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 Streamliner Fairing Construction and Design

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Matthew Martin Posted - 09/19/2017 : 20:42:30
Hi, I am a high school student who has been interested in the concept of streamliners and their construction. The question that has been bothering me is not knowing how to attach a windscreen (canopy;plastic view port) to a fiberglass fairing almost seamlessly without the use of tape. I have been working tirelessly on a cad model of a bike that I hope to build. The bike is a somewhat practical streamliner that is high enough to be moderately visible in traffic. I need to be able to attach a large vacuumed formed windscreen to go with my design.As I don't know how to insert my image ( not online so no url) my windscreen needs to be similar to the velotilt
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Speedbiker Posted - 10/18/2017 : 09:08:08
Jerry, imagine the excitement you'd generate if you had a fancy, 35 pound, carbon Daniel Fenn velo and hit 40 mph in 100 feet. If I had your $$$ I'd have two!
Good looking street liner Nick. I think we've beat on Matthew enough about prototyping. He is a very sharp fella who has done his research. Thanks
Jerry Posted - 10/18/2017 : 08:09:59
Thanks Nick, you just said what I was trying to say, but you did it a lot better! Coroplast and spandex are a lot cheaper to test and ride before trying to build the perfect street streamliner. I remember rebuilding my first attempt several times just to get it to fit all my body parts, then get it to turn without the wheels rubbing on something. After being blown over by a sudden 45 mph side wind and cracking my hip, I decided not to build a hard body streamliner, but to keep it simple with coro and spandex. I am like you and Joel Dickman, with spandex, you can remove it when the wind picks up.

I hope Matthew all the best.
nickyfitz Posted - 10/18/2017 : 04:04:19
Hi Matthew. Now that you have successfully reclaimed your thread :-) perhaps another old fossil could offer his two cents worth. Firstly, I add my encouragement to your great project and I think you should stay true to YOUR vision of what you want. However, you should recognise that what you are hoping to achieve is possibly the most complex of challenges to a HPV builder. Not only is it to be as sleek and aerodynamic as a Battle Mountain streamliner, but it also has to cope with all the practicalities of riding it in an urban environment; turning tight corners, starting and stopping, getting in and out unaided, light enough for hills and urban acceleration, a huge gear range to cope with up and down hills, all round vision and visibility to other road users, no overheating, etc etc.

You are clearly very smart and mature in seeking advice from old codgers with more experience than you. And you have already been given some very pertinent advice from some of the best HPV experts in the world. Their insights come from many years of trial and error, getting it wrong, and learning from their mistakes. And here I think lies the key piece of advice I would like to suggest to you in pursuing your project. Don't expect the journey from CAD concept to riding a successful street-liner to be short and simple. No matter how well thought-out your ideas are, how well designed, and how well implemented, you will most certainly come stuck with unforeseen issues, elements that don't work as intended, and difficulties with building it that delay and demotivate.

But there are ways to deal with these setbacks. Divide and conquer! You should make extensive use of prototyping to check how your ideas work in practice.

I'd suggest you build a simple recumbent first to check that the drivetrain functions reliably, that its dimensions fit your body, that its geometry is stable, and - most importantly - that you can ride it comfortably. As Thom has commented, riding a laid back low rider recumbent can be challenging for a novice, and when it is then enclosed entirely in a closed shell it becomes a total nightmare! I agree with Thom that you should first become experienced and very comfortable at riding an unfaired recumbent whose geometry resembles that of your proposed street-liner before you leap into building the final product. This will also give you valuable insights into how you should design the steering mechanism (since a LWB with a laid back rider will require a remote linkage system), what body position works best, and where are your feet/knees/elbows/shoulders likely to rub on the enclosed shell and/or bash into bits of the bike as you pedal or steer.

I also agree with Jerry that building with coroplast offers the significant benefit that you can easily prototype, test, and modify the bodyshell when (not if!) you find it doesn't quite fit as intended, or needs to adapt to some unforeseen problem. As others have commented, I found that iteratively making the seat back more and more upright than I was used to was massively better for balancing and riding an enclosed streetliner. Steve (Speedy) Delaire has warned that you need to pay careful attention to the relative positions of the CofGravity and CofPressure and you may only be able to get this right by riding and testing a prototype on the road, and then reshaping and modifying the bodyshell (repeatedly!) as needed. You can't easily do that if it's built in carbon fibre. That's not to say that your final bike needs to be made from coroplast, as we can all understand why you are aiming high for a sleek professional look. But all engineers build and test with prototypes, and architects build balsa wood models before constructing in steel and concrete!

Finally, I have no personal experience of building with carbon fibre but I know that it is a skilful, messy, and HUGELY time-consuming process. I did once make a fibre glass recumbent seat and I decided I never wanted to touch any fibres or resin again! But John Tetz has demonstrated that you can build a sleek, curvaceous, and professional-looking bodyshell from closed cell foam that offers almost the same performance and look as a CF fuselage. It's a material that has many advantages over CF for the HPV builder, and worth checking out seriously before you decide that only CF is good enough for your goals.

