Saturday, 25 August 2012

Kate's steering plate replacement

After Kate's steering failure on the way home from CV and Beyss refusing to have anything to do with the the Evo-K problem I ended up having to buy a replacement steering plate from them as the fastest way to get Kate back on the road.
Unfortunately I don't really trust the soft aluminium steering plates - the photo below shows the replacement plate already showing signs of bending after 1000km of road riding - keeping vehicle load 20kg below the stated maximum, 18mph average, 46mph maximum speed - hardly taxing conditions. The original plate on the opposite side had similar distortion.

Not really trusting the soft aluminium steering plates I have, with the help of a friend and a couple of small-order custom fabrication shops, created my own plates in stainless steel. Many thanks to Geoff for translating my source image into a CAD file that the laser cutters at Yorkshire Profiles could work from - the result was this rather beautiful part... for just £8.54 per copy!

The photos below show the sequence of removing the old and fitting the new plates...

Original parts in situ, with the brake caliper removed:

Detail of the old alu plate - I've already replaced the rear rose joint with an automotive quality part. I've had a few failures of these joints during rework, the others will be replaced as funds allow. I'm unsure whether I'm expecting too much from these parts, whether UK riding, with hilly conditions leading to higher speeds and higher loads is more extreme than most velomobile use or I've just had a couple of 'bad' ones.

Suspension pillar removed...

New plate fitted to suspension post using matching 304 Stainless 'angle iron' bracket made for me by Metal Stock. I originally bought sections of right angle stock but found the drilling hard going. Renée at Metal Stock offered a fabrication service so these parts arrived finished and ready to go...


Suspension pillar back on Kate...

Collection of rods hooked up and ready to go...

And brake plate dropped back into place...

So, repeat for other side, check tracking and ready to go...
All set for a test ride tomorrow morning :)

Friday, 24 August 2012

Updated Toolkit

I got caught out last week riding Kate. I had a mechanical failure, ok, kind of self-inflicted - a plastic chainguard I'd made disintegrated jamming the chainwheel and I didn't have a tool with me suitable to cut it away. So, after needing to get a lift home I've updated my toolkit...

I've added (at the bottom) a Leatherman Skeletool and (in the middle, edge on) a 7mm spanner. They're both retained with small sections of 3M Dual Lock - kind of like velcro but there is only one 'type' and it will stick to itself.

So the Lezyne wallet now holds:
Skeletool (pliars, wire cutters, knife)
Crank Bros multitool (allenkeys, screwdrivers, chaintool)
Mini tyre levers (worked surprisingly well on a 28mm Durano a few weeks ago)
Repair kit
7mm spanner (fits cable clamps on Sturmey Archer drum brakes)
Set of spare cables.

Obviously added to that when out riding is phone, cash and cards.
Unfortunately, if you like this toolkit and would like to follow suit, this 'large' Lezyne wallet that will hold an iPhone has been replaced by a smaller version. This is the 'Smart Wallet Elite' if you're searching for 'new old stock'.