Sunday, April 24, 2016

All dressed?

All dressed?
This week I had to take a bit of a rest but it does not mean I was idle.  First I checked the velomobile because I noticed a thump - thumps noise/vibration coming from the rear end during my 200km brevet.  I found the rear wheel was wobbly and needed attention.   It took me a just a few minutes to remove the rear wheel; this is much faster than the first few times I had to do this.  I guess I’m getting better at it now.  I had to get my rear wheel trued at a bike shop since I’m not equipped to do this myself.  My wheel was fixed but the mechanic informed me that the Kojak had also suffered; the cords under the rolling band had been ripped and as a result the tire could not roll smoothly.  I installed a new Gran Prix instead, it will be my first opportunity to test that tire.

I also picked-up at the post office a large package from Dronten, inside I found a pair of pants for the DF as well as tape to hold them in place. Unfortunately I’m currently waiting for a pair of narrow wheels to use with the pants.  The narrow wheels will make it possible to retain a reasonable turning radius.  The Kojak 35-406 are too large to actually fit in the wheel pants so I will also have to install the Schwalbe One to ride with the pants, the roads are slowly improving so probably in another week or two I will be able to test this aerodynamic improvement.

One of the things, I have also done is to install a protector over the lip at the front of the hood just behind the visor.  I felt that the lip could become a danger during a frontal collision as it could easily cut my face should I come in contact.  I visited the local garage and came out with a protector used on machinery to protect the edges of sheet metal parts.  The protector made of metal covered with a thick fabric fits perfectly.  I had also considered getting the protectors used to protect the edge of motorcycle, ATV and snowmobile visors but the one I chose was in my opinion doing a better job in protecting me as it was larger and sturdier.

So with a hat, I mean hood and a pair of pants my DF is almost dressed, maybe what is missing is a cover for the tail?


The new DF-4 development is moving along.  Daniel Fenn is building the new 4-wheel velomobile using the shell of 2 DF as the base.  A picture posted on the German Forum shows two wheel wells at the back of the velomobile with the tail and turtledeck in the middle.  I expect that the wheel well will eventually be inside the shell with a redesigned tail but we have no hint on the final look.  We do know however that Daniel Fenn is taking a different approach for the rear end.  The left wheel will receive all the power from the pedals and the right will receive the power from an optional e-assist motor.  Stay tuned!

Cycle JV

The number 2 Mulsanne velomobile has been unveiled this week.  The latest is already showing some changes to the original design.


Katanga has made changes to the WAW design the improved model is named the WAW2016 and will finally offer a rear suspension as an option.  Since the new rear dropouts are bolted to the shell, it appears that the new rear end could be retrofitted on earlier models.

New rear shocks
I received a message from René Voorhee who informs me that he has been testing a new oil shock built by velomobiel   Apparently the new shock is providing a stiffer ride and reduced the pogoing effect that is characteristically associated with the original shock.  On his Blog he reports on the performance and he appears to be happy with the initial results. Velomobiel is considering the use of the new shock for the QuattroVelo.  This would apparently be in addition to the air suspension to act as a damper like in a car.

Rear shocks in velomobiles have been a weak spot in the design.  No manufacturer has designed an air/oil shock specifically for velomobiles.  Many people have experienced issues with the air/oil adapted to velomobiles.  The Risse shocks have experienced a number of seal failures and as a result they will leak oil or air.  The DT Swiss shock originally used by ICB was discontinued, a replacement was found but still ICB decided to introduce a home made traditional damper instead of an air/oil damper.   

For us in North America the biggest test will be those rumble strips that can send  velomobile flying out of control due the amplification of oscillations caused by the rumble strips.


The annual show is taking place this weekend.  Over the next week or so we will have keep an eye for the latest news as reported by attendees.  While I've seen some tidbits already, I will try to gather more information to report.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

First 200 brevet of the season

First 200 brevet of the season
I know that over the past few weeks I’m not writing as much, in part because I have not found many new items to report and because I am otherwise busy these days.  As I’ve been mentioning several times, we’ve had a very late start for our riding season.  All the snow came between X-Mas and the first week in April.  Just last week it was still snowing but over the past week, things have started to improve. 

Yesterday I rode my first brevet; a 200km ride with 1,700m of climb.  This was one of the first warm days; the temperature at the start of the ride was 3C, it climbed slowly to 16C in the afternoon, the sun was shining and the wind was moderate.  Road conditions were fair to poor which is normal for this time of the year when the ground is soaked and thawing creating bumps, holes and cracks on the pavement.  At times, I felt that I was in a slalom event trying to stay out of the worst patches.

