Living with a velomobile

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:59 pm

Hey Gang !

Just checked and have now had my Mango for 1 year....

I have ridden 2388km - including the Around the Bay 250km event, the Lake Wendouree challenge and lots more.....

8000km completed in the last year with 4 months off after back surgery and rehab at the start of this year.....

I love my recumbent cycling and my Mango !


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by BNA » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:06 pm

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Joeblake » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:06 pm

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:08 pm

It's the only way to travel ;)


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby John Lewis » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:17 pm

Great. Look out you don't wear it out. :mrgreen:
I've got a way to go to catch up. I seem to be always using the trike
because I take the dog in her trailer.

Today was very windy and coming back in the headwind I was wishing for the aero of the velo.

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:01 am

On the weekend I gave my Mango some love - this involved emptying the Mango ( boy there was some junk in there, it must be 3 kg lighter now ) - I noticed my idler (under the base of the seat) is looking very secondhand....

Slithers of plastic hanging off it, the rubber O-ring failed eons ago....

Any recommendations ?

Does the Terracycle Quest replacement part fit a Mango ?

Ta


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Bartek » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:35 pm

Riggsbie wrote: I noticed my idler (under the base of the seat) is looking very secondhand....Slithers of plastic hanging off it, the rubber O-ring failed eons ago....

Any recommendations ?

Does the Terracycle Quest replacement part fit a Mango ?


I think I have heard this question answered by Harry/Twivel on BROL, If I remember correctly the idler is supposed to look like that once it is bedded in!

quick question you mentioned riding 2388km and then later 8000km is that 8000km for the year and 2388km in the Mango? if so what else are you riding? and why does the Mango only make up a third?
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:19 pm

I'll have a dig around on BROL !

The other 5500km odd distance was covered by Vortex, Musashi, Scott MTB & Specialized Roubaix (before the most recent back op)....

My Vortex is my most used recumbent just because it is so fun to ride......then the Mango is for speed or bad weather......and the Musashi fills the gaps.....

As with cars and motorcycles, there is no one machine that does everything ! It's either total compromise and useless or specialised and then you need many ;-) all part of the n+1 bikes theory !


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby burnt » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:04 pm

Hi Riggsbie, so many parallels-Mangos, aquaponics and I have a Specialised Roubaix as well! It has been on permanent loan to my son for the last 2 years, even with its gentler geometry it still hurts my neck to ride any distance. I rode the Mango with a friend on a road bike last week, I let him ride the Mango for the last 10km or so and I rode his road bike-if I need any reminding why I ride recumbent I got it over that 10km-my neck was killing me. My son leaves for a job in New York in a week, so I will reinherit the Roubaix, but I can't see it getting many miles.

After my 12 months in the Mango I think I had about 4000km clocked up.

Now to idlers, I think I am quite an expert after my experiences. The stock idler supplied is 50mm diameter, the Terracycle idlers are 65mm diameter-Paul and Ben up here both run Terracycle idlers, there is enough clearance under their seat. In order to get my shoulders below the cockpit lip I had to have my seat way forward, the lowest point of the seat is just above the idler such that a 65mm idler won't fit. I thought the stock idlers looked crap as well and thought a toothed idler would be better, so I sourced a 53mm Gingko idler from Germany. It worked well, was a bit noisy but was OK. About 2 months ago, at the furthest point from home it failed and the Mango was not going to make it home without further damage. Luckily I have a good relationship with the Redcliffe police :roll: and was able to leave it in their secure park until I drove out with my trailer to pick it up.

So I reinstalled the original, ordered some spares from Sinner and I'm enjoying a quieter ride, which makes me think why did I go to the bother of changing it anyway. I don't know why they bother with the O ring, mine was chewed up in the first kilometer!

Long story short, check the clearance under the seat and Harry says the originals while looking crap work well and last quite a while!
Cheers
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Bartek » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:51 pm

burnt wrote: Harry says the originals while looking crap work well and last quite a while!


I thought I had read that somewhere!

By the way I have two Aquaponics systems also! no Roubaix though, I could never get all the colours matched together no matter how many times I turned it :D
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby petie » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:37 am

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2010/09/the-velomobile-high-tech-bike-or-low-tech-car.html

I came across this article, I know it's old, but I happened across a comment on average length of car trips in the US and Europe. I wondered what the average length is on Australia and couldn't find the answer? I'm sure it's there!

