KMX Trike Front Suspension

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adam333   100 W

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by adam333 » Jun 09 2019 9:08pm

Retrorockit wrote:
Jun 07 2019 10:29am
The fix is pretty simple. Either lower the inner pivot of the upper arm, or raise the outer pivot so the top of the tire leans in under roll. The short linkages will amplify the effect. This is what Carrol Shelby did on the GT350 Mustangs. Drilled 2 holes in a different spot.
Thanks for the suggestions!

From what I understand, having the king pin axis meeting the patch of tire on the ground make the trike stable.

The addition of the suspension create a gap and make the trike twitchy with certain trikes.

Mine is fairly stable with a small "toe-in" adjustment, but it become dangerous if the alignment goes "toe-out"

Image
Image

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by Retrorockit » Jun 10 2019 11:24am

The kingpin inclination, or on balljoint systems "steering Axis Inclination" SAI. Is used to make steering easier on heavy vehicles like cars and trucks w/o power steering. FWD cars commonly move that out from the center of the tire to self correct for torque steer and bump imbalance.
The stability that comes from that is due to lifting the vehicle as the steering moves away from center either way. It's a self centering effect fom the angle, not a high speed stability effect.
If you're going to add the suspension outboard of the steering axis it will be hard to get that right.
The thing I was refering to is the camber angle of the wheel as the suspension moves.
In a straight line bump it will stay vertical. But rolling in a corner it will go into negative camber on both sides equal to the amount of body roll. if you eliminate it with an anti roll bar you end up with no suspension in the corners, only straight ahead. By getting the upper arm further into it's arc than the lower will add camber to compensate for body roll. That's the suspension part.
The Ackermann issue is a steering "linkage" question. A matter of how far in the steering arms are angled where they meet the tie rod.
There are several things going on at once in a corner. The body roll will have one suspension going up, and the other down. this will make the tie rod relatively shorter (toe out), but the short suspension arms will be moving both wheels inwards making it longer (toe in). Add in the Ackerman steering effect which is always toe out to some degree and it's hard to tell where you will actually end up. Either in theory or on the road. Due to the aero advantage I see these as 40 mph commuting vehicles, since upright bikes can do 35 mph. I hope you can get the steering sorted out to take advantage of it.
One option would be to do a sliding pillar suspension where the spindle slides up and down on the kingpin.(Morgan Plus 4). If it follows the SAI it should toe in under braking and bumps.
Actually what I said about SAI is true when it's normal but moving the wheel center out will give instability under bump, and braking situations. Taking a known good suspension and modifying it can get pretty complex to do it right. Starting from scratch to build one is really not a simple task.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by Retrorockit » Jun 11 2019 8:46am

But almost all independent supensions don't work well with a simple one piece tie rod.
The sliding pillar is the exception, and it's light weight and simplicity also make it appropriate.
Scrub radius is the term for the intersection of the kingpin related to the center of the tire at ground level. 0 or negative are desireable.
The reason I keep mentioning Ackerman geometry is because it sets your steering alignment up for driving in a circle. The problem people are describing with lane changes could be because the trike is setting up to go in a circle instead of just change lanes.
If you could get a copy of "Basic Chassis,Suspension, and Brakes" from Petersen Publishing
https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/petersens ... idiq=49409
This will give you a working knowledge of suspension design without all the longhaired math the enginners work with.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by adam333 » Jun 11 2019 11:36am

Retrorockit wrote:
Jun 11 2019 8:46am
But almost all independent supensions don't work well with a simple one piece tie rod.
The sliding pillar is the exception, and it's light weight and simplicity also make it appropriate.
Like the Ice suspension ?
Image
Retrorockit wrote:
Jun 11 2019 8:46am
Scrub radius is the term for the intersection of the kingpin related to the center of the tire at ground level. 0 or negative are desireable.
The Scrub radius bellow is positive 2.5 inches right?
Image
Retrorockit wrote:
Jun 11 2019 8:46am
The reason I keep mentioning Ackerman geometry is because it sets your steering alignment up for driving in a circle. The problem people are describing with lane changes could be because the trike is setting up to go in a circle instead of just change lanes.
If you could get a copy of "Basic Chassis,Suspension, and Brakes" from Petersen Publishing
https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/petersens ... idiq=49409
This will give you a working knowledge of suspension design without all the longhaired math the enginners work with.
Thanks for the advices, this is really appreciated. I just ordered the book.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by Retrorockit » Jun 11 2019 4:47pm

