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Friday, April 24, 2009

Cargo Pods Remounted, Rack Reinstalled

V1.1 of the seat, tightened up a lot, is working great so far. Only gotcha is that I need to bend the front tube end on each side down, so I don't keep hitting it with my legs when I am getting on and off, or putting a foot down to balance at a stop. :)

It's really nice that it lets air flow thru a bit, so my back doesn't feel like it's roasting anymore. Also, it's stronger and stiffer, so it doesn't flex around while pedalling, making it a bit easier to steer the bike, and much more efficient at getting my legs' energy into the pedals rather than into twisting the wooden seat around.

It doesn't make as good a shock absorber, but I can live with that.

I also need to angle the handlebars back a bit, which I should be able to do by replacing them with some I found in my junkpile I'd forgotten about, that are the old-style raked-back type Schwinn used to use on some 10-speeds and such.

Since the seat was working ok, I decided to put the rear rack and the cargo pods on:

The rack is at an angle mostly because there isn't yet a convenient place to bolt it to in front. I was not intending to put it back on, but changed my mind when I realized that I should have somehting there to keep anything (like backpacks) slung over the back of the seat from pushing on the fender. If I redo something later to give me a front anchor point, I'll probably put it flat.

I'm still working with the cargo pods, only held on with three bolts right now (will be six once I am sure exactly what position they'll be in). I already raised them up a couple of inches to give better clearance during hard turns, as sometimes they'd touch ground. However, seeing them up higher made me think of raising them a bit more, so they'd clear the top of the rear tire/fender entirely, and then I could put a small rack bolted between their top edges, to let me stack things across their flat tops without worrying about support in the middle, etc.

I'd also like to move them forward some, to have more of the cargo's mass in front of the rear axle, but until I rebuild the lid so it hinges from the front edge, I'm stuck with having it farther back so it will clear the seat's back edge to open.

From the back it's hard to tell it's angled so much, as it just looks like I took the pic from higher up, but the camera is about level with the top of the handlebars. I need to also put a duplicate reflector on the rightside pod, and paint it to match the leftside stripes (and neaten those up a bit, perhaps). I'd actually like to use reflective red/white striped stickon material, but that's not something I've ever run across as a recyclable item, just already on things, and been there long enough that any removal just destroys the reflectivity.

More work tomorrow, though exactly what I end up doing might change as I think of new ideas.

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