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Old 07-07-08, 06:24 PM   #1
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An Alt-Quad?

Due to the old fashioned type modest religious clothing styles I wear 'normal' bikes don't always suit me. Having a disability as well just serves to make continuing to be a bicyclist a truly interesting experience. I also happen to be very fond of Steampunk themes and traditional forms of Victorian period transport.
As a woman of slender means I certainly can't rush out and buy someone else's off the shelf solution, - or even a custom made solution for that matter. Besides I'm not especially fond of modern 'special needs' type solutions to mobility problems such as mine.

I spend quite a bit of time searching old patent records looking for inspiration, - and of course old photographs and postcards can be wonderfully useful too.

Take a look at this........



And on a similiar theme.....


The trike is of course far too low for me and getting into it would be difficult, but I've included the picture because it demonstrates a similiar kind of construction.
To my mind there are two ways to build an alternative bicycle-type vehicle: (a) Using as many bicycle parts as possible including the frames. And (b) Making most of the thing from raw materials with lots of special handmade parts.
For my purposes I would like to choose '(a)' as being the better method for my circumstances because I have plenty of aged ex-trash bicycles to make use of; - And by using as many standard bicycle parts as possible, my pedal powered vehicle will be easier to maintain. Among my reasons for considering a two person vehicle is that my Mum (who is 86) said to me that she would be happy to ride with me in a side-by-side two seater 'pedalcar' provided it was easy to get in and out of and was reasonably enclosed. Before Mum told me that I was considering building one of these........

......which of course is not especially suitable for carrying two persons. To tell the complete truth I do actually prefer a Delta trike for utility use rather than the much more sporty 'Tadpole'.
An example.......


Any thoughts from your most fertile imaginations would be appreciated ladies and gentlemen
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Old 07-07-08, 06:46 PM   #2
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Hi, Sianelle. It seems like I keep bumping into you everywhere.....must be because we have similar interests (cyclecars, velomobiles, etc.).

Just my opinion, but if you were doing a velomobile thing for serious use, I recommend sticking with the tadpole configuration. The delta has stability problems when turning and braking at the same time - the "momentum" vector goes pointing off at an angle left or right opposite the way you are turning, but there's no wheel there for support - over on your ear you go! Also, from a mechanical point of view, with one wheel in back there's no need for any differential gearing.

I keep circling around a concept of an enclosed tadpole trike with a helper motor - possibly electric - as a commuter. Right now I'm about 18 miles from work. I've considered commuting on my Surly Long Haul Trucker, but just can't seem to get up the ambition to take that last step (plus getting up early enough to make it to work on time). I have two ways that I can go - the short way, which involves a couple of fairly steep hills, and the long way, which is pretty flat but a good deal farther. The electric assist might make the short way more feasable.

I, too, like the "vintage" look. That "Flying Feather" that was linked on the Yahoo group is really cool:

http://zhome.com/History/FlyingFeather.htm
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Old 07-07-08, 07:10 PM   #3
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The 'Flying Feather' impressed me too.

I do agree about the braking characteristics of Delta trikes, but for load hauling at lower speeds they are very good. I've been riding a traditional delta tricycle for a while now and I haven't had any problems; - but then on the other hand I avoid applying the brakes on corners
I may need to do some experiments on unsuspecting bicycles in my workshop just to see what is possible.

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Old 07-08-08, 05:30 AM   #4
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I just had to share this...........

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Old 07-08-08, 07:16 AM   #5
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Cool pic! That guy in the velocar - he da man! Able to pull that rig and smoke a pipe at the same time!

Somewhere I remember seeing a pic of a Berkeley 3-wheeler (outside of the old Morgans, Berkeleys have to be the neatest 3-wheelers going) pulling a tiny camper trailer.

My only experience with delta 3-wheelers is with those little "Cushman" buggy things used in factories. I agree that 2 wheels in the back make for a good load carrier, but these devices are for low speed only on level factory floors, and at that, I've seen them with one rear wheel in the air! I can't imagine one on the open road.

I live in Kentucky, and just last week there was a bill introduced in the legislature to permit lightweight electric vehicles to be driven on roads with speed limits of 45 mph or less. Of course, this is in response to the high gas prices. The TV coverage of the story showed golf-cart type vehicles. I guess these are popular in resort communities, etc., but in this State are not generally allowed on the road. It will be interesting to see where this leads.
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Old 07-08-08, 03:34 PM   #6
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That Mochet.org site that you had pics from is great. I really liked this little number.



