March 28

March 28, 2005

I may be wasting my time....

I'm just not sure this works at all. At first, when I sat on the frame, it flexed so much that the chain dipped down to flop on my chest.

I reinforced it with a round tube running along the length of the chain, and that seemed to stop the frame flex, but cranking on the peddles still flexes it around quite a bit.

The other thing that I didn't like was the chain was directly above my right knee and my knee clashed with it on every stroke. So, I solved it by angling the chain from the front right chain ring to the left hand side of the rear bottom bracket to a second (3rd actually) chain ring. That chain ring turns the chain ring on the opposite side which turns the chain which runs to the rear der. It seems to work ok, it crosses over right about at the middle and no longer interferes with my knees, but I'm not sure I like how close the chain runs by the side of my face - as I have to angle my head slightly to the right to avoid the chain from shaving my face.

All that being said, I couldn't ride it at all. The crank and chain issue seemed to work ok, but the steering sucked big time. Not sure exactly why - could be all the frame flex, could be that side pivot on the front wheel or it could be the lever steering arm. Or - probably a combo of all.

I may switch the front wheel over to a standard fork and headtube - as at this point there isn't really any super huge advantage to the side pivot.

I have to remind myself that the purpose of this experimental lowracer is:

1. To see if the chain placement works in that it doesn't interfere with any moving body parts (face and neck included)

I possibly answered that concern, as the chain 'seems' ok. Not perfect, but possibly acceptable.

2. To see if the chain placement is nearly as efficient as a FWD system would be.

Not sure about an answer to this one, but everyone who has weighed in on this strategy seems to think the mechanical efficiency penalty won't be as much as using tighter radius gears (like  FWD system)

3. To see if it's possible to balance steer a 650 front wheel on take-off and at slow speeds.

Still not sure if it's possible, as I couldn't do it, but I'm not sure what the reason for the wobbliness was

4. To see if the side pivot is an acceptable method of steering the front wheel.

Don't think it is - at least the lever certainly isn't.


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