Author Topic: Hard shell seat recommendations  (Read 1291 times)

Hard shell seat recommendations
« on: January 18, 2020, 06:35:07 am »
Morning All,

I'm rebuilding a PDQ from a frame purchased from Kevin at DTek. I live near Stratford on Avon and thought it would be cool to refurb a bit of a local product, ignoring the American origins of course.
All is going well so far, and the budget is staying within sensible (tight) limits. Stormbird has been a huge help providing dimensions and information off his bike to let me make the chain idler and other bits & pieces. However, I think I'm just about to hit an expensive bit so need to get it right.

Has anyone got any recommendations on cost effective hard shell seats? Would appreciate the benefit of your experiences.

Thanks.

Rebuilding a PDQ frame to restart my recumbent collection!

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2020, 10:38:33 am »
How basic/fancy do you want your seat ??

The homebuilt bents from "Atomic Zombie" tend to just use two pieces of plywood, memory foam and some type of cover.
Look through the tutorials over there for some ideals.
Voyager over in the Cycle Chat recumbent section has a couple of threads where she shows how she makes one like that as part of a full recumbent trike build.

Luck ...........  ;D

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2020, 11:07:13 am »
How basic/fancy do you want your seat ??

The homebuilt bents from "Atomic Zombie" tend to just use two pieces of plywood, memory foam and some type of cover.
Look through the tutorials over there for some ideals.
Voyager over in the Cycle Chat recumbent section has a couple of threads where she shows how she makes one like that as part of a full recumbent trike build.

Luck ...........  ;D

How basic/fancy do you want your seat ??

Not fancy fancy, but not home built. I'd like a hardshell fiberglass one, but don't have the time, skill, space or patience to make one properly, so I've resigned myself to it costing a few quid. I also don't want to compromise the aesthetics of the bike too much.

There's a fair few on fleabay from different suppliers, and I need a conversation with Kevin at some point as he said he had a couple of sources, but I thought it made sense to cast the net to the experienced populous on here. I know a lot of folk rate the BodyLink seat, but bank balance says no unless somebody has a second hand one at sensible money.


PDQ frame now sourced. On to the build...

Rebuilding a PDQ frame to restart my recumbent collection!

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2020, 02:26:22 pm »
I'm something of a fan of the old-skool HP Velotechnik non-Body Link seat, with a channel down the middle where your spine goes.  No idea whether they're still available but they probably came out of the same Sheds in Poland as 99% of recumbent composite bits in the opening overs of the millennium.  However, most hardshell seats were intended to be used at significantly more reclined angles than was the norm on the PDQ so I'm not sure how well it would work.
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Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 03:55:41 pm »


I'm something of a fan of the old-skool HP Velotechnik non-Body Link seat, with a channel down the middle where your spine goes.

 However, most hardshell seats were intended to be used at significantly more reclined angles than was the norm on the PDQ so I'm not sure how well it would work.

HP only list the current hard shell seat as you'd probably expect, and having reached out to both them and ICE they don't offer old model anything.

The intention is to recline the seat quite a bit further than the old mesh seat. I'm also planning on deleting the donut and working on a bracket set up a bit like the one ICE used on the or suspended rear Q and QNT to allow the seat angle to be adjusted easily. Having looked at Hercule's posts on cyclinguk.org this extends the boom a bit, cancels heel strike on the front wheel and reduces frontal area.

PDQ frame now sourced. On to the build...

Rebuilding a PDQ frame to restart my recumbent collection!

andytheflyer

  • Andytheex-flyer.....
Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2020, 03:08:22 pm »
Drop Christine at Performer an email and ask her if she's got something old stock.  Their prices are very reasonable, and carriage is OK too.  You could have it in your hands in a week or so.

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2020, 05:17:27 pm »


Drop Christine at Performer an email and ask her if she's got something old stock.

Great idea andytheflyer, thanks. Have done as you suggested, let's see what she comes back with.

PDQ frame now sourced. On to the build...

Rebuilding a PDQ frame to restart my recumbent collection!

