Feb 8

Feb 8, 2005

Winter training, wheel fairing progress and a foot support

I have started to ramp up my bike training. Ironman is still 5 months away, but I have another event late in the summer that could benefit from about 8 months of training - so I need to start now. Regardless, what Lance says is absolutely true about cycling - he starts training for 2005 tour the day after the 2004 tour finishes. I'm heading to Alabama at the end of February for a few days of outside training (both the M5 lowracer and my road bike).

I did 4 hours on the M5 today while taking short breaks to spray coats of PVA mold release on the wheel fairing plug. I find the M5 position way more comfortable than the Rocket. The seat angle is much less and both the seat and the bottom bracket are higher up. If I were any more laid back in the Rocket, I wouldn't be able to see over the fairing, and if I were any higher up then it would be too unstable. On a trike, you need you center of gravity to be low for stability, but you need to increase your seat angle to see over a fairing.

I built a fiberglass platform with grip tape on it to make getting in and out of the Rocket easier. After I add one more frame support to the front of this I will be able stand on the floor of the fairing to get out.

The wheel fairing is finally ready for it's first application of fiberglass fabric. I got tired of finishing the surface, so I'll take what I get...

A shape was cut out of 1" Styrofoam and sanded smooth
3 layers of fiberglass was wrapped around it
It's saturated with epoxy resin
Vacuum bag kit ready
Since I have heated floors, I put the vacuum bag under the table so it stays warm.
Add the grip tape and bond to the floor of the fairing with epoxy resin.
I also added some fiberglass to two areas I had cut out of the bottom of the fairing to allow me to set the frame lower.
After about 1000 coats of bondo, and 500,000 coast of wax, this wheel fairing plug is ready to fiberglass.

I am not at all happy with the surface finish but I'm tired of working on it and I think that bondo over Styrofoam is not a good way to go. Even though the bondo is on a coat of epoxy resin, the form is too soft and the bondo cracks and dents alot. Also it's fairly difficult to sand down - what happens is as you sand down high areas, the low areas getting sanded down a bit too, and you end up sanding right through the bondo to the Styrofoam.

I need something easier to work with for mold making.


TCR Do LIST:

1. Strut slot sliders - Simplify to a folding cover
2. Canopy Bubble - make a sliding convertible top
3. Front wheel well - Make glass version
4. Wingnuts for fairing mounts
5. Electrical - rechargable battery with a panel with switches for rear strobe and front headlight
6 Add a second front caliper brake
7. Make a portable wind trainer using the (mini-rollers)
8. Look into painting the fairing
9. Find a helmet that fits in the bubble
10. Add second brake
11. Install sound system
12. Rear add-on lighting system

TOTAL distance on TCR1
866 km


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