Author Topic: 30mph e-bike velomobile?  (Read 1748 times)

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2017, 12:19:58 pm »
He's going to have to produce some demo models and take them to the cycle shows.
Gary the mechanic who was running our club auction last night has been involved in building one up. He said he received a "curious" phone call from Grant Sinclair. I don't know any more.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2017, 06:00:14 pm »
I'm just curious how you would use something like this on a day to day basis. It's not the sort of thing I'd want to leave locked up and it wouldn't fit in any of the bike storage spaces at work, although it could be left in the motorbike parking spaces I suppose.
However, for shopping or anything that you might use a day to day runabout for, it would be a bit of a liability I would have thought.


Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2017, 06:03:05 pm »
I'm just curious how you would use something like this on a day to day basis. It's not the sort of thing I'd want to leave locked up and it wouldn't fit in any of the bike storage spaces at work, although it could be left in the motorbike parking spaces I suppose.
However, for shopping or anything that you might use a day to day runabout for, it would be a bit of a liability I would have thought.

Paging Auntie Helen.  Auntie Helen to the purple courtesy phone, please...


Actually, I'm inclined to agree.  Much as I enjoy riding my recumbents, I use a boring hybrid for the day-to-day stuff, not least because it's easier to park, less likely to be fiddled with, and ultimately much cheaper to maintain or indeed replace.  Of course, I'm fortunate in that do actually have the option.  If you have to use a trike anyway, then a velomobile becomes relatively practical.

Not that I haven't used funny bikes to do the shopping when circumstances dictate (typically when touring), and it's been fine.  But those do tend to be places that are a bit more bike-friendly than central Birmingham.  I think the practicality is mostly going to come down to where you live.

Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2017, 06:15:21 pm »
In Germany there is an abundance of cycle parking so no problems there, except I just dump my Velomobile anywhere really. You don't need to lean it against anything, it's just free standing. I don't bother locking either of my velomobiles either, but Germany is a bit better in terms of bike theft (particularly where I live).

I love using Penelope for shopping as there are loads of places I can secrete the shopping. I don't really have to worry about putting too much in my shopping basket, it all fits somewhere. But I don't go shopping in my Milan because it's not too easy to get in and out and storage space isn't ideal.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2017, 06:20:12 pm »
Anyway, we're comparing the practicalities to those of a bicycle.  We ought to be comparing them to those of a car.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2017, 06:23:12 pm »
I incorporated a shopping trip into a lengthy evening ride on the bent last week and discovered once stopped in town that I’d forgotten my lock.  I decided to test the theory that bents aren’t going to be taken by the opportunist thief as the opportunist thief won’t be able to ride the blessed thing.

It worked out fine last week but I have no plans to establish any meaningful data to test the theory further. 

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2017, 06:26:18 pm »
I haven't locked any of my bikes for about 2 years.

Currently Penelope and Alfie (my ICE Sprint) are in an unlocked garage in a relatively derelict farm building 600 metres away from my house (lack of space in my garage now my friend's Strada is also there). I am not worried...
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2017, 06:31:38 pm »
I incorporated a shopping trip into a lengthy evening ride on the bent last week and discovered once stopped in town that I’d forgotten my lock.  I decided to test the theory that bents aren’t going to be taken by the opportunist thief as the opportunist thief won’t be able to ride the blessed thing.

My experience of letting random people with no recumbent experience have a go on my 'bent is that a small but significant minority can ride it reasonably well within the first couple of pedal strokes.  A slightly more significant minority fail to ride it in a way that would result in an expensive drop if they were concentrating on escaping the scene of the crime or were generally unconcerned about damaging the bike.

So they might not have a clean getaway, but you probably don't want them to try.


Of course, this only applies to two-wheelers.  Hijacking a trike is mostly going to be a case of working out how to release the parking brake.  (Though I note that a hub motor may be able to function as a secure brake if the electronics are configured to support it:  Typically, you'd engage a lock-out mode then take the console with you; the motor magnetically opposes all rotation until released by the console.)  A lockable canopy would be a reasonable deterrent to opportunist fiddling and/or shopping theft, too.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2017, 07:06:14 pm »
Anyway, we're comparing the practicalities to those of a bicycle.  We ought to be comparing them to those of a car.
Why? What sense of 'ought'? In practice, anyone who gets a velomobile (or other recumbent) is likely to already have or at least have experience of upright bikes and cars, so they both seem valid comparisons to me. A electric velomobile is probably (I'm guessing) more likely to appeal to people who have never been able to ride a bike or drive a car than other sorts of cycle, but they'll still be a small minority of velomobilists. And other means of going shopping and getting to work, such as bus, taxi and walking, are just as valid comparisons. 

