Sunday, January 22, 2012

Texas electric velomobile from Warrior trike

By Gerry Strope, Texas

"I have just completed a velomobile based on an extended Warrior design with an electric hub added. It turns out that the warrior design is a very good choice to put a velomobile shell around. I have had no problem with handling with the body on the warrior chassis.

I didn’t know anything about velomobile design when I started this project. I just started reading all information available and started building. I learned quite a bit while working on this project. I have learned how to work with coroplast to shape the body and I do like working with it. I have found a good source of information is on Facebook in the “Coroplast Tutorial” and “Velomobile—Coroplast” groups.

Gerry's first coroplast velomobile.

 I made a number of errors in my design. This design has too many vertical joints and the tail section is too narrow compared to the front. Also, the nose should be rounded. I put together a series of flat sections with joints where a curved rounded shape is more desirable. It takes more skill too make the rounded corners which I am learning. All seams should run horizontal.

I also found the under seat steering is not the best design for a velomobile. The handlebars are too wide and interfere with the body and the under seat mounting interferes with having a bottom surface of the body. Also, if you want to enter the body from the top, the handlebars occupy the area that you want to step on to get in. I am going to convert to a top mounted tiller steering at some point.

Now, ignoring all the mistakes I do like the way the streamlined body works even though mine could be more streamlined. The body is nice in cool weather to keep you out of the wind and the fairing makes headwinds much easier to deal with. It seems to go almost as good into the wind as when it is behind you. With the extra weight the electric hub is a real plus. I do like to pedal along with it. Most of my travel is in the 15 to 25 mph range depending on the grade. I can see where this could be an alternative to using an auto for short trips.

Gerry added an electric assist motor to his velo.

I must warn you if you don’t like attention a velomobile is not for you. When you go by a playground the kids scream and wave. People will follow you in cars and take your picture. Young boys yell out awesome and girls of all ages wave and smile. All in all I am having a good time with this and will build more."

Gerry's build blog:

Great write up, Gerry. Congrats on your first velomobile and all the attention. You deserve it!