The Milan Story

Mick van Bit posted a documentation about the development of the Milan on his website.
I met Eggert Bülk, the designer of the Milan velomobile, last year and had a small chat.

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Milan – New Steering Arms

Made new steering arms for the Milan today. The original steering arms looked rather ratty and where too close to the wheel wells to provide enough space for the brake levers.

I simply cut down two bar ends and drilled holes for the plain bearings. The actual levers are two length of 22mm aluminum tube and go into the (former) bar ends. If I ever get the idea I absolutely need carbon fiber steering arms, I only have to swap the aluminum tubes for CFK tubes.

DIY steering arm clamp with plain bearing made from a bar end (27g).

Left steering arm (from top to bottom): DiaCompe Silver Shifter for 2-speed Patterson Metropolis, throttle, Avid brake lever, 3 momentary switches, lever for rear disk brake

Right steering arm (from top to bottom): DiaCompe Silver Shifter for 9-speed derailleur, Avid brake lever, 3 momentary switches, Grin poti for Cycle Analyst v3

Not sure which function to assign to which momentary switch. Also, I still have to install the Tripwire switches to the brake levers.

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Milan Seat Brackets

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Andreas, who did some repairs and updates before selling the Milan to me, made some aluminum brackets for the screws that hold the seat brackets. They did their job, but weren’t exactly pretty. I decided to do something about it, … Continue reading

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Helge und sein Fahrrad der Zukunft – Räderwerk Doku

The NDR (Nordeutscher Rundfunk) made a doku about Helge from Räderwerk and the Milan in 2017.

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Milan Disk Brake Adapter

Finally, the rear disk brake adapter for the Milan swing arm is finished.

The disk brake will be used primarily as a parking brake, so a small plate made from 4mm aluminium should do. Since the torque arm for the small hub motor and the speed sensor needed brackets anyway, this is kind of a 3in1 solution.

Its is primarily mounted to the suspension strut bracket, while the torque arm acts as the rear bracket. The disk brake caliper mounts to the adapter and the speed sensor is mounted with the two small zip-ties to the backside. A small neodymium magnet sits in one of brake disk screws.

Next, I have to cut a few pieces out of the rear wheel well, to fit the disk brake and a 11-40t cassette. Unfortunately, there is no space to go in there with my jigsaw.

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DFxl SPAI in Milan GT

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Ymte send me a carbon fiber DFxl SPAI (stagnation point air intake) and I’ve managed to fit it into the nose of the Milan. The Highsider head light needed a bigger hole and I’m pretty sure I will appreciate the … Continue reading

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The Velayo comes back!

Today, Marcus van der Wehl announced in the German velomobile forum, that he found a company that will take over production and sales of the Velayo velomobile.

No definite dates and price yet. Updates will be announced on the Velayo homepage and the Velayo thread in the German velomobile forum.

The Velayo is singular in the velomobile landscape, not only for its sheer size (it got 26″ front wheels!), but especially for its front wheel drive and rear wheel steering. It’s basically a huge space-frame trike inside a rather spacious GFK fairing. Never intended to win races, the Velayo is designed as a very capable commuter and tourer.

IIRC Marcus was developing updates and refinements for the ‘Velayo 2.0’, when he had to stop production and sales at the end of 2016 for personal reasons. He is still doing customer service, though.

Velayo vs Evo Ks

We have at least two Velayo’s around Hamburg and I’ve seen them sometimes. I actually sat in one of them, once. The owners admit it takes a bit to get used to the rear wheel steering, but (contrary to other rear wheel steering designs) the Velayo is stable at speed.

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25th Anniversary at Räderwerk

Yesterday, I went with Morten and Michael to Räderwerk in Hannover. They celebrated their 25th anniversary and quite a few people in ‘the scene’ took the opportunity to meet there. In case you didn’t knew, Räderwerk is the manufacturer of the Milan velomobile.

The Räderwerk shop packed with bikes and guests

Milan velomobiles gathering attention

While we took the train from Hamburg, Ymte from InterCityBike made the 350km ride from Dronten in his green DF velomobile and Harry from Drymer did the 280km ride from Groningen with his Hilgo velomobile.

Ymte (right) having one of many conversations that day. The lady on the left, who looks a bit critical into my camera, is Inge Heitland, who gave a presentation about her travels and still does 100km day tours on her recumbent at age 88. Unfortunately, I missed her presentation in the Milan workshop downstairs.

Luckily, I didn’t miss most of the presentation from Petra von Fintel, who talked about her 12h and 24h world record attempts in 2014 and 2015. In her 2015 attempt, Petra set the World records for 12h (575km), 1,000km (23h:42min) and 24h (1,011km) for women. What an awesome lady! Very funny too! We talked a bit afterwards, but I was so impressed by her, that I totally forgot to take any pictures. *sigh*

The new Drymer Hilgo. Harry in conversation with somebody.

The Milan SL Mk4 on display in the Milan workshop. It wasn’t suppose to be there anymore, but due to some ‘security concerns’ (they couldn’t x-ray it or something), Airport Hannover refused to let his new owner take it with him to the US. A nice ride, indeed!

Milan 4.2 two-seater’s in the Milan workshop

Also for the first time, I met Lutz and Jörg from Ginkgo-Veloteile. They drove more than 500km to attend and are even nicer in person than on the phone. Guess what, I didn’t take a photo of them either. What a useless photographer I become.

Despite the lack of usable images, it was a very nice day at Räderwerk.

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Big Ben vs. Big Ben Plus

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Next installment of my little tire comparisons for electric trikes. The Big Ben My electrified trikes are usually shod with the Schwalbe Big Ben. The Big Ben got a decent thread, a pretty effective ‘Race Guard’ flat protection layer, very … Continue reading

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Lights for the Milan

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Since bicycle lights don’t really cut it above a certain speed, the Milan will get some LED motorcycle lights. Headlight A Highsider LED Dual Stream 3in1 headlight. Headlight, high beam and parking light in a relatively small package. Its 739 … Continue reading

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