An enclosed / weatherproof trike

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Oct 19, 2012
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Wakefield, UK
I keep on imagining building one myself from a basic tadpole design. Unfortunately I absolutely hate working with fibreglass (it's messy and I'm useless with it) and that rules out most forms of compound curves leaving me with a bottom tub of minimal steel frame and thin aluminium panelling with a need to keep the canopy to basic single plane curves. I'm thinking fibreglass tent poles and clear pvc sheet for the canopy with that in mind hinged at the front and clipped near the rear providing entry / exit. My last tadpole tipped the scales at just over 30kg with rear suspension and a fairly heavy seat. With some swaps to material and some redesign I hope I could hit 25kg without too much grief. Any enclosure would add to that minimum figure and would need to be made with a constant eye on material choice. Theres a few designs out there avoiding compound curves but those made from coroplast don't float my boat at all. Also many don't have any underside to the shell and that upsets my sense of completeness. The closest I've got is a few ideas in my head keeping the wheels outside any enclosure for both ease of build and weight. The tub and canopy could be thinner and therefore lighter by not extending to the wheels and by using a go-kart like steering column rather than underseat or side levers. I think I could keep the number of holes needed in the tub to a lower number by passing the front axle and steering under the tub It'd still tip the scales at more than most of us would want to pedal but some electricity could assist that. I haven't solved access with a steering column present and may need to design a form of QR for it - not an area to get wrong!
 
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Lanc's, England
Hi Popshot
I also contemplate a covered bike, once I finished the python , python trailer, chopper and my sociable tadpole tandem.
So I have searched for ideas of making a curved cover for a bike. Like you said fibreglass is messy and for best result you have to make a mould first.
I contemplating foam material and the way she shapes EVA foam in this video is interesting.
maybe combined with multi surface undercoat paint and insects netting on the inside like this video teach
just a thought
 
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look at doing a SOF (skin on frame) type of body. WW1 airplanes and kayaks use this method
 
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Hi Popshot
I also contemplate a covered bike, once I finished the python , python trailer, chopper and my sociable tadpole tandem.
I contemplating foam material and the way she shapes EVA foam in this video is interesting.
Did you find this ? John Tetz velomobile

The body is descibed here :- Zotefoam manual



regards Paul
 
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Thanks for those links guys. I hadn't considered foam but they look like they'd collapse if so much as a small child broke wind near them. Certainly food for thought though. I was initially thinking of a shape along the lines of this...


but ending just behind the rider to use less material and save weight. No compound curves (bar the very edges) but I'd split it roughly along the colour change to forward hinge the whole top rather than make a door. A door in a flimsy structure doesn't seem like a good idea. It was the tub on the Sinclair C5 and this that got me first thinking along the lines of a bottom tub with a canopy on top.

Extending the floor ahead of the pedals and then up for simplicity and ignoring the wheels from the design. The front axle is lowered to go under the tub. I think a monocoque structural tub would be best but my chances of making one that's strong enough without weighing anything less than too much are slim without a F1 team's carbon facility. Using anything but a regular style steering column means the tub must be wider to accommodate that (as this one is) hence my desire to use one though I have yet to make an acceptable work around for entry and exit with one there. The best idea so far involves making the floor around the seat sufficiently structural to stand on, making the lower tub near the seat capable of taking some weight through the hands and using a very narrow set of handlebars in a m shape to allow wriggling past them. I'd need holes in the tub for the steering and chain but nothing else.

I already have a large supply of thin aluminium sheet hence my desire to use that material but I'm not wedded to the idea if foam or ply or anything else shows more promise.

A structural tub. Quite easy to add a top to this.
 
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There was a PDF on the net once showing dimensioned drawings for a A2 Alleweder , can't find it now.

pretty sure it contains enough information for someone to build one ?

sample pages :-



and :-



it is sadly 48meg so a bit hard to email ? I could try and split it ?

this is just sheets of foam glued together and shaped ?



I have a few build pictures however gone from the net ?

regards Paul
 
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Feb 20, 2013
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
Seems like there are more than one of us "riding" down the same path. I have plenty of ideas stored away for my eLecTricks project (see on this Forum) but they must wait until the trike is complete as completion will decide what is required as well as set mounting points, clearances, etc., and how to construct the body and with what. Interesting times ahead.
 
