Milan Velomobile early details

More carbon for your delight

Back to the Laid-Back-Bikes showroom this evening to take some better pics of the Milan Velomobile which is being built up this week. To answer a couple of queries, the bike is the full-size Milan Mk2, not the cut-down SL:

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Since you mainly get German instructions with not so many pictures, I thought it might be reassuring for the next soul in the English speaking world who builds one of these to have some kind of reference!

Who knows, when it’s done, perhaps we can send Räderwerk an English instruction set? Let’s wait and see whether we can actually make it go…

The steering levers came pre-fitted but there are no slots for the steering rod or the brake cables to pass into the wheel well. These will be drilled shortly once the specialist fitter is happy with the suspension geometry:

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Panzer steering!

A couple more shots of the interior. The first shows the complete wheel arch with the top of the suspension piston projecting through the hardpoint, and the removable lighting switchbox (also in carbon, nice!):

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Then the footwell. As you can see, the twin IQ Cyo lights came pre-fitted with the wiring through the central strut already complete. There’s one foot hole, in a general nod towards the commuter role (backing out of supermarket parking spaces, for instance?). A cover for the hole is provided, also naturally in carbon.

The two punch-out points in the foreground would be for tiller steering, if that was your choice (I have no idea if you’d actually cut them out. Check your parts and see what makes sense!)

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At the rear there is a heavy-duty swingarm which bolts to the floor, the wheelwell (needs drilled) and is attached to the same upper bolt that shares the seat adjustment – it’ll be very loose and conspicuously in need of padding out, so not too bad to figure out from first principles:

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This details the suspension members themselves. The flanged orange foam at the top of the strut *is* the travel – it’s really just going to take the edge off any punishing hits and no more:

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Steering assembly

I mentioned the other night that we had to derive the function and form of all suspension parts from first principles, Becky Taylor providing a quick hand-drawn diagram on her way past which nailed it in one. Here’s a reminder of the parts laid out on the floor from the other night (direction of travel to the right):

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Here’s the central cut-out with the set of stabilising struts and the tie-rods fitted:

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At the other end, you can see three of the four rods attached to the right hand side (direction of travel to the right, again).

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Whole underside. It will never look this nice after it’s been ridden, so definitely the time to get some documentary evidence!

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The ‘bonnet’, with its distinctive shoe and knee bulges is certainly somewhat of a Marmite feature online. It looks fantastic in real life, let me assure you:

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Almost a perfect teardrop:

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The next couple of days should see the drivetrain and other internals put in place, leaving only the electrics (this model will be fitted with full brake and indicator lights).

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SOLD! (and, KEEP OFF KIDS!)

As before, watch this space.

4 Comments

  1. Rob

    Loving the ‘do not climb’ sign

  2. tony Jones

    Beautiful sculptural form.

  3. Joseph Chirdon

    Great blog. Just curious, what’s the cost difference between buying the kit and the finished milan? Seocondly, what kind of man-hours did it take to put this together. I’d imagine that their’s a steep learning curve, even for long-time (regular) bike shop owners. Enjoy your new toy!

  4. Dave

    Hi Joseph,

    I’m not sure about the cost difference but it must have been substantial to make it worth bringing over here and building – even the shipping on this thing was extremely expensive.

    Elapsed time for the build was quite long but it wasn’t being worked on full time. There are things that might otherwise make a beginner nervous (riveting, drilling or cutting through carbon, etc) required to get it on the road.

    cheers,

    D.

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