Nov 27

Nov 27, 2004

Here's the truth about the last week:

It was an uphill battle. It seemed like everything I did, I ended up doing three or four times until I could get it to work. I spent more time building the sliding doors for the rear strut slots than I did fabricating and welding the entire frame!!!!

Finally yesterday I thought I could sense a bit of light at the end of the tunnel only to find in a quick test ride that the friction caused by those sliding doors are making my steering so difficult it feels like I'm going to torque off the aluminum steering tube!!

They slide up and down nicely and provide a very tight aerodynamic fit which I am happy about, but they don't track very smoothly and I'm not sure how to remedy that without destroying the nice, tight fit. Another problem I'm having is with the steering cable fastener - it just so happens to be EXACTLY in the middle of the slot and presses and grinds against the slider. So I had to rearrange the way the cables were tied down, and now I have lost the leverage I need to produce decent turns. The only solution is to take it all apart and re-do the whole steering cable system PLUS the steering bar - this is too complex to describe to you, plus I don't want to bore you to death so I'll stop right here and trust that you get the general idea.

The slider rails are made from 1/8" Sintra plastic and the slider itself is a 5 inch wide piece of rubber base-board material. The rubber is just stiff enough to track up and down the Sintra grooves, but soft enough to curve to the natural shape of the fairing. However, since the movement of the strut up and down the slot pushes and pulls this rubber strip, it tends to want to push it more in an outward direction causing the strip to pop out of the rail. I solved this by bonding a stiff Sintra tab to the leading edge. It seems to work OK except for my cable steering fastener bolts which happen to be exactly in the worst place possible - I need to rethink that now.

I removed the rear wheel disc brakes and replaced them with a front wheel caliper brake:

On the test ride, it seemed to work OK, but definitely required more squeeze effort to get the same braking power as the disc brakes. I think I need to clean off that rim. I failed to consider the removal of the wheel, so now I think I might have to let the air out of the front tire before taking it off the frame - duh!!

The Sintra plastic wheel covers work well. What I did was weld a small bolt to the outside of the axle bolt so I could use a nut to secure the outside wheel cover onto the wheel. What I didn't consider was that the axle bolt doesn't spin around with the wheel and the wheel cover, so I used a skateboard bearing between where the disc fastens to and the axle bolt.

The inside wheel cover is held in place with the disc brake mounting holes. As you can see in one of the above photos, I still need to grind down the edge of disc cover more so that it meets up smoothly with the tire wall.

I'll use these covers for a while and check to see if any dirt or water is seeping in through the edge of the cover. If it looks like it will work, then I'll probably either have some blown acrylic (or lexan) covers made, or make a mold and do up some CF covers. I'm still not sure about whether or not I need to add wheel fairings around the wheels also.

Next on the agenda is unfortunately more of the above! I need to remake some of the discs because I cut the seem too big and they are warping. I need to take apart the sliders and figure out a way to make them slide smoother. I need to take apart the back-end of the cable steering and move the place where it grabs the struts due to interference issues with the slots. And finally I still need to think more about that steering bar... I really need as much leverage as I can get to make controlling this is heavy winds easier on me. I don't like the reverse tiller effect and I'm not getting a very good turning radius - all of these things need to be fixed!!

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 front wheel fairing
5. Make 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
12. Make sliders for the rear struts
13. Re-think steering. AGAIN!

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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