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-   -   Velomobile (http://www.madabout-kitcars.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7324)

SwiftyDS 3rd July 2020 11:19

Velomobile
 
Anyone familiar with these or experience with building a body for one?

https://i.ibb.co/MG8d58p/3290349-C-4...EAC3-FA1-C.jpg

I know this is a bit of a departure from the normal kits/builds on here, but you may have seen my separate thread about building a reverse trike and MSVA question. As part of researching frame/body design I starting thinking about a stop-gap project to build on my electric bike experience using a recumbent trike frame.

Seems Velomobiles are very popular in Germany and the Netherlands. Some of them are very odd looking things, others look rather neat. Due to the aerodynamic properties of the body of these, the amount of energy needed to cycle at say, 20 mph, is significantly less than on a normal bike or even a race bike. Couple this with an electric hub motor, even one rated at the legal 250w for pedal assisted bikes, and you can get some serious speed.

https://i.ibb.co/1vzDLWF/1-F84-E170-...AB2-D49-D7.jpg

I can source a recumbent trike relatively cheaply, but looking into the cost of the bodies for these from companies in Germany and the Netherlands I was really surprised how much they sell for ... cheapest I could find was around Euro 4,000!

So Iíve started looking at whatís involved in building / fabricating a body similar to that shown above to fit over a recumbent trike frame like the one here....

https://i.ibb.co/PMW0XMM/E5-DBE62-B-...CAC5-DC6-F.jpg

Key thing seems to be to keep it as light as possible but needs to be ridged enough at speeds up to around 30 - 35mph.

Iíve done some simple GRP moulding before but never anything of this size/scale. Done some digging and thereís a couple of other options to building some form of buck and then taking a mould from it:

- Coroplast sheeting (4mm) with some form of ally/plastic tube frame under neath
- Balastic nylon fabric over a frame
- Zote Foam

Issue with all of these over GRP is trying to get compound curves - basically donít think you can so it ends up looking somewhat angular!

https://i.ibb.co/c6yWnDn/247194-C1-0...E24493-B89.jpg

Any one got any bright ideas that might help me here?

Lucky@LeMans 3rd July 2020 12:33

You could do a rebody on a Sinclair C5 !

Joking apart I can see electric bikes and trikes becoming more popular in the future especially in bigger towns and cities .

I think the recumbent style bikes and trikes are a bit of a hazard on main roads, there are several owners near me. They are so low you hardly notice them until you are really close.

SwiftyDS 3rd July 2020 12:50

I’ve looked at a C5 and actually restored one a couple of years ago. Not that stable with the single wheel at the front.

I know what you mean about viability of these - what I have seen though first hand is just how much the velo body painted in the right colours helps them stand out?

Paul L 3rd July 2020 15:22

SwiftyDS Ė Sorry, if Iím being thick here, but are you looking for an alternative to using fibreglass, or ideas on how to build the buck for a fibreglass body?

Alternative to fibreglass Ė Alloy sheet :cool:

https://randygrubb.com/decopod-tri-pod/

Alternative to fibreglass Ė As above, but using Linen + ĎDopeí, as per Salvage Squad - Gypsy Moth Ė from 22 minutes in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tivUXdrA8zE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_dope

Building a fibreglass buck:

https://www.rodsnsods.co.uk/forum/ga...-project-83285

https://www.rodsnsods.co.uk/forum/ga...dy-buck-313330

https://www.rodsnsods.co.uk/forum/ga...tribute-538089

Plus, closer to home, lots of fibre glassing ideas here:

andysharrock

http://www.madabout-kitcars.com/foru...ead.php?t=7302

http://www.madabout-kitcars.com/foru...ead.php?t=7259

Mister Towed

http://www.madabout-kitcars.com/foru...ead.php?t=6672

Good luck, Paul. :)

SwiftyDS 3rd July 2020 17:23

Thanks Paul L - exactly what I was looking for - both ideas on building a buck and alternatives.

Lucky@LeMans 5th July 2020 10:28

Here is another idea for making a body...Ö..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak_rgDPwCEY

Lucky@LeMans 5th July 2020 10:34

Here is the method for fibre glassing the structure...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEYtrmeerSk

SwiftyDS 5th July 2020 11:20

Thanks Lucky - I also found something earlier today similar to the cedar wood canoe where someone had built a pretty convincing velomobile shell with compound curves using thin aircraft ply.

I thought that would be too heavy but the YouTube video was comparing it to a GRP/carbon fibre shell of similar size and it was actually lighter!

redratbike 6th July 2020 07:39

Some race car panels are thin fibreglass with balsa wood strengthening would keep it light

You have me thinking about a project

Have you ever heard of these people ?

https://www.miromax.lt/en/m-6/c-26/c...5__bonus#tog80

bladerunner 6th July 2020 23:22

Link below shows a very simple shape for a velocycle but looks very nice in my opinion

https://www.blueskydsn.com/kit_aero.html

Next link is for an original design which replicated the Messerschmitt KR200 They sell all the body parts for the cars. Phoenix classic autos also sell Messerschmitt body parts at reasonable prices.

http://messerschmitt-werke.de/lang_en/index.php

https://electricbikereview.com/forum...omobiles.3666/

Cascu make grp body parts for the kr200

http://https://m.facebook.com/classic.and.sports.cars.unlimited/?locale2=en_GB

https://www.phoenixclassicautopanels.com/new-page-5

SwiftyDS 7th July 2020 07:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by redratbike (Post 104727)
Some race car panels are thin fibreglass with balsa wood strengthening would keep it light

You have me thinking about a project

Have you ever heard of these people ?

https://www.miromax.lt/en/m-6/c-26/c...5__bonus#tog80

Thanks - yes I looked at miromax a little while back when I was helping a 3D printing company who have been working on a carbon re-inforced 3D printed chassis and were looking at electric rickshaw models for comparison on power needs.