1930's Velocar. It's all german, but the pics are great.
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Old 07-08-08, 05:16 PM   #7
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For the sake of pictures like that I'd learn German

That particular red Mochet Velocar is an absolute pin-up for the breed and I spend much time studying all the detail pictures on the website.
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Old 07-08-08, 05:52 PM   #8
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What is not obvious from the above picture of the red Mochet is that they are actually four-wheelers. The two rear wheels are spaced very close together.

I wonder why they do that? Could it be that placing them so close together obviated the need for a differential? Why not just go with a trike layout (2F1R), unless maybe for weight capacity?

Anyway I am really intrigued by these things, and would not be surprised if they made somewhat of a comeback in this country (U.S.). I know that presently most of the velomobile manufacturers are in the UK and in Germany, I believe. I gather that velomobile racing is somewhat popular in the UK.
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Old 07-08-08, 07:43 PM   #9
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Yes! - lots of pedalcar racing happens in the UK Not sure if some of the pedalcars can be properly called 'velomobiles' though since they can be fairly hairy creations.

With the Mochet the close spacing of the rear wheels was intended to avoid having a differential. The other thing was these wee quadracycles were used like the family car and it's very common to see wartime era (or immediate post-war era) pictures of Mum, Dad and three kiddies squeezed into a velocar. Having two wheels at the back where most of the load was carried made for greater safety than just having a single bicycle wheel.
I've noticed that single seater or lightweight racing cyclecars/bicyclecars will be usually made in the tadpole trike format, but as soon as the plan is expanded to carry extra passengers or luggage, then the design is always a quad.
A good example of this is the 'Fantom'.



http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a.../fantomett.gif

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a.../fantom-1a.jpg
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Old 07-09-08, 02:54 PM   #10
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The last picture in your first post is from the atomic zombie website. He has plans for a large, side by side, delta trike called Kyoto cruiser. If you built that with 26" wheels it would be very close to the last picture. Then it would be a matter of making a body for it.

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Old 07-09-08, 05:05 PM   #11
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You talkin' quads???

I built this one last year for my son and me....
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Old 07-09-08, 07:42 PM   #12
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To me, the most obvious and structurally simple solution is the Roades Car-type sociable tandem: http://www.rhoadescar.com/store/nav4w2p.htm

These can be designed with your desired seat height in mind and maintain stability even with higher seat heights. Fewer welds (or attachment points) and simpler angles on the frame members. The only complex part is the steering knuckle, and I've seen those made of heavy sheet steel or factory bent stock. There are lots of examples out there for design ideas.

If you haven't already, be sure to inquire at the homebuilders' forum at bentrideronline.com and you may also ask on one of the hpv lists at ihpva.org.

Eric
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Old 07-09-08, 07:54 PM   #13
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I've spent quite a while thinking over that Atomic Zombie Kyoto trike design. There is alot about it which would make it spot-on for what I need in a human powered vehicle. I would however raise the seating height to make life easier for myself with regard to getting myself seated or back upright again without ending up crawling around on my knees. 26 inch wheels would improve the ride comfort a fair bit too as country roads are not always beautifully smooth and free of potholes.
A bodyshell has to be on the list. Our wet season during Winter could drown a duck and I HATE having to use a motorcar in order to remain dry and unchilled while I'm doing simple messages and shopping around the township. I need to maintain exercise in order to maintain wellness and a motorcar is neither help nor use to me in achieving that goal

mastronaut: - you said you had built a Kyoto trike. How was the build, were the plans clear and easy to follow?
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Old 07-09-08, 10:09 PM   #14
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I made my own...

see this link for info: http://velospace.org/node/6159
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Old 07-10-08, 10:22 AM   #15
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I haven't built any of the Atomic Zombie designs, but I am a fan of his work and I read his blog and forums often. He often gets kudos for clear and concise plans.

Looking at pictures I can see that the seats are a couple of inches above the axle line. With 20" wheels, that would put the axle line nominally at 10" above the ground and the seats around 12" off the ground.

If you need a seat that is similar to an office chair you will need to raise the seat about 6" (my office chair measures 18"). Using 26" wheels will raise the axle and frame 3", and you can then build the seats another 3" taller. Taller seats will change your angle to the pedals, so you would have to slide them forward to accommodate that and that would give you a little more cargo space behind the seats.

