Thread: Velomobile
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Old 3rd July 2020, 11:19
SwiftyDS SwiftyDS is offline
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Default Velomobile

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

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.

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 I’ve started looking at what’s involved in building / fabricating a body similar to that shown above to fit over a recumbent trike frame like the one here....

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.

I’ve done some simple GRP moulding before but never anything of this size/scale. Done some digging and there’s 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 don’t think you can so it ends up looking somewhat angular!

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