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Old 04-19-06, 02:20 PM   #1
ppc
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Optima Condor windsailing world tour: you just gotta see this!

Check this out: http://ventduvoyage.free.fr/Materiel.htm#voile

The page is in French only though. In short, these guys have started a world tour on Optima Condors equipped with sails! They started their tour on April 16. From what they say, the sail is very controllable, even in gusty winds, and the sail adds up to 3km/h to the average speed with 1h of wind-assisted riding in a 5h ride. The bike can go up to 12 to 15km/h on wind power alone in a force 2 wind, and is a great assistance for hill climbing. The total weight of the sail and mast is 4kg, it's made of alu but they're not sure it'll last too long, they reckon a steel mast would be better. They expect to use it 2 or 3 times a month, and they'll see if the assistance is worth carrying the extra weight the rest of the time.

Look at these great photos:







Sooo, I have a Condor, I have kite cloth, guess what I'm gonna try next?

Last edited by ppc; 04-21-06 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 04-19-06, 06:27 PM   #2
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....Sooo, I have a Condor, I have kite cloth, guess what I'm gonna try next?
So cool, but those guys have limited the sail to a small packable jib. Unless you're touring as well, I say you should go all-the-way. I'm talking about a flying spinnaker here. You won't have brakes powerful enough to slow you down.
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Old 04-19-06, 06:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bentrox!
So cool, but those guys have limited the sail to a small packable jib. Unless you're touring as well, I say you should go all-the-way. I'm talking about a flying spinnaker here. You won't have brakes powerful enough to slow you down.
The only thing is, whenever I ride, the wind continually switches so it's a headwind.....That's how I developed tree trunk legs
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Old 04-20-06, 06:22 AM   #4
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Sweet. That would be awesome on a trike. I just need to learn how to sail....
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Old 04-20-06, 10:31 AM   #5
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If I remember the story correctly, RANS got their start in recumbency by making sail trikes. Best used in wide open areas rather than in and out of small woodlots or hills, where winds might shift quickly. Speaking strictly for myself, riding with just spoke covers can be exciting enough, especially if the front wheel is covered!
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Old 04-20-06, 10:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by bentrox!
So cool, but those guys have limited the sail to a small packable jib. Unless you're touring as well, I say you should go all-the-way. I'm talking about a flying spinnaker here. You won't have brakes powerful enough to slow you down.
Not a good idea unfortunately : the problem is, if you have a big sail and rear winds, it's fine, but if you have 3/4 rear winds or side winds, the sail basically flattens you on the road at the first gust. I used to buggy-kite some years ago when I lived in a windier area, and believe me the forces you get out of even a small parafoil kite can be quite impressive, certainly nothing you could handle on a two-wheeled vehicle.

These french tourers apparently have sails that are about 1.5 sq. meter and they reckon the bike stays controllable in small winds if they're quick on the steering to compensates for gusts blowing them off course. They've only tried the sails once in 5 days, they say they'll figure out whether it's a real workable solution or not during their tour. They'll post their experiences on their newsletter, so I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. I expect them to say "we finally ditched the sails, they're not worth the extra weight" or "the alu mast broke" or something like that quite soon though... But I still want to try it, for the fun of it
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Old 04-20-06, 11:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
If I remember the story correctly, RANS got their start in recumbency by making sail trikes. Best used in wide open areas rather than in and out of small woodlots or hills, where winds might shift quickly. Speaking strictly for myself, riding with just spoke covers can be exciting enough, especially if the front wheel is covered!
nothing wrong with your memory:

http://www.rans.com/25C_Early_Years.htm
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Old 04-20-06, 11:39 PM   #8
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descriptive title

ppc, can't you put up a more descriptive title? Don't know if you can edit the title as OP after the thread starts, but how about something like: Optima Condor windsailing world tour?
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Old 04-20-06, 11:41 PM   #9
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Sweet. That would be awesome on a trike. I just need to learn how to sail....
http://paulworden.freeservers.com/Safety%20Sail.htm
http://traylorfwd.home.mindspring.com/sailbikes.html

Here's 2 active threads:

Sail bike?

wind
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Old 04-21-06, 04:51 AM   #10
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ppc, can't you put up a more descriptive title? Don't know if you can edit the title as OP after the thread starts, but how about something like: Optima Condor windsailing world tour?
It doesn't seem to work. Oh well, perhaps a moderator will do it. Titles like that suck pond water, I know, but hey I got carried away
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