Milan Velomobile drivetrain

It can move!

The new Milan at the Laid-Back-Bikes showroom continues to progress; this post will highlight the next step in the build process, the drivetrain. Presented with a bag of bits and half that number of pre-drilled holes, this was the next step forwards!

Both sides of the chain run along the body in a recessed channel, inside chain tubes:


At the rear, a large toothed idler brings the power side up towards the cassette:


In the next shot you can see the overall configuration more easily: the velcro is to deaden any rattle of slack chain against the rear swing-arm / drop out assembly (the yellow thing):


The razor-thin carbon of the wheel well actually sits between the cassette (which is mounted normally on a normal hub) and the spokes – where the “pie plate” would go on a cheap supermarket bike.

This Milan is actually equipped with a three-speed internal / cassette combo hub (I can’t remember the name of the model) to give added gear range.


At the front of the bike, a huge power idler brings the chain up towards the crank. Both idlers have plenty of float for good chain alignment and spin forever (any drag on the drivetrain will come from the long straight stretches of chaintube alone):


(In the photo above you can see the gear cable going to the front mech, as well as a bundle of tied electrical wire – this has been run through the frame member to the twin IQ Cyo headlights keep it out of harm’s way).

The bottom bracket is clamped to the square-section frame member for easy adjustability. Not only can you adjust the BB-seat distance, the front derailleur mast also pivots, to keep the front mech aligned properly with chainrings of any imaginable size. The odd-looking eccentric disc which the mech is clamped to allows for quick reach adjust before fine tuning.


Oh, and the holes have been drilled for the steering rods, so the handlebars are now connected to the wheels (and it turns!):


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