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2020, 07:28:49 am »
Don't forget you will have import duties an vat to pay
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

andytheflyer

  • Andytheex-flyer.....
Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2020, 03:27:12 pm »
When I bought a frame set from her, the pro-forma invoice, strangely, seemed to have underestimated the value of the goods.  Must have been a typo.............

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2020, 08:05:36 am »
As the creator of the hard shell PDQ, I didn’t keep it like that - it pushed the centre of gravity too far over the front wheel and made the steering very heavy, and I needed the boom out to its furtherest extension to allow it to work for even my short legs.  I reverted back to the hammock seat (which is otherwise very comfortable) and trimmed a bit off the front to allow an easier reach to the ground.

The PDQ has a very short wheelbase (it was less than that of a Brompton). For that reason I think it’s better suited to more upright seat designs than reclined, a longer wheelbase design is more accommodating of seat angle changes. The seat suspension seemed to me to be a critical part of the bike design and took the edge of the potential shocks a SWB design can pass up from potholes etc.

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2020, 10:22:04 am »


As the creator of the hard shell PDQ

Hello @Bentback ! I'm surprised I haven't worn your web page post out! I've taken loads of inspiration from that and it's given me so many ideas.

I noted the comments you made about the CoG being pushed forward and I'm working on a design for the front seat mount to allow the seat to be moved further back. The use of hydraulic pipe clamps is a great idea! I'm looking to see if I can get some of the rubber bits moulded in a lower durometer softer rubber for a bit of give and have some really soft anti vibration mounts for the back so I'm hoping this will take the majority of the hits out. While the donut looks like it did/does an amazing job I want to take it out of the equation and put a linkage on the rear mount to give a little suspension but also to allow the seat angle to be changed easily.

I've had about 3 years riding a rigid bent trike on 100psi tyres so have a tough idea of what to expect in terms of ride quality. If it's any better than that I'll be really happy.

I had a look for the seat supplier you mentioned but cannot find them. Really cheeky question; have you still got the seat and is it being used??!!

Ned.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk

Rebuilding a PDQ frame to restart my recumbent collection!

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2020, 04:13:35 pm »
Thread necromancy.

I'm not enjoying the "bits of wood bolted to the frame" approach of my Atomic Zombie trike. I'd like to get a decent seat that is a bit more ergonomic, and I don't have the skills/materials to make one (except possibly out of 1.6mm steel, which seems somewhat sub-optimal). I quite like the idea of using this seat on the trike and on a future 2 wheel recumbent but it seems that Trike and Bike seats are different shapes - is there any downside to using a trike shaped one on a bike? Is there anything I should look for before just picking one that looks nice off the web? And has anyone had any experience with these guys?
http://www.thorseat.eu/en/how-tochoose-recumbent-seat/
Found Performer now - basically the same price, slightly different design: https://www.performercycles.com/accessories/ (side note - their bikes look very nice and surprisingly affordable).

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2020, 07:36:36 pm »
I finally got sorted with a seat on the PDQ. I actually had one gifted by a mate who bought one but it didn't suit him. It's one of these:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303333905878

I was worried about how it would feel and fit because I'm 6' tall with short legs, but actually it's really good! It fits the bike really well now I've made the mounts for it, is properly stiff and really comfortable. For £65 it cost I'm well pleased with it.

This is the bike in its 'finished' state. But it's had a headrest and hydration pack fitted since.

Next stop is to see Des at Velofix in Stratford to get the wheels tensioned now they've done a few miles.

PDQ now built and being ridden.
Rebuilding a PDQ frame to restart my recumbent collection!

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2020, 12:06:32 pm »
I finally got sorted with a seat on the PDQ. I actually had one gifted by a mate who bought one but it didn't suit him. It's one of these:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303333905878

I was worried about how it would feel and fit because I'm 6' tall with short legs, but actually it's really good! It fits the bike really well now I've made the mounts for it, is properly stiff and really comfortable. For £65 it cost I'm well pleased with it.
When you say it "didn't suit" your mate, in what way did it not suit him? That looks pretty nice, and I'd be happy to try £65 (plus 12p&p) if it's likely to work.
Also, it seems to be a halfway house between trike and bike seats in that it has some wings, but not very big ones. Do you find it OK on the bike (I assume you didn't get to try it on a trike)?
Thanks

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2020, 01:01:56 pm »
Duncan. Have you considered making a curved laminated plywood seat?