(But if we are going to compare it to a car for shopping, then in most places a car loses to everything in terms of parking.)
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2017, 07:45:50 pm »
Anyway, we're comparing the practicalities to those of a bicycle.  We ought to be comparing them to those of a car.
Why? What sense of 'ought'?

Sir Clive's.  He was all about revolutionising transport.  Not that I agree that this is the way to do it (I think the revolution will take care of itself if we break the stranglehold that private motoring has on road/public space design).

Grant's objective might be a more modest "selling some shiny things with Sinclair written on them", or something.  I don't really know, but that might be achievable.


Quote
In practice, anyone who gets a velomobile (or other recumbent) is likely to already have or at least have experience of upright bikes and cars, so they both seem valid comparisons to me.

Indeed, though the average's Brit's experience of upright bikes is as a toy or piece of sports equipment, rather than as a form of transport.  While they may be adept at turning pedals, they might not have an appreciation of utility cycling things like parking, luggage, coping with weather when you're not just out for a bike ride, how likely they are to get nicked, etc.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2017, 08:18:16 pm »
I don't think that sort of Brit (or any other nationality) is about to spend three grand on any sort of vehicle without a motor!

Oh yeah, this does have a motor. But (that sort of Brit says) it's hardly a practical vehicle is it? For that money you could get a decent car! It looks more like a... souped-up mobility scooter. Or a Bond Bug or something.

I reckon Grant's objectives might be more easily achievable than Sir Clive's. But by achieving Grant's we might take one step closer to his uncle's (or even yours, or mine... )
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2017, 08:28:08 pm »
Don't tell plod, but my standard 250W MTB ebike could do 30MPH if I wanted it to.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2017, 10:44:42 pm »
i use a trailer behind my trice to get the weekly shopping . anyuthing that does not fit in the trailer gets hung on either side of the seat  :)
the slower you go the more you see

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2017, 03:45:05 am »
"Rider can pedal or use the powerful mid-drive motor (controlled by twist grip throttle on handlebars) or a combination of both."

At 55kg I don't think this is going anywhere but downhill without the motor running.

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2017, 08:14:28 am »
I believe somebody else already had the idea of taking a bicycle, adding an extra wheel, some extra bodywork and a power source. His name was Carl Benz. Not sure how that worked out.
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Fear the BEAR!
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2017, 08:47:31 am »
My chum Chairman Al has a Quest but says he daren't use it for utility riding in Hemel Hempstead "coz the pikeys would smash it up".
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2017, 12:20:21 pm »
"Rider can pedal or use the powerful mid-drive motor (controlled by twist grip throttle on handlebars) or a combination of both."

At 55kg I don't think this is going anywhere but downhill without the motor running.

It's just extra weight.  It'll need the motor for climbs and half-decent acceleration, but that's normal for electric assist cycles.  With the fairing it should cruise on the flat with less power than a bicycle, unless they make some really bad tyre decisions.

People like to make a fuss about how much effort it is to propel electric assist cycles when the battery runs out, yet they never seem to consider how much effort it is to propel a motorcycle or car when the fuel runs out.  Which is strange really, as the solution is the same.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2017, 12:40:05 pm »
It's just extra weight.  It'll need the motor for climbs and half-decent acceleration, but that's normal for electric assist cycles.  With the fairing it should cruise on the flat with less power than a bicycle, unless they make some really bad tyre decisions.

People like to make a fuss about how much effort it is to propel electric assist cycles when the battery runs out, yet they never seem to consider how much effort it is to propel a motorcycle or car when the fuel runs out.  Which is strange really, as the solution is the same.

I don't disagree, I just think their marketing is disingenuous. I know from when I used to haul a heavy trailer behind a regular bike that you quickly discover how most roads are rarely truly flat. The motor is going to be running more often than not on anything but noticeable downhills, especially if the target market is people who aren't already regular cyclists.

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2017, 01:08:52 pm »
A motorcycle or car isn't designed or ever claimed to be meaningfully mobile without its engine though. Electric bicycles are; or at least some of them are, maybe this is part of the difference between e-bike, pedelec and whatever (I never remember which one is which).
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2017, 01:28:18 pm »
A motorcycle or car isn't designed or ever claimed to be meaningfully mobile without its engine though. Electric bicycles are; or at least some of them are, maybe this is part of the difference between e-bike, pedelec and whatever (I never remember which one is which).

