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A practical velomobile…and really fast ones too

Commuter, Concept 7 4510

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  1. Nick F August 27, 2012 at 11:58 pm -  Reply

    Can’t wait to see the shell he puts on that thing… and I can’t believe that he’s using some sort of linear track for his propulsion. Physics may be applauding him for his aerodynamic position, but it’s probably *facepalming* for his drive system.

    Rooting for him!

    • James Thomas August 28, 2012 at 10:31 am -  Reply

      I am a looking forward to seeing the shell too, as well as the completed frame and drivetrain. I have a hard time understanding how he is going to get up to speed with a single 320 inch gear, but I guess pushing a big gear is what Obree has always done best.

      I will be very surprised if he can break the record, but even if he doesn’t I think it is great that he is making an attempt. Even if he can only hit 70mph or so, it will be a victory for garage tinkerers everywhere.

      • art August 28, 2012 at 11:29 am -  Reply

        There are some videos of the complete rolling chassis here:
        I’m with Nick. The losses through that rig are going to be brutal, and that’s if the whole thing doesn’t fold up under the amount of power he’s going to have to put through it.

  2. littleman August 28, 2012 at 11:59 am -  Reply

    Never say can’t, but from the looks of the photo I would guess that he will have a lot more surface area once enclosed than the recumbent who’s riders sit lower between the wheels. Georgi Georgiev’s Varna Tempest that Sam W. rides is tiny.

  3. TimJ August 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm -  Reply

    Great post. The words “practical” and “velomobile” don’t normally appear in the same sentence. 100 mph? Sounds crazy, but then 80 mph sounded crazy too.

    • Maarten August 31, 2012 at 7:00 pm -  Reply

      I’m using a velomobile in the Netherlands, more specifically a Quest. With a velomobile you are riding in the cycling-equivalent of a Ferarri. At times it can be challenging, as quite a bit of the (cycling) infrastructure here is designed with an ordinary bicycle in mind. On the whole it is rather surprising how well this goes. I rarely have to go back because I can’t get past a corner or so.

      Now a Quest is fast, but still practical. With three wheels you don’t need a pitcrew to start and stop. The three wheels make it stable, while still maneuverable. And of course you have the luggage space.

      So, yes: a velomobile is practical. A record bike on the other hand is more like an F1 racing car.

  4. Konstantin September 4, 2012 at 1:48 am -  Reply

    Can’t wait to see where this goes, but in the videos that art posted Obree’s rig looks so unstable.

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