March 30

March 30, 2004

MUCH BETTER!

I think this is it - geometry very similar to Bob Rohorns S'Trike, but perhaps a slightly steeper seat angle due to me having to see over a fairing. What I did was do away with the pivot above the rider in the middle and moved it to slightly below the rider and split the load between two pivots, one near the front wheel and one behind the riders head.

The test ride was great - no hesitation turning any corner at any speed (but I wasn't really pushing it), it will do a u-turn in the middle of the road, and I can ride it AND turn it hands free! When riding without using my hands, I simply lean slightly to one side or the other to initiate a turn - the rest is pretty intuitive - just like riding an upright bike, but way more stable.

One problem is that it can start to wobble a bit at higher speeds. I'm not sure if that's due to not enough wheel structure, wobbly wheels or something to do with the geometry. Perhaps my rear wheels need to be moved back farther... I'll need to do some experimenting.

Things I still need to change/test:

1. Seat bottom can still go WAY lower
2. Cranks are too high, and as a result, the seat angle can be lowered a bit
3. Test rear wheel positions to see if I can improve upon the stability
4. Do some high speed turn tests to see if/where it tips.
5. Install a steering bar
6. Test steering dampener springs? Not sure this is even necessary - the bike is very stable when moving. It seems to want to stay upright all on it's own.

Here are some 3D model renderings of how this lean-steer concept would work with a fairing:

Note how the fairing turns WITH the bike between the rear wheels.
Here are some computer renderings of the general idea with 650 wheels:


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