I dispute that.  While their legal status is pedal-cycle-with-a-motor-that-meets-these-restrictions, in practice they're usually designed to be ridden using either pure electric power, or a mixture of human and electric power.  Because, like mopeds, people don't buy electric bikes in order to pedal them around on human power alone.  (Yes, there are now some super lightweight systems for giving cycling enthusiasts on nice road bikes a power boost on climbs, but that's a niche market.)


The electric assist pedal cycle vs pedalec distinction is a technical one pertaining to which set of regulations are met, and is mostly about power limits and whether the pedals need to be turning[1] for the motor to be active.  Pretty much any cycle-with-electrickery currently manufactured for sale in Europe is either a pedelec or effectively a motorcycle, and all other terms are generic.


[1] Note that this doesn't mean they have to be delivering power to the wheels.  You can ride a pedalec by turning the pedals too slowly to engage the freewheel.  (The speed of pedalling isn't usually sensed - motor power is normally determined by hand controls.)
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2017, 01:35:01 pm »
Well the term I've seen most commonly in marketing is "electric assist" which implies an electric motor helping you pedal. If it's actually pedals providing a boost to the motor, and you can't realistically ride without the motor, that's a different thing.

I have been overtaken (on a railway path) by a bloke on a electric bike with a knackered motor. Overtaking me doesn't make anyone fast(!) but he was quite able to ride his bike with pedals alone. Don't know quite what system he had though.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2017, 01:57:03 pm »
Well the term I've seen most commonly in marketing is "electric assist" which implies an electric motor helping you pedal.

That's derived from a legal term.


Quote
If it's actually pedals providing a boost to the motor, and you can't realistically ride without the motor, that's a different thing.

Not in law.

The it's-not-about-the-bike rule applies.  *I* can ride barakta's trike (37kg) with the motor switched off.  It's like carrying a touring load on a bike with under-inflated Marathon Pluses.  She (being smaller and less fit) can ride it at modest speed on the flat, but needs the motor (or at least the extra weight of the electric system removed) for climbs.  Downhill it runs primarily on gravity power like most cycles, as the motor cuts out above 25kph.  If it was my trike, it wouldn't have a motor on it in the first place, because the benefit to me is marginal.  But when I do ride it[1], I tend to leave the motor at the lowest power setting and enjoy it handling like a lightweight trike, rather than switching it off.


Quote
I have been overtaken (on a railway path) by a bloke on a electric bike with a knackered motor. Overtaking me doesn't make anyone fast(!) but he was quite able to ride his bike with pedals alone. Don't know quite what system he had though.

Yes, that's normal.  It's easy for a fit cyclist to exceed the limiter on the flat.  But fit cyclists don't generally ride electric cycles, unless they're hauling cargo or trying to arrive at their destination sweat-free (in which case avoiding sweatiness precludes using much human power).


[1] This isn't entirely fair, as since it was electrified I only really ride it for post-fettle testing, or with the motor turned up to full power to haul a heavy trailer.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2017, 02:06:17 pm »
My eMTB is easily capable of being ridden without the motor switched on. However, it's a 20Kg lump of a bike, possibly 18 without the battery. My unpowered MTB weighs 13Kg and is more adept off road. The ebike however, powers me to work, relatively unsweaty, at an average speed of 19MPH*. That's with Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro tyres on and with an undulating route. If I want off-road fun, I'll take the Carrera; if I want speed with comfort, I'll use the ebike.

*That's with the power setting on 6 out of 18. The higher settings would be much faster, but would exceed the margins of safety I'd be happy with regarding brakes, lights and other road users' perceptions.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #48 on: February 21, 2017, 02:36:31 pm »
This news item kind of passed me by, but when I realised what it was all about I thought I'd better have a look. So I have.

Not convinced. Steel chassis. Monocoque ski helmet shell? How can it be a monocoque if it's on a chassis? And ski helmets? That worked well for Schumacher!
55kg!
I realise that £3k doesn't buy much of a proper velomobile nowadays, let alone an electric assisted one but even so, I'm not raiding my piggybank for this one just yet.

Re: 30mph e-bike velomobile?
« Reply #49 on: February 21, 2017, 03:14:11 pm »
I think the monocoque shell bit means that the shell is formed in one piece, rather than from panels.

Steel chassis is not that strange, if using the right tubing.

55kg is similar to other velomobiles. A quest without a motor or drive battery is 32Kg.

So it is a bit heavy, but not hugely so.
<i>Marmite slave</i>