjustable, removable sail on a standard bike might be useful in some situations. If you were traveling with a tailwind or light sidewind, it could provide a useful boost. This is especially true with hills: if you're riding a long, steady incline with a tailwind, it seems to me that a sail would make climbing much easier. Since you would be going that fast, there'd be a little to no drag effect.

    Obviously there are conditions where a sail would be a hindrance: When you are riding on flat or downcline surface with little or no wind a sail would obviously create a great deal of resistance (which it why it would need to be easily removable). An obviously it's probably not a good idea in the city, only on an open road (even then it would need to be fairly small). But I'm really curious if anyone has had any progress and success with this idea.
    These Frenchies are on a world tour with one of the tallest recumbents on the market and have a discussion going. Optima Condor Sailbent World Tour:
    http://ventduvoyage.free.fr/Materiel.htm#voile

    There making us eat crow on the feasibility of two wheeled recumbent sailbikes.


    Here's a thread in the recumbents forum on subject:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...50#post2431550

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    Hi
    yes there is such an invention, it is awesome. Called a Whike if you go to http://www.whike.com you will see it.

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    Senior Member WPeabody's Avatar
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    There's also this one:

    http://www.pterosail.com/
    What do you call a cyclist who sells potpourri on the road? A pedaling petal-peddler.

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I'd like to see a race between those two.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    I sail. You can defineitely go much faster than the wind. Ice boats (on blades like skates) can go over 100 mph. One of the problems to overcome with a sailbike would be the heeling induced by the sail. Think of how those boats are leaned way over in the wind. A thought I had is a sail on a skateboard, sort of like a land windsurfer...


    Right. If bike-sailing on, say a beam reach.....and a big gust happens, to keep from tipping over you'll need to quickly 'sheet out' your sail or you must quickly 'fall off'/head downwind, potentially causing you to crash into the person sailing downwind of you.
    So Id start with a downwind rig. Most kayak sailors only use a downwind rig, (only works downwind mostly=less chance of capsize) they are simple to deploy and simple to dowse....and CHEAP!

    Kites in urban environment are out of the question. ive been kiteboarding since 04'
    Im sure a kayak sail could easily be rigged for a bike. Good luck i wanna see whatever you make when your done!
    Last edited by CabezaShok; 07-11-12 at 11:20 AM.

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    Mostly Harmless dirty tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chesh6280 View Post
    Hi
    yes there is such an invention, it is awesome. Called a Whike if you go to http://www.whike.com you will see it.
    Wow. That looks like some serious fun.

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