adam333 wrote:
Jun 11 2019 11:36am
Retrorockit wrote:
Jun 11 2019 8:46am
But almost all independent supensions don't work well with a simple one piece tie rod.
The sliding pillar is the exception, and it's light weight and simplicity also make it appropriate.
Like the Ice suspension ?
Image
I had to look up the video of the ICE suspension to see how it works. It's a nice piece of engineering and very creative. The steering happens before the suspension, but the supension keeps the spindle in it's normal location relative to the kingpin. My background is automotive and trucking so I'm familiar with those designs, and my comments are based on that experience. I can't tell where they're at on the Ackerman issue but it's a very nice solution. It has no camber gain in roll that a lateral link design can provide, but neither does the pillar.
Rub radius.etrorockit wrote:
Jun 11 2019 8:46am
Scrub radius is the term for the intersection of the kingpin related to the center of the tire at ground level. 0 or negative are desireable.
The Scrub radius bellow is positive 2.5 inches right?
Image
Yes 2.5" positive scrub radius.
Retrorockit wrote:
Jun 11 2019 8:46am
The reason I keep mentioning Ackerman geometry is because it sets your steering alignment up for driving in a circle. The problem people are describing with lane changes could be because the trike is setting up to go in a circle instead of just change lanes.
If you could get a copy of "Basic Chassis,Suspension, and Brakes" from Petersen Publishing
https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/petersens ... idiq=49409
This will give you a working knowledge of suspension design without all the longhaired math the enginners work with.
Thanks for the advices, this is really appreciated. I just ordered the book.
Your very welcome. I hope you get the trike sorted out so the high speed potential can be realized.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by Retrorockit » Jun 11 2019 5:23pm

The interesting thing about the ICE trikes is they don'y use a single piece tierod with that design due to handlebars instead of tillers. But they could if they wanted to. So they solved a problem they didn't actually have. Maybe they didn't patent that feature.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by Retrorockit » Jun 13 2019 7:25am

A lot of people seemed to like the added width that the add on suspension provided. For others it may be a problem. Since trikes come with adjustable booms for rider height, maybe an adjustable beam width could be added also.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by stan.distortion » Jun 13 2019 8:12am

+1 to sliding pillar, simple, light weight, Morgans tend to suffer from stiction but MTB fork legs and and bushes as kingpins should more or less do away with that problem. Damping would be difficult though, add an external shock and most of the advantages (simplicity, light weight) are lost, MTB fork legs used as McPherson struts may be an option but would be a total re-design of the front suspension.

EDIT: For weight saving and low power it's often worth looking at really old tech, the early days of motoring because they where coming at the same kind of problems from a different angle, how to lug things around with very little horsepower... literally one or two horses. A lot of engineering from that time looks all wrong through today eyes, spindly and antiquated but do the maths and the results are often surprising, lots of extremely well calculated and efficient designs only limited by the materials the had to work with.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by Retrorockit » Jun 14 2019 9:02am

If the extendable beam idea is adopted then a suspension option of any type would be a simple bolt on operation. Whether it could be added to existing trikes is another question. Probably some cutting and drilling would be required.
The wire spoked bicycle wheel itself is about as spindly and antiquated as it gets. But do the math and it's still hard to beat.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by stan.distortion » Jun 14 2019 6:02pm

Retrorockit wrote:
Jun 14 2019 9:02am
...
The wire spoked bicycle wheel itself is about as spindly and antiquated as it gets. But do the math and it's still hard to beat.
Something that always amazed me with that, kevlar (or similar) is hardly ever seen on spokes and it works out ridiculously strong. The invention of wire ropes almost caused a mini industrial revolution all of its own when they where developed, loads of things that could be revisited with modern synthetics :/

Sorry if this is way off-topic, first posted when reading through several threads and forgot the OP.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by Retrorockit » Jun 15 2019 10:18am

If you read Jobst Brandts "The Bicycle Wheel" written by an ME. You will see that that wire spokes are "mathematically" prestressed columns and absorb the load in compression, not tension. That leaves all the high tensile synthetics that don't stretch out in the cold. Very counterintuitive stuff.
The tension on spokes is the prestress, Wheel "assemblies" fail in compression when the prestress is fully absorbed, at least that's what I understood from reading it. The trick is to prestress as much a spossible without getting into permanent deformation, or "yield".
I don't think this is OT at all. Trikes load their wheels much differently than bikes and it's worth looking into. Automotive practice, and bicycle pratice are starting points but at some point other solutions may be required.
Here's an ICE front hub with proven "liability". LOL
https://www.recumbenttrikestore.com/pro ... xle-black/

