Aug 29

August 29, 2005

Frame is complete!!!

It was a crazy hectic wet layup day yesterday, but everything went very well. After carefully cutting out the perimeter of the frame using my template made from the fairing mold, I spent most of the day adding layer upon layer of carbon to the perimeter to make it good and strong - and doing it fast before the resin started to kick. I was hoping that I would benefit from some additional torsional stiffness, and I am pleased to say that is the case. During the test ride, I could not notice any frame flex at all - very, very stiff. I'd say probably overbuilt, but that's OK.

Here is a quick video

I noticed a slight difference in my body position between the M5 and the new lowracer which is still nameless. I took a couple of photos to see if I could locate the exact differences:

The bottom bracket on the M5 is a little bit closer in, and the seat angle on the M5 is a bit steeper. I can't really change either on the new carbon frame. If I raised the seat back, my head would not fit between under the top bar and the bottom bracket is as close in as it can get without causing chain ring collision with the wheel. So I may have to change the M5 to be closer to the carbon - My training time on the M5 MUST be directly applicable to the Carbon frame. I wonder about adding a spacer to the cleats on the bottom of my shoes to extend the speedplay clip about 1/2" - does anyone know if that is possible/advisable? That would effectually be the same as moving the cranks closer in.

Here are the details:

1. Around the entire perimeter I added 3 layers of unidirectional tape cut to the exact width of the frame. Then I topped that off with a wrap around cap of 11 oz weave at 45 degrees to the uni.

Since there was so much carbon, I had to work very fast so that my resin wouldn't kick. So - I cut and labeled all of my carbon, breather cloth and peel ply before hand.

The top cross bar is pretty thin, so I carved out some foam and laid in 5 additional layers of uni, and 3 additional layers of 11 oz wrap around cloth. It's plenty strong now!

2. Since I planned on vacuum bagging this layup, I covered the exposed sharp fasteners with some plastic Easter eggs so the sharp edges wouldn't dig holes in the plastic vacuum bag.
3. In the vacuum bag - there wasn't a ton of epoxy soaking into the breather blanket. Either I didn't wet out the carbon enough, or my epoxy started to harden. Probably the epoxy started to kick.
4. Some close-ups of the edge - very smooth and true to the shape of the fairing.

Now I have to figure out exactly how I am going to fasten the fairing to the frame perimeter... I could insert threaded bosses into the carbon frame and then use counter sunk screws to hold the fairing on - not sure yet. Velcro might work

5. This is a close up of the 11 oz weave wrap around cap.


Still to do:

1. Add a rear caliper brake
2. Trace the real perimeter outline using an actual fairing half shell (when I get one!), and cut out the perimeter
3. Edge laminate the perimeter
4. Thicken the frame to avoid using the spacers on the brackets
5. Bond in the bottom brackets
6. Make new remote steering out of carbon and UHMW
7. Bond on the right hand rear wheel dome.
8. Bond fasteners to frame for the left hand wheel dome
9. Add a thin coat of epoxy to the left hand wheel disc because it is not air tight (and fill holes in the dome)
10. New carbon fork??


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