I have been spending too much time on my trainer lately and I might be going a little indoors-nutty. In addition, every day when I pull into the garage, I look at my old Raleigh gas-pipe road bike (curently set up as a trashy persuit-ish SS), and start thinking of fun projects to do with it. The one I keep coming back to is trying to turn it into a really aero TT/tri bike a la Cervelo P3 or Orbea Ordu. In order to do this, I want to basically use the steel frame as a "frame" and build up material around the tubes and shape the material into a super-aero beast. My question is, does anyone have any great ideas about what to use for the material to build up around the tubes? Here are the thoughts I have:
1. I needs to be something cheap. This is a bike I pulled out of the trash, and I love doing projects with it, but I don't like it when the projects cost me money. I know I mentioned two CF bikes above, but trust me, I have no aspirations about building with CF... yet. I was thinking more like drywall putty with a few coats of rattle can over the top or maybe lots of wrapped up aluminum foil or even duct tape. Not really, but sort of. I really don't mind if this kind of turns out a little trashy, in part because the bike is already pretty trashy, and also...
2. I know and accept the bike will weigh a ton. It already does. No problem. This really is a stupid winter project, just kind of for fun. I am going to build it up with free stuff I have lying around. It will be just about all show and no go. However, let's try to keep it from getting too bush-league, because...
3. I would like it to survive a little crash or bump or drop or even just getting wet, without falling apart.
4. And to finish it off, I don't really have a workshop at my disposal, so try not to get too nutty with specialty tools. Out of curiousity, does 2-part epoxy stick to steel (or painted steel) particularly well?
The only thing holding me back now really is the material issue. If I could come up with a good substance to use (I am trying to think of something better than paper mache), then I would be on this thing. I thought about posting this in Alt, since Framebuilders might be a little too respectable for this type of thing, but I decided to consult you first. I promise pics once this gets off the ground. Also, try to keep it on the QT, because once this bad boy is done, I am going to drop it on the competition (not literally, because it weights too much, and I don't want to hurt anyone), and scare the jeepers out of them with my custom rig of awsomeness.
Of course, if the snow really does melt off this weekend, I might just go out and ride. Thanks for the thoughts.
If you want to go crazy I would use rigid foam insulation, it comes in either blue or pink. You can sandwich the frame between sheets of this stuff then sculpt it with a wire foam cutter (there are lots of how to's on how to make them) or good old rasps and surforms will make short work of it. I cant remember if Bondo eats this stuff, but Durhams rock hard putty works great on it for fairing and smoothing.
Use rigid foam or if you want real cheap any old styrofoam. Glue it to the tubes and shape to your liking and sand reasonably smooth . Go to your favorite Hobby shop and buy a roll of "monokote" heat shrink covering that the model airplane guys use and put on a quick, slick finish. Not too durable but QUICK and cheap.