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I know I posted the above in jest but after some pondering, a bathtub does seem to be a good idea. It's sufficiently rigid to stand in for entry and exit and is pretty much a perfect size and shape. The "problem" is making it look like anything but a bathtub. All the rigidity is needed at the rear so that 1/3 would be left intact and the front 2/3 could be cut down at an angle towards the front to disguise it somewhat. The rear part could also be used to triangulate the rear wheel as it'd cope with the stresses making use of less metal for the task. I'm actually warming to this idea. A cheap bath is about 22kg and cutting it down would get it to around 17kg. That's on a par with my estimates for any other method of construction. I need to give this one some consideration.
 
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axerail.coffeecup.com
Too many ideas running rampant in my head here. I've even considered starting with a bath tub. Worked for this chap.
Great idea for a number of reasons. Provide somewhere to carry a change of clothes, a curtain to change behind, and you could arrive at work ready for work. If you become short on time, a trip through a car wash could save some "getting ready" time.
Notice that it seems to have attracted a police escort as well?
 
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More thought and, I think, pretty close this time.
  1. A low chassis seen in black. Main rail stops at front axle which is severely lowered. Front boom is bolted to axle through the floor to save on holes and having to floor around the boom.
  2. The floor, seen in red, is not structural (bar having to support the canopy above it) so can be pretty light with probably an angle iron or thin square box section edge for enough rigidity to maintain it.
  3. The canopy in blue is made of an angle iron frame. If I can get 15x15x2 it'll come in at 8kg or so. If I have to use 20x20x3 it'll be 17kg. Canopy is hinged at foremost point to make access and egress no issue at all as the floor (approx 600mm wide) can be stepped over and merely settle yourself in. Steering remains std column to stay within the canopy. Canopy is covered at the lower half with bathroom pvc cladding which weighs very little, is self coloured and waterproof. Top half is glazed in 1mm acrylic sheet. I considered tent material for the whole canopy but I wouldn't want to look through a tent window. I'd consider a hard window essential.
The overall shape will be similar to the first picture in post #7 above but will taper towards the rear behind the seat. There'll be a small storage space above and behind the seat in that tapered section. When the canopy is lowered it'll sit just outside the floor with it's weight supported by it and some form of QR fastener(s). A pair of gas rams will help raise it and prevent it opening all the way to the road in front.

If anyone can improve or poopoo the basic design please feel free. The basic trike isn't any more difficult than any other taddy. The floor is basic bar having to make a single plane curve at the front. Only the canopy starts to get a little complex though only in so far as having to get it the right size and shape. Building the canopy on the trike will ensure it fits the floor. Sheeting the canopy shouldn't be much more than some panel cutting and a few tubes of Tiger Seal to glue and seal them.



 
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Ok hmmm

The overall shape will be similar to the first picture in post #7 above but will taper towards the rear behind the seat. There'll be a small storage space above and behind the seat in that tapered section.
I can't see much point in building a vehicle this big and only having ' small storage space ' this renders it quite useless to go get the shopping or going on a longer trip where you need to carry some tool's , inner tubes , clothing etc ?

Look up Kamback it may help design it Kamback IIRC 14' taper and chop off at sharp edge ?

Your top down view is not really scale enough , it is highly unlikely you will achieve the gaps shown between wheel and body work without having a front track heading towards 3-4ft ?

Most tadpoles run out of turning ability when the front wheels hit the rider or frame , you need turning ability in an urban environment ?

Keep chipping away , the design is in there somewhere :)

Have you seen this ? Sakari Holma bikes/trikes etc lots of ideas and dimensioned drawings

regards Paul
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
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Point taken regarding the front track. I could taper the body from 600mm at my shoulders to 400mm at the front giving an extra 100mm at the axle. This would give a track of 33.5" with 45 deg of lock. The only way to gain more lock or less track is to give up the easy build flat side to make wheel cutouts.
 
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Popshot

Have you seen this ?



Do some research of wooden Finish/Swedish cyclecars lots of good ideas :- plycar
 
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