Sunday, September 21, 2014

Update on Newest Base...

After putting over a 1000 miles on the newest edition of the handcycle, I find that each time I come back home after a ride, I tell my wife, "This bike is fast!"  I guess I am just not used to going this fast considering the effort I am putting in on the rides. It is not that I am going easy -- it is that I am going as fast with less effort or faster with equal effort.

On this past Friday night ride, the first half of the ride was basically slightly uphill.  On my old handcycle I usually expected that the I would average 15.0 to 15.6 mph by the turn-around before the downhill section.  On the new bike, I had averaged 16.8 on this half of the route the one time I cycled it.  Last Friday, I averaged 17.8 mph -- and I was not pushing particularly hard.  After the turn, I was on a long, very gentle decline for the second half of the route.  So I averaged over 20 mph -- with a total average speed of 19.2 mph for the completed route.  There was no way I could even get within a mile per hour, drafting, of that on my old handcycle. And this is with many stop signs!  So that is why when I arrive home, I proclaim, "This bike is fast!"

Ok -- my bike computer must be off?  On Saturday, I went on a 84 mile ride only to find that indeed it was off when compared to MapMyRide-- but the difference would only make my speed faster rather than slower.  That is, the bike computer was reporting too little mileage.

I did make the bike faster after my last post.  The area under the headset is a separate closed volume for which I originally did not add the 2-part urethane.  By adding the urethane to that, I added another degree of stiffness to the handcyle.  I did this Thursday night. So on Friday, this stiffness translated into more speed.  Albeit, I do miss to some degree the slight "forgiveness" (comfort) of the base before adding this final touch of stiffness, I enjoy the extra speed.

What's next?  The front fork's (originally designed for a different base) leg holders have to be reshaped in order to drop the knees slightly and improve the alignment of the leg position to the base. This should bring the bike closer to the design's Coefficient of drag (Cd) -- thus faster. Also, I am going to redesign the hand grips.  I find that my hands cramp on the long rides.  This may take a couple of attempts.

My dream is to reach the 20 mph threshold on a 25 mile workout -- repeatably. Maybe it is possible...

1 comment:

  1. Great work excellent outcome. I am sure your updates will get you the 20 average you are seeking.