Nov 18

Nov 18, 2004

Still have lots of work to do...

It was a rare, calm day today so I took off early this morning to see if I could complete a watts run and get some more time in the streamliner to test out some of my recent mods.

Yesterday I had noticed that after my recent 'renovations' with the fairing, it was no longer perfectly horizontal over the top. When I cut a few inches out of the middle and lowered the height, I had inadvertently 'tipped' the fairing angle back slightly like a wing generating lift. So I lifted the nose under the front fairing mount, and lowered the tail under the rear fairing mount. This got the top level, but created a strange wrinkle in the fairing edges and now the top doesn't completely line up with the bottom. Even thought I have alternating tabs to keep the two halves connected, and use duct tape to hold it all together, it's a pain to keep all the tabs from popping out while I try to tape it shut. Also, the seemingly minor adjustment to the fairing resulted in my right foot rubbing against the right hand wall of the fairing.

So twice today while I was riding the fairing split apart. It was partially because of my rubbing foot and partially due to the top/bottom mismatch. I need to fix that!

I'm also not satisfied with my steering bar. I moved it forward as much as I could, but my elbows still jam into the side walls. I can now get in and out of the fairing without taking the handle bars off, but the bar position isn't as comfortable as I would like. I need to fix that also.

My canopy top kept flying off in wind gusts, so I made a coroplast top yesterday that actually worked quite well today. I don't need to fix that, but I have a Lexan bubble coming from Garrie Hill! I'll fabricate a fiberglass tail fairing for that and completely re-design the whole removable canopy top.

OK - the watts run:

I took altitude measurements today and was surprised at how much of a hill there really is on highway 22. It's 4203 feet at the start and 4268 feet at the end for a total of 65 feet climbing out and 65 feet gliding back. Over 3.5 km, that works out to .56 % grade.

The out run went well as usual with a crappy 27.76 kph average on 154.6 watts. The winds seemed calm, but that speed is actually 2 kph SLOWER than my very first watts test on a windier day (always head winds on the way out)! One of the differences is I am now using a SRM pro watts meter system on loan from Jason Yantoa, and the calibration might be slightly better. Other than that, I am at a loss as to why that run was slower... The fairing is lower and level, and the wheel struts are stiffer.

The back run was so fast, I couldn't maintain 150 watts, so I hung on for as much as I could. I managed to average 129.6 watts for 44.72 kph with a high of over 50 kph. Overall, the two averaged out to 142.1 watts for 36.24 kph which happens to be about 1 kph SLOWER than the exact same watts output at the Race City race track the other day. It was colder today by a ton, and checking with the calculator, the difference in temperature and barometric pressures between the two days could be responsible for a half a kph.

The back run was cut short again, this time due to the side of the fairing splitting open. 40 kph on a canted road going across some very rigid rumble strips is still scary as hell! I experimented a bit with that, and it's only the real rough strips on very canted shoulders at higher speeds that cause the strange slippery feeling. The fairing, lower C of G and increased weight and stiffer rear struts has done nothing to suppress this bizarre effect.

John Tetz has been after me to do some low and high speed coast down testing, so I tried to do that today, but had problems finding a stretch of road that was flat enough. I found one that seemed fairly flat and did an out and back run:

Temp: 3 degrees C
Pressure: 29.82 "
Wind: 3 kph (this was according to the weather report at the time. I didn't notice any winds, but hard to say for sure. Basically, around here, this is as calm as it will ever get).
Altitude at start: 4203 ft
Altitude at end: 4268 ft

Start speed: 23.4 kph
50 meters: 22.5 kph
100 meters: 21.3 kph
150 meters: 19.9 kph
200 meters: 18.3 kph
250 meters: 15.6 kph
300 meters: 12.3 kph

Start speed: 21.2 kph
50 meters: 19.7 kph
100 meters: 18.2 kph
150 meters: 16.6 kph
200 meters: 14.7 kph
250 meters: 11.1 kph
300 meters: 5.6 kph

The things I need to fix NOW!

1. I need to fix the fairing fit and level. The top needs to be horizontal and the edges of both half shells need to fit together properly.

2. I need to invent some new method of keeping the fairing halves together. Duct tape is a pain and expensive to continually rip off and re-place. Also, when it's cold out, it doesn't stick very well.

3. I need to adjust the mounts so my right foot doesn't continually rub against the fairing wall.

4. I need to spend some time and get those two rear wheel properly aligned. I aligned the toe-out yesterday, but found today that the camber was off of vertical. Plus, I didn't do my toe-out adjustment with weight in the driver seat, so it's probably also out.

5. I need to come up with some better steering placement. Not sure what to do about that yet - need to think...

6. More turn radius would be great because I am getting sick and tired of going WAY out of my way to find a turn around large enough to do a 180 in less than 3 or 4 steps of going back and forth and back and forth Austin Powers style.

7. Smoother and tighter steering. I ordered some ball joints to hold my steering cable housing in better alignment - so that should make the steering smoother and as a result, I can probably tighten it quite a bit. I found today when going 50 kph down highway 22, that I had to make many small steering adjustments that were a results of some cable sticking, and over steering corrections. A smooth gliding cable will solve this. Also while I'm at it, I could probably use some more leverage. Since my turn radius sucks anyhow - I can probably take up more of the turning bar radius.

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
826 km

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