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Old 02-26-2010, 12:14 PM   #1
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Pedal powered car

Anyone seen one?

I've often thought about how light my last car (sadly dead and gone) was without the engine and transmission and how cool it would be to pick up a set of pedals from one of those nifty paddle boats, and install them under the dash for me and the missus. While I never got around to this, I did put a decent bit of thought into it and even thought about ways to stick a small alternator on a rear axle to power the A/C, windows and radio. Only real issue would be the gearing to make it feasible to hit at least 35mph and take it in traffic.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by severedgein View Post
Only real issue would be the gearing to make it feasible to hit at least 35mph and take it in traffic.
No gearing will do that job. Human legs just don't make enough power for the job as you describe it. That kind of performance is the upper limit for a very good cyclist on a 15 pound racing bicycle with far less frontal area and no pedal-powered electrical accessories.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:42 PM   #3
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there was a guy a while back that got a seat belt ticket doing a documentary (or some sort of short film) where him and 3 buddies did that in some city. the vid was on youtube somewhere but I can't find it right now. they were going really REALLY slow. they had hollowed out what looked like and old caddy.

the ticket got thrown out since the car had no drivetrain they didn't consider it a car. the guy was ready to fight it tooth and nail
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:48 PM   #4
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[yt]pSwig1tgUtY[/yt]
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:36 AM   #5
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LOL! I love the camera work, that was great showing the bicyclist pedaling next to the car and you can see everybody's feet.

The whole thing reminded me of this:
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
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they had hollowed out what looked like and old caddy.
The car is a Buick Regal, 1986 or 1987 model.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:13 AM   #7
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that's the one. I'm not so good at identifying the older larger cars (caddys, buicks, olds mobile, etc). they all look the same to me.

I thought that vid was hilarious.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:05 AM   #8
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If you look closely you will notice its a slightly newer version of my Big White Hooptie.
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
No gearing will do that job. Human legs just don't make enough power for the job as you describe it. That kind of performance is the upper limit for a very good cyclist on a 15 pound racing bicycle with far less frontal area and no pedal-powered electrical accessories.
Well, I know it's far fetched, but certainly not impossible. removing the engine and using the engine bay for massive gears to drive the rear tires would be the idea. Another reason those poor guys in that video couldn't get that car going fast is probably the stock width tires they had on it. Racing bikes have narrow tires for a reason.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:36 AM   #10
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I would think that you would need something like 1:50 ratio to get you started and then 50:1 to sustain speed. and you would need a lot of steps in the middle. it would help if you had several people peddling.

not sure how many rpm's a person can pedal. I think that would be a big limiting factor. also, how much actual power (or work) these people can sustain over the period of the trip.

from wiki:

A healthy human can produce about 1.2 hp briefly (see orders of magnitude) and sustain about 0.1 hp indefinitely; trained athletes can manage up to about 2.5 hp briefly and 0.3 hp for a period of several hours

I have heard that it takes about 20hp to sustain a car going 60mph though I think that is a rule of thumb figure
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