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Old 06-30-2006, 08:45 AM   #11
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That 80 mph bike was fully fared. I've always dreamt of building something like that, then putting a 50+ kW electric drive and building a high performance/long range electric motorcycle out of it. 300W of human muscle gets 80 mph. Now imagine 50,000W on up. Can you say 250 mph pocket rocket that does 0-60 in 4 seconds? And to think, with 100 pounds lithium batteries, 500+ miles range.

The big uncertainty of course is high speed stability. Lift at that speed is an unknown, and that shape doesn't produce significant downforce. Nice to think about though.
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Toecutter
That 80 mph bike was fully fared. I've always dreamt of building something like that, then putting a 50+ kW electric drive and building a high performance/long range electric motorcycle out of it. 300W of human muscle gets 80 mph. Now imagine 50,000W on up. Can you say 250 mph pocket rocket that does 0-60 in 4 seconds? And to think, with 100 pounds lithium batteries, 500+ miles range.

The big uncertainty of course is high speed stability. Lift at that speed is an unknown, and that shape doesn't produce significant downforce. Nice to think about though.
There will be zero lift if the bottom is symmetrical to the top. I don't imagine that there would be either significant downforce or upforce with that design. But a crosswind might suck (although since the recumbent is closer to the ground there is less torque).

Most cars are shaped like a crude airfoil, with there being slow moving air on the bottom and faster air on the top, travelling over a larger surface. I don't imagine this is very good for reducing lift. By fitting an undertray and having a curve at the front and rear, this should reduce any lift produced.
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:53 AM   #13
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Plenty of recumbent bikes in the Netherlands. See www.ligfietsen.nl.

The bike in the picture is a 'Versatile' from www.flevobike.nl. Damn, I might get one for myself.
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Old 01-05-2007, 12:22 PM   #14
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I'm currently on sabbatical from a car-free lifestyle. I bought a car in July to get over some chronic health problems. I hit 100,000 lifetime miles by bike early last year; my wife and I run a series of ultra-distance cycling events in our spare time.

I have many diamond-frame bikes but no recumbents. We've had many riders participate in our series over the years on recumbents, and they never finish first. The main reason is that recumbents, in spite of their superior aerodynamics, are slower here in the hilly Northeast because they're heavier. Over a series of rollers, the increased weight ultimately is lost to aerodynamic drag because you go down hills faster than you would on a lighter bike, and increased speed means increased aero losses.

However, in other, flatter parts of the country, recumbents rule, at least from what I've heard.

Fully faired recumbents fare badly in the hotter parts of the country because the rider burns up inside the fairing. If you don't have good airflow over the skin, those capillaries near the surface become radiators, and that means blood isn't getting to muscles to do work.
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Old 01-05-2007, 12:57 PM   #15
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Bruce, have you tried a recumbent? I'm guessing "probably", but if not, I'd highly recommend one, for recreational use anyway.

I tried one for the first time this fall, and it completely rejuvenated the fun of bicycling for me (I probably do more than the average person - which isn't saying much, really - but not as much as you ).

I was just thinking to myself this week that since I returned the bikeE, I've stopped going out just for the heck of it. I miss it. I intend to make a home-brew later this winter, either a tadpole 3-wheeler or something like a BikeE. It'll be HEAVY, and probably not too pretty, but way fun.

First ride on a recumbent bicycle: BikeE
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:23 AM   #16
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My wife and I rented recumbents from a local shop a few years back. She rented a BikeE, I rented a Lightning (a racing model). I spent about half an hour in the parking lot adjusting the boom length, then took off with her. Keeping my balance was a frightening experience, and I gave up after a couple of miles when I got a flat (the shop personnel hadn't inflated the tires.)
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:27 AM   #17
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I really want a recumbent, but I guess I should try riding one first. I've been thinking about building one since I'm too cheap to buy one .
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:38 AM   #18
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If you want to build one, this is a good book to have:

http://www.atomiczombie.com/product-bonanza.htm

You can also get it from Amazon. I haven't been able to get my arc welder to work, so I haven't built anything in it yet. I'd love to build the "snow bus".
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:58 AM   #19
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I've seen that guy's site , and I really like the marauder style recumbent. I have a mig welder but should really get an oxy/acet torch and a tubing notcher so I can build like the pros. A mig should do fine for a prototype though .
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:35 AM   #20
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Yes, that's an awesome site. He builds everything with an old school arc welder too.

EDIT: I'm waiting to see his tadpole trike. Sometime this spring, perhaps according to the news/blog section of their site.

My Christmas present to my brother was "half" a mig welder. Just waiting for the model we want to go on sale. Then I can make more bike stuff. And car stuff.
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