Since retiring, I’ve been having fun designing and building new pieces for my DF XL. Here’s a little update on these designs.
The idea here is to be able to use the race cap (hood) more often to boost my speed. Up until now, I could only use the race cap on very cold days due to the heat and steam that builds up inside. Adding a new air inlet in the form of a NACA duct to the front access panel should help solve that problem. It definitely moves a lot of air so it succeeds on that goal. Now I need to do some roll down tests to see if the extra drag created by the duct offsets the benefit of running with the race cap. It might turn out to hurt more than it helps. Check it out.
Zefal Spin Mirror covers
I decided to go back to the very small stock Zefal Spin mirrors. I never liked the way they looked. I also thought that their aerodynamics could be improved. At the urging of PeterB on BROL, I designed this little mirror cover using Fusion 360. I doubt that it will make any difference at the speeds that I travel ( ~20 – 25mph most of the time), but I think they look a little more finished.
ABS Plastic Heel Bump Guards
I first saw these on my former Milan GT. Then I saw that Ben Dover on BROL had put these on his DF. The heel bumps are the first things to scrape going up driveways. They’re compound shapes so making a guard from flat ABS plastic sheet is a bit tricky. So I took some measurements of the heel bumps and shaped this mold from some rigid foam. This allowed me to heat up the ABS sheet and press it into shape.
The wait begins. I placed an order with Katanga in the Czech Republic for a new WAW velomobile. It should be here in mid January if all goes well. I’ve heard great things about the WAW, but it is a bit on the heavy side. I ordered it with full carbon fiber construction and without rear suspension in order to save weight. If the solid rear end doesn’t work out, rear suspension can be added at a later time. Here’s a photo of a WAW similar to the one I’ve ordered.
My WAW will be this color blue but will have black visible carbon fiber wheel covers (instead of the matching blue). Also the lights in the nose will be laid out a bit differently as shown in the red WAW below.
I’ve recently made a quick decision to sell the Milan GT. I hadn’t planned on selling it so soon, but when I read that a fellow BROL member was planning to order a new one, I started thinking about other velomobiles that I might want to try. I messaged him and we struck a quick deal. The Milan GT is a fast, well-handling velomobile. For some reason, though, I was always a bit faster in the DF XL. So the Milan GT is heading to Connecticut. Now the research starts for the next velomobile.
I’ve been thinking about adding a windscreen to the DF XL. IntercityBike sells one that is attached using velcro. It is a simple shape that sort of fits any velomobile. I believe that it is this one sold for Quests:
I’m sure this works fine but I don’t like the way that it fits nor the use of velcro, which remains stuck to the body even if the windscreen is not in use.
So I came up with a shape specifically to fit the DF XL. Instead of using velcro I’m using magnets. This is a cleaner and more secure way to attach the windscreen. Here are some photos:
It is made with 0.030″ Lexan so it’s pretty light and flexible. It does get in the way a bit getting in and out. It turns out not to be a problem since it just pops on and off so easily with the magnet mounting approach. There are magnets glued to the windscreen and magnets stuck on the inside of the body. I just have these body magnets taped for now.
The windscreen does seem to add some speed, maybe 1-2mph at the high end, but that’s just a guess. You do look through it while riding, so scratches may become a problem. It can get warmer in the cockpit since it reduces air flow into the cockpit. In that case, it’s easy to just pop it off and stash it while riding.
Here is a larger, wrap-around version that I’ve been considering. This one will take a much larger piece of Lexan.
I’ve just picked up a vintage (early 2000’s) Greenspeed GLR (Greenspeed Low Racer). As far as I can tell, there are very few GLRs in existence. They rarely come up for sale. The GLR is the precursor to the SLR and the Aero. I’ve always thought that it looked to be a practical, racey trike. It’s long, low and laid back but has decent ground clearance. It has the traditional Greenspeed steering configuration with the crossed tie rods so it has an amazingly small turning radius. This particular GLR is in surprisingly good shape. I’ll be adding various updates as I experiment with it. Check it out here…
Just a quick update. It’s been a few of months since I brought the Milan GT home. Since then I’ve removed the Bionx electric assist, upgraded the brakes to 90mm Ginkgo drums, raised the front ride height, replaced the tie rods and installed Schwalbe One tires with latex tubes. I’ve also played with adding a couple of 80mm fans to help cockpit cooling to allow me to ride with the race hood even on warmer days. This effort is still ongoing.
Also, I’ve made some cosmetic changes just for fun. I’ve vinyl wrapped the lower section of the body, changing the color from red to light blue.
I had the Milan GT trucked to my friend’s warehouse in Oxnard to save on shipping. The Milan GT arrived today in great shape – in spite of the fact that the robust crate was almost destroyed by UPS. I left the remains of the crate there and brought home just Milan GT.
I’ve made room in my crowded garage by building a velombile bunk bed.