panther
The Spencer Racing Panther Speedbike
07/2007  
Steve and his father LaVerne Spencer built a long wheelbase, dual 700C lowracer, with unique in-hub steering. The steering "head tube" is actually inside the front hub.
This arrangement, coupled with remote steering appears to work quite well, as seen by the grin on Steve's face as he blasts aroung Nothbrook velodrome during the 2007 Byant Tucker 100 races.
The real reason for the peculiar arrangement of this bike is to allow a dual 700C bike to fit into a streamliner, for use a Battle Mountain. The lack of a headset sticking up above the front tire allows a nice low nose.

Here, the streamliner mold is being constructed. The Spencer's decided to build the streamliner from the Varna nose and Rick Wianecki's Frank-n-liner rear.
 

The back half of this streamliner is constructed using the "lost mold" technique. The egg-crate foam construction in the picture above is covered with strips of foam. The foam is then sanded smooth, and any remaining gaps are filled.

Here, a carbon fiber mold taken from the Balfour's Varna front end is grafted onto the foam backside of the Frank-n-liner.  

After some body work to seam the two together, Steve and LaVerne cover the right half of the body in a layer of Kevlar.
The entire bike is covered, and then the shell is cut open and the foam is removed.
The bike is fit into the 'liner, and fastened to the bottom half of the fairing.
10/2007
Steve, LaVerne, and Teresa Spencer drove out to Battle Mountain for the World Human Powered Speed Championships. 
Steve battled with new speedbike issues like tires rubbing on the body for most of the week, which kept his speed low, but he gained valuable seat time, which is very important in a streamliner.
Here, Steve waits for his turn to run on the 5 mile Battle Mountain course, as darkness falls in the high Nevada desert.

Here is the Spencer Team write-up of their adventure.

7/2007
After modifying the bike to allow it to make left turns, Steve races the Panther for the first time on the Northbrook velodrome, during the Northbrook 100 races.

Steve runs the 200 meter sprints, turning a respectable 36 MPH run, good for 2nd place in class!
 

Steve says: "It was a great day for racing, if not a little too windy for the debut of a Streamliner. As you will see in the pictures, Teresa launched me with rollerblades like we did in Battle Mountain. She was a real trouper as it was her first time on the rollerblades and we had no time to practice. Unfortunately, the first launch was perfect. The rest of the day was 50/50."
"We launched for the 200 meter sprint and I was able to see the Panther's potential. But we couldn't launch for the 100 lap race and I ended up having to race without the top. That was disappointing but it was good to get in some seat time in the bike."
   
The Spencer Racing team, happy after a day of racing in Northbrook.

Steve says: "My dad and I are currently modifying the Panther for the 2008 racing season. Shorter, more compact wheelbase, lower seat height, smaller frontal area, among dozens of other refinements. We are looking forward to competing at Battle Mountain in Sept."

9/11/08
We are sad to announce that Spencer Racing Team, designers and builders of the "Panther" streamliner, will not be attending this years speed challenge in Battle Mountain. After our success at the Northbrook Velodrome this past July, we had very ambitious goals to improve and refine the body and chassis for BM. By Sunday Sept 7th, we reluctantly conceded we had run out of time and a return to BM would be impossible.

Sincerely,
LaVerne, Steve and Teresa Spencer

 

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