I would love to see you progress your project Matthew as I too have been dabbling with a street-able 2 wheel streamliner project for a while. I chose to use a welded steel space frame structure with closed cell foam panels to shape the bodyshell and stretched lycra over the top for a smooth finish. I hope you'd agree it doesn't look too shabby, but maybe the colour wouldn't be appropriate for the street cred you need! :-)

Keep us in touch with your progress. You can see that we are all gunning for you and there are plenty of good people here who can help you achieve your goal. Good luck!



Nick

Previous bikes:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/139728134@N08/albums/72157673027547665
Jerry Posted - 10/17/2017 : 22:13:31
Funny you think that young people will think less of a coroplast built bike. I get just the opposite every where I go. High school, middle school, colleges, and the old people all think mine is very cool. Then when I blast past at 30+ mph, they really go crazy. But I also understand you want a hard shell liner. Go for it. Don't let anything or anyone stand in your way. Determination is 90% of the battle. Who knows, your design might be the next world record holder. I am looking forward to the build.
Speedbiker Posted - 10/17/2017 : 20:52:52
Just imagine the future of a young man who builds a composite liner in high school. What will follow in the years to come? Cars. Airplanes. Flying cars?? This is how it starts.
Matthew Martin Posted - 10/17/2017 : 16:17:22
I am still here, Just sitting back and taking great advice in and thinking on my project a bit.

In response to the idea of a coro fairing, I do like the idea and simplicity. However coro fairings general have a homemade look to them, though they can look very nice to a person that knows what it is, you have to understand that I am in high school which is a judgmental place. It is already a "radical" idea to ride a bike like the one modeled as well as a regular upright as a means of transport. It is not very common and I will admit, weird, however I want to make my bike look as professional as possible in order to create the facade that my bike is one of many (group), which reduces the weird factor by just a little bit and may create interest that may have not been there if the bike looked homemade. A "homemade" look may inadvertently create a situation where people may not want to ask their questions because they may not want to associate with me or the bike, a nicer looking bike makes me more approchable. I know I am already going to be singled out but a "professional" looking bike may create greater awareness for human transport as well as encourage others to be tolerant of bikes in general. I already know I am different from an interest perspective, but I want to be able to associate with people and tell them what it is that I am doing. If my "homemade" looking bike is there first impression, it may turn away many people because it is weird and nobody wants to talk to the "weird" kid, and because they don't ask me, they assume and make uneducated conclusions about the bike and myself.All of this is because high school is just a place where kids are not open to new ideas that are different, because everybody wants to fit in. So if I can show that I am a part of a community, it is more inviting (subconscious)than if I was the only one with a faired bike. Most people are followers, not leaders. If a person were to see a professional looking bike, it creates a more profound impression and may prompt that other person to look into these types of bikes, where as if It looked homemade they may loose interest.

But that's a lot of reasoning to just not use coroplast, but I also want to learn howto work with fiberglass as I will probably be using it in future projects, but the reasons listed above are the most relevant.

So yes I will definitely plan on using coroplast to plan and test how much space there actually is, but I probably wont make an entire coro fairing but just mock up pieces.

And yes I am just like any other high-schooler in the fact that I do care what others think, but just not as much as others may. If I were older and did not care what others think, I would probably use coroplast. But I am not older, and to a certain extent I do care what others think. And who knows, a great first impression of what human power vehicles can look like, may inspire others to get into human powered vehicles.

Sorry for no reply and I hope my response makes sense. The human power group is small, and if there is ever a chance that this faired bike and recumbent group becomes more mainstreamed, it has to become more appealing and perhaps more relatable to younger people, as young people are more likely to change a culture as a whole. And because young people (like myself) are concerned with looks, creating nicer looking projects may play a large role in in creating an appealing alternative to a car. However the human powered vehicle scene probably will not become popular with the large masses as people are lazy.
Jerry Posted - 10/17/2017 : 06:07:37
Hey Matthew, are you still here? Us old fossils tend to hi-jack threads! Come on back. We need input and interest from young people.
Speedbiker Posted - 10/16/2017 : 17:06:01
I'm still thinking about the havoc you could wreak with a gallon of superglue.
Speedy Posted - 10/16/2017 : 11:07:38
Definition of "Facet" ... a polygonal form.
The art and word play is obvious to me.

Adventure bikes ... my current addiction is the KTM 990 version. Got two ... one's not enough.
Last time I fell on a motorcycle was December 2010 climbing out of the Manu rain forest in Peru. Rainy, muddy road. Very minor.
Time before that was in 1979 which was a pretty nasty concussion. Those days I was doing a lot of jumping and wheelies everywhere.
Found the safety of recumbents a few years later and started to mellow a bit.

Jensen ... first day of the fire missed us by half a block. Been on pins and needles ever since.
purplepeopledesign Posted - 10/15/2017 : 19:22:12
Off a cliff!! Sorry to hear that.

And Speedy... saw on a different forum that you might be affected by the Santa Rosa fire... hopefully not too badly.

:)ensen.

Those who claim to be making history are often the same ones repeating it.