I had thought about balsa strengthening but wasnít sure it would be strong enough.

Funnily enough this popped up on eBay last night ... think itís marine or aircraft ply based. Iíve asked the seller what the weight is roughly of the shell...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/133457921376

And then I found this ... seems itís aluminium sheet over a frame ....

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/184354556577

Starting a trend :-)

SwiftyDS 7th July 2020 07:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by bladerunner (Post 104730)
Link below shows a very simple shape for a velocycle but looks very nice in my opinion

https://www.blueskydsn.com/kit_aero.html

Next link is for an original design which replicated the Messerschmitt KR200 They sell all the body parts for the cars. Phoenix classic autos also sell Messerschmitt body parts at reasonable prices.

http://messerschmitt-werke.de/lang_en/index.php

https://electricbikereview.com/forum...omobiles.3666/

Cascu make grp body parts for the kr200

http://https://m.facebook.com/classic.and.sports.cars.unlimited/?locale2=en_GB

https://www.phoenixclassicautopanels.com/new-page-5

Thanks - Iíd not come across the AeroCoupe kit before. Looks like it could be a good start point. Will see what the plan set looks like.

I had seen the Morgan before when looking at CycleKarts for inspiration. Looks really neat but think the layout is more pedal car as most velomobiles are based on a recumbent trike chassis layout with the pedals ahead of the front axle.

Lots of inspiration here to help me decide on what route to take...thanks again

redratbike 7th July 2020 19:10

You can use Balsa ply strong and light

SwiftyDS 7th July 2020 19:43

Thanks for all the input and feedback folks. Decided this afternoon to go for the Alleweder A2 that was up on eBay.

https://i.ibb.co/T19Xq3g/E568-A47-D-...25-AB3-FD4.jpg

Itís a full suspension monocoque structure out of aluminium - similar to air craft structure with bulkheads clad in thin ally sheet.

https://i.ibb.co/dkRJmkp/2165-EABB-A...1-EB3-F206.jpg

Itís also got a mid-mount motor fitted for pedal assist which will help with the hills.

https://i.ibb.co/HHRtNd3/F2-A1-A4-AC...8-FCDAB3-F.jpg

They are still made in the US and are available in kit form, but this one was an original European built model.

Gives me a base to work from and itís relatively light so can decide if I want to try to remodel parts of it or build a lightweight structure over the ally skin to make it a bit more attractive.

https://i.ibb.co/qn1rn6Z/07-C5-B479-...-D59-E0865.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/cCtjFgZ/B23-B29-AB-...A3-D3-AEFC.jpg

Thanks again for all the input.

redratbike 7th July 2020 21:31

Keep us updated we are all interested

bladerunner 8th July 2020 08:50

That looks good. As an aircraft designer I can appreciate this type of structure. Surprisingly there are very few kit or production road cars built this way. I can only think of the Robin Hood lightweight 7 they did a few years ago and the Berkeley cars had aluminium riveted to a fibreglass shell.
You could use this type of construction for you reverse trike. Somebody in the states fitted a motor bike engine and two front wheels to a Bede BD-5 kit aircraft to form a single seater car. The BD-5 was a popular kit aircraft constructed from aluminium sheets.
Good luck and keep us posted.

SwiftyDS 8th July 2020 10:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by bladerunner (Post 104739)
That looks good. As an aircraft designer I can appreciate this type of structure. Surprisingly there are very few kit or production road cars built this way. I can only think of the Robin Hood lightweight 7 they did a few years ago and the Berkeley cars had aluminium riveted to a fibreglass shell.
You could use this type of construction for you reverse trike. Somebody in the states fitted a motor bike engine and two front wheels to a Bede BD-5 kit aircraft to form a single seater car. The BD-5 was a popular kit aircraft constructed from aluminium sheets.
Good luck and keep us posted.

I built one of the early RH Engineering folded stainless steel monocoque kits about 25 years ago - based on a triumph Dolomite for suspension and engine. Have to say it wasnít the most rigid of things - if i remember correctly the front and rear suspension mounts were welded in at the factory and after I sold it on I heard the welds had cracked!

The previous owner has had the Alleweder for 10 years plus so hopefully should be ok. Certainly looks a strong shell.

Lucky@LeMans 8th July 2020 11:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwiftyDS (Post 104740)
I built one of the early RH Engineering folded stainless steel monocoque kits about 25 years ago - based on a triumph Dolomite for suspension and engine. Have to say it wasnít the most rigid of things - if i remember correctly the front and rear suspension mounts were welded in at the factory and after I sold it on I heard the welds had cracked!

The previous owner has had the Alleweder for 10 years plus so hopefully should be ok. Certainly looks a strong shell.

The early monocoque Robin Hoods were great little cars for the money. I built several of the Sierra based kits with the stainless chassis. There were a couple of well known modifications that were quick and easy fixes that transformed the road holding and strengthened the body.


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