2019 Solar Bikes trip from France to Italy: we made it!

This trip was planned since last year and finally we were able to ride with our solar bikes from France through Switzerland and Austria to Italy!

In the page under the link here below is the complete itinerary we have been able to complete: in the next post I will also publish some videos with few pictures as well!

2019 Solar bike trip from France to Italy

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Hi Nick,
    Thanks for your appreciation!
    It’s already a couple of years I have been working on this project and I am getting some positive results.
    And most importantly I am already planning to build the next evolution based on all experiences I made.
    As far as your questions are concerned:
    1) – main benefit is the stability on straight line and on quick turns.
    In my case with 10kg of solar panels above my head the center of gravity is quite high
    I remember very bad feelings in going down from the Alps on two wheels in 2017, I was always tense and I was feeling a bit unsafe.
    Now this is just the past, I can enjoy fast descents and at the same time I feel much safer.
    Braking power: my complete bike weighs around 35kg, with 15 kg of traveling stuff it’s now so easy to slow down without blocking 1 rear wheel.
    More grip in corners: yes, especially with bad surface like wet, gravel, etc.
    Better stability in crosswinds: just a little bit, it can be still quite scary during certain days, this is one area I need to improve in my next prototype.
    2) – Hub motors over a mid drive solution:
    My first e-bike project was with a Nazca Gaucho High Racer with a Cyclone motor as a ‘mid drive’.
    It was working quite well but it was noisy and with a very long chain for a recumbent it was difficult to set up properly it’s correct tension.
    So I decided to go for Hub motors (geared or direct drive).
    For a more climbing type of bike, a geared motor is very good, otherwise a direct drive is probably better.
    Moreover I have plenty of friends who moved from mid drive to hub motors for reliability reasons.
    Hope my experiences may give you more reasons to take a better decision for your project.
    All the best
    Daniele

  2. Hi Daniele
    I’ve been following your tilting trike and solar projects with great interest. Congratulations on some very clever and successful designs. I’ve built a number of my own recumbents over the last few years and am considering adding a solar/electric motor project to the list. I have two questions for you:
    1) apart from the ability to stand upright unsupported when stopped, what real benefit does having two tilting rear wheels provide when riding? More grip in corners? Better stability in crosswinds?….???
    2) you’ve tried a number of different hub motors, I wonder why you haven’t used a mid-drive system? I know they have their downsides, but they do offer better efficiency and hill climbing torque. I’m interested in your views on their pros and cons.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas and your blog.
    Best wishes for the next adventures!

    Nick

  3. wow
    congrats
    retros trop petits 🙂

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