Living with a velomobile

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby il padrone » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:50 pm

AndrewBurns wrote:What do people think of velomobiles with electric assist? It seems to me that they'd be good for all-weather commuting on the flat but without a motor you really suffer on hills. If you live in an area that's all rolling hills like me then couldn't an electric assist motor make up for the extra weight of the body shell?

I guess it all depends on how big your 'rolling hills' are and which way you're going on the roller coaster. My brother tells me that when riding on gentle-moderate rolling hills his Rotovelo is still easy to ride because it develops such a speed on the descents and, because of its very low aero drag, it carries much further up the climbs at a good speed. The major situation where the velo slows down is on longer sustained climbs.

But I have no experience myself, sadly.

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by BNA » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:57 pm

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby il padrone » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:57 pm

Roinik wrote:The Australian road rules 2012 state two power classes (in summary):
200W: unrestricted speed, however power is only to be applied when pedalling, hence pedal-assist.
250W: restricted to 25 km/h when pedalling. Power assist cuts out at 25 km/h.

I don't think that is quite correct. The 200W category is the current/prior power-assist regulation for bikes that have throttle control (most that are now in use). The throttle can be operated even when you are not pedalling for many of these eg. all the PABs that use a front wheel motor. The new 250W category is a recent development and I'm not even sure when it was to come into force. These PABs are automatically controlled with no throttle. I believe this is intended to supersede the old rule eventually.
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Rhubarb » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:06 pm

AndrewBurns wrote:What do people think of velomobiles with electric assist? It seems to me that they'd be good for all-weather commuting on the flat but without a motor you really suffer on hills. If you live in an area that's all rolling hills like me then couldn't an electric assist motor make up for the extra weight of the body shell?


Il Padrone's brother is on the money. Velomobiles are excellent on gentle to moderate rolling hills as you carry your speed up the other side. Where this theory goes wrong in practice is when the hills are big or steep or they have lights, corners or other reasons to stop at the bottom. If the hill goes up and over and I can maintain my speed over the other side, the velo is much faster overall. The hills that annoy me are the ones where you invest so much energy going up but then ride the brakes all the way down, either for safety or due to lights at the bottom of a hill etc.
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Aushiker » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:12 pm

il padrone wrote:I don't think that is quite correct. The 200W category is the current/prior power-assist regulation for bikes that have throttle control (most that are now in use). The throttle can be operated even when you are not pedalling for many of these eg. all the PABs that use a front wheel motor. The new 250W category is a recent development and I'm not even sure when it was to come into force. These PABs are automatically controlled with no throttle. I believe this is intended to supersede the old rule eventually.


Just to add to Pete's response, there is some discussion of the new Australian Design Rules at the Conversation. It should be noted that these are changes to the Australian Design Rules. How one can use an electric bicycle on the road or path still depends each State's road rules.

From my perspective in Western Australia the Road Traffic Code 2000 which was last updated on August 31, 2011 still restricts the size of electric bikes to 200 watts:

Regulation 3 ...

bicycle means a vehicle with 2 or more wheels that is built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor) and —
(a) (b) includes a pedicab, penny-farthing and tricycle; but does not include a wheelchair, wheeled recreational device, wheeled toy or any vehicle with an auxiliary motor capable of generating a power output over 200 watts (whether or not the motor is operating);


I understand this is meant to change but will not take place now until after March 9, 2013 due to the election.

There is some further information on the changes that took place and are reflected in the August 31, 2011 promulgation of the regulations at the Department of Transport. In summary it states:

Adults are now permitted to ride a compliant power assisted pedal cycle (PAPC) on shared paths with the power engaged. To be compliant power assisted pedal cycles must have a maximum power output of 200 watts which restricts maximum speed capacity to approximately 25 km/hour.

PAPC’s are frequently used by older people and those with health issues who have limited mobility and are not capable of riding a standard bicycle.

There has been no change to the rule that prohibits people under 16 years of age riding a PAPC with the motor engaged.


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Roinik » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:49 am

il padrone wrote:I don't think that is quite correct. The 200W category is the current/prior power-assist regulation for bikes that have throttle control (most that are now in use). The throttle can be operated even when you are not pedalling for many of these eg. all the PABs that use a front wheel motor. The new 250W category is a recent development and I'm not even sure when it was to come into force. These PABs are automatically controlled with no throttle. I believe this is intended to supersede the old rule eventually.


