Nov 8

Nov 8, 2004

Low and mean machine

The all new TCR2 - 27.25 " tall from the ground to the top of the fairing compared to 31.5" before. What a difference! Not only is she lower, but I'm much lower also. Since I changed to 155mm cranks, and lowered the rear by raising the rear drop outs, I was able to chop 4" off the top shell. I'm also sitting much lower in the vehicle - from a seat height of about 7" off the ground, I'm now at 5" and my shoulder height is 4" lower than it was before.

My visibility over the fairing isn't as good as it was, but I went for a quick spin around the neighborhood and it's absolutely fine. Sitting up to see around a corner or something is fairly easy - I'll have to make sure to leave a bit of room under the canopy bubble to sit up if required. I would still like to be able to raise or lower the seat bottom and top as required for different positions and to facilitate better visibility when required. This shouldn't be that difficult to do - there must be some standard piece of hardware I could use for that, like something to raise or lower a chair... Ideas?

As far as corner and speed stability goes, it's probably infinitely better than it was. Lower gravity centers for the fairing (due to the 4" chop), the frame (due to the rear triangle lowering and a 2" lower bottom bracket), and the rider (due to the seat lowering). I'll get Ben the new dimensions and have him calculate my actual C of G to see what my new max cornering g's are.

I'm not sure yet exactly how all these mods are going to effect my center of pressure for wind stability. Less surface area to catch the wind is always good, but when I lowered the rear frame, I also reduced the pivot angle and increased the trail by a bit. Lowering the pivot axis angle moves the axis AWAY from the center of pressure meaning I may have to add even more fairing surface area in the rear to balance it.

Because the back end of the frame was lowered, my fairing mounts at the front of the fairing are a bit lower also and the fairing now scrapes on the pavement during a sharp turn. I need to raise those two mounts (one on each side of the front wheel) about 1/4" to bring the floor of the fairing back up to where it was. I hope that won't cause my heels to rub on the floor now, as everything fits pretty tight in the nose area now...

I had a bitch of a time aligning the rear wheels. Everytime you weld something there, the heat causes everything to warp out of alignment. If I were starting from scratch, I would definitely design in some way to make fine adjustments to the wheel camber and toe-in/out. Now, I get as close as I can with welding and bending, etc - then have to rely on shim washers to make everything lineup perfectly.

Next on the agenda is to take advantage of my new seat set-back and add a steering column to the underseat steering bar. You can see in the photo above, that the handle bar clamp is now visible in front of the seat. My plan is to cut-off the current handle bar grips leaving a short piece of the under seat bar to hold the steering cables. Then, weld a vertical tube to the top of the clamp and another clamp on top of that tube where I can insert a new above seat steering bar. The advantage to that is I can resolve that boxy looking area in the nose that is required to allow that under seat steering bar to turn (for the next fairing).

It rained/snowed and was warm today so the roads were wet and I got splashed pretty good inside the fairing. The front wheel spins up all the dirt and mud from the road and deposits it randomly inside the fairing and in my eyes. I need to make a shield around that front wheel to isolate the outside road surface from the inside of the fairing. Not sure exactly how to do that yet... Ideally, I'd like to add a disc cover for the front wheel, and then a tight fitting wheel cover inside the fairing. For now, I may just use duct tape and coroplast.

TCR2 (track) 2Do LIST:

1. Make a platform for the wind trainer (mini-rollers)
2. Add front caliper brake
3. Mount first fairing and all the work required with that
4. Make CF front wheel fairing
5. Make CF rear wheel discs
6. Make a new steering bar that rises up a bit higher - also takes up less room on the sides so fairing can be tighter
7. Adjustable seat height
8. Make fiberglass canopy top with acrylic bubble and tailbox
9. Paint this puppy!
10. Rear strut supports
11. lower and chop

TCR1 (cross country) 2Do LIST:

1 Add front derailleur
2 Run road, roll-over and watts tests for new suspension system
3 Worm gear steer prototype (Waiting for final design and parts list from Ben)

TOTAL distance on TCR1
756 km

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