With plenty of questions being asked about the new Greenspeed Glyde, we thought we'd start up a blog giving you all the latest developments of our new velomobile. Written by Paul Sims
26 Oct... Oops, helps to link the pics to larger ones!!! All fixed now.
23 Oct... Finally seem to be making some real progress, Raceglass have come through after some teething problems and we've been tweaking various small parts of the frame design as we go. Majority of the jigs have been made and a special welding bay just for the Glyde has been created and the same for the assembly area. We have made special fixtures to work on the Glyde and make assembly run smoothly.
So the thing you've been waiting for, some pics of the fairing out of the mold for the first time!
and some more....
and a few more...
Pat and Fran have done an awesome job as you can tell, it's looking really integrated and sleek, especially in the white!
One of the things we needed to redesign was the front chain guide pulley to center the boss that holds it into the middle of the frame tube. This has the added bonus of making the chain path a little more efficient as the chain has a fair amount of bend/redirection in the front of the Glyde. So to make this happen we have gone from our original 15 tooth pulley to a sizely 25 tooth. The extra size only added 28g.
The first one rolling off the production line is looking real close now, it's been a long journey! The fine tuning that has taken place along the way is truly bringing it up another notch or two with options being the next phase of development...enjoy the pics!
1st Sep... Yes, we're still here, slaving away! The modified fairing has been at Raceglass for sometime now having all the molds for production made, some to and froing to make certain any changes are going to be OK and we're going to soon see one in the flesh to try in a frame.
As you'd expect, it's the little things that take the longest, you'd think when you had a fairing shape and frame design done you'd be there...not even close, latches, lights, turn signals, controls, hatches, luggage access, brakes, chain protection, sealing from water and mud, wind protection, ventilation, demisting, fastening of hatches, hinges, seat mechanisms, dirt seals or wipers, type of shock to use....list goes on! The good news is that the delays only make the design stronger and more of a "car substitute" rather than a trike with a fairing :o) Truth is, this IS a vehicle, and being such requires much thought rather than just getting it out there!
Michael is busily working on the final frame jig/fixture so that we can produce the Glyde frame accurately and get you your pride and joy as soon as possible. We have also been busily arranging room and a new production line to make all this happen. The side effect is we are now going to drop ALL of our custom trike line to make way and time for the Glyde, this is how much we believe in this project!!!
16th July... Two postings in a week, there must be something wrong! LOL
Just another pic and an additional clip of the Glyde being test ridden and showing some of its ground clearance. Clip here (10Mb). Pic below of a pair of headlights being trialed along with one of the LED turn signals fitted, the position facilitates viewing from a wide angle.
15th July... Some more pics for you at last! Still lots of head scratching on our behalf to sort out the nitty gritty...we are getting there, honest!
First pics show the hatch in various states of open/close, we've added a couple of extra supports to mainly stop it from flopping back and forth whilst opening/closing it.
To make the hatch stay closed whilst riding, a catch needed to be designed. Michael came up with a rear catch that engages as the rear of the hatch touches down first and hooks under some of the framework. This is followed by a manual pull catch that engages under the front of the hatch. A bonus to this is that the catch can be released while riding to facilitate an extra low speed air duct for those long hill ascents. This will have to positions as pictured below.
In the above pics you can see the two black lines on the windscreen, these will become the top cut line of the two different screens, the lowrider and the highrider.
Next pics show the new front vent, the slit (now covered by tape) was not quite cutting it, so a NACA duct was added to speed the incoming air up, it's quite a blast!
To the right Michael discovered that the only way you could inflate the rear tire was to remove the whole lower section, this is OK if you're removing the rear wheel but quite a pain if just a top-up is required. So material needed to be removed to allow easy access, thus what you see below.
As a bonus this month, you get to see the Glyde actually move! This is an unedited view of Michael getting into and taking off. Click here for a Quicktime movie (8Mb), if you ain't got Quicktime...what you waiting for!
17th June... We're getting really close to a final shape that the new molds can be taken from, pics below.
These show just how well sealed the inside will be from the outside elements. The lower hole being where the chain passes through the bulkhead and the upper one will be an access door to the rear shock absorber. The far right pic shows the rear wheel fully compressed into the fairing.
Left is the lower hatch for access to the rear wheel or left off completely for mounting a trailer. Middle pic shows the lower hatch removed and the new tailight rebate/cover. Right image shows the access to the rear luggage area, this gets covered by the top hatch to prevent the water and air getting in there.
The top hatch with rear access covered up and the access hole to get in much reduced for improved aerodynamics. The middle image shows just how much room there is to get in and out of your Glyde, the front of the hole has been extended to allow for access to front storage area, a return lip is yet to be added. Keen eyes will also notice the rebate for the top hatch, very slick! The right image showing the headlight rebate, room for just about any light configuration you wish with the bonus of putting turn signals inside out of harms way. The vent slot can be seen just above the light housing.
Another view of the tailight, this will also house the rear turn signals. To the right shows the much modified wheel arches, they have been made slightly bigger all around and the cool rebate to allow the steering handles to be dropped much lower down.