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by Retrorockit » Jun 17 2019 10:44am

I looked into the Morgan 3 wheeler, which is somehow still being produced. The forums state that proper scrub radius can't be achieved using cycle type wire wheels.
A couple things that might be worth looking into is how automotive wire wheels with the brakes inside the wheel functioned. I've seen Ferrari 330GTC racing on these things into the '70s. At the 12 Hours of Sebring no less. If it was part of the homologation for that car they had no choice.
Also Bugatti went away from wire wheels altogether when they were still in their heyday. Perhaps for this reason.
Bicycle drum brake hubs might help also by allowing the wheel to sit closer to the spindle than a disc brake will allow.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by The Toecutter » Jun 28 2019 1:04am

One minor problem that I've come across: the bolt that mounts the suspension block to the steering spindle keeps coming loose every 3,000 miles or so. I followed the instructions precisely including use of Loctite, and tightened the nylock nut in all the way with the suspension block flush against the spindle.

It decided to come loose again about 4 miles from home while at a friend's shop.

It's at a point that I've had to re-tighten the nylock nut and the bolt through the spindle so many times that the old Loctite on the bolt is no longer letting me tighten the nylock nut in all the way and it seizes on before I can get it in, giving about 2mm of wiggle, unwilling to go any further. For now, I have a scrap bolt mounting the suspension block to the spindle to hold me over(I only used it for the ride home). This bolt has a sort of self-locking head on it.

What specific size and threading do you recommend I replace the old bolt with? It's not broken or even deformed, just has the threading coated with repeated applications of Loctite from all the times I had to inspect it only to find it loose, and then take the suspension block off to inspect for damage(none yet), and then re-tighten the bolt and nut holding the suspension block to the spindle.

Other than this issue plus the minor surface rust on the stainless steel screws that I removed, this suspension has been trouble free. I want it to last for many more years and tens of thousands of more miles to come.

BTW, I've started some work on aluminum fenders for this similar to your plastic ones, but they will cover the entire wheel instead of acting as parachutes. No pics yet, as I still have a bit of cutting on them to do before I even try to test fit them, let alone install them for a test ride.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by adam333 » Jun 28 2019 1:46am

The nylock nut most likely have a problem. It should have work even without the loctite.

If you have the "K spindle" the replacement bolt is 3/8-16 x 1 1/2" (92949A628 Mcmaster-Carr)
If you have the "old spindle" the replacement bolt is 3/8-16 x 1 3/8" (92949A868 Mcmaster-Carr)
In both case the nylock is 3/8-16 (90098A120 Mcmaster-Carr)

The nylock nut will have to be replaced if removed more than 5 time I believe.

Let me know if you cannot find a replacement easily and I will ship you a bolt kit.

Looking forward to see pictures of your new fenders also

:thumb:

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by The Toecutter » Jun 28 2019 3:24am

adam333 wrote:
Jun 28 2019 1:46am
The nylock nut most likely have a problem. It should have work even without the loctite.

If you have the "K spindle" the replacement bolt is 3/8-16 x 1 1/2" (92949A628 Mcmaster-Carr)
If you have the "old spindle" the replacement bolt is 3/8-16 x 1 3/8" (92949A868 Mcmaster-Carr)
In both case the nylock is 3/8-16 (90098A120 Mcmaster-Carr)

The nylock nut will have to be replaced if removed more than 5 time I believe.

Let me know if you cannot find a replacement easily and I will ship you a bolt kit.
:thumb:
Thanks. The only hardware stores around here are the big box retailers, so I'm probably going to have trouble finding a replacement. I'll check a few places tomorrow, but being that this trike is my transportation, getting to those stores is going to be a bit of an issue since I do not want to ride it until I have a proper replacement installed. I definitely need to replace the nylock nut as it's been more than 5 times removed and re-tightened!

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by adam333 » Jul 07 2019 1:26pm

KMX Rear suspension kit is now available for purchase:

see this post for details:
KMX rear suspension kit

Regular shock:
Image
Good with light weight rear wheel ( no hub motor )

Air shock:
Image
Recommended if you have a heavy rear wheel ( hub motor )
The air shock will help to reduce the rebound.

1 min video showing the suspension in action:

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by adam333 » Aug 18 2019 12:41am

I have a used front suspension kit available for half the price.

It is the 19.7mm version with regular shocks.

