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Vehicular Cycling (VC) No other subject has polarized the A&S members like VC has. Here's a place to share, debate, and educate.

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Old 03-25-07, 07:03 AM   #1
hotbike
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Vehicular Bicycles


The so called "Human Powered Vehicle" is a paradox. In the technical sense, it is a vehicle. But in the legal sense, it is often called "a contrivance".
The NFA Vehicles Type 6 pictured above has a headlight, red and amber marker lights, and a horn from an Oldsmobile Cutlass.It has a rear view mirror mounted on the outside, left, in front of the drivers door.

This bike is very rare, in that most velomobiles are recumbents. This one is based on an upright bike, albeit with 20 inch wheels.
Don't ask me about cross winds. I just steer into them. It's the same as corecting the course of an airplane or a sailboat in a wind.

Here is the Type 5 in woodland camoflage, which has the same front fairing:

Here's another photo, the camoflage has been repainted plain grey, like a naval vessel:


The Apple Macintosh wasn't on the internet, so I printed a flyer on the dot-matrix printer:


The problem with this was, I couldn't build a ladies bike with a faring, because the frame rails would not be parallel to the ground. Mellisa solved that problem be designing the Type 9:

The fairing is a quarter-scale model of a Kenworth truck with spoiler. We increased the wheel size from 20 to 24 inch. If I call it a Fiberglass Ladies Utility Bicycle, then the abreviation will be FLUB.

I find it easy to mix with traffic on these bikes, because the frame rails are strong, and the fairings are also strong, in fact they act as bumpers. I have ridden these bikes in traffic, when any other bike would have to move out of the way. There have been impacts, but all the damage was to the cars. I am not subject to the 5 MPH bumper law, which makes car companies put very weak bumpers on their cars. We build these bikes like trucks, which have 20 MPH bumpers.

I hope you liked this thread. I thought it would be fun to include a thread about some Human Powered Vehicles in this new Vehicular Cycling sub-forum. I hope we can inspire some new thinking and give other bike customizers some new ideas. I think we pushed the envelope of what is posible in bike building. If these bikes are way different than any others you have seen, we did that on purpose.
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Old 03-25-07, 07:41 AM   #2
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Hate to be a naysayer, but they are rather ugly...

How about something like this:

Or this:

Or of course the HPV bent designs.

Last edited by genec; 03-25-07 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 03-25-07, 09:36 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=genec]Hate to be a naysayer, but they are rather ugly...

I admit the Type 5 and Type 6 were ugly monsters. I designed them strictly from wind tunnel data and didn't care if they were eye-appealing or not.

The Type 9 was designed by Mellisa (the girl driving the Type 5 in the photo) and it's not as good looking as it could be for two reasons. First it was based on a large truck, the Kenworth, which is a lot like a Mack truck. Large trucks aren't particularly know for their grace. Second, the girls are in the "eight and up club", which means they are good looking, and only associate with other girls whose good looks rank them an 8 or above on a scale of one to ten. So she was aiming to make the bike look like a 7 or seven and a half (on a scale of on to ten) so it wouldn't be better looking than any or her friends.

The girl was a genius. The Type 9 is the only bike I sold at a profit. I got twelve hundred dollars for it and it only cost two hundred seventy in materials, so I made a 400% profit. Someone's girlfriend liked Mellisa's design so he bought it for her as a gift. It was like an auction, there were at least ten other offers over seven hundred dollars.

I deliberately let a girl design the ladie's bike version because ladie's bike go with skirts, and if I was to decide what goes with or what clashes with a skirt, I'd have to be some kind of fruit-cake.
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Old 03-25-07, 09:48 AM   #4
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How about something like this:

http://funnybicycles.50webs.com/lesimages/vtaxx1.jpg

That second image was not coming through on my computer, but I found the URL when I clicked "reply with quote"

I have seen that velomobile before, and there are some operating in New York City as pedicab rickshaws.

Mellisa's design does not support a roof, and she chose for it to be that way. She had seen the Popular Science article about the Dexter/Hysol Chetah, because she had toured the country in her Uncle's Kenworth truck and visited all the truckstops, and the truckstop near where the Dexter/Hysol streamliner broke 70MPH had the Pop-Sci article framed and hanging on a wall.

She said covered bicycles are "too weird" and the public won't accept them. She did say , however, that I could use her design as a basis for an Electric Garden tractor or Electric Quad. She wants quads and garden tractors to have more comonality,(interchangable parts) and she doesn't understand why quads and garden tractors are so different.
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Old 03-25-07, 09:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
Hate to be a naysayer, but they are rather ugly...
I would say ugly in a cute way, like the old Studebaker Lark or even VW Beetle.

I love the first one because it makes an ironic statement. It's a bike that looks like a car, but is obviously superior to a car because .... it's a bike!
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Old 03-25-07, 11:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
I would say ugly in a cute way, like the old Studebaker Lark or even VW Beetle.

I love the first one because it makes an ironic statement. It's a bike that looks like a car, but is obviously superior to a car because .... it's a bike!
Or on the other side of the coin, what's ridiculous about this bike, is also ridiculous about cars in general.
Who wants to be enclosed in glass and sheetmetal when it's a perfectly fine , sunny day?

++++++++++++++++++++++
I really want to build another velomobile. Just for riding when it's raining. I want to make it wider, so I have more elbow room and don't have to skrunch my shoulders.
I will also make it lower, using the "flat foot" geometry introduced by Mellisa on the Type 9.
I'm thinking about making the front as a "dump body", so it will look like a dump truck, but backwards. Then I can use it to dump gravel on trails. The top would fit on like a "stake side" truck. You know how a pickup truck has holes in the top rail of the bed, to mount wood sides?
But that will definately be ugly.
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