Also, the comment about low-tech car or high-tech bike interested me. What are the thoughts of those who actually use a velos as regular transport?
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Rhubarb » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:13 am

petie wrote:Also, the comment about low-tech car or high-tech bike interested me. What are the thoughts of those who actually use a velos as regular transport?


My velo is my daily commuter. It's very much a bike, not a car.

That said, I do understand the question, in the sense that the experience of riding a velomobile is more car-like than riding a bike. By this I mean the seating position is relaxed, comfortable and naturally forward facing. Combined with the rear view mirrors, indicators, luggage space, weather protection (no wet shoes or shorts 8) ) this gives a similar view to that of a car and hence a more car like experience than a bike. Little things like coming to a stop at red lights without unclipping etc further add to this car likeness. Inside my velomobile I have my "instrument panel" (computer/speedo, and lights switches etc) on the left, and my smartphone for music, hands free phone, real time navigation etc on the right hand side. I also have a hydration bladder set up so I can comfortably drink on the move, much like a drink holder in a car.

There are also some car like problems on bike paths etc with a greater turning circle (8m on mango) which require 3 point turns sometimes, and occasional issues with scraping the nose on ramps that are too steep. On the road I tend to ride a bit more like a car than I do on a bike. If I can ride at 50km/hr I do, rather than ride at 30 km/hr in the bike lane. At intersections I tend to queue with the cars rather than filter up the left since I'm under the window level of many cars/4wds.

Overall though, it definitely is a bike (albeit a fast and luxurious one). I pedal along with the wind in my hair (helmet?), I ride predominantly on bike paths, backstreets and bike lanes, and I'm faster than cars in peak hour traffic :mrgreen:
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:03 pm

Had a great ride in the Mango today 30 kph headwinds but my overall average was still 30 kph....and was taking it easy as was with my mate on a DF....

It's been a slack 2 weeks for me on the cycling front due to a friend staying (from Thailand) so it was great to ride with the roof off and enjoying the sunshine !

Might put the race hood on tomorrow as the weather is supposed to be windy and wet and I have an RDO so a day off work to have some fun....


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby John Lewis » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:34 pm

Another plus for the Mango.
I had to go to town to the doctor a few days back. The wind was blowing a gale so I decided the mango would be better in the headwind coming back.

Well, I'd only gone a kilometre or so when out of nowhere came a downpour of rain and hail. The wind was so strong that it was blowing horizontally in under one side of the roof and out the other side. I couldn't see much . I rode about another 50 metres and pulled onto the footpath via a driveway.

Slid out the "kayak" cover and with difficulty in the wind I got it fastened. I was pretty wet from the shoulders up.
Had I been riding the trike, by the time I'd got the rain gear out and on, I'd have been saturated head to foot.
Rain eased a bit and I continued. I had a good run averaging 20 kmh which is good for me. On the downhill I hit 50 but was on the brakes a bit to keep it at that. I'd nearly arrived when I changed gears and derailed the chain.

Up another driveway and put the velo on its side so I could get at the chain and put it back on. Quickly done and I don't know what I did to bring the chain off. Must have been a bad gear change I think. I still need to investigate. Anyway on my way without further drama.
By the time I arrived at my destination I was just a little damp from the shoulders up and that was all.

The ride home had the big uphill and the howling headwind. My average was only 12 kmh but on the trike I doubt it would have been even been walking pace. Also I rode a fair bit on the dual use path and that always slows me down.

Now for the funny bit.
I got a call from a friend to tell me he saw one of those "funny bikes like yours" on it side and he thought it must have been hit by a car or something.

I told him yes, that was me. Let him stew a moment and then explained why he'd seen it on its side.

Had I known that squall was coming, I'd have used DaHood and then I think I wouldn't have got wet at all. Only problem is I don't have a helmet that fits under it and the police might have been unfriendly if they were about.
Mind you, they probably couldn't tell what I'm wearing, cocooned under there and it's not really needed anyway as I'm not going to fall off or go OTB. :D

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:03 am

I did a night ride last night......my first proper go at a decent speed......

