Sept 22

Sept 22, 2004

John Tetz sent me this today - a very handy reference to aerodynamics of various bikes. Note the column titled "All Day Touring Speed at .1 hp" .1 horse power is about 75 watts. Compare the resulting speed for various bikes - from 15 mph for a triathlon bike to 21.8 mph for a fully faired trike (Vector).

Yesterday and today were spent adding webs to see if I could improve the frame stiffness, carving out a lower, more comfortable seat, and adding a front dropout safety. The frame seems just as stiff as it was before adding the webs, so it looks like I just added a bunch of useless weight.... Oh well. I did a little research on flexy frames and it turns out that they may not be so bad after all. According to some mechanical efficiency tests, power lost from frame flex was return when the frame rebounded - so they were unable to measure any power loss at all. Also, since I have no plans on adding suspension, a soft frame will filter out a lot of road vibration which is seems to do - I haven't noticed the need for any more suspension than the bare frame offers.

I'm planning on another ride tomorrow and maybe one on Friday. Then we're off to Banff (just featured on the final episode of Amazing Race if you saw it last night) for the weekend to run the annual Melissa's 22km road race - an exhilarating race in the crisp Autumn mountain air!

Can your wife ride your lowracer??

The webs added for stiffness. Don't look at the welds on the right photo - I was having some issues with my welder - ok, maybe it was me.

The Front drop out safety lock. Since my dropouts open upwards (the opposite direction gravity pulls the frame from the wheel), I thought it might be prudent to add something to secure the front wheel onto the frame. I welded a small piece of steel to a washer and bolted it directly to the dropout. If the quick release even comes loose, the washer fastened to the frame will keep the wheel from sliding right off the bike.

I used my grinder to sculpture a better seat and this works great! It's time consuming and really messy but the seat is much more comfortable and a bit lower.


1. Buy and install right brake
2. Invent new cable tensioner to allow more steering bar turn radius
3. Add front derailleur
4. Order 20mm axle bolts for the rear wheels (I'm using 1/2 inch now which isn't right)
5. Design and machine 2 seat mounts out of aluminum to replace current steel ones ( LATER.
6. Design and machine 2 steering tensioners out of alum to replace LATER
7. Order a new front wheel! (Helen is kind of upset that I am user her Zipp race wheel!)
8. Start work on the first fairing
9. Invent steering stiffener
10. Add larger chain ring and modify chain stays
11. Make clamp-on out riggers and try to flip it
12. Fabricate new steering bar (aluminum or composite?) or rework existing
13. Lathe an aluminum collar for .5" hub axles.
14. Design and build a trainer to fit mag trainer.
15. Replace steel cables with Kevlar
16. Crotch guard / fender
17. Narrow chain stays to allow foot to clear
18. fix derailleur
19. crank hitting chain stay
20. chain stay frame flex?
21. Narrow, high density foam for seat
22. Make front quick release safety
23. Change steer cable sheaves to Pete Heals idea
24. Add missing and new webs

TOTAL distance on TCR1
243.6 km

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