Velokraft NoCom
NoCom Modifications & Stuff 
  Also see the NoCom page
By Warren Beauchamp
2/20/2006
Ed's NoCom was sold to me (Warren) in the spring of 2005. A new NoCom is really a NoCom kit. It takes a lot of tweaking to make it roadworthy. Ed had already modified the front dropouts to allow the use of a 406mm Stelvio front tire, and tweaked the bike so it performed well. I rode it all year without modifying anything. I think that's some kind of record for me.
That winter I decided it was time to change a few things.

I ran the cables inside the frame, made a cutout in the seat back to allow storage of pump, tubes, tools and small water bladder inside the frame, added a front derailleur and built a new set of wheel disks for the front wheel.

Also I modified the return chain routing. This is a trick I learned from Larry and Allen. The chain tube is just held in place by a big plastic wire tie. It floats but is kept from rubbing on the seat and idler, which reduces chain friction.
Here's the NoCom in spring 2006. Rear brake and both front and rear shifter cables enter the frame through 3 small holes an inch or two behind the headset and are routed through the hollow body. Because no two NoComs are the same, this may no be as easy on another NoCom.
2/22/06
I have been working on a couple of other speed bits for the NoCom. The first is a rear fender, which will not only keep the water off the back of my head, but will allow my to use my aero helmet. Without it, the tail of the aero helmet would rub on the wheel. 
The second is remote steering. The pink protuberance in this picture is the beginning of the remote steering arm mold. I still need to finish shaping it, cover it in fiberglass, and make it pretty before it will be able to be used. 

I really don't like tiller bars, though I think they are more aero than the superman bars. Remote steering allows a tight human package while retaining good control of the bike. 

12/26/06
Over the past year I have a few changes to the NoCom. I finished the mold for the remote steering, but have not yet created a steering arm from the mold as I'm now fairly happy with the tiller setup.

I added about 2" of height to the headrest and removed the fender. (in this photo it still needs sanding and clear-coat) The headrest provides something for my Aero helmet to rest on, which keeps it off the tire, and doesn't detract from the looks (like the fender did).

I changed the shifters to bar-end friction shifters, which allowed me to narrow the handlebars a bit. Narrowing the handlebars pulled my elbows in to my sides. They were flopping around in the wind a bit with the wider handlebars. I moved the brake handles to a stem mounted position. They are now thumb brakes. I haven't cut them up to mount them directly next to each other yet, I'll see how they work on the road first... They should be much more aero.
Here's picture of the derailleur cable coming out from behind the seat stay. There is an ovalized hole on the inside of the stay for the cable to enter the frame through. A small unobtrusive cable tie secures it to the lip on the edge of stay (a black tie would have been better!)

I had  been waiting on a new front boom with integrated front derailleur post from Dana for about 9 months. This would allow me to finally install the Rotor cranks. These are all small improvements but when you add up a bunch of small improvements it makes a big difference in speed. 

1/14/07
I couldn't wait any longer. I finally bonded in a new derailleur mount tube  to allow use of the RotorCranks. I had it all epoxied on last weekend and then had to break it off when I found that I had put it it the wrong position. Doh! This week I got it in the right place. I still need to polish it up so it's shiny like the rest of the bike...
 
NoComs seem to accumulate holes in the frame. Here's how you can fill in all those holes while keeping the bike looking nice. If you can get behind the hole, first lay up a small piece of fiberglass on the inside of the hole as a backing. You can wet the fiberglass out on some plastic wrap and use that to mash the fiberglass into the inside of the bike without having it stick to your hand. This still leaves you with a shallow hole. To fill that you need to make some "NoCom putty", which is a mixture of epoxy, microballoons or cotton flox, and graphite. The graphite makes it black. A little goes a long way. A little sanding and some clear coat and good as new...
2/03/07
It's the middle of winter, there's snow on the ground, and it's been 0 degrees F outside for a week. Yeah, I'm going a bit stir crazy.
Introducing Darth NoCom. Yeah, that's me in there. These helmets were on sale for $10 at Walmart before Christmas. I couldn't resist. Think they'll let me race in it?
2/04/07
I decided that I could deal with the center mounted brake levers, but couldn't bring myself to cut up the expensive Paul levers. Instead I hacked up a pair of somewhat heavier, and much less expensive Forte (Performance) levers.

In this picture I have cut off the tubing clamp portion of the brake lever, and disassembled it. The levers will be bolted to the carbon fiber bracket using the lever pivot hole, and the threaded clamp mole.

Here you can see the bolt passing through the lever pivot holes of both levers. The larger bolt seen below is screwed into the old clamp threaded hole on one side. The other side was drilled out to allow a bolt to be  inserted from the side of one brake handle, and screwed into the other.
Here's the brake levers reassembled and bolted to the carbon fiber bracket. Some washers are used between the levers and the bracket on the upper bolt to provide proper spacing. The top of the lever was filed smooth and spray painted black to match the handle.
A slot was cut in the bottom of the NoCom handlebar, and the bracket was glued into the slot with some JB-Weld. Looks nice.
Zippy A. Put me on the Watties box. I'm somebody now!
2/5/07
Right to left, Zippy, Sean and I on our NoComs, cheesing it up after a training session.

