I didn’t think I’d be doing this…. I was just having fun figuring out composites work, making myself some truly custom pieces. Yet here we are 😉
So, a fair question is: Why? Well I certainly know it’s going to require a lot of work and time. And as someone asked, “you own 2 very well respected velomobiles, and nothing but your own custom built velomobile will do?”
The answer is Yes~! How I got to this decision started with thoughts about adding suspension to my WAW, named Velma. A great feature of the WAW’s design is that the nose and tail cones are removable and replaceable. When I purchased my WAW in 2015 there was no rear suspension available, 2 tail cones either straight “race” tail or curved, and no other option for the nose cone.
Now the WAW has a rear suspension option, and this can be retro-fitted on any WAW. So I was going to order the rear suspension kit. This also would necessitate ordering a new tail cone, to accommodate the suspension system.
And while I’m putting in an order, I’m thinking I might order a shorter nose cone since I’ll already be paying some shipping costs.
I was going back and forth with Katanga via email about an order, and I’m in my workshop looking at the WAW and the Milan sitting next to each other. I’d love to lower the nose for better forward visibility in the WAW (the original nose cone is very long). And I think it would be nice to have knee bumps on the WAW, could lower that front profile about 2.5″…..
So naturally (for me anyway 😉 ) I start thinking I could design an improved nose for the WAW, clean up some other aerodynamic areas such as the wheel wells. My design dreaming came to a stop when realizing that some of these improvements required a remake of the center body section of the WAW!
In this photo of the WAW with nose cone removed, the upper curves are where my legs move when pedaling. The highest point of my knees when pedaling is about 4″ in front of the mirror stalk (just on the left edge of the photo) . My design thoughts are to create knee and toe bumps, to maximize aerodynamic benefits and lessen cross-wind reactions. So, the forward portion of the main body could be lowered.
So, I decided it made more sense to create my own velomobile, from the ground up, to put together the features that I like.
In the most basic sense, I’m building a new body for a WAW. I’ll be purchasing from Katanga many of the mechanical components of the WAW, such as the boom, steering and front suspension set up, things like that.
And it will have removable nose and tail cones. Exposed front wheels (and naturally in the future I’ll make wheel pants to cover those front wheels 🙂 )
And then the upper part will look similar to the Milan, including hood design and turtledeck design, knee and foot bumps, stuff like that.
I will use the WAW design idea of hinging the hood off the mirror stalks.
OK! Time to get this going!