Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring update

Spring update
With the arrival of spring you would think the weather would warm up but instead we received more snow and the temperature even turned colder.  Last weekend the club cancelled a populaire due to snow flurries.  So making lemonade out of lemons, I will be skiing this week but I will try to do short rides on my upright.

The first Australian Pedal Prix events of the season have already taken place. We also find out a bit more information from manufacturers a few interesting tidbits on their current projects.


Trisled unveiled the new Aquila 2 at the Wonthaggi 24 hour Human Powered Grand Prix last weekend.    It is not clear what are the improvements from the previous model.  Trisled also celebrated their victory at this 24h event.


I missed an important tidbit of information previously.  Michael Byess indicated that the Kx will replace the K and Ks, therefore these two models will no longer built .  He also indicated that the Kx will not be sold as a kit.  Spare parts and replacement chassis will be available for the next10 years.  It appears that the EVO-Kx will be the only velomobile available from Byess since the EVO-R is no longer in production.

As indicated before the Kx will not be shown at SPEZI this year and the company is not releasing pictures of the new velomobile.


An article in Gearjunkie about the Velotilt project is generating a lot of interest.  I picked a few interesting tidbits, the article claims that the Velotilt will weight 55lb (25kg) and be able to travel at close to 40mph (65km/h) at 150W.  I guess this represents the performance for the race version and not the newly announced Touring version.  From the video and photos I’ve seen, I am surprised by both assertions.  In a comment, on his Blog, Wim mentions 150W at 55km/h using Michelin radial tires; apparently the reporter made an error in the metric conversion.   

Regarding the weight, there is a lot of aluminum in the prototype so maybe if everything is built in carbon fiber, the current weight will shrink but the Rohlhoff and tilt lock mechanism are heavy.  The Velotilt has 20in wheels and does not have a front derailleur so it is limited to 14 gears but maybe a double could be installed in the narrow body and unless you are riding on a relatively flat terrain, you will need more gear range.  The Tour version where the rider appear to be sitting a bit more upright and this will affect aerodynamic performance.  We'll see if they can keep the cost low enough to attract many buyers but I wonder how much advantage the tilt concept will give the rider.  Of course we will have to wait for the official presentation to find out.

Velomobiel recently posted information on the recently introduced improvements to their velomobile electrical system.  Last year the electrical system was converted from 6v to 12v  The lighting system now has new headlights providing an extra 20 lux going from 60 to 80 lux and has they are also have an eco-mode that may be appropriate for Day Running Lights.  This capability enabled the elimination of the amber LEDs at the front that were previously installed to provide additional visibility. A USB-port to charge accessories is now standard.  Velomobiles are now equipped with a lithium-ion battery that weighs only 140g and providing up to 10 hours of light. Theses batteries are completely safe and have a built-in protection. If the battery runs low it shuts off automatically.  The new battery has a maximum charging of 2,5 hours which is a big improvement.

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