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Old 11-02-2023, 08:59 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,092 posts, read 4,900,353 times
Reputation: 17405

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A Velomobile is basically a bicycle with a body surrounding it-- a pedal powered car. They've been around for decades. Now they are also being designed with electric (even solar) power assist.

The body usually provides favorable aerodynamic characteristcs so that speeds of, say, 30mph can be achieved with the same amount of effort it takes to go 15mph on a standard bike. ...The carriage provides defense against the elements, and with 3 or 4 wheels, safety problems on wet or icy roads is improved. That also improves cargo capacity.

Weather is a major factor against using bikes regularly in three quarters of the country. The velomobile solves that.

As long as any type of 2-wheeler or velomobile style vehicle has to share roads with drunks, teenagers and little old ladies behind the wheels of 3 ton motorized weapons, there will be safety issues on the open roads, but maybe the velomobile is an appropriate choice worthy of encouragment for use in walkable neighborhoods/small towns.

https://www.bicycle-evolution.com/in...velomobiles-2/

https://www.hammacher.com/product/solar-velomobile
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Old 11-02-2023, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Sunnybrook Farm
4,110 posts, read 2,323,024 times
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Enjoy your little capsule in Houston in July.
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Old 11-03-2023, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Dayton OH
5,629 posts, read 11,152,602 times
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I've been an avid bike rider for over 4 decades. I have seen a handful of those torpedo shaped velomobiles, which look like a little submarine below the top part of the rider's body. In fact, I saw one about a week ago on a bike path near Dayton OH.

They are almost useless on the practical side for bicycling. You can't attach a pair of luggage bags (pannier) to carry stuff as I can on my regular pedal power bike that has a heavy duty rear rack. Good luck trying to transport that monster if you want to put the bike in the car and go somewhere else to ride, unless you own a heck of a large truck or van. You better have a good large space to park the velomobile too that does not involve having to lift it.

The only upside I really see is that it can go faster than most bicycles on relatively flat terrain on relatively smooth pavement. That eliminates their use on so many other types of places that a bike is useful to ride. Good luck with a velomobile if you want to take off on a gravel or dirt road or path.
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Old 11-03-2023, 04:46 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,092 posts, read 4,900,353 times
Reputation: 17405
^^^ Both astute observations that a velomobile, like any other engineering solution, won't adpat well to all situations.

We could also point out that a standard bike or a convertible car is not a suitable choice for use in Nome in January, nor could you use your standard bike to carry home a pallet load of toilet paper when it's on sale at Costco.

A velomobile doesn't have to be a tiny, cigar shaped single seater. It could, as pictured in the one refs above, be a more comfortable seating arrangement with easier access...

You don't fold your Mini Morris up when you get to work to carry it inside to store by your desk. A velomobile could be parked on the street or in a parking garage like the larger, fuel hungry vehicles it would be replacing.

Two of the biggest hurdles for more use of bikes is (a) problems with the weather- particularly precipitation, and (2) "the perspiration factor" when you're using it for transportion for shopping or commuting and such, and nor just for recreation.

There are all sorts of bikes, trikes and quikes (??) available for cargo. Adding a shell for protection from the elements would be a cinch. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=cargo+bicy...ages&ia=images

If it's not too early to be talking about EVs to replace ICEs when the petrol runs out, why not start talking about replacements for EVs for when there's not enough juice for all those?

What goes around, comes around. https://comics.ha.com/itm/animation-...121513-15104.s
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Old 11-03-2023, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Capital Region, NY
2,382 posts, read 1,456,676 times
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Fun! I’ve actually been looking at E-bikes and scooters lately.
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Old 11-13-2023, 05:48 PM
 
1,212 posts, read 706,453 times
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Most electric bicycles are pedal-assist rather than throttle controlled. Good luck to you.


The U.S. laws have no idea about neighborhood mobility but some communities have golf-cart trails:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Twizy


But don't forget about motorcycles:

https://powersports.honda.com/motorc...super-cub-c125

In fact it would be helpful if Moped laws were extended to the Super Cub.


Or up the ladder:

https://can-am.brp.com/on-road/us/en/models.html


Or it must be a three-wheeler even if it is a car:

https://vanderhallusa.com/carmel-blue-2023/


The Lotus Elise often weighed less than 2000 pounds but it had a high-performance engine instead of an economy engine:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Elise

It was removed from the U.S. after a crash test wavier ended.


Or maybe this is the car for the U.S. :

https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/mx-5-miata

The roly-poly car does get the very good 2.0 engine. But note the dorky wheel gap.


Or build a kit car:

https://stalkercars.com/models/classic-r/
.

