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11829Re: Is it possible to convert an Xtracycle into a microcar?

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  • Rich
    Jun 1, 2010
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      Larry;

      I was merely expressing concern about a two wheel version. I rode motorcycles for enough years so that I have felt what side winds can do to a two wheeler and the motorcycles I rode had a lot more mass than a motorized bicycle. They also did not have much bodywork. Even some cars such as the VW Beetle & Microbus have been known for driving difficulty in side winds.

      I would expect the Cargo Monster with bodywork to handle side winds better than a two wheeler but would still want to test it in the highest velocity side winds likely to be encountered before risking any possible injury to a passenger. The same for a two wheeler with enclosures. It might work fine but better to test it in worst case conditions than get an unexpected and unpleasant surprise with a child on the back.

      It does sound like an interesting concept. I just want you and the passenger to be safe.

      Rich Wood


      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "lclarkberg" <larry@...> wrote:
      >
      > Rich:
      >
      > The vehicle I have in mind would be slow and (relatively) heavy and utilitarian. Maybe those factors would help prevent it from being blown over. I've also been wondering if there was a way to add some more wheels to an Xtracycle to make it more stable in wind and on ice and the Cargo Monster looks like a good approach. I will put it on my xmas wish list :-).
      >
      > Also the vehicle I have in mind would have separate canopies for the passenger and the driver. This might also help against crosswinds. The passenger canopy would be fully enclose-able while the driver canopy would be overhead and windshield only. From my experience ferrying my kids around on my X in the winter, they get very cold while I get very warm! The only protection I need is overhead against downpours and in front to protect my hands from the wind. There is a commercial product that is a lot like what I have in mind described at http://www.veltop.eu
      >
      > So maybe what I have in mind is more like a motorized pedi-cab than a velomobile or microcar. All I know is that I want it to be based on the Xtracycle standard, to have a motor, and to have a canopy. Being Xtracycle-based will help it be inexpensive, street-legal, and easier to market.
      >
      > -Larry Clarkberg
      >
      > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Where I live it can get pretty windy and I would be concerned about the effects of side winds on a enclosed two wheeler. A lot more area for it to work against. From a stability standpoint I would prefer a longtail trike recumbent based micro electric vehicle. From what I have read side winds are a definite problem for IHPVA recumbent two wheel streamliners.
      > >
      > > Also if the motor is set up for "pedal assistance" as is required in some countries rather than supplying full power then the rider is still working and an enclosure would likely greatly reduce the cooling air flow reaching the rider, leading to potential overheating. Maybe not a concern in winter but IMO likely in summer in most of the USA.
      > >
      > > Rich Wood
      > >
      > > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "lclarkberg" <larry@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > A microcar is a very small car, usually between 150 and 1,000 pounds, powered by a 49cc to 500cc motorcycle-like engine or an electric motor, and often they are three-wheeled. The "bubble cars" of the 1950's are a good example. It seems to me that the only thing a microcar has function-wise that my stoked Xtracycle doesn't have is speed and a canopy. I can do without the speed. And it shouldn't be hard to add a canopy, something like a velomobile has but family-friendlier.
      > > >
      > > > Is there a market for such a microcar? It could be manufactured by small bike shops in small numbers rather than made by mega factories in mega numbers. It could use off-the-shelf parts that could make it cost $4,000 rather than the $10,000 I'd pay for a microcar. And legally it would be a bicycle so it wouldn't have all the legal baggage that a "car-based" microcar must carry. What do you think? Care to make one? Care to buy one?
      > > >
      > > > Anyway, I've written more about this topic on my blog at http://BikeForth.org and I'd love to read your comments.
      > > >
      > >
      >
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