That would give you a floor height of 13". If that is too high to step in, you would have to redesign the frame to give a lower floor. I would post on his forums to see what the people over there suggest.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
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Old 07-11-08, 06:02 AM   #16
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Thanks for your suggestions Moleman

This is the basic chassic design I'll be following when I make my first attempt at building a vintage style velocar.



After much thought and sketching on the backs of envelopes I've rejected using a beam axle and kingpins type setup as I want to stay with using standard bicycle parts and it will be a lot easier to setup the front brakes. Otherwise my first attempt will be following the appearance of a 'Pedeluxe' fairly closely. Wheels will be unmodified 26x1.50/1.75 mountain bike wheels which are very easy to come by locally.

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Old 07-11-08, 04:24 PM   #17
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Oh I LIKE!!!

Atomic Zombie has a similar upright bike called the Hammerhead with two front wheels in his first book.



Your design looks perfect for that body, and is eminently doable with existing bike parts.
I can't wait to see how this works out!
BTW, is this a napkin sketch? I am jealous! I work in AutoCAD and Solidworks and I can't get drawings that nice.
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Old 07-11-08, 04:47 PM   #18
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Um...... It's actually an illustration from a patent application. I can't draw for toffee

http://www.google.com/patents?id=ZIQ...BAJ&dq=6953203

I agree that it's just perfect for the type of bodyshell I want to build and it was the 'Hammerhead' on the Atomic Zombie website that set me thinking about ways and means of building a 'Pedeluxe' semi-replica.
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Old 07-11-08, 09:04 PM   #19
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This thread reminds me of the People Powered Vehicle of the 1970s. I rode one once, but unfortuantely (or maybe fortunately, as I would have had no inside place to keep it and they weren't terribly durable if kept outside in the weather all the time) didn't buy one. Would be fun now. -GT2005

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Old 07-11-08, 11:00 PM   #20
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Um...... It's actually an illustration from a patent application. I can't draw for toffee

http://www.google.com/patents?id=ZIQ...BAJ&dq=6953203

I agree that it's just perfect for the type of bodyshell I want to build and it was the 'Hammerhead' on the Atomic Zombie website that set me thinking about ways and means of building a 'Pedeluxe' semi-replica.
HA!

Still, it looks perfect.
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Old 07-17-08, 02:45 PM   #21
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Um...... It's actually an illustration from a patent application.
I didn't know that Google had patent records. I thought you had to go through the patent office web site.

That is so cool. I found a patent for a bicycle with full suspension from 1893.
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Old 07-17-08, 02:47 PM   #22
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BTW, is this a napkin sketch? I am jealous! I work in AutoCAD and Solidworks and I can't get drawings that nice.
Amazing what those old timers could do with just pen, ink and a T square.


Yeah, yeah, I didn't mention triangles, compasses etc. I have always been jealous of Frank Lloyd Wright. He got to use the same tools all his life. I have to learn a whole new set every five years just to keep doing what I have been doing.
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Old 07-17-08, 05:14 PM   #23
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Schwinn made a reversed trike, used a standard bicycle rear end, with rigid cross beam and individually pivoting front wheels. It looks like that Atomic Zombie is based pretty much on it. The Schwinn had a basket in front. I'm not sure just what the point of the Schwinn arrangement was. There was one on ebay several months ago, and I think it went for $125 or so, being in mediocre but usable condition. I wish now I had bid on that thing.

All it really takes to make two bikes into the Schwinn reverse trike is the cross bar with braces and steering couplers.

With this arrangement, you're still sitting up high like on a bike.
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Old 07-17-08, 08:07 PM   #24
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I absolutely love old engineering drawings. Some of the most amazing ones I've ever seen were for bush tramway locomotives built by Prices here in NZ around the beginning of the 20th Century; - they were drawn on linen and were stunning examples of the draughtsman's handiwork.
Google Patent Search is terrific and way easier to use than the patent office website

Not so stunning is my freehand sketch of what I think my bodyshell will be like using that patent drawing as a guide.

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Old 07-18-08, 11:55 AM   #25
StephenH
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Just saw this on Craigslist (not in my area, though, and too much money anyway)-
http://atlanta.craigslist.org/bik/757559746.html
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