Oct 24

Oct 24, 2004

Training and an intermediate record attempt

I've decided to work toward attempting an HPV record on a closed road course or track sometime this winter - possibly February. I'm not going to say what record I'm looking at yet.

The TCR1 version that I will use will be the original configuration with the narrow 32" track width. I'll probably remove the rear disc brakes and brake mounts replacing them with a brake on the front wheel that will be hidden inside the fairing (for better aerodynamics). I'd like to use the NFB worm gear steering, but it's still in developmental phase and for this event, I won't be requiring anything serious for steering, so I may just stick with my existing cable steering system. If the worm gear works and ends up being light enough, then I'll incorporate that into the record trike. I think I'm also going to look at moving the steering bar to an area between my knees and chest. It's quite cramped in there, but there is just enough room for a steering wheel or lever. This will put my arms at a slightly more comfortable position, better steering control, and I can narrow the fairing a bit because I don't need to allow room for the steering bar to turn below my seat.

As far as the fairing goes, I need to test the first fairing prototype that is due to be ready for mounting this week. If all goes well with that, then I'll design another one - probably a bit narrower to take advantage of the new steering bar position. I would like to have a MDF wood female mold CNC machined at HeavyIndustries, then make a super light weight, single layer carbon fiber fairing from that. I will use Nomex honeycomb foam for stiffening ribs where required. I will also look at molding a fairing top and wind screen, add an air intake and possibly add a fairing to the two rear struts. I'm also going to experiment with adding two wheel fairings for the two rear trike wheels. I may just add wheel discs - not sure yet. The trike alone should weigh about 25 lbs, and I would really like the fairing to weigh no more than 15 pounds for a grand total of 40 lbs - still pretty light compared to most other streamlined velomobiles.

The prerequisites to this HPV record attempt are:
(These two things need to happen BEFORE I have any chance of beating the existing record)

1. With the fairing on, TCR1 has to achieve an average speed of at least 40 kph at 150 watts input power.
My confidence in being able to attain that with TCR1 is fairly high. Currently, I'm getting a little better than 30 kph at 150 watts without any fairing at all. According to calculations, if the drag coefficient is as high as .9, then I can reach 40 kph at 140 watts, and if it's as low as .6 then I can reach 40 kph with less than 120 watts.

2. I need to work my way up to maintaining an average output of 150 watts for 8 to 12 hours straight, non-stop on the rollers
My confidence in being able to achieve that is moderate. In practice, I have maintained a much higher average heart rate for 12 hours than the 110 bpm I would need to complete the 12 hour roller test. It's mostly the psychological factors that are unknown at this point.

So - with that said, today I started my training. There is a new button at the top of the web site that links to my training schedule if you want to check up on me. The plan is to do daily hour sessions on TCR1 inside on the wind trainer, at 150 watts steady, no stopping. Adding to that, once per week I'll do a longer session starting with 2 hours straight and working my way up to 10 to 12 hours at 150 watts steady. I figure this should take about 15 weeks or so.

Michael Hoenig of Hoenig Enterprises has sponsored me by donating this cool SportsCrafter MiniRollers for trikes. It worked perfectly right out of the box and the fan and rollers seem to be calibrated to simulate real road riding efforts. At 150 watts of input power, my wheel was indicating 30 kph speeds which are very close to what the bike gets outside on the road. The rolling action is smooth and very natural. It feels much better than my other magnetic resistance trainers. Since the front drive wheel just sits on the two rollers, I found I had to do a bit of steering at first to keep the tire centered - this is great training for controlling the trike, but I'm mostly after just long, boring hours of cranking out kilojoules. All I needed to do was to stabilize the rear triangle on some blocks with weights and lock-out the pivot - then it worked perfectly and I could read or do whatever and not have to concentrate on keeping the tire on the rollers.


To Do LIST:

1 Make a platform for the wind trainer (mini-rollers)
2 Add front derailleur (removable - not for the record bike)
3 Add front caliper brake (for the record bike)
4 Mount first fairing and all the work required with that
5 Make CF front wheel fairing
6 Make CF rear wheel discs
7 Run road, roll-over and watts tests for new suspension system
8 Redesign steering bar to above waist
9 Worm gear steer prototype (Waiting for final design and parts list from Ben)

TOTAL distance on TCR1
636 km

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