Last edited by T Block; 11-13-2023 at 06:06 PM..
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Old 11-13-2023, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Tricity, PL
60,802 posts, read 85,418,599 times
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Twikes are better solution compared to velomobiles.
They offer cover and storage and look pretty cool.

The TWIKE is a zero-emission pedal electric hybrid vehicle. Manufactured in Germany by FineMobile GmbH

https://twike.com/en/twike5/

But the price???
Well, these are short-run vehicles, so Twike is expecting to charge as much as EU€50,000 (US$56,700) for a fully pimped out Twike 5 with 120 mph (190 km/h) capability and a range up to 310 miles (500 km). Mar 18, 2019

Last edited by elnina; 11-13-2023 at 09:46 PM..
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Old 11-14-2023, 05:57 AM
 
1,212 posts, read 706,453 times
Reputation: 683
Here's another EV for neighborhood mobility:

https://www.arcimoto.com/fuv

These are licensed for the street as motorcycles.


Also, the Vanderhall, with an automotive engine, is licensed as a motorcycle.


And there's a Polaris Slingshot with an automotive engine
.

Last edited by T Block; 11-14-2023 at 06:15 AM..
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Old 11-14-2023, 10:20 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,092 posts, read 4,900,353 times
Reputation: 17405
Quote:
Originally Posted by T Block View Post

...It was removed from the U.S. after a crash test wavier ended....

.
Many, if not most, EPA and DOT regs on vehicles are really designed to prevent a clever, industrious entrepreneur giving us a moden version of a Peoples' Car (Volkswagen)-- a cheap, simple vehicle that would essentially put the BigGuys out of business....My first car was an MG Midget-- basically a go-cart with a widshield and sheet metal body. One thin sheet of metal was the door, separating the driver from the outside world...It would be illegal to market that now. "Steel girders" are regulated to be inside the door ...Those "steel girders" are nothing more than a slightly thicker grade of steel corrugated a little for stiffness...T-boned by a three ton truck, the driver of a new car will fly only 8 ft to his right instead of the 12 ft I would have flown in my Midget. BFD for the regs....I could go on and on on the subject.

My screen name is a play on words in Italian-- "guido" is not only a proper name but also translates as " I drive." "La Moto" is slang corresponding to "a bike" in English....Most Italians get about on 2 wheels. The population is attuned to them and respects them...Here, people driving cages don't seem to know what to make of 2-wheelers. It's dangerous out there. We'd need a complete change in general attitude if we were to adapt to tranportation a la Italiana....Of course, Italy is more suitable for 2 wheels than most of the US with our four seasons, more precipitation & cold.

Those little 50cc Moto Guzzi/ Peugot/ MoPeds have been getting 100mpg for ages.

I wish more Americans were interested in 2 wheelers...but then, I wish I were rich, hadsome and could fly too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post

But the price???
Well, these are short-run vehicles, so Twike is expecting to charge as much as EU€50,000 (US$56,700) for a fully pimped out Twike 5 with 120 mph (190 km/h) capability and a range up to 310 miles (500 km). Mar 18, 2019
Smart marketing. They know it's mostly well heeled, virtue seeking Yuppy types interested anyway..may as well gouge them while they can....This is why EV sales in general are tanking-- all those interested in them have already bought one, and faced with the problems of reality, only a small percentage replace them with a second EV.

EVs have their niche as commuter cars or urban delivery vehicles, but they're not for everyone.
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Old 11-14-2023, 04:43 PM
 
1,212 posts, read 706,453 times
Reputation: 683
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Many, if not most, EPA and DOT regs on vehicles are really designed to prevent a clever, industrious entrepreneur giving us a moden version of a Peoples' Car (Volkswagen)-- a cheap, simple vehicle that would essentially put the BigGuys out of business....My first car was an MG Midget-- basically a go-cart with a widshield and sheet metal body. One thin sheet of metal was the door, separating the driver from the outside world...It would be illegal to market that now. "Steel girders" are regulated to be inside the door ...Those "steel girders" are nothing more than a slightly thicker grade of steel corrugated a little for stiffness...T-boned by a three ton truck, the driver of a new car will fly only 8 ft to his right instead of the 12 ft I would have flown in my Midget. BFD for the regs....I could go on and on on the subject..

Well, the Lotus Elise is a lightweight car with a strong frame. What it lacks is likely front and rear subframes that absorb impact. Then the Lotus Evora/Emira is the larger car that meets crash test requirements.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now I began saying that U.S. laws don't support neighborhood mobility vehicles. But then the research indicated that neighborhood mobility vehicles in the U.S. are three-wheel vehicles licensed as motorcycles. Of course two-front wheels with one larger rear wheel has become the standard
.

Last edited by T Block; 11-14-2023 at 04:53 PM..
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