We are essentially saying the same thing, however the 200W legislation is not restricted to the PAB design. It also applies to the pedal-elec versions that utilise the assist motor on the crank when you are pedalling. I'm sure there is more than one 250W design that is going to be on the market. Here is an extract from a discussion in the Electric Bicycle forum:

"I'm impressed with the federal ebike legislation (national vehicle safety standards) allowing both 200w throttle ebikes with no speed restriction and 250w/25kmh pedalecs. We haven't gone backwards with speed restricting 200w rigs, and the Australian market can now accept European and Japanese 250w pedalecs."

As Andrew mentions, each state will have their own variation on the wording and it probably will have some amount of grey attached to the absolute meaning or interpretation. Some states have already adopted the 250W EN standard for these machines (Qld, Vic?, WA - soon?). Some have yet to put the legislation to parliament to get ratified (SA being one of these).

Either way, this is diverting from the OP's thread intent. I suggest that a separate thread be created if we want to debate the electric assist in a velomobile.
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Joeblake » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:52 am

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby il padrone » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:30 pm

Roinik wrote:We are essentially saying the same thing, however the 200W legislation is not restricted to the PAB design. It also applies to the pedal-elec versions that utilise the assist motor on the crank when you are pedalling.

Yes, I realise that there are various designs for 200w PABs. My key point was that these 200w designs are not restricted solely to pedalecs where "power is only to be applied when pedalling". Most people using these bikes will be using a throttle - and can apply power when not pedalling.

Over 200w they must be pedalecs with an automatic power control.

That is all I was saying.
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Roinik » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:09 pm

Either way, 200W assist should rocket a VM along at a hell of a pace, especially with an extra 100 - 200W from the normally aspirated "engine" on top of that.
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:34 pm

Anyway......back on topic.......Living with a Velomobile.....

VeloRossi (performer) and I (Mango) went for a ride today in stiff Easterly winds (30 - 40kph) and had great fun......I was averaging 28 - 29 kph in the headwind......killed a roadie on a TT bike (passed her at 42kph on a bit of descent) on Blackgate Road.....must remember to fit the GoPro more often !!

Had a nice cup of tea in Barwon Heads and then we had a tail/sidewind all the way home......had a great cruise out of Barwon Heads at 38 - 42 kph with VeloRossi tailing me.......had a go at a Strava segment and missed the KOM by 3 seconds :-( - I was riding the Mango topless today, so if the hood was fitted I would have got it......not bad for an old man with a prolapsed disc in my back - Hehehehe

Bumped into Simon from OzHPV as well and had a natter, so a good ride.....

Also had lots of photos (as usual) and gawpers slowing on roundabouts (really annoying) when you just want to maintain momentum......

Good day !!!

I love my Mango !!

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby John Lewis » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:13 pm

Sounds like a great day out Riggsbie.

I had some 35 or so kmh gusting crosswind on Wednesday and a couple of times it threw me sideways.
How are you managing in those conditions? I think I may have noticed a turbulator type foam strip on your machine or was that another? Darn things are proliferating like rabbits and its hard to remember who has done what.

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:53 pm

Yep, I have a weather strip on my 'bonnet' - I think it helps with the constant sidewinds on the open stretches of road.....

The big gusts still knock me about the road a bit, just due to the large area of the side of the Mango.....

Has anyone seen Wim Schermers blog recently ? Some interesting wheel arch 'skirts' there and closure panels underneath to tidy up the air flow.....looks like something worth a try......


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Rhubarb » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:11 am

I check out Wim Schermer's blog every now and then. Always an interesting read, particularly with the google translator :-)

Wim's "storm strips" (as Google translates it) are quite interesting. If you do a bit of reading through his blogs, it is interesting to note that the primary driver for this is to help prevent a sudden wind gust from actually tipping a quest over !!! Wim states this is not a risk in a Mango due to the wider front wheel track (76cm Mango v 61cm Quest). Wim's latest blog post outlines some foam lining he put in his hood to protect the head (more than it already does) during a rollover. He quotes several instances of quest rollovers where the hood offered good protection, but he sought to make it even better. Wim and several others on BROL etc have also recently reported damage to their quests after incidents where they were cornering too fast and had to steer out of the corner to avoid rolling, resulting in a collision with bushes, embankments etc.

Quests of course are the market leaders in terms of volume (mangos 2nd) with probably 2.5 quests for every mango in existence, so yes they would be involved in most incidents, but I have only ever read about 1 single rollover incident in a Mango, and that was caused by a mechanical issue, not during cornering or wind. As a mango owner, I know it could happen, but you just don't ever fear it and feel very comfortable taking corners at high speed.

