The past week we had more snow and it has been very cold with temperatures in the -35C overnight but with sun and significantly warmer during the daytime. It looks at the moment that the extreme cold is slowly leaving us and we should have warmer temperatures hovering above freezing for the next week. The sun is getting stronger so I hope this will have an effect on the accumulated snow.
I’m nowhere close to riding but when I’m not shovelling I still doing a bit of maintenance on the DF. This week I made a plug for the air vent. I used Polystyrene (rigid foam) insulation approximately 1/2in (1cm) thick that I cut to fit inside the boom then I glued a slightly larger polycarbonate plastic to allow me to pull it out. This should be useful for riding at low temperature when you do not need the air to cool you down or remove moisture.
This week Michael Beyss finally provided a teaser of the new Evo-Kx. The design is original At first glance, I find it a bit boxy; it appears to be very wide with a large frontal area, I wonder how this will affect performance. It is made to accommodate larger riders with a 57cm width at the shoulders and room to also accommodate large feet. The Kx is expected to weight 25kg and cost €8 000.
It is a departure from the sleek Evo designs but I think it may make a good commuter; I like the air intake at the front, it may provide good ventilation to the occupant. I like the lights too but the impact of the light cover on light performance is a subject of discussion. I see a lot of lines in the drawing; I wonder if this indicates separate parts because it would be a lot. There are also optional integrated wheel pants covering the wheel wells but we did not see a hood yet.
Michael indicated that they are currently making molds so it is doubtful that something would be available for SPEZI.
Daniel Fenn has been working at improving the survivability of carbon fiber in collisions. He recently did some tests on some polyamide and carbon fiber micro-sandwich panels ICB has made a few special DFs with polyamide Micro Sandwich. Micro-sandwich can also be made with fiberglass. Daniel claims that those are also superior to Kevlar. But the vast majority of velomobiles currently being produced are only made of carbon fiber. As a result, the current DF is almost perfect as long as you do not hit something.
Polyamide is a very good material because of its lightweight and it provides enormous tensile strength to weight ratio that can also stretch significantly before breaking. Daniel’s tests indicate that the micro-sandwich panels retain stiffness of carbon fiber but they are much more capable of resisting an impact without being damaged.
The micro-sandwich VM will have a minor weight penalty in the order of 50gm for the polyamide and 220gm for the fiberglass. From a cost perspective, while the use of fiberglass will not add any additional cost, the cost of polyamide will add a few hundred Euros to the cost of a DF velomobile. If you have placed an order and are interested in upgrading your DF, you should contact ICB to enquire about upgrading.
Daniel has produced a few videos to show how much more resistant the new micro-sandwich panels are to impact using a 5.3kg (12lb) tool to demonstrate.
Trisled posted a time lapsed video of the installation of a Coroplast shell for the Tomahawk Pedal Prix velomobile. Trisled did not indicate how long it took for the build.