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New Technology

Kevin Crockett - VK3CKC
 
Edited

If you are interested in a new velomobile gearing technique, have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LIyl4aGpac. This allows almost all the drive mechanism to be inside a velomobile body, out of the dirt and dust. The mechanism was developed by Drymer and Sinner Bikes. The Drymer-Sinner Hilgo velomobile will only set you back 7,750 Euros.

Detail:

- Two front chainrings; 34 –50T;
150mm SD-cranks standard o Shorter cranks are possible
- Shimano 105 11-Speed front derailer
- 11-speed chain KMC
- Sunrace 11- speed 11-40T cassette
- Shifting system developed by Drymer - Sinner;
o Super light shifting
o Super fast shifting
o Intuitive handling
o Wide gear range
o Drop - in mid-drive axle
o Optimal chain tension in every gear
o Robust
-  Sturmey-Archer 70mm drum brakes
- Front light; Busch+Müller IXON- X E 150LUX mounted in the nose.
- Interior LED light
- 1 PC. Battery 12V
- Tires; Rear maximum 55-406; Front maximum 44-406
- Suspension; McPherson front struts, rear Hilgo shock absorber. (maintenance free)
- Self supporting, removable seat (glass fiber)
- Cateye Enduro 8
- Wheel covers black
- Mirror Zefal Spin

The way of the future in velomobiles? The Hilgo mechanism  indicates a departure from typical bicycle engineering parts to purpose velomobile stuff. The derailleur system looks like it is a push-me-pull-you affair with two cables. Easily replaced with a stepper motor? Now there's an idea. I don't know if there is any cassette on the rear wheel. Possibly not as there are 22 gears available in any case. Note that the mechanism has a modern MTB cassette with a 40t lowest gear. I love the chain tensioner.
Also have a look at http://hilgovelo.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-hilgo-story.html for the development story by one of the Sinner people - Harry - to get a greater understanding of how good it is. You will see that it is shifted by two cables.
Now, can I come up with a home-made variation that I can swap in before I get too far advanced? It seems simple enough. Is there yet one more velomobile to build?

Kevin Crockett - VK3CKC
 

I purchased a steel drawer slide to use for my version of the Hilgo transmission. Just to get it working on a 7-speed first and then installed in the current trike build with a possible 11-speed..

Kevin Crockett - VK3CKC
 

Got my rough version of the Hilgo gear mech started today. Didn't get it finished but got a 7-speed mid-drive set up on a bracket and the gear change idler wheel on a bracket and fastened to the drawer slide. Only have to make up a tensioner and remove the bottom bracket/front boom from the trike I am building, mount them on the side of the work bench, make up a chain, and see what happens. Changes will be made by hand moving the slider. An hour or so tomorrow afternoon should see an adequate test.

Kevin Crockett - VK3CKC
 

Didn't quite get it finished. Now have mid-drive, slider, tensioner, front bottom bracket, and a chain ready to size. The chain routing with the test rig needs a bit more thought. Tomorrow should see it operating - to some extent.

Kevin Crockett - VK3CKC
 

Ah, the sweet, sweet, smell of success. Got a rough lash-up clamped down in various places, sufficient to give a validation test. It worked. You just move the slider until the change takes place. A visual indication to the rider might be a noticeable change in the resting angle of the chain tensioner.

I used a 14t-28t 5-speed mid-drive cassette mated with a 28t-48t triple chainring. Used derailleur idlers were used for the change slider and the chain tensioner. The chain guide idlers were substituted by a length of 3/4" pipe.

Considerations:

Larger idlers might be required for the slider and chain tensioner use. Their positions relative to anything else may need fine tuning.

The height of the slider idler must be higher than the height of the bottom of the smallest cassette sprocket. This will automatically make it higher than the bottom of the largest sprocket.

A triple chainrig might be used in place of the Hilgo double but it would probably be pertinent to bypass it in operation to avoid overlapping gears. A spreadsheet showed that the gearing should be sufficient with only two chainrings, providing a low range and a high range of gears, selected as required for either hill climbing or flat/downhill riding. The ratio between the mid-drive output and the rear wheel sprocket (only a single required) could be selected for even higher or lower overall gearing.

All in all, it seems like a great idea and one that I will be looking at incorporating in my current trike build - with an 8 or 11-speed of course.

Kevin Crockett - VK3CKC
 

I added a photograph of my "Hilgo" mid drive incarnation, to the Trio Photo Album. On and off, it took a week to make the bracket and fit it. I still have to properly fit the rear wheel drive sprocket and a small fitting to firmly hold things in place.

Kevin Crockett - VK3CKC
 

Like termites, just because you can't see me doing anything, doesn't mean I am not doing anything.

I now have all components of my "Hilgo" transmission copy made up, tried in situ, and it works a treat. A little bit of tweaking regarding final positioning of all components and trying various spring loading of the front chain tensioner and it is done. Images available when I get it all finalised. I can then move on to the front suspension and steering. The end slowly draws near.

Kevin Crockett - VK3CKC
 

Success! I made up a very rough bracket to hold the gear change slider firmly in position to see how it worked without being able to move other than as it should. Changing was feather light and positive. The rig is not good enough for photographs as yet.

Normal derailleur levers will not be suitable as it requires a push/pull arrangement. I also think that the required cable movement will probably be more than a standard control may provide. I think I will be making up a single lever - forward to slow down and rearward to speed up. Shouldn't be too difficult but will have to wait until later.

Kevin Crockett - VK3CKC
 

Added an image of the near completed "Hilgo" gear change mechanism , with some comments, to the Trio photo album. Slowly, but surely, getting there.