Oct 4

October 4, 2005

First fully faired velodrome test!

A successful velodrome run today!

I taxied once around the 'drome to get comfortable in the streamliner and hit a crack which threw me over onto my left side. Ouch!! Again, on the same elbow I have fallen on 3 times now!!

The first fall was on my right elbow when I was doing a fairing test with Angel 2 weeks ago. The right elbow is still sore from that one. Then I fell over again that same day onto my left elbow cutting it open on the inside of the fairing. Then I fell on my right elbow again during last weeks fairing test with Cody, then over onto my right elbow again that same day. On Fridays 370 km mega ride (15 hours!), I was climbing up Springbank hill at 8:30 pm in the dark and a car came too close and forced me off the side of the road where the M5 slipped out from under me and down an embankment. Of course - my left elbow took the fall. Then today's tip over back onto my left elbow.

The left fairing shell crushed in and Helen was unable to upright me, or to get me out. Since I have a steel bar around the left hand side of my head now, there was nothing I could do but lie under the bike, helpless and pinned. Luckily Dev was watching and came over to help. Dev is the manager of the athletic park and is super helpful - a totally great guy. Anyhow, between Dev and Helen they were able to pick me up, stand me back up on three wheels and punch the fairing shell back into shape. The fairing fit back on perfectly and amazingly is still in pretty smooth shape. It has been completely crushed at least 4 times and still pops back into shape. Since I was already bolted into position, I decided to just take off - and avoid the lengthy and potentially dangerous taxi. I got up no problem and did about a dozen loops around the track. It was VERY bumpy and LOUD!! Since the fairing shells aren't really fastened down tightly yet, they were bouncing and smashing around like nuts.

It got it up to a high speed of 50 kph on 220 watts immediately and it was handling just fine - no problems what so ever. I had forgotten to inflate the rear tubular tire, so was rolling resistance was probably poor. Also the temperature was only 4 degrees C, and I know that effects Crr as well. When I got home, I off loaded the SRM data and used both John Snyder's PWRDRAG2.xls spread sheet and John Tetz spread sheets to estimate my Crr and CdA. Since I already determined my Crr to be .0035, because of today's cold weather, underinflated tire and cracky surface on the track, I roughly estimated my Crr to be .0065 which resulted in a CdA of .7 square feet. Pretty poor. That was based on average watts input of 87.9 and average speed of 31.7 kph, and a high watts input of 220 watts for 50 kph.

This CdA value is really very crude. Another factor to consider is the bank on the velodrome track supposedly destroys aerodynamics on a streamliner. I'm not sure yet if that is true, but that is what everyone says about banked corners and heavy streamliners. Even if .7 is close to a true value, my head is not yet covered by a canopy, the trike wheel is still sticking out of the side, the right and left fairing shells were bouncing around like crazy, there is large gaps between the fairing shells and the frame where the rear wheel exits, and there is a very large opening around the front wheel that needs to be covered with some neoprene.

I am still hoping for somewhere around .3 to .5 (sq ft) on a flat, smooth road, with a PETG transparent canopy cover, properly inflated tires and properly fitting fairing shells, etc.

Check out the movie!!!!

Before we left the velodrome, I wanted to try out the running track that I noticed was covered with a rubber surface. I asked Dev if I could give that a try and he was more than happy to accommodate me. It was a TON smoother - actually a joy to blast around and very quiet. Since the rubber surface is soft and kind of gritty, I was much slower on it, but it is more suitable for training because it's so quiet and smooth. 113 watts produced 31 kph on the soft track.


To do now:

1. Build retractable landing gear
2. Build a window for the nose
3. Fit and securely fasten fairing into place, then cut a removable door for self-entry/exit. I'm thinking a simple hinge at the top would work
4. Make THIRD fiberglass plug for body work
5. Finish micro'ing rear wheel fairing attachments
6. Test out the new windows / pan cam
7. Make new seat
8. Replace steel 'over the shoulder' support with carbon
9. Make PETG bubble

To do eventually:

6. Build a new fairing mold from the new plug
7. Pull carbon fairing shells from the new mold
8. Build proper SEAT!
9. Mid-drive lightening holes (James Kenny)
10. New carbon fork?
11. Add a thin coat of epoxy to the left hand wheel disc because it is not air tight
12. Carbon wheel disc for front wheel (or buy a 650 disc wheel)


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