Thursday, January 28, 2010
Look closely at the canopy and the body of the aerorider in this picture. Notice anything missing? Yeah, the bit of spongy foam that normally seals the hatch like you'd find on your car.... Fortunately Bert at Aerorider gave me the spec and where it mounts. The only problem -- where to find some. Fortunately JC Whitney had some generic substitutes that should fit so I ordered a bit. Tomorrow should be interesting as the horn to replace the missing horn, and hatch handle should arrive! Yipee, some things will get fixed.
The speedometer started working and asking for a wheel size. It is a wired bike computer. That seemed so 1990, so I took it out. I thought there would be just fiberglass behind, but it turns out there is a hole. No worries, I know what i'm going to use that hole for....
Friday, January 22, 2010
This is the latch that holds the hatch down. It's broken. Fortunately it's a common marine part and Cabelas has them for about $35. I think it will be necessary to replace to prevent rattling while driving down the road. This is starting to feel like the old saying about the boats the construction of my velomobile mimics. It's a hole in the pavement I throw money into.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
This is the axle for the Aerorider. See how it is bigger on one end than the other? Well, nobody has a hub that will fit this axle. I took this thing to every bike shop in town, a couple of quad and motorcycle shops, and the local bolt place to see if we could come up with an equivalent. In the end I sent it off to Utah Trikes -- www.utahtrikes.com to see if they could machine me something that would work with any 20mm thru-axle hub. 20mm thru-axle is a downhill mountain bike racing standard designed for large loads. I figure if the current axle is 17mm, then 20mm is better right?
The front wheels are really turning out to be a problem. They're solid magnesium and are not round. I started this blog after I got the Aerorider, so it's catch up time. I fixed one cut ground wire and removed the cheesy splices in the system for the cigarette lighter adapter addition, and then got new batteries. I had full power, and the motor worked! So, I took her for a spin. The whole time, I kept hearing this whoop whoop noise and the velomobile would wobble from side to side. I had Nicole (10 year old daughter) drive it around -- after a misunderstanding where she started driving it all through the neighborhood and I couldn't get her to stop, she did some loops around the cul-de-sac so I could see what was going on. It was obvious one wheel in particular was out of round, so I swapped tires to make sure it wasn't a tire problem, but the issue persisted with the new tire. That's when I did some percussive maintenance with the 5 pound hammer. (I figured it was messed up anyway). Aluminum does not like being bent so the rim snapped. Off to find a new wheel.....
12 volt systems weren't working
Rear wheel not bolted on the frame
Front wheels out of round
Windshield wiper missing
Belt drive for the electric motor not attached
4 12 volt batteries installed when there should be three.
Someone spliced in a cheesy 12 volt cigarette lighter adapter to power more accessories and did a poor job of it.
The wiring on the rear of the velomobile had fallen into the rear wheel because the double stick tape (No, I'm not kidding) holding it up had lost its stickiness.
I found this on a classified list for recumbent bicycles. I bought is sight unseen because it was so cheap relative to buying it new, but NOTHING, and I mean Nothing worked. It is a velomobile made by Aerorider -- a pedal powered fully enclosed vehicle. This one happens to have electric assist that can push it over 20mph on level ground.