Rick Wianecki's velomobile project
Velomobile 6

A project by Rick Wianecki

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I spent some time today working on stiffening up the lip that will support the top of the velomobile. I added some wedges between the lip and the side of the body.
Here is a close up of what it looks like on the main tub. I will add a layer or two of fiberglass next. I need to figure out how I will hinge the top before I add reinforcing to the correct places.

I am planning on having the top hinge sideways so I will be able to step in in front of the front cross tubes. All the velomobiles I have ridden require one to step on the seat and shimmy in I would like to get on the trike the same way with or without the body. That is why the step over at the front wheels is as low as possible.
Today I worked on making the hinges and preparing the top. I started out by bending some 1/2 x .035 wall cromoly tubing that will be the main part of the hinge.
I then added a tube that will have nylon bushings to act as the pivot. I brazed a shoulder bolt to 1" wide piece of steel to act as the pivot point. Here are the two partially completed hinges. I still need to add the parts that will attach then to the top. You can also see 2 wedges that will be bonded into the tub to help with hinge alignment
Here is where the hinge will be mounted to the tub, showing it in the top closed position.
Here is the top open position
I then worked on boxing in the top where the hinges will be mounted. I will add some carbon fiber to stiffen up there locations before I bond in the mounting hardware.
I also laid out where the head opening is going to be on the top.

The next step is to lay up the lips on the tub & the top and get the hinges mounted.

Worked on the main tub today. I added carbon to reinforce the hinge area.
and then added fiberglass to the boxed in lip to stiffen the top of the tub section.

Once everything cures I will remove the remainder of the skeleton and start figuring out how to mount the frame to the body.

So today I wanted to get the pin plates for the hinges glued to the tub. I remover the peel ply from the lip area and prepared the area where the hinge plates will be bonded.
I cleaned up the pin plates and drilled some holes to help the plates stick.
I then mixed up some epoxy and some flox into a paste to use to stick the pin plates to the tub.

Epoxy is the only type of resin to use on polystyrene. I use the West System epoxy #105 resin and either #205 or #206 hardener. I get it from a home/kit built aircraft supplier.
I then glued the pin plates to the tub and used some scrap foam to hold things in place.
Here is a picture of the lower tub with the rest of the foam skeleton removed.
Didn't do much today except clean up to be ready to make the final push to complete the velomobile.
I reassembled the top and bottom sections and placed them on 4 3/4 inch foam blocks to simulate the final fairing height.

From the side
and from the front
Today I worked on getting the frame in the bottom body shell.

I first measured where parts of the frame will be sticking out the bottom of the shell. When I revise the frame most of the slots will be filled in. I believe there was a glitch with my CAD program that caused this issue.
Then I laid out the location for the cuts and cut the slots in the bottom of the shell.
I flipped the shell over and took the front wheels off the trike and tried to slide the frame in the tub. With the rear wheel on I could turn the frame enough to get the front end into the wheel wells.
Once I took the rear wheel off I was able to get the frame in the body shell.
Next I will make all the mounts to attach the frame to the shell. I will also modify the steering to side stick from the current center mount as well as a couple of additional mods to the frame. Now it is really starting to look like a velomobile.
Yes one could easily make this body monocoque, I have built several tub bikes before using this process so I know it will work. For this project I wanted a removable frame so I could make changes to the drive train and electric assist easier and also use the trike without the body. Since this is my first fixed trike and my first attempt of integrating electric assist I knew I was going to have to make changes to something.
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