We should see the final shape this week, so stay tuned :o)
29th May... OK, so the news is a little thin of late...here's a quick wrap up of progress to date.
We've been working through getting many of the parts lazer cut and machined so that they are all ready for production. All the proto versions have had hand made parts, so production would be very slow if we had to do this for every Glyde, so full steam ahead on production parts.
Some pics of said parts, this is a few of the lazer cut items.
The front kingpin pivot, the axle, disc brake caliper arm and scissor link pivot gets welded to this. Made from stainless steel to minimise corrosion just like a regular Greenspeed kingpin pivot.
This shows the new kingpin housing on the left and the proto one on the right, old one is a mix of cromoly tube sizes and welding, the new one is a one-piece stainless gem ready to welded straight to the crossmember arm. Note the triangular lazer cut item welded to the other end, see above...There's a lot happening with this housing, it has to contain bushes inside it, seals/wipers to prevent the outside world getting in, upper outside pivot for the steering arm housing to pivot on and a lower shoulder to bare the brunt of the shock spring upon.
A new shock we've just got in to try out...coil/oil and with usual adjustments. We also got an air/oil one to try. The mounting is pretty standard, so you can retrofit any of your favourite shocks in there.
Just another pic of the rear of the chassis if you haven't seen it already, this is one of the original frames that will have slight mods in the production version. Some of the mods include a little more hip width, slightly more seat movement/adjustment, some more clearance to the fairing and some extra fairing mounting points.
Speaking of the fairing, Pat and Fran have been working very hard on it with all the new mods, they're striving to have them done by next week and are slowly checking off all the boxes.
We tested some potential high power HID headlights but were disappointed with the beams they produced, so we're still on the hunt for something ideal. LED is still looking the goods, just finding the "right" one for the task as this technology almost changes daily!
Thanks to everybody for all of your support, we're still working hard to keep on top of our regular orders and keep the Glyde on track for a mid-year shipment, still plenty to do! That's me for now, hopefully I'll have some new fairing pics for you real soon, hey even I'm excited to see them!!!
27th Apr... I did promise some pics...
These first couple of pics show the new "rough" version of the luggage area. As you can tell the rear wheel has to fit in there somewhere as well as allow for the rear swingarm and other various hub fitments. The great thing is you can cram stuff in there with little fear of collecting the rear spokes.
Next is the '09 headlight surround with the intake vent above it for some of the cool stuff (mainly air) to flow into the Glyde. The turn signals will be integrated into the sides of this to keep it aero and in the same vicinity for ease of wiring etc.
Final pic is of the location for the tail light and turnsignal. Michael and Pat came up with a cool sandblasted plastic cover for the tail light that a) makes the light more diffuse b) spreads the light nicely all the way along the lens to make it visible from a wide angle, sweet! Turn signals will be tucked into the sides of this with some neat maskng before sandblasting the lens.
9th Apr... A more timely update this time :o)
Michael has been working hard at getting the rear luggage area sorted out. He's made a mock up of the floor that will be fitting back there to isolate the inside from the outside, provide somewhere to store your luggage and become the ceiling for the lower hatch. This section will be part of the mold so will not be removable. The lower hatch is going to be two seperate pieces so that you can store it away more easily rather than one large tailpiece.
The new front inner guards have their new pockets sorted out and only need to be finalized in glass.
We looked at a fabric convertible roof today that would fold away behind your head and incorporate a second screen to keep the water entering the trike to a bare minimum yet still provide good all round vision.
We have had a small discussion on fitting a dynamo hub to the front wheel, we're still not sure if it's going to be a goer or require a longer axle to be viable, yet be "green lighted"...
Just in case you're wondering, yes it will be Schlumpf and Rohloff compatible.
3rd Apr... Can't believe it's been that long since the last update...Michael and Raceglass have been hard at it looking to convert the current Glyde from a 'trike with a fairing' into a true velomobile/car replacement. Many redesigns are being addressed.
Firstly is the canopy. To make access to get into the Glyde as well as access to the rear and front luggage areas, we have made the canopy hinge much further forward. The rear luggage area will be changed from a rear hatch access to using the actual canopy as the door. By integrating the section of the fairing directly behind your head into it thus opening up into the rear. The current top/rear door will be molded in and thus enabling customers to stuff more items back there!
The lower rear section is getting a major rework, gone is the right/rear wheel access door, in it's place a removable lower tailpiece. To enable this to happen, we are going to integrate the rear luggage area into the upper fairing mold, hard to explain in words of course, but imagine it as the front floor rising up over the rear wheel to leave the rear wheel hanging out in the breeze. The rear tailpiece will then attach to this floor to cover up the rear wheel.
Advantages of this approach are a) the floor becomes an isolating barrier beween you inside and the outside elements, be it water or general road noise b) stiffens up rear section by becoming part of the body instead of a bolt in luggage tray c) allows much better rear wheel access by exposing the lower 2/3 of the wheel, Rohloff and motor assist users rejoice! d) makes the luggage area really safe, just throw it in and you're not going to have it rub on your rear wheel e) customers who want to be able to tow their trailers will now be able to leave the tailpiece at home and mount up without having to put a big slot into their fairing! f) the luggage a rear wheel are totally seperated, no need to remove your luggage to access the rear wheel.