Send me a pm if interested.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by gman1971 » Sep 03 2019 9:18pm

BTW, you can add the A-3 trike to the list of Adam's suspension equipped kit trikes... :D thank you!

Image


G.
I am all about high-speed, low-drag, mid-drives and gears...
A-3 trike, ?-kW, ??+ mph (Cyclone powered) Very fast, ludicrous speed fast...
A-1B trike, 6+kW, 65+mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFC8MRwvgUM
A-2A trike 3kW, 50mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNoqp0wl6Vo
eB-1C bike 3kW, 42mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_weSmz_h3Ig

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by The Toecutter » Sep 04 2019 2:11pm

gman1971 wrote:
Sep 03 2019 9:18pm
BTW, you can add the A-3 trike to the list of Adam's suspension equipped kit trikes... :D thank you!
If this were a contest, I'd vote yours best in show. It's beautiful and functional. I look forward to seeing videos of you hauling ass in this thing and flogging it through the twisties at speed like the race cars it mimicks. That front end looks like its made to provide usable downforce at 50+ mph on your front wheels. Aesthetically, it looks great.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by adam333 » Sep 04 2019 4:44pm

Agreed,

Gman indeed put a lot of work on this build. :thumb:

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by gman1971 » Sep 04 2019 11:05pm

Thank you... greatly appreciated, I think the suspension was a huge part for making this happen. When Adam got in touch with me to test the rear suspension prototype the body was already made and I couldn't install it... otherwise I would've loved to have a full suspension velo-race-mobile-car... maybe next one...

Sometimes I wish my skill working carbon fiber was better, but given the fact that this was my first ever foray into carbon fiber, perhaps it came out much better than it should've, but then perhaps not as good as I hoped in the 3D CAD renders LOL... I plan on using some gold-rage filler epoxy and sand the whole thing down to smooth it before painting it all gloss black, and keeping the red stripes it already has...

Thanks.

G.
I am all about high-speed, low-drag, mid-drives and gears...
A-3 trike, ?-kW, ??+ mph (Cyclone powered) Very fast, ludicrous speed fast...
A-1B trike, 6+kW, 65+mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFC8MRwvgUM
A-2A trike 3kW, 50mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNoqp0wl6Vo
eB-1C bike 3kW, 42mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_weSmz_h3Ig

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by The Toecutter » Sep 04 2019 11:20pm

gman1971 wrote:
Sep 04 2019 11:05pm
Thank you... greatly appreciated, I think the suspension was a huge part for making this happen. When Adam got in touch with me to test the rear suspension prototype the body was already made and I couldn't install it... otherwise I would've loved to have a full suspension velo-race-mobile-car... maybe next one...

Sometimes I wish my skill working carbon fiber was better, but given the fact that this was my first ever foray into carbon fiber, perhaps it came out much better than it should've, but then perhaps not as good as I hoped in the 3D CAD renders LOL... I plan on using some gold-rage filler epoxy and sand the whole thing down to smooth it before painting it all gloss black, and keeping the red stripes it already has...

Thanks.

G.
Did you have to increase the pressure in the shocks with the new body? Going over bumps at speed in a hard turn, do the wheels/tires clear the body, or is there contact?

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by gman1971 » Sep 04 2019 11:26pm

It weights about the same as A-1, but I think I run slightly higher pressure than A-1 to have a firmer suspension than A-1 did.

The tires clear the body, no contact, there is about 1 cm of clearance between the body edge and the tire. It was probably the most challenging part to build, and to do it I used the computer to make the suspension and the steering work, b/c the suspension adds quite a bit of radius to the wheels turning...

G.
I am all about high-speed, low-drag, mid-drives and gears...
A-3 trike, ?-kW, ??+ mph (Cyclone powered) Very fast, ludicrous speed fast...
A-1B trike, 6+kW, 65+mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFC8MRwvgUM
A-2A trike 3kW, 50mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNoqp0wl6Vo
eB-1C bike 3kW, 42mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_weSmz_h3Ig

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by The Toecutter » Sep 04 2019 11:43pm

gman1971 wrote:
Sep 04 2019 11:26pm
the suspension adds quite a bit of radius to the wheels turning...

G.
Indeed it does.

The fact that you've made your build work as in the picture you've shown AND got the clearances right is impressive. Even with computer modeling, that's not easy to do, because you're dealing with a lot of imprecise data and perhaps even outright guesses regarding how the pressure in the shocks effects all of the relevant operating parameters.

