Friday 27 August 2010

Commuting in the rain

There's quite a lot of rain in Northern European countries, which is why it's a very good idea to ride a velomobile which is particularly good for riding in rain. The Mango has a fully enclosed drive-chain which doesn't get wet and dirty, so lasts a long time even if used in bad weather.

More Mango posts here, in which amongst other things you'll see it raced in the summer, and ridden through ice and snow in the winter. Also, a blog post about the speed bumps on the cycle-path.
Read my review of the Sinner Mango Velomobile.


Abhishek said...

I want one!

Severin said...

That's great! And fun music too, I always like your music choice for videos.

Ian said...

The solar panel is a nice addition.

When it is cloudy for many days in a row do you eventually have to recharge the on-board battery through some other means?

David Hembrow said...

It's still an experiment. In the winter, before I had the solar panel, I was using the headlight for commuting and charged my battery every day.

In the summer with the panel I've sometimes not charged it for two weeks. However, it depends what I do. The lights are the biggest drain.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone had hub dynamos fitted to a Mango, David? Would it be worthwhile?

Regarding brakes: Do you have one brake lever for both front brakes and one for the rear?

What a fabulous machine. I would love one of these pedal-cars for grownups!


Paul Martin
Brisbane, Australia

David Hembrow said...

Paul, we've fitted the SON hub dynamo in a front wheel. This comes with disk brakes instead of drum brakes.

Just like with the solar panel, I've been wiring the dynamos up in such a way that they keep the on-board battery full but can't over-charge the battery.

As a result, everything in the Mango, including indicators, USB outlet to power your MP3 player or GPS can be powered by the dynamo, not just the headlight.

Anonymous said...

Nice. I took a small home made solar charger when I was touring last summer. I bought a small 3.5v panel from ebay and wired it directly to a twin AA battery holder, positive to positive. It worked very well, charging either next to my tent or in my bar bag map holder whilst on the move. I kept three sets of NiMH AA batteries in circulation - GPS, Camera, and the other on charge. Probably with CREE LED lighting the solar panel would do the job until the daylight gets short. Being summer I didn't run any lighting bar a rear LED on the rainy days.
Mark Garrett, Bristol UK

Jon Bendtsen said...

Do you remember to sing in the rain David?

David Hembrow said...

It's not unknown...

Cycling For Beginners said...

That is pretty cool looking. Is there any specific cover for the rider/driver in the rain, or do you just wear a rainsuit or something similar?


David Hembrow said...

Rob: You saw the cover when it was parked. The main part of this is also used when riding in the rain. Your face is still exposed, but that's all. The rest of your body is inside.

A glass windscreen would create more problems than it solves: the need for a wiper and the problem of misting up amongst them.