The wheel skirts and footholes covers may be interesting for racing in cool climates but I'm not sure how practical they would be for me. Foothole covers definitely not - I need the airflow as well as the heel clearance for pedalling. Wheel skirts I wonder if they would hit the wheels if you hit a major bump during cornering. I currently run 32mm Kojaks on the front and would never go any wider as it increases your turning circle, but the wheel arches are designed to accommodate slightly bigger tyres, so maybe some small skirts would be ok. I wonder how much benefit they would really give though. When you're not track racing and chasing every 0.1% improvement, I strongly doubt I would notice any difference on my daily commutes :-)
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Aushiker » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:55 am

Riggsbie wrote:Has anyone seen Wim Schermers blog recently ?


Linky?

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Rhubarb » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:30 pm

You've never seen Wim Schermer's blog ?????

Oh boy - cancel what ever else you had planned for the afternoon. You've got several years of velo blog articles to read. :-)

http://wimschermer.blogspot.com.au/

You'll need to run it through google translator if it doesn't do it automatically.
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:35 pm

Andrew, where have you been hiding ?

Under a nice rock somewhere......? ;-)


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Aushiker » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:49 pm

Rhubarb wrote:You've never seen Wim Schermer's blog ?????

Oh boy - cancel what ever else you had planned for the afternoon. You've got several years of velo blog articles to read. :-)

http://wimschermer.blogspot.com.au/

You'll need to run it through google translator if it doesn't do it automatically.


Thanks.

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:28 pm

Another great autumn morning in Victoria.......

VeloRossi and I met up for a little ride to Barwon Heads and had some fun on the roads......Video is uploading so should be viewable in 10 minutes:

http://youtu.be/HI-yroIN-8s

Can you guess who won our race ??
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Rhubarb » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:11 pm

Riggsbie wrote:Can you guess who won our race ??


That's a slick looking machine your mate is riding too. It looks to me like you stopped the video about 10 secs too early though. Without proof .....
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:43 pm

VeloRossi is on a Performer with HED 650c carbon wheels an a rather nice carbon tailbox !

He is a waif and pretty damn fit as well.....he can sprint like you would not believe.....

The GoPro battery died as it had been on all morning, I pipped VeloRossi, only just tho ! If he had a big ring gear he would definitely be faster....

I love the strobing effect of the wheel spokes !

Next time I will have the Hood fitted.....but could be sometime as I have more surgery on Thursday :-(


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Rhubarb » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:04 pm

Riggsbie wrote:The GoPro battery died as it had been on all morning


Strategically, my RD32ii can record and charge from my USB outlets. 8)

Riggsbie wrote:Next time I will have the Hood fitted.....


Not to mention your carbon wheel arch skirts ;-)

Good luck with the surgery mate. Hopefully the mango is friendly to your back post op.
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Rhubarb » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:07 pm

No further response from Aushiker since we sent him down the abyss of Wim's blog.

I don't reckon we'll see another post from him till about Thursday :mrgreen:
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:50 pm

So true.....

I have lost many days laughing at the sometimes crazy Google Translations..... Some good information/research by Wim and co.


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby John Lewis » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:22 pm

Rhubarb wrote:No further response from Aushiker since we sent him down the abyss of Wim's blog.

I don't reckon we'll see another post from him till about Thursday :mrgreen:


:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Yep, that's about right I think. Lots of good reading there.

Riggsbie, how are you finding the Cratoni?
You seem to be moving side to side a lot. Wonder if I do too. Have to take note next ride.
I hate you lot when I see the speeds you are doing. Mind you with my gearing I'd spin out at about 50 kmh. 52 -11 with the 22 mid drive.

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:51 pm

I am Mr Bobblehead just so I don't put too much effort through my lower back....usually I "bridge" my lower back and really lock my shoulders under the opening lip and power on, but that just doesn't work for me right now.....

We were larking around anyway, otherwise I would have had the Race Hood fitted if I had wanted to go really fast ;-)


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby John Lewis » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:02 pm

I wasn't having a dig. Hope you didn't think that.
I notice that a lot of the Quest riders seem to have a similar riding action.
Take care of that back you don't want to get it any worse before you get it sorted. Backs are not fun.
I'm yet to do a long ride with the hood. Need to get a helmet that fits first.
It's a damn pity we Mangoteers are spread out so far apart.

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