This suspension kit made it all possible. I'm really wondering what the rear suspension is going to do to my vehicle's dynamics after adding it. Adam said in another post that the rear suspension added more to the stability of his machine than the front suspension! I'm sure the extra few inches added to the wheelbase helps.

Any idea regarding your maximum "safe" cruising speed on this new iteration? Whatever it is, I'm sure the rear suspension when placed on your next build will improve it significantly.

The geometry of this front suspension and how variables such as air pressure, mass, F/R mass distribution, rider weight, body clearances, tire size, and everything else effect whether everything will work with inboard wheels is sufficiently complicated that I decided to just keep it with wheels outboard of the main faring, and went ahead and started making some aluminum farings for the wheels that mount to the suspension arms and therefore move with the suspension arms(I've got one of them about 90% complete and tested it, the other one is in the works). The way I have it envisioned, it will look something like the Birk Butterfly from a top-down perspective, and like an Aptera 2e from a side-perspective, with aesthetic cues from the Infiniti Prototype 9. There will be a metal "slinky" shaped like a teardrop between the aluminum wheel faring and the main body faring, that will have spandex webbed over it, for each side(with the intent later to make flexible rubber boots), which can move up and down and side to side as the steering and road conditions demand, while providing an airfoil shape over the suspension arms. This should allow me to keep frontal area down nice and low while keeping drag coefficient down, without causing clearance issues during cornering even while going over bumps. Going to a 20" wheel in the rear would also be enabled by the rear suspension, which in turn would allow me to recline the seat further back, further reducing frontal area and lowering the center of gravity yet more(the seat on mine is as far forward as possible and reclined as far as it can be without causing a clearance issue with the current 26" rear wheel) while extending the wheelbase.

The potential to get a frontal area approaching downwards of 0.5 m^2 on a KMX with Adam's front suspension installed does exist, in spite of the 39" front track. That front track really helps its cornering and I would not want to give that up in the name of drag reduction, but there ARE ways...

With a sufficiently low center of gravity, Adam's full suspension on this trike could make it corner very car-like in a sharp turn. The Campagna T-Rex tadpole motorcycle/car can exceed 0.9G on a skidpad without any tendency to tip over and instead skids when traction is lost, and with the right setup, I think Adam's kits on the KMX could be made to perform similarly. And it would be delicious. Consider that most commercial velomobiles will tip over around 0.5G lateral.

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Re: KMX Trike Front Suspension

Post by gman1971 » Sep 05 2019 12:20am

Thanks man, and like I said, there was a VERY steep learning curve... the computer took care of most of the guesswork, I measured the suspension travel without shock and planned for that.

I usually cruise to work at ~40mph, and the trike is rock solid and planted on the road at this speed, even at the highest I've ever taken it it was very stable, more so than at 40, probably due to all the downforce it generates...

Yes, without the extra width of the suspension this would've never worked, it would've looked like utter crap, heck sometimes I debated whether to ask Adam for wider A-arms so I could make this thing look like a freaking UFO... but hey, I want to be able to ride on the bicycle trails... also worth mentioning that before I had the suspension the steering knuckles broke on a weekly basis... so yes, the suspension certainly was a key component.

I wish Adam made a kit to lower the seat on the KMX trikes. I think there are like 2 inches of CoG to be gained by cutting the seat bracket and just bolting/welding the seat directly to the frame.

Wheels closed and open cockpit along with an Audi R8C LMP prototype look where the design priorities on this build. Most velomobiles out there just don't look aggressive enough for my personal taste... I am aware that I sacrificed some aero for looks on this one but like you already know, I don't like suppositories on wheels, which is how pretty much every velomobile out there looks..

I agree that the rear suspension will improve things, how much tho, that is hard to tell. In my case, aside from the obvious length of the body preventing me from installing one, I also run a fairing around the rear wheel, which has about 1" clearance over the ground so I couldn't install it b/c of that as well, not without sacking some aero in the back. Also, worth mentioning is that Adam runs a large hub motor on the rear wheel of his trike, which probably adds some weight, which could very well be responsible for the noted improvement with the rear suspension, along with the extra wheelbase, which always helps things too...

I sent you an email.

G.
I am all about high-speed, low-drag, mid-drives and gears...
A-3 trike, ?-kW, ??+ mph (Cyclone powered) Very fast, ludicrous speed fast...
A-1B trike, 6+kW, 65+mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFC8MRwvgUM
A-2A trike 3kW, 50mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNoqp0wl6Vo
eB-1C bike 3kW, 42mph (Cyclone powered): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_weSmz_h3Ig

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