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13 May 2010

Fun ride, shedding weight.

Today was a national holiday. That probably contributed to the fact that there was a lot more traffic on the cycle path than during most of my fast rides. I just took the main road every now and then to overtake a group of cyclist that where doing about half my speed. But fun it was and I someone took a photo of me with a big camera when I, safely, rode past them at a more than average pace. I did a lot of cornering. That brings down the average, to 34km/h, but it ads to the fun and vehicle control experience.

One stretched chicane was almost a bit too exciting. This was a nice stretch of 1.5 metre wide cycle path, which wasn't straight, but went half a metre to the right and than half a metre to the left, a stretched chicane, with cattle grid to start with.

It already looked challenging, so I slowed down to 32 or so. I went over the cattle grid when my back wheel moved a bit to the left. No problemo, I kept it nicely between the poles. Than the little left manoeuvre came, with a slippery bump on the apex. That caused understeer and the loss of pressure on the left wheel. So I had over- and understeer within 10 metres, at more than 30km/h. I think it was a good thing I slowed down before this corner. Preparing and looking ahead is crucial!

A thing that helps improve the handling of a vehicle is lowering the weight. Not that I did anything big, but I easily lowered Yavixa's weight with almost 600 grams today. That could make me 0.1 km/h faster at moderate speeds. (not scientific)

  • Drilled holes in seat
  • Stopped carrying: map, bell, bag for tools
  • Removed an un-used bracket and holster
  • Removed rubber casing from amplifier

I always 'honk' and the tools found a different spot. The same treatment, without the drilling part,  made YivaltĂ© loose 380 grams. I'll get some fabric Saturday to sow a bag which will be about 350 grams lighter than my current velomobile bag.

Now it's time for an older video of mine, duration is 3:09.


  1. Yes, keep yourself alive Peter!
    Somewhat surprised Youtube didn't protest agains your duplicating an artist work (Queen). But than again, it was probably uploaded too in 2008?

  2. @Mick
    Not every song gives copyright problems. Some Queen tracks do, and some don't.

    'We cyclist' keep ourselves alive :-)

  3. I've another idea for you. Remove the bolts which keep the top and bottom of the velomobile together. We put them in when making the Mango to keep the two parts in the right place while the glue dries, but they're not actually needed once the glue is dry.

    We take them out on the Mango Sport, it's extra labour, but saves 80 g or so.

    I upgraded my Mango to a carbon fibre dashboard tonight. I don't actually know how much lighter it is (not much) but also I took the opportunity to build in other stuff so my Mango is now probably heavier than ever !

  4. @David
    I'll have another weight shedding session next Monday.
    Maybe heavier, but you're dash probably looks prettier too!

  5. If the bottom and top parts are glued together, how does one get to do maintenance on the bottom bracket? the cranks?