Working from my rough draft of my plans, I've started cutting tubes and laying out the build! I have everything cut for the main frame. Next time in the shop, I'll tack up both sides of the frame, link them together and possibly start on the kingpins!
I'm very pleased to say that the plans made the build thus far a total breeze! I recorded a lot of video today as well. Some of it will be used for my YouTube channel, and some of it may go towards making more detailed videos for Patreon.
Stay tuned as I believe this will come together quickly! Would you have any interest in building a machine like this from plans? How about a single-seat version of it? Let me know in the comments!
When I first ordered parts for this build, I ordered a 1200-watt rear wheel hub motor kit for simplicity. I chose direct-drive over geared because I wanted to be able to one day add regenerative braking, as well as a reverse function.
Since I received my kit, I've been reading up on the forum Endless-Sphere. The conclusion I've come to is that my direct drive motor may get bogged down with the weight of two people plus the chassis.
Some people would get around this problem by swapping the direct drive motor out for a geared one, but that would mean sacrificing the ability to have regenerative braking and reverse function in the future, so I opted to make my 1200-watt direct-drive hub motor into a mid drive, connected to the rear wheel at a fixed gear ratio of about 0.57:1 (16t at the motor to 28t at the wheel). To achieve this I'm using cogs on both the motor and the wheel that bolt onto the disc brake mounts. This means that in the future I can still have regenerative braking, and also drive the rear wheel in reverse! On top of that, the other benefit of a direct-drive motor is superior reliability as there is only one moving part!
In future full-suspension models (eventually), this same setup will allow for superior rear suspension performance by massively reducing the amount of unsprung weight!
So, today I de-laced the hub motor and then built up the fat tire rear rim onto a standard disc brake hub. Now I can get into the meat of this project - the build of the main frame! I have some modification to do to my welding table tomorrow to allow me to clamp down anywhere on the table, but once that's done I will be getting started on all the cuts and tacking together the two main portions of the frame. I promise I will post lots of photos! Until then, enjoy this taste of the future "hub motor as mid drive" setup!
Ever since Trike Trek '11, I have been attempting to find fulfillment through my work by working in bike shops and in welding/fabrication-oriented companies. While these jobs have been fantastic for building my skillset and expanding my knowledge base, nothing excites me quite the way that hatching an idea and bringing it to life does.
Something I've learned about myself recently is that I need a creative outlet in order to feel fulfilled. I want to have a lasting impact on both the cycling community and transportation sector by introducing vehicles that inspire others and get people excited about the future. With the experience I've gained over the years, I am now in a position to get that ball rolling!
Once the build commences, I will be releasing videos to YouTube to showcase my progress. I'm also considering making more detailed and specific instructional videos that I would release to Patreon only, that would go hand-in-hand with the plans I release. The aim here would be to actually act as a mentor to any prospective builders who desire extra instruction. I personally found it invaluable to have a knowledgeable mentor when I started working at Main Street Pedicabs. He helped me improve my welding technique and showed me some tips and tricks that would have taken me years to discover on my own. I wish to provide that same kind of value to my customers and also create a community of like-minded individuals in the process so that we can all share ideas and learn from each other.
Anyways, if you have, thank you for taking the time to read my brain dump. I am SO very excited to FINALLY serve all of you who have been contacting me over the years asking for various things. I truly hope to get to all of them!
This set of plans will mark the first of many plan sets to be released. Here's my quick list of vehicles I'm interested in making after this one:
- Personal touring velomobile.
- Modified single-seat version of the Raven
- Racing velomobile (body hugging, low slung skinny tire rocket)
- Off road/cargo quad E-velomobile (pickup-truck-esque)
- Longtail cargo bike
- Cafe racer-style E-bike
- Personal delta velomobile (drift velomobile...?)
- Ultralight tube-frame chassis 2-seat electric car w/ coreflute body (one day)
On top of these plans, I'd also love to write a short paperback book on the basics of working with materials like corrugated plastic, aluminum & polycarbonate to add a fairing to almost any vehicle.
Additionally, should the interest and revenue generated from these things prove enough to sustain me, I would consider selling frame kits, fairing kits or even full vehicles.
More to come soon. Stay tuned!