We are taking a class called "The Grind", at a local bike store. The three of us, plus 5 roadies, follow a computerized training run, while watching our wattage on a big screen. It definitely takes some of the boredom out of Winter training.

9/03/07
I have been riding the heck out of this bike all year. After breaking the 1 hour record on his NoCom, Sean was able to get Terracycle to build a larger 23T idler to replace the stock one. We all bought one.

The NoCom Tailbox Project -
a project to build a fast tail fairing for the NoCom (2008 - 2011)

1/03/09
I have been riding the NoCom for nearly 4 years now, and it has been working fine with minor maintenance. 

I have been trying for a number of years to find a spoked rear wheel for this bike. Apparently nobody makes a 135mm dropout narrow rim 700C disk brake wheel. Last year I bought a 29er (700C) disk brake wheel with hopes of using it on the NoCom. Unfortunately the rim was too wide. This winter I noticed I had a narrow 700C rim with the same number of spokes. This was a no brainer, I laced in the new rim and now I can ride the NoCom on those springtime hurricane force wind days.

The other issue I have is that twice now I have caught my finger between the headrest and the rear wheel while adjusting my helmet at the beginning of a ride. Fortunately I was not going fast either time, but both times resulted in the loss of a huge amount of skin from a finger. Ouch. Because of this I need to resurrect the 2006 carbon rear fender, and find a way of mounting it permanently.

2/05/09
I cut down the old fender. It now looks more like an actual fender, and it's very light. I used JB weld to attach it to the bike. I still need to finish epoxying the fender in place, do a little sanding and then spray some clearcoat on it. No more finger damage for me!

8/27/11
Over the last several years the CF rear derailleur hanger has been degrading and after  repairing it several times it finally failed during the Kenosha HPRA races.

Velokraft now makes the rear dropouts from aluminum, so I will do the same. I traced the old dropout onto a chunk of 1/4" aluminum scrap and now need to do the cutting, filing, drilling, and tapping.

8/30/2011 
I finished cutting out the dropout and tapped the mounting holes. A bit of grinding and it fits nicely.
I drilled and tapped the dropout and mounted re-mounted it on the bike. The wheel seems to be straight and the derailleur is re-mounted. Test ride soon!
6/18/2012
I bought this spiffy Giro Advantage aero helmet used. It had a couple small cracks around the earflaps where someone with a bigger head tried to put on the helmet, so the price was right. I added the Louis Garneau TT helmet racing windscreen. It just slides in between the outer shell and the Styrofoam. It did need a little trimming and persuasion, but it stays in quite well with no glue needed.

The straps were adjusted so that the helmet is rotated forward as far as possible. As you can see in this photo, even with the helmet rotated forward, the tail still has interference with the NoCom fender in a major way.

The solution was to take out the power tools and bob the tail a bit. The removal of the tail does not hurt the helmet structurally, it's probably safer now in the event of a crash, and it now has a better shape for a recumbent.

The next modification I want to make is to the handlebars.

6/22/2012
I am making new handlebars for racing. They probably won't be practical for street riding. The pictures below show the stock NoCom bars (left), and the hand position with the new bars. The old position had the handlebars high and separated from my legs by a good distance. Also my elbows stick out and are not in line with the airflow. The new position hides my hands and forearms behind the wind shadow of my legs, and my elbows are a bit higher and more inline with the airflow.
The pictures below show the frontal area with the old bars (left) and the new bars. Frontal area of the bars and forearms are outlined in red. While overall frontal area won't be reduced much, The turbulence caused by the stock position hands and bars will be eliminated. The new bars won't be able to move very far left-right before they hit my legs.
7/4/2012
Several iterations of handlebars later I found that having handlebars in my crotch meant that my elbows were still sticking out. That plus the impracticality of the bars in that location made me look for a new solution. This picture shows the bars I came up with. They are made of aluminum tubing and were initially bonded together with PC11. I then wrapped the joints in Kevlar tow and covered it in epoxy.
The Tektro RX 5.0 levers feel very natural in this position, but are short pull for caliper brakes. The NoCom needs long pull MTB levers for disk brakes. After a web search I found and ordered the Travel Agent brake pulley, which is a little pulley that converts short pull brakes to long pull. It also will redirect the cable travel toward the front of the bike, which is a good thing.

Here you can see the bars mounted in the stock NoCom head clamp.

The pictures below show the new arm position compared to the old position. In the new position my hands are more shaded behind the legs. Also the forearms are rotated 90 degrees so the air passes over the narrower section. Elbows are lifted and held close to the body.

The next test will be to see if I can control the bike riding with this short tiller and narrow handlebar.

With paint and handlebar tape...
5/25/2013
Here's the current NoCom setup with the new handlebars and aero helmet. Picture by Del Crossvee of me racing at Waterford, Mi.
Here's another picture from the Waterford races by Dan Glatch.

I like the new handlebars as I think they make me faster, but they make the bike a little harder to control as there is less steering leverage. Also the brakes are not as strong using the bar end road brake handles with travel agent on BB7 "road" disk calipers. They work fine for racing...

 

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