Oct 9

Oct 9, 2004

Fairing construction continues

Who ever warned me that this stage was very time consuming was right! And I haven't even gotten to the surface finishing yet! Next time I will really consider getting the plug CNC machined at HeavyIndustries.

13. Since I did not cut my fairing sections big enough, I did not have room to sand off the stair-step edges around the front peddle box area. So, I filled in the gaps with spray foam.
14. Sand off the spray foam leaving a rough, but smoothly curved shape.
15. I used a wire brush - it works very well
16. The wire brush also works well for shaping the non-filled steps - in fact, next time I will make sure to design the sections large enough so that I don't need to use the spray foam - the pink foam brushes off very smoothly with the wire brush.
17. When I'm finished rough shaping, I'll coat it all with a layer of drywall mud, sand and repeat until I get a fairly smooth surface.

Stay tuned for more....

In other news, Bob Rohorn suggested that I stiffen up the rear triangle and see if that solves the bump steer. So I tack welded a cross member between the two rear flanges and repeated my bump steer test of riding over a 2x4 at 30 kph. No bump steer! As solid as a rock and use of the steering brake had no effect. The increased stiffness back there makes for a much harsher ride - I can feel road vibrations now whereas I couldn't before. I prefer the softer ride, but will gladly accept this trade-off.

I went for a 60km ride with James Kennedy- a local recumbent enthusiast, machinist, and roadie. The ride was good, but I did experience some more strange bump steer problems. Those darned grooves at the side of the shoulder - normally they weren't an issue today, but at fast speeds on a very canted road they made the trike sort of float around like I was riding on an oil slick. Very strange.

Again, on glides down any hill at all, the TCR1 takes off like a bullet leaving all road bikes in it's dust. This bike is FAST! Unfortunately the opposite happens going back UP the hill... It's equally fast on straights but is very difficult to draft behind because it's so low.

You know the old saying "fix one problem and create two more"- well, with the new cross member in the rear, my fairing will collide with it, so I need to figure out some other way of adding the stiffness that I need back there without interfering with the rocking motion of the fairing.

I repeated a watts test while riding with James and discovered that for some strange reason, my speedometer was reading incorrect speeds. That was a partial explanation for why my last two watts tests were off of normal, but didn't offer an explanation for why the effort level (and corresponding heart rate) seemed so high. When I got home I hooked the SRM up to the computer and discovered that it had re-set itself to some factory setting and the offset calibration number AND wheel circumference were totally wrong. Luckily, because the SRM computer saves the raw data to my computer, all I needed to do was to re-enter the correct offset number and correct wheel circumference and that fixed everything. What I thought was 150 watts was actually very close to 200 which explains why my heart rate at what I thought was a 150 watt effort, was at the 200 watt level - which is good news (I don't suck as badly as I thought I did). Corrected speed data is here

Too Doo LIST:

1. Buy and install right brake (FINALLY ordered it!)
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 (e-machineshop.com) 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 (starting now)
9. Invent steering stiffener
10. Add larger chain ring and modify chain stays
11. Make clamp-on out riggers and try to flip it (changed to#25)
12. Fabricate new steering bar (aluminum or composite?) or rework existing
13. Lathe an aluminum collar for .5" hub axles (Ben E. said he'd do it for me) (That didn't work - James is doing it for me now).
14. Design and build a trainer to fit mag trainer (donated by Michael Hoenig).
15. Replace steel cables with Kevlar (maybe not - I think the flex of steel is good....)
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
25. Add a g-meter and quantify turning g's at flippage threshold. (add outriggers)
26. Widden the track width to 42 inches and test.
27. Solve the rear stiffness issue (If the wider track is good, then build a whole new rear triangle)

TOTAL distance on TCR1
565.9 km

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