Looking at the video on your trike thread, It looks like the seat back could do with being longer, and curve up a bit for shoulder support.

If you make a wooden frame in the shape you want, and then laminate the seat from a couple of sheets of 3mm Birch ply (cut so that the outer grain runs across the seat makes it easier to bend). You might want to add a third layer at the edges to give a bit more support and 'compound curve'.

If you can get hold of judo crash-mat type foam, you can add more supportive shape to the face of the seat - it will cut with a bandsaw, and can be machined with a router.

It works for me on my wooden recumbent (although Kim hated the seat  - she's probably a different shape to me)

If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2020, 01:32:31 pm »
I saw some interesting plans for building a plywood seat here: http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=edgar%20k.%20atkins
In normal times I would probably take a cutting list to the local sheet materials place and get cracking (hopefully not literally), but they are shut, and many of the online places are giving warning that home deliveries are being deprioritised. I should probably look harder as it would be an opportunity to do it over the bank holiday.
The wooden bike looks cool - is there any more info about it out there?

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2020, 01:47:19 pm »


When you say it "didn't suit" your mate, in what way did it not suit him?

He's ended up with a mesh seat because that's actually what he really wanted, rather than him thinking himself into wanting a hard shell.
It's spot in on the bike, although it's apparently quite loud as you ride past. Next step is to fit some proper anti vibration mounts to it to see if that reduces the noise.



Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk

Rebuilding a PDQ frame to restart my recumbent collection!

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2020, 02:20:57 pm »
The wooden bike is one I built in 2003 from plans by James Robinson ( no longer available, though) My old website (Xntrick.co.uk) used to have more details including build photos, but my host doesn't support hosting anymore, and I haven't rewritten it.

If you search 2x4 lowracer, you'll get to a few sites that still have details (including YACF member 'Stormbird's' site).

I raced it with the BHPC at Herne Hill, and averaged nearly 21 mph for a 45min + 3 laps, race - IIRC, Mr Larrington was taking bets on whether the bike would break or catch fire...
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2020, 05:50:12 pm »
It works for me on my wooden recumbent (although Kim hated the seat  - she's probably a different shape to me)

I think hardshell seats are a bit like saddles in that respect.  Obviously the overall size is important, but the curve has to be right for your spine, too (I've got quite a pronounced lordosis, and seem to get on reasonably well with the old-style HPVelotechnik seats - I had a bit of extra padding in the lumbar region before I discovered Ventisit).  Mesh is generally more forgiving, as long as you aren't resting on the frame itself.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2020, 07:36:34 pm »
I had a hunt around in the garage, and while I found enough mdf shelves I can chop up to make a form, the only seat material seemed to be 4.8mm plywood or 1.2 mm steel. The former probably won't bend, and the latter would bend but would require stiffening (and would weigh a ton).
I do quite like the idea of bending the steel to the right dimensions and then using the bead roller to stiffen it up. Was it Raleigh that claimed to make the "all-steel bicycle"?
If I get a chance this weekend I'll make the form and then see what I can do with it. :)

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2020, 09:27:27 pm »
Was it Raleigh that claimed to make the "all-steel bicycle"?


That's certainly what the transfers said, that Raleigh sent me when I restored my 1937 Raliegh tandem:
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2020, 10:27:44 am »
Maybe I can go one better and make the seat out of steel. They cheated and used leather! :) The all-steel tricycle! :)

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2020, 04:09:03 pm »
Let's see how this works out!
2020-04-18_03-57-56 by duncancmartin, on Flickr
More details will appear on the Skip Bike and Bodge it thread.

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2020, 05:27:51 pm »


Let's see how this works out!

Go on, I'm intrigued. What are you making it out of?

PDQ frame now sourced. On to the build...

Rebuilding a PDQ frame to restart my recumbent collection!

Re: Hard shell seat recommendations
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2020, 05:52:04 pm »
Let's see how this works out!
Go on, I'm intrigued. What are you making it out of?
1.2mm Zintec steel. More information here:
https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=94895.msg2488818#msg2488818