Been a short while since I last posted an update so here it goesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
The BlacksmithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hammer & anvil have not been silent, no. Like a Damascus Sword, the ideas have folded over and over again to forge a better beast from raw material and off-the-shelf product. In the past month there have been four prominent changes:
Black & White Faring
This new frame has a slightly different triangle shape with wider tube members, especially the top tube which has a taper that is widest at the front and narrowing as it heads aft towards the seat post. Technically the distance between the steerer tube and seat post is farther away to accommodate the rear shock. Where P0 had an exposed cable running across the top tube, P1 has the opposite condition running along the bottom of the down tube. The problems with the battery bag were pretty much the same as with P0 before adding the faring:
- It was wide enough to cause chafing of my winter trousers
- The batteries were getting wet (although for a time during the sub-freezing weather this was less of an issue)
- Excessive road splatter created a cleaning nightmare.
Stripped, clean as a whistle...
I detest water spraying up onto my batteries. Borrowing material left over from the Epic Battery Bag Story, I took a large shingle of black 42 oz. Vinyl-coated Polyester and cut out matching Left & Right pieces that would cover the exterior, like flexible water-proof armor. Each side was uniquely fitted to completely cover the exposed front, bottom and sides, requiring minimalist sewing to create the conformity with three modest seams. Extra material was provided at the top where the halves met so that the two pieces could be sewn together. The remaining edges were punched and secured with grommets. Sturdy shock line was used to fasten it into place. Except for the bottom where fastened, the bags should now be well-protected from water. This heavy vinyl covering looks in the pictures as if having a diamond-plate pattern; that is in part deception upon the manufacturer for the reinforcing weave is heavy though the pattern is faux. It is tough stuff to punch through and does not easily rip or tear!
The next part of the armoring is the HDPE. The Black Vinyl does a great job at protection but I needed some bright color for better visibility. Yellow doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look right on this bike, though White does. The covering is slightly smaller than what was used on P0, mainly due to geometry and best fit. Once trimmed up, it too was punched and secured with nylon line.
The last bit of HDPE took the most time. I used Black to create a better-fitting forward cowl and was able to keep it in one piece along the entire length of the bottom. The top of the cowling wraps over the top tube and is modestly secured with zippies whereas the the bottom uses Velcro. Funny stuff Velco; the forward section where it meets with the White plastic is stitched in place whereas the rear section is super-glued. I think if I had to do this again IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d forgo both methods and use Urethane instead. Regardless Ã¢â‚¬â€œ there have not been any issues to report; the faring assembly fits flush and is quite aerodynamic: it feels like IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve picked up another mph in the slipstream as wind rolls right over it.
The final addition to the faring is the 1-inch wide Reflective Striping. For some reason I only had a yard of this stuff so I put one along the trailing edge of the White faring to visually mask the overlay, and the remainder went on the front faring. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very reflective in all lighting conditions. The sticky-back is likewise very grippy even on Polyethylene.
Catwalk Gallery: Take a bow. Apologies for the filth Ã¢â‚¬â€œ it is winter and I do ride the bike nearly every day.
Stop back soon: More mods are in the queue.