Building a Front Wheel Drive recumbent lowracer – England

recumbent lowracer

Ian Swindells of England built this lowracer from scrap and custom parts.

Ian W. Swindells (forum member swizz69) always wanted a recumbent bicycle. Researching online brought him to the AtomicZombie builders forum.

After learning about the Warrior Tadpole Trike, Swindells was motivated to design and build a Front Wheel Drive recumbent lowracer. In a feature article for the AZ newsletter, Swindells discusses the project and the challenges along the way.

Read his story>>

Homemade FWD Recumbent Lowracer

front wheel drive recumbent

A comfortable and functional handmade front wheel drive recumbent made by Swizz69 in England, UK.

Bike builder Swizz69 of England, UK, shares photos of his recently built recumbent lowracer @ the AtomicZombie builders gallery. It’s a beauty!

“Whilst not a AZ design, it was built with much Zombie inspiration, with 40mm mild steel tube frame and fwd forks, Ocean Cycles seat, Tandem Stem, Sturmey Archer drum braked hubs, Marathon Racer tyres. (It) rides nice and the front wheel drive works well.”

See more @ the AZ builders gallery: http://forum.atomiczombie.com/gallery

Bike builders news – Pedal Positive!

Think Positive…Pedal Positive! In this issue, Joe Crennen, the creative genius behind Pedal Positive, reveals what drives his creativity, the birth of Pedalpalooza and pedal tractor pull competitions. Folks in Colorado love bikes. Read about some of the unique human powered projects Joe works on.

Also in this issue, Builders Gallery: recumbents, trikes, choppers, tandems, kids’ bikes, tallbikes, electric and motor cycles, cargo bicycles, and more. More than 2 million views!

We need your help. Find out how you can get involved.

This and archived newsletters can be found here: http://atomiczombie.com/NewsLetters.aspx

Bike builders news Dec.10: Build a velo, Part 3

 

Feature article by RadicalBrad of AtomicZombie.com: Building a Velomobile – Part 3
In this week’s issue, choosing a material to make the skin. Coroplast vs. luan. Decisions, decisions.
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Hub flanges and axle adapters for your trike and quad bike projects
Bike builders community chat – stimulating conversations
Builders Feedback you tell us what’s on your mind
Bike builders gallery – new additions: recumbents, trikes, choppers, cargo bikes & more

This and archived newsletters are here.

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Thanks for your feedback, and keep those suggestions coming.

See you in the Builders Forum.

Bike builders news November 23

Feature article by RadicalBrad of AtomicZombie.com: Building a Velomobile – Part 2
In this week’s issue, Brad makes a scale model of the velo body shape and design considerations.
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Hub flanges and axle adapters for your bike projects
Bike builders community chat
Bike builders gallery – new additions: recumbents, trikes, choppers, tall bikes, kids’ bikes, cargo bikes & more

This and archived newsletters are here.

***

Thanks for your feedback, and keep those suggestions coming.

See you in the Builders Forum.

Most cost-effective currently available lithium battery source and/or configuration

From the AtomicZombie bike building forum:

“Well, another spell in the repair dock gave me more time to think about possible add-ons (or more correctly build-ins) to the Timberwolf languishing in what I laughingly call my workshop. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to various possible additions to Brad’s basic design, including a geared mid-drive, but mostly about how best to incorporate electric assist right from the get-go.

The logical first idea is to use an electric hub motor on the front. This has the advantage of simplicity, but on the other hand, it puts the motor at the part of the trike where ground contact weight is lightest. I don’t know how much of an issue this will be, but its fair to say that the majority of the weight in any of the Deltas is carried at the rear, and so traction at the front wheel is a question mark.

The second idea is to use one, or two, Currie-style external motors either directly driving one or both rear wheels, or else connected into the chain/derailleur drive train at some point between the pedals and the rear axle.

However, the biggest single consideration is batteries. I have the wreck of an e-scooter that will, I hope, become a tadpole recumbent trike at some point; its all-up weight without passenger is over 200 lbs, and of this probably 2/3 is lead-acid batteries. I just can’t see building a Timberwolf, which with rider will mass somewhere between 135 and 150 kg., and then adding a great whacking load of lead-acid batteries. Even if the tires would stand up to the load, it would be a tremendously heavy vehicle.

So, we then come to the lightest currently available battery technology, the various lithium-based types. These have an astonishing power-to-weight ratio, but they are new technology, and as such there’s a lot of mis-information floating around. There’s also the question of cost: what form of lithium cell offers the best “bang for the buck” in terms of watt-hours stored vs. dollars (not forgetting overall weight).

It’s a basic truism that for a given power rating, using a higher voltage means a lower current draw. Since with most types of batteries the rate of current draw or discharge is a big factor, using a higher voltage would allow the use of cells with less amp draw capability.

The brick wall that I keep coming up to, and banging my head against is this: What form of lithium pack is the lowest cost for a given current draw, and what form of lithium battery is the most flexible in terms of series-connecting the packs to achieve higher output voltages. I have read various “opinions” and “reports” until I’m drowning in hyperbole, and I’m no closer to the answer: what’s the best available form or configuration of lithium battery to start with.

For example, there are a wide variety of lithium cells used in RC model aircraft, robots, etc. There are any number of different lithium cells available for commercial-grade power tools. There are lithium batteries available in various ratings for laptop computers – and the list goes on. The common denominator is that they’re all expensive, and so if one is going to bit the bullet and invest in a lithium battery system as an integral part of the build, it would make sense to try and maximize the power storage capacity and ease of recharging for a given dollar expenditure.

Once upon a time, I had a shingle that said I knew something about electrical engineering, and I suppose I still do know some parts of it. But I’m having tremendous difficulty in separating fact from hype in discussions about lithium technologies, and even more difficulty in finding out how best, and from whom, to source the batteries for the least cost without buying junk.

I’ve considered other options, from lead-acid, NiMH, Nickel Cadmium, etc. – and all are expensive if purchased new. So although lithium technology is expensive, any discussion of cost vs. weight vs. energy storage capacity has to take into account that, unless you stumble across a free or very cheap source, the battery pack is going to be the largest single expense in an electric drive system for a bigg-ish delta trike. Even if motors are purchased new, controllors likewise, the battery is going to be the big expense, according to all the research I’ve done so far.”

More>>

Human Powered Transportation Projects

New in the Atomic Zombie builders gallery

Kyoto cruiser and velo

“Sociable dual velo project. Kyoto Trike rear was modified to fit into a double wide Stormy Weather shell. The Quad is just a fun thing to build in two weeks. One seat has been removed so the drive train can be seen. I have since changed to Sturmey 8 speed internal hubs as a mid drive to reduce my chain handling issues.This version of the Kyoto should fit into the Stormy shell we are building. You can see both the shell and the sociable at the Toronto bike show in March.”

cargo bike

“Seat cover idea made from an old work coat.” Pictures submitted by HPTA.

atomiczombie bike gallery