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Mainstream Human Powered Vehicles

Old 12-29-11, 11:55 AM
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Mainstream Human Powered Vehicles

Been meaning to photograph one of these for a while. My question is : Have You seen these at YOUR local Supermarket?








I guess it doesn't need pedals if you can get your Mom to push you, eh?

The point is, the technology is here, and something like this could be made with pedals.

Again, have you seen one of these before?
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Old 12-29-11, 12:50 PM
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Yes something like that can be.

http://www.americanspeedster.com/

And they have been around for a while: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadracycle
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Old 12-29-11, 01:17 PM
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The supermarkets around here all have similar carts. The kids seem to like them.
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Old 12-29-11, 07:19 PM
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Wake me up if anybody finds adult-sized self-propelled carts in grocery stores.
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Old 12-29-11, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Wake me up if anybody finds adult-sized self-propelled carts in grocery stores.
Your local grocery stores don't have electric scooters for handicapped (or simply lazy) shoppers that have a big basket on the front? They're big enough to clog the isles of a store so no one can get past them. Sure, you want handicapped or infirm persons to be able to shop for their groceries and other goodies, but either make the scooters smaller or the isles wider.
 
Old 12-29-11, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by surfrider View Post
Your local grocery stores don't have electric scooters for handicapped (or simply lazy) shoppers that have a big basket on the front? They're big enough to clog the isles of a store so no one can get past them. Sure, you want handicapped or infirm persons to be able to shop for their groceries and other goodies, but either make the scooters smaller or the isles wider.
The scooters at our stores aren't any larger than a standard grocery cart...but you can't shove the scooter out of the way. I have had several discussions with the local store manager about the number of "wing" displays that they put in the aisles. Either it has sunk in or corporate is changing the way they do things, they have greatly decreased. I typically shop with a hand basket so I can maneuver around carts, and scooters. It also keeps my purchases down to a manageable level that will fit in on my bike.

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Old 12-29-11, 10:36 PM
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To me the hard part is so many of these vehicles are just so expensive. It is of little value to mention the limited production because people can buy electric scooters with a 25 mile range for under $1500.00 I once looked at a Velomobile from Bluevelo and it seems as if it was more than 7k. http://www.bluevelo.com/quest_velomobile.html

when the average person can get a GEM that is street legal and has windshield wipers and lights for that. http://www.polarisindustries.com/en-.../overview.aspx

It isn't about what they do it is about what it does for the customer and until the average person can afford something "like" a velomobile or 4 wheel cycle they will be a hard sell.

For those of us who like cycling they will always be a draw and someday I hope buy one or build one but for most of my neighbors and people living in retirement communities the electric carts seem like the wave of the future.

For me when I start to question my balance on two wheels I will be looking at a 3 wheel bent.

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Old 12-30-11, 05:18 AM
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For what it's worth, Mobile 155, it takes very little sense of balance to ride a bike. I actually wobble when I walk, and have no trouble at all when the bike is at 4mph or more. I don't do track stands, but so what?
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Old 12-30-11, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
For what it's worth, Mobile 155, it takes very little sense of balance to ride a bike. I actually wobble when I walk, and have no trouble at all when the bike is at 4mph or more. I don't do track stands, but so what?
True, I had an 84yo friend the got to the point where he was worried about falling. So from about 75 to 84 he rode a cattrike. I once asked him abou it and he said, "at least I always have a place to sit."
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Old 12-30-11, 09:41 AM
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I've got several HPVs.

And down here in the South most of those kiddie cars at the supermarkets are NASCAR decal-ed.
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Old 12-30-11, 09:53 AM
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Well then, there are always these. Pretty mainstream.



Big Wheels for Adults
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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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Old 12-30-11, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
For what it's worth, Mobile 155, it takes very little sense of balance to ride a bike. I actually wobble when I walk, and have no trouble at all when the bike is at 4mph or more. I don't do track stands, but so what?
Bicycling is recommended for Parkinson's patients it helps their symptoms, including balance issues.
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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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Old 12-30-11, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
Been meaning to photograph one of these for a while. My question is : Have You seen these at YOUR local Supermarket?




I guess it doesn't need pedals if you can get your Mom to push you, eh?

The point is, the technology is here, and something like this could be made with pedals.

Again, have you seen one of these before?
Yeah, if you had decent pedals, gears, frame, steering, the it could be used as a utility vehicle. Who needs Wald baskets when you have an entire grocery cart.

The kiddie carts in my local grocery store are exactly the same except for color.
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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.

Last edited by Artkansas; 01-01-12 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 12-30-11, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
...The point is, the technology is here, and something like this could be made with pedals.

Again, have you seen one of these before?
What you speak of is called a velomobile. I haven't seen one before, but velos are rare, even among recumbent bicycle owners. If I remember right the best-selling velomobile in recent decades still only had around 80 copies built and sold, world-wide.

It is usually a trike with a body over it to protect the rider (mostly) from weather and wind resistance.
There are a bunch, and they generally cost $7500+. Most are carbon/kevlar bodies and ones costing over $10K are not unusual.
http://www.velomobiles.net/buying/buying.html

Recently one company began making roto-molded bodies for their trike. AFAIK they were the first ones to use this method-
http://www.trisled.com.au/rotovelo.asp
It is cheaper than typical composite body velomobiles, but it's still not cheap-- $6000 AUD = ~$6150 US dollars.
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Old 12-30-11, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
I've got several HPVs.

