[python] Re: [python]Eureka!

  • From: Rhisiart Gwilym <Rhisiart@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: python@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 07:36:19 +0100

George, I can give the answer to that straight away.

I think that it's pretty well certain that I'll be using the trike format a lot, just as it is now. I can tell already that it's a very satisfactory layout. It has a nice feel, even with the odd minor bug to iron out. It rides easily and comfortably, though I've yet to take it on a longer ride, to see how I feel after a few kilometres. The Mages cheapo homemade suspension system is a real winner. Ridiculously comfortable, even off-road. A really neat piece of inventive appropriate technology. Mine cost me literally nothing but the scrounging up of some bits of medium-soft rubber. Thanks again Jurgen! And having a horizontal-axis articulation just behind the suspension on the trike back-end means that I can actually feel the two back wheels canting gently back and forth laterally between the irregularities which they meet separately on a rough off-road terrain, even whilst I hold the front end perfectly upright. You get the knack just about instantly of letting your arms act as two independent shock absorbers for that.

Also the back end being able to swing round the BB axle assembly that I used to make the horizontal articulation means that there's absolutely no torquing stress on the suspension arm. I pondered a lot about that problem for a trike with a Mages central rear-suspension. To deal with that problem I'd already designed in my imagination my own version of the Wannee tilting trainer-trike idea, before Dirk showed my that Erik had had the same idea before, and had actually built one which works well. I think Erik has the item about his training-trike only on the Nederlandse version of his website. It's not on the English-language version, so I'd missed it. I assume Dirk speaks Vlaamse, and saw it in Erik's Nederlandse pages. Is that right Dirk?

It's quite weird having a trike which articulates in TWO places along the length of the frame, and with the axes of articulation at right angles to each other too. But whether riding or walking and pushing it, it proves not to be a problem. Mind you, when walking this trike, the fore periscope proves to be a winner too. What's a fore periscope? Ah, wait for the pics. All will be clear......

The only tricky bit at the moment is parking the trike without the whole front end just falling over. Coming round to seeing that Jurgen's built-in bike stand idea may be the best solution. Cunning Mages engineering inventions prove best again.....

I've no doubt either that I shall keep the bike back end, and crack the knack of riding that too. Something that you just have to do, isn't it. It's really remarkable the way that riding the trike around just in the field over the past two evenings has pushed me forward in getting the knack of how you balance a Python bike. Could never get enough time going forward before I fell over in all my previous efforts to learn. But the leaning front end on the practice-trike format is, for all practical purposes still a bike. As Erik Wannee asserts, you can't really tell the difference in behaviour. But it's just that you have these two solid bracing handlebars on the fixed upright back-end, to push against and keep yourself upright whilst you're learning the new balancing reflexes. I expect that to come pretty quickly now.

The great things about the trike are -- well, several:

There's a big freight space between the rear wheels (got that handy point from Henk a year or so back with his 'Why I like the trike' post, and stored it away as a key fact right up till now).

There's the stability on slippery roads. I ride right through the Winter icy time, having only occasional use of a car, when it's really necessary. I've really loved getting free, finally, from car ownership. I hate being owned by the damned things!

And there's the real problem for me and the other old gaffers (70 tomorrow, literally) that I need to be able to wind myself slowly up hills, and staying balanced on any kind of bike on the steep grades has become a problem. That's why I still see occasionally what I used to see all the time in my childhood: old bodies on bikes getting off and pushing the bike up hills at a very gentle pace. These days I realise why that's actually a pretty good tactic. But on a trike, I can wind myself up the hill in the very low crawler bottom gear that I have on all my bikes, and with the stable trithon, I can just sit there smugly on my travelling recliner and wind away comfortably at a power output that suits me. Great!

A small bonus with the horizontal-axis articulation between the trike rear end and the rest of the cycle is that you can use this tactic even when you're crawling up a steep road with a heavy camber: the back end just sits at a slight angle from the level, but the rest of the bike is perfectly upright under you. Great again! No getting steered constantly into the curb by the camber, which can be a nuisance with rigid trikes.

Having picked up my trike-format Python and felt the moderate weight, even with the rather heavy-tubed bikes that I use for donors to build it, I think that it's fair to call it a velo. And that means that I'll be using it a lot more than any borrowed car, for the all-purpose, all-seasonn runabout that velos are. All-weather too, as soon as I've got the rain shield arrangements added on. Yeah, I know that people say you can't put farings/rain deflectors on a FWD centre-steer. But I have some ideas........

Pics of the bare trike/bike as soon as I can upload them. Pics of the fared alleweder as soon as I've made that happen. The Autumn rains will be coming soon. Better get going on it.

Pics soon.  Hwyl fawr,  RhG

Excellent news!  When you have had a bit more time with the
python-trike, would you report back your conclusions on how satisfactory
a cycle it is in its own right, as well as for a trainer for the bike?

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