I was mostly riding down unlit country roads with no shoulder, no edge markings so had to ride almost down the middle of my 'lane' - the roads were quite but of the 24 cars who were travelling towards me 17 of them thought it was fine leave their headlights on high beam and/or keep their driving/fog lights on......

A few cars thought is was ok to drive up behind me with high beam totally blinding me in my mirrors.....

Over half the cars only had one headlight actually working......

Why are Australian drivers so bad ? So selfish and inconsiderate ? Hmmmm.....

The headlight on the Mango is really good, but does struggle when you are cracking along at 45 kph..... You cannot really see far enough up the road.....

I had forgotten how noisy a Mango is with the race hood on.....jeez it's terrible.....

And how does a moth manage to fly thru the visor which is only open about 25mm ? That hurt my eyeball !

I did enjoy the focus, few distractions......nice not seeing the speed or HR.....

Not sure night riding is for me !


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Rhubarb » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:20 pm

I like night riding. I commute home in darkness for about 4 months per year. Often on Friday nights, we have a family activities whereby they pick me up from work, drop me back there at 9pm, and I ride the velomobile home then. I quite like it actually. I don't normally ride with music but I think because the traffic is so quiet and the bikepaths completely deserted at that time, I quite like riding along, all on my own, in the cool of the night, listening to music.

High beam harassment on the roads may not be so much fun though. You always have your interior lighting in the mango if you need your speedo etc.

PS - I got hit in the ear by something the other night whilst doing about 60km/hr, no hood. It felt like small bird but I assume it was a rhinoceros beetle or something similar. Bloody near took my ear off !!!!
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:55 pm

I am totally jealous of the cycle paths you guys have up north......

We have to ride on the coarse chip, so it's rough and noisy as hell !


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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Rhubarb » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:25 am

Riggsbie wrote:I am totally jealous of the cycle paths you guys have up north......

We have to ride on the coarse chip, so it's rough and noisy as hell !


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Slow too - I think the 20 inch wheels are more effected by the rough surface than larger 700c wheels.
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby John Lewis » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:09 pm

Yes we have some new chipseal on the road into town.
On the trike it nearly rattles the eyeballs out.
In the Mango its much smoother with the suspension but noisy as.
When I run from the chipseal back onto the old road the gain in speed is quite noticeable.
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby burnt » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:45 pm

Tempting, except for the freight cost of a velo to Europe

http://gbsr2014.eu/
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby John Lewis » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:43 pm

burnt wrote:Tempting, except for the freight cost of a velo to Europe

http://gbsr2014.eu/


I thought so too. Now if one could order a new velo and have it ready for the ride then bring it home that could be a better deal.
I guess we will just have to make do with the ride reports and pictures.
I wonder if a ride across Aus that has been suggested will ever eventuate?

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby John Lewis » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:11 pm

Around the Bay 2013

I recall Riggsbie did the ATB last year in the Mango.
Its on again Sunday. Anybody entered?
Riggsbie are you in again this year?

Just wish I could be in it.

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Rhubarb » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:37 pm

Brisbane now has a rotovelo in town to add to the 3 mangoes and Stix's streetliner.
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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby KelvinT » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:00 am

Rhubarb wrote:Brisbane now has a rotovelo in town to add to the 3 mangoes and Stix's streetliner.


Excellent, that would be the yellow one owned by T?

Ben, I know you haven't ridden the rotevelo but what's your opinion of it? I look at it as a cheaper alternative to getting into a Velomobile however I'm not impress with the exterior finish. It looks like it is hastily moulded together, unlike the flashier mango.

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Re: Living with a velomobile

Postby Riggsbie » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:11 pm

Hey John,

I did indeed do the 250km ATB last year.....thought I'd try the longest version and succeeded after only a few weeks of Mango ownership at an average speed of 30kph.....

This year a few of us (3 recumbents) might just happen to be riding along a similar route around the Geelong / Bellarine region for 120km......Musashi, Performer & Bacchetta and a few uprighters.....

This year I am doing the Great Cycle Challenge to raise money for charity (kids cancer research) so far upto 480km in October and about $350 raised ! Feel free to sponsor me ;-)


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