And down here in the South most of those kiddie cars at the supermarkets are NASCAR decal-ed.
Thank You. That's what I wanted to know, how do these carts differ in other parts of the United States.
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Old 12-30-11, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
What you speak of is called a velomobile. I haven't seen one before, but velos are rare, even among recumbent bicycle owners. If I remember right the best-selling velomobile in recent decades still only had around 80 copies built and sold, world-wide.

It is usually a trike with a body over it to protect the rider (mostly) from weather and wind resistance.
There are a bunch, and they generally cost $7500+. Most are carbon/kevlar bodies and ones costing over $10K are not unusual.
http://www.velomobiles.net/buying/buying.html

Recently one company began making roto-molded bodies for their trike. AFAIK they were the first ones to use this method-
http://www.trisled.com.au/rotovelo.asp
It is cheaper than typical composite body velomobiles, but it's still not cheap-- $6000 AUD = ~$6150 US dollars.
Thank you. I am quite familiar with Velomobiles, but You hit the nail on the head- Roto-Molded plastic bodies, must cost a small fraction of fiber composites. Mass Produced.
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Old 12-30-11, 03:41 PM
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Hard to crack the roto-molded LDPE, that's why its used in white water kayaks.
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Old 01-01-12, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Hard to crack the roto-molded LDPE, that's why its used in white water kayaks.
Yes, that is the same material used in kayaks these days. The new roto-molded fairing by this tri-sled firm is a great innovation , But I have done some research in this field. I titled this thread "Mainstream..." because I know that more people would buy Fully Faired bikes if the price was lower. Roto-molding should and could bring the price down. That shopping cart I showed you didn't cost $6,000. And you can get a roto-molded plastic kayak for under $350.

Having researched this, I would say that the Tri-Sled company is holding the price high enough , that they can re-coup their investment (in the mold itself, which is made of solid steel) after selling twenty or so units.

I hope we see a breakthrough soon.
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Old 01-01-12, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
Yes, that is the same material used in kayaks these days. The new roto-molded fairing by this tri-sled firm is a great innovation , But I have done some research in this field. I titled this thread "Mainstream..." because I know that more people would buy Fully Faired bikes if the price was lower. Roto-molding should and could bring the price down. That shopping cart I showed you didn't cost $6,000. And you can get a roto-molded plastic kayak for under $350.

Having researched this, I would say that the Tri-Sled company is holding the price high enough , that they can re-coup their investment (in the mold itself, which is made of solid steel) after selling twenty or so units.

I hope we see a breakthrough soon.
Market share and total production units...drive pricing.

I bet there are lot more of those shopping carts out there than there are fairings for recumbents, larger potential market too. I can't find any of the kiddie carts pricing, but according to my local chain store manager they run about double what a regular cart does so that puts them in the $350 price range, regular plastic shopping carts are ~$175+

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Old 01-01-12, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I typically shop with a hand basket so I can maneuver around carts, and scooters. It also keeps my purchases down to a manageable level that will fit in on my bike.
I use a full-sized cart, but put all my purchases in the kiddie seat. If it's full, my panniers will be as well, and the big basket gives me some place to load the panniers after I have checked out.
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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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Old 01-01-12, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
Been meaning to photograph one of these for a while. My question is : Have You seen these at YOUR local Supermarket?
Yes I have, and I had to email the main office of one of our local food chain store to have them stop parking these carts the direct path to the store's bike rack.
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Old 01-01-12, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
..... That shopping cart I showed you didn't cost $6,000. And you can get a roto-molded plastic kayak for under $350.
Well, that shopping cart company will probably sell tens of thousands of those carts. If TriSled sells even 1000 Rotovelos, they'll be doing extremely well.

Having researched this, I would say that the Tri-Sled company is holding the price high enough , that they can re-coup their investment (in the mold itself, which is made of solid steel) after selling twenty or so units. ...
I cannot find the page now, but I seem to recall on one roto-poly company's kayak page they were discussing a new design they had recently started offering, and I think they said the mold cost $80,000. There's a lot of variables involved tho'.
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Old 01-02-12, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
Well, that shopping cart company will probably sell tens of thousands of those carts. If TriSled sells even 1000 Rotovelos, they'll be doing extremely well.


I cannot find the page now, but I seem to recall on one roto-poly company's kayak page they were discussing a new design they had recently started offering, and I think they said the mold cost $80,000. There's a lot of variables involved tho'.
Yes, I was assuming that the mold for the RotoVelo cost somewhere between $60,000 and $120,000, and that at $6,000 a pop, they would pay for the mold after selling 20 units. I researched this, having built a number of fairings, and talking about prices with a lot of people.

I think there is also a market for fairings on upright bikes, adult tricycles, and BMX bikes- You could make a cheap , Roto-Molded Fairing, for children's bikes, and it would look like a Motorcycle, which would sell the bike, and at the same time the Fairing would be a protective shield for safety, And have a space inside , like a basket, for the child to keep the Helmet.

I think a Roto-Molded Fairing could be made for as little as $60 (sixty US dollars) . Another plus is that Polyethylene has none of the dangers of Fiberglass, in terms of shards, shrapnel, or shattering.



In fact, my latest Faired Bicycle uses a Molded, Plastic Fairing. I recycled a plastic case from an old Apple iMac computer, instead of the laborious process of hand-laid Fiberglass. I'm not sure what kind of plastic it is, probably ABS, but I can tell you that when I test-drilled a piece, the plastic did not shatter.

A Fairing is a protective shield, and it can be installed on a BMX bike, as shown in the photo. You can't get a kid to wear his helmet, but if you put a protective fairing on his Bicycle that makes it look like a Motorcycle, he'll love it.
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