Nov 14

Nov 14, 2004

Much Better!

Ok, the steering is FINALLY DONE and it works awesome. It's difficult to describe what a cool feeling it is riding this machine. Like a jet pilot, or Jedi starfighter (without the pulse missiles).

My first attempt with the hinge failed due to the twisting stress at the hinge. My aluminum welds on the hinge all cracked. So I did away with all that and made the steering column one unit with a standard clamp-on handle bar stem. To strengthen the clamp on the stem, I drilled a hole through and inserted a cotter pin. The idea is to remove the stem with the handle bars for entry, clamp it onto the column, then insert the pin to secure. I'll put the fairing back on tomorrow and experiment with entry and exit.

The steering bar looks quite tight in this image, but it doesn't feel that way. There is plenty of clearance between the brake levers and my knees - even on turns.

The weather is actually very nice in Calgary now and tomorrows forecast is a high of 12 C with 20 kph winds which is fairly normal. So, if I get the fairing back on tomorrow morning and all goes well with my entry/exit plans, then I'll either head back out to the track for another watts test, or highway 22. I'm still anxious to nail down my CdA and rr.

Here are some various photos of the past few days fun:

To replace the old steerer tube I had to re-bore the UHMW plastic bushing. It's so jammed in the head tube that is was easier to just put the whole trike on the drill press.
Here are 3 hints to achieving some decent Aluminum welds:

1. CLEAN the oxide off the aluminum with a stainless steel wire brush first.

2. Get your power right! Too much power will burn right through in fractions of a second. Too little power won't melt the oxide layer.

3. Keep the titanium tip CLEAN! If you touch the work surface, stop, break off the contaminated tip and start again.

Here is a shot of how I re configured the steering cables for the rear end. Ideally, I would like to have those cable housing things (don't know what to call them!) mounted on pivoting ball joints. If anyone has any ideas as to where I could get some of these, please let me know.
When I removed the steering cable tensioners off the old steering bar, I noticed that the fasteners I had used were both bent due to the forces on the cable when steering. So, I decided to do something better.

The 'T' shaped items are actually 1/4" bolts welded to long hex nuts.

The two items with the thumb knobs are 3/16" threaded rods with a 1/6" hole drilled out of the middle. The plastic thumb knobs are screwed onto the top.

The hollow threaded rods are screwed into the hex nuts which are fastened onto the steering bar.
The steering cable runs through the hole in the threaded rod. When you turn the thumb knob, the threaded rod moves through the long hex nut tightening the steering cable.
Here is a shot showing the angle of the headtube. Because the steering bar is forward of the turn axis line, it makes for a 'negative' tiller effect which is good because it encourages the rider to lean into the turn. This negative tiller is no minimal it isn't even noticeable

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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