The front wheel arches are also getting a massage. Some very minor widening at the rear will allow an even tighter turning circle. We also felt that the steering handles could be moved down and outward and made more vertical. To make this happen we have sunk a section into the guard making a pocket for the handle to sweep into, very cool! This provides the rider with more pedalling room and better access.
Still on the 'to do' list is the mirrors, turn signals, front headlight rebate and the tailight. Fortunately the list is getting shorter!!!
As you can tell by the changes above, a delivery time is still very hard to predict. We are striving for a mid-year shipment and must say a huge thanks to everybody that has put down their hard-earned as a deposit, sure makes us sleep better knowing that the interest for the Glyde is out there :o) We'll be starting the first batch of 10 chassis real soon as the design for this is pretty much locked in, it's only the body work we're remodelling...I hope to add pics as they come to hand.
And finally, here's some desktop images to pimp up your iPhone or PC courtesy of Mick -
25th Feb... Jeez, time is flying, was it that long since the last update?...it is of course worth the wait with plenty of pics to drool over! Proto #2 is now up and running and was displayed at the Sustainable Living Festival on the weekend at the heart of Melbourne drawing much attention. It's off to the Knox Festival this weekend for more of the same.
Freshly painted by Pat in Electric Orange, the frame also freshly powdercoated in gloss black, it's coming along nicely.
It's looking pretty sweet this time around with its sleek molded in screen and the hatch hinge looks sweet but needs some work to get the hatch to move further forward and be more secure in doing so, so maybe some extra arms required...Michael trying for the first time below.
The screen, although looking great, may be too raked back to actually see through, so some more tweaking required there too. Fran and Pat attaching the hatch.
Luggage capacity is one of our next headaches, whether to hinge the rear canopy or have it accessible when the you open the hatch...below, the crew getting it together, Michael in the "thinker" pose.
Last pic is something you've most likely heard about...yes the bushfires aren't that far from us, this is a fire around 10km away that had just flared up, fortunately only one home lost, a fire truck destroyed and two fireman in hospital...always hits a little closer to home when your wife knows one of the fireman!!!
23rd Jan... With still plenty of work to do, progress is an inch at a time. Fran and Pat from Raceglass visited us on Tuesday to discuss various aspects, the front headlight and vent was the main topic as this will influence the appearance and function or both. I hope to make this area something that will be changeable with future models, so each year of manufacture may have a different headlight appearance. We are hoping to have options like - mount your own light system in to our compartment - the nose comes as a blank canvas for you to style - optional headlights from dynamo powered to 35watt HID. The vent at this stage is front mounted and ducted under the upper canopy toward the rider. It is proposed that this will be directable and closable.
Pictured above is Pat sketching some ideas - Ian, myself, Fran, Pat and Michael kickin around some ideas - mk2 chassis being tried for size.
Michael has been flat out this week tweaking the front end. It's a fine balance of the wheels fitting properly in the guards, good ground clearance, good tight turning circle, steering rods clearing, scissor links clearing and general function. Much hair has been removed from scalp but things are falling into place. As an added bonus we are hoping to see the turing circle as tight as 5m! This is awesomely tight for a velo and should be yet another feather in the cap. The wheel arches need a fair amount of redesign to accomodate all the tweaking but should be well worth the effort.
New springs for the front end have been ordered and we are hopeful to see these soon.
9th Jan...With deposits racing in, we have been busy developing the fairing further with a local composite manufacturer Raceglass and building the first couple of GenII chassis.
Starting with the fairing, many changes have been discussed and implemented already -
1) The 'head's out' canopy has been remodelled, the rear rollover has been incorporated into the lid, a rebate for a short screen has been added as well as a screen made for it, the canopy has been rebated into the upper half with water shedding incorporated and a new hinge designed. The new hinge allows the canopy to move up and forward and holds itself open! A sweet design by Pat at Raceglass.
2) The lower rear has been completely remodelled to accomodate the rear derailleur and to eliminate the blister we had for the proto, this should enhance the appearance and provide a more slippery shape as a bonus.
3) Yes it will have accomodation for a headlight! We are looking to have a wrap around style front screen to enclose a 'shelf' that will have options for just about any light you want to mount in there. We will also have options upon ordering, from LED technology to even 35watt HIDs!
4) Other things on the checklist are turning signal, mirrors that can be removed but look integrated once mounted, ventilation, rear wheel access, luggage capacity over the rear wheel and further cosmetic enhancements and weight reductions.
Michael is working furiously on the chassis so that we can better tweak the fairing and have standardized mounting points etc. Revisions include a different spring rate for the rear suspension as well as make it more friendly for aftermarket shock replacement, lowering the cranks a bit to provide more toe clearance when moved further forward and more rearward seat movement.
I'll endeavour to add some pics as they come to hand. With a few displays/expos of a finished vehicle organised for mid February, the right foot is planted to the floor to meet this and try and meet our deadline of getting Glydes available to our eager customers!