Monday, February 8, 2010

John Morciglio's latest carbon fiber wonder

Here's the latest carbon fiber creation from John Morciglio of Waterford, who started building it prior to the Michigan Human Powered Speed Challenge in July 2009.
Then the customer lost his job, so John returned his deposit and worked on the bike when he had extra time, so only finished it recently.
“Hammerhead” is front-wheel-drive and steering, with the bottom bracket moving back and forth as the wheel moves. “So far I like the format, but need more seat time to see if I will race this bike, sell it or keep for hilly rides,” John wrote. “It is very strange to have the feet connected to the steering.”
The geometry is geared toward climbing, with a high seat angle and low bottom bracket.
Some specifications: Wheelbase, 44.5 in.; seat height, 20 in.; bottom bracket height, 19.5 in.; weight with wheel covers, platform pedals, and tailcone brackets, 21 pounds, 2 oz.
For now, there's no front deraileur, so the only gearing is the nine-speed cassette, but John plans to add a front deraileur “when I get a chance.”
Here's what John posted about his bike on the homebuilders discussion group site:
“I finally got to try out my Hammerhead.
It CAN be hammered!
The pedal torque is minimal. This is a surprise, but a good one.
Had two short rides so far. First one, about 1 hour. Went better than I expected. It took a lot longer to learn to ride the Fujin (first bent). So being able to keep it up and turn on the first try was re-assuring.
I think putting it on the rollers reduced the learning curve.
Steering feels strange. Having input from the feet will take some getting used to.
I could make tight turns on day one. Didn't think I could pedal through the turns due to crank length changing, but this does not seem to be an issue.
The only way I can ride it no-handed now is with my feet off the pedals.
It will take some time to learn to steer with the feet.
(It) Feels like it pulls left or right, with left or right foot forward.
To see some of John's earlier carbon fiber creations, scroll down to the Michigan HP Speed Challenge report, posted Aug. 13, 2009; Bryant Tucker 100, July 5; and MHPVA annual meeting report, Feb. 21, 2009.
Morciglio makes custom carbon fiber bikes (recumbents and uprights) and other products for customers. For more information, go to or call 248-499-9915.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tedd Wheeler's new race bike

Tedd Wheeler of Reed City, north of Grand Rapids, who has been a regular competitor at Human Powered Race America events the past few years, will be competing this year on a new machine, Gritters No. 11, replacing (mostly) his Easy Racers Javelin.
Builder and fellow racer Rick Gritters of Pella, Iowa, finished Tedd's new bike on Dec. 24 and Tedd plans to race it for the first time at the HPRA Florida Challenge Feb. 20-21 in Canyon City.
The main frame tubes are 1.75 inch chromoly, with the rear chain stays 1.25 x .049. The rear dropouts are 3/16 inch. The front fork is 4130 streamlined tubing, .035 thick, with a 1-inch threaded steerer tube.
Here's some specifications: Wheels/tires, Schwalbe Kojak 20x1.35 rear/16x1.25 front; wheelbase, 45 in.; weight, 26.5 pounds; seat height, 8 inches; bottom bracket height, 15 inches.
Dennis Grelk, another HPV builder/racer from Iowa, machined the 72 tooth chainring. The nine-speed cassette has 11-32 teeth, giving a gear range of 45-131.