This was my first brevet with the hood.  I was able to ride with my helmet fairly comfortably but having a helmet under the hood makes it much warmer.  I also had a few problems during the ride, nothing major but I will have to address.  There are a few hills in the 9 to 10% range on that ride and I had problems shifting to the low-low so as a result, I had to climb on bigger gears than I would have.  On the last section I could feel a thump-thump from the rear end.  I thought it was a broken spoke but it turns out that the rear wheel is out of alignment and may have a flat spot.  I will have to take it to the bike shop and hopefully they can fix it.

Now I will take a few days rest and get back in the velomobile to get ready for more brevets.

The first Milan MX was recently delivered.  The extra large Milan provides room for the oversized velonaut.
Milan MX (on the right) next to the Milan GT

WHPVC 2016

Ligfiets reported that the racing programme for the coming World Human Powered Vehicle Championships / Cycle Vision has been announced. The most popular races as every year will be the 1 hour time trial. This is considered top event but at the request of the racers the legendary Cycle Vision 6 hour race will return after a 6-year absence.
All the events on the race schedule, will take place on July 2nd and 3rd  of at "Sportpark Sloten, Sloterweg in Amsterdam.
Check out Cycle Vision’s Facebook page for more information.

Allert posted pictures of the new turtle deck that will be covering the luggage compartment.  The previous cover had windows to provide a view for a small passenger on the child seat in the luggage compartment.  I think the cover with window will probably be offered as an option.  A hood to cover the cockpit opening will probably follow.


The 21st edition of the annual show will take place very soon and velomobile manufacturers are getting prepared.  They will show their velomobiles including their latest creations, prototypes and other accessories.  Some attendees will probably have a chance to test some of the products on display.  The show takes place April 23th and 24th in Germersheim, Germany.


For those who like to try new concepts for velomobiles, Suntour offers a little-known enclosed gearbox, which seems to have faired the test of time in a niche of the MTB market. The transmission uses a two-stage transverse system with four saw-tooth clutches, two on the input shaft and two on the output giving a total of nine ratios in the 610% gear range.

The inner workings of the gearbox are greased, instead of a wet sump. Gear change system uses a twin-cable twist shifter and both the cranks and the 22T drive sprocket are specific to the design. An in-depth video of it being dismantled can be seen via

Monday, April 4, 2016

Early April report

Early April report
I’m a bit late to report velomobile production for the month of February.  In fact, I have not posted recently; I guess I’m too busy these days.  I'm posting both March and April production stats.  I was away last week and was able to ride a bit but as I returned home, the temperature got colder well below 0C and we are expecting more snow.  I hope to be ready to ride in my first brevet in less than two weeks.

The hood provides weather protection but I still need to use my heated insoles in my cycling shoes when it is below 0C as my feet are prone to freeze easily in my cycling shoes even inside the covered velomobile.  Let’s hope the weather improves soon!


In February 3 DF XL and 2 DF were delivered and in March there were 11 velomobiles delivered (7 DF and 4 DF-XL).

There were 31 velomobiles on order at the end of February with 17 Df and 14 DF-XL on order. During the same period only 3 velomobiles were ordered and this is probably one of the slowest month since ICB started operations. At the end of March, 27 velomobiles were on order and 7 had been ordered during the month of March.

9 velomobiles were delivered in February at Velomobiel, there were 6 carbon Quest XS, 2 carbon Quest and 1 Carbon Strada.  In March 7 velomobiles were delivered including 4 Stradas, 2 Carbon Quest and a Carbon Quest XS. 

There were 72 velomobiles on order including 35 QuattroVelo and ten velomobiles were sold in February including 2 QuattroVelo while at the end of March, there were 69 velomobiles on order and 11 velomobiles were sold.

More progress to the production of QuattroVelo has been made.  Almost all small molds are ready, only the seat and the luggage hatch hinge are not good enough for production and they need to be changed. Meanwhile, the rest of the molds were sent to Romania to start building a QV.  Production can start only after this second prototype has been fully approved.

If you are a rider of a velomobile, maybe you would like to add a picture of you and your velomobile to the “Riderlist” database.
Email the picture including the type and serial number of your velomobile.  Theo asks for your patience, as it will take a while to upload all these pictures.


Although still in development, owners of ICB hoods (DF, Evo-K and Quest/Strada) as well as Beyss hoods may be interested in Rainpal, a new windshield wiper that clips to the top of the visor.  The concept looks very interesting but we will not know if the final product will meet expectations yet.  The company is currently raising funds through crowd funding to go into production.  Funding this venture will entitle you to a Rainpal and accessories based on the amount contributed.  Basic Rainpal is available for £5 and the luminous white Rainpal with wireless including free delivery globally will cost you £70.