Video of my trike
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdSLRD_2vzc
Photos of my trike
http://www.flickr.com/photos/purplepeople/
alevand Posted - 10/15/2017 : 16:05:50
Aerodynamics is only skin deep. Yes I am a member of that group as well as the home-built recumbent group. My brother is a member of the Adventure Motorcycle club, he use to ride through the mountains in Mexico's Copper Canyon on his BMW, until he went off a cliff.

C:
Tony Levand
Speedy Posted - 10/15/2017 : 10:11:05
Beauty ... is in the eye of the beholder.
The information is presented for study examples which does include a link to a Facebook corovelo group.

alevand Posted - 10/15/2017 : 07:21:34
That Facet is awful, coroplast can be bent. Two high school students from the Chicago area built two corovelos and they rode them to Colorado a few years ago. I rode my Carp coroliner bike over to his house to meet him one Saturday.

http://triketrek11.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/triketrek11

C:
Tony Levand
Speedy Posted - 10/14/2017 : 23:45:40
BTW ... The Bengal caliper shown in the Santana picture can be found on ebay for under $30 and comes with a 160mm disk. Cheap safety.

I managed a 3D print shop at Autodesk for 18 months where we purchased gallons of superglue to cover prints. Finding gallon quantity's took a bit of searching and was expensive. $600 I recall.

The CAD model Matthew created looks like is was made with Autodesk Fusion 360. That software has an awesome slicer option (Available as an add-in from the app store) where it outputs cut files ready for router or laser.
i.e. a stack of foam board ready for sanding.
The original version of the slicer could do skin loft cut files. Useful for a coroplast body design.

Coroplast makes a terrific, low cost, light weight, safe streamliner body.
Lots of examples to study http://pedalprix.com.au/ (pedalprix is a Australian high school competition)
http://www.instructables.com/id/Facet-V1-Velomobile/






alevand Posted - 10/14/2017 : 17:21:59
They have a 3d printer at work that prints using plaster, after it dries they infuse it with superglue. Its strong enough to machine afterward. They use it in mocking up nuclear reactor components. It can print table size parts.

C:
Tony Levand
Jerry Posted - 10/14/2017 : 14:54:55
I agree Thom, but Matthew did say he wanted the shell to fit different size people. That would be a lot easier with coro. You can actually expand coro very easily. Glass, kevlar, and CF, not so easy. Get your feet wet before you try swimming the ocean. Plus, I have seen a few coro built velomobiles and one streamliner look just as good as OEM built ones. Whatever he decides, I hope him the best.
alevand Posted - 10/14/2017 : 12:37:24
Mathew is planning on using v-brakes, if you read the post about him being a Florida flat lander. . We are just discussing brakes in general, maybe hijacking the tread..

C:
Tony Levand
Speedbiker Posted - 10/14/2017 : 08:16:21
Jerry, I believe Matthew is more ambitious than that, and is wanting the challenge of a more complex build. Remember, he doesn't have a job and family. Am am encouraged that a young person is so motivated, rather than throwing a bunch of time and money into gaming, partying, or buying a car he doesn't need. Future great engineer in the making!
Jerry Posted - 10/14/2017 : 08:08:18
I still think he should start with coroplast. It is cheaper and easier to re-design and change things until you get it where you want it. Also lighter and you don't need a mold or plug to build it. When you build a fiberglass or CF shell it is hard to change the fit and size of the shell. Coroplast is easy to change and at around $20 a sheet, you can afford a lot of mistakes and changes. Once you get it right, it is weather proof, quieter, and pretty darn fast. And if/when you crash, it is easier to repair. OK, I like coroplast!

With Matthews design skills it would look professional too.
carolina Posted - 10/13/2017 : 23:33:20
Now , hold on just a minute.

velosRus.com
Speedbiker Posted - 10/13/2017 : 22:46:59
Before you elite hpv designers start suggesting Matthew use big rig air brakes, take a moment to remember this bike is being designed to haul a high schooler to school.
alevand Posted - 10/12/2017 : 14:53:53
You'd probably want cross 4 lacing with that disk. I agree on the holes. I like how it floats. I am going to experiment with aero braking before going to disks.

C:
Tony Levand
Speedy Posted - 10/12/2017 : 14:00:46
Even if the feed line does not melt off hydraulic fluid can boil which can render them useless.
Mechanical is the safest choice.
Santana surely have done their homework but ... the weight reduction holes in the disc look too large for my taste. The aluminum cooling fin is a nice touch.


alevand Posted - 10/12/2017 : 11:00:36
http://santanatandems.com/Techno/DiscBrakeTech.html

10 inch disk (254 mm):

http://santanatandems.com/Techno/UnderstandingBraking.html


C:
Tony Levand
Joel DIckman Posted - 10/12/2017 : 10:28:03
quote:
Originally posted by purplepeopledesign

...Hydraulic brakes have that much better modulation, I wonder if there is a way to keep them while still having some other kind of drag brake for mountain descending...


Upright tandem riders have been using Arai drum brakes during long mountain descents for many years. They seem to prefer this to disc brakes. Don't have any personal experience with them myself though.

Safe riding,
Joel Dickman
http://lightningriders.com

These three prevent most accidents: seeing, being seen, & (usually) common sense.

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