Mounting instructions for the WISIL HPVers Nose Cone Kit

Mounting instructions for the WISIL HPVers Nose Cone Kit

1998 - A tutorial by Warren Beauchamp

The WISIL HPVers had offered the WISIL HPVers nose cone kit in the winter of 1998, for a limited production run. This kit included 1 nose cone bubble, intended to be the nose cone for a Coroplast bodied SWB 'bent. The nose cone was a free blown bubble that  was 17" wide, 34" tall and about 14" deep. They weighed around 2 lbs. We made almost 30 of them, and I shipped them all around the United States. We sold the kit for $75 plus box and shipping.  If you are currently looking for this type of item, contact TerraCycle they may be able to make you one.

Here's a picture of the WISIL nose-cone, with flanges still attached:

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This picture was taken by Robert Wefel, who received the first production bubble.

This is what the the WISIL bubble looks like on Pete Huber's modified Speed Ross:

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In addition to making the brackets and installing the fairing, he also changed the handle bar configuration to keep his hands in the lee of the bubble. Wayne Estes notes that he has also modified the chain line to eliminate some idlers, and added a fourth front chainring.

The Nose Cone Kit contains one (1) blown Vivak (PETG) bubble. This bubble is designed to be the nose cone portion of a Coroplast fairing for a short wheelbase recumbent bike. While it will work fine without the rest of the fairing, or on a long wheelbase recumbent, the instructions on this page are geared toward the short wheelbase/fairing scenario. To mount this bubble to your bike, you will need to fabricate some brackets. The following page offers tips, tricks, and techniques for mounting the bubble to your 'bent.
This picture below shows the basic mounting scheme. The yellow lines indicate fairing outline. Note that the fairing should enclose your shoulders, but leave the head exposed. For safety reasons, and practicality, this is best for a fairing to be used on the street. bubblemounting1.gif (10593 bytes)
bubblemounting2.gif (6086 bytes) The basic mounting scheme involves using plastic plumbing pipe to create mounts for your nose cone. The upright mount starts at the bottom with a plastic "tee" ( "T" ) that, when cut in half, fits snugly over the boom of your bike. This tee is held in place with metal hose clamp. A chunk of bike tube can be used under the tee and the hose clamps to keep the tee from sliding, and prevent the hose clamps from damaging the paint. a 3/4" or larger tube fits into the upper portion of the tee, followed by more tee's and tubes. Aluminum straps are added to strengthen the center "T", as that is where failures usually occur.
In addition to the upper "T" mount shown above, you will need a front mounting bracket. This bracket will attach to your bottom bracket on one end, and to the fairing on the other. I recommend pop riveting an aluminum strip (1" x 1/8") into the nose cone, and attaching the front mounting "T" to the aluminum strap with large wire ties. The larger "T" can be cut in half so that it fits over the forward portion of the bottom bracket. Hose clamps will hold it securely to the bottom bracket. Another reason for the aluminum strap is to give some strength to the bubble, and to keep the sides from caving inward in strong winds. bubblemounting3.gif (9867 bytes)
If you are using the nose cone in cold weather (below 30 F), I recommend either replacing the plastic "T"s with aluminum, or reinforcing them with aluminum or fiberglass/epoxy. The plastic "T"s become quite brittle and can crack in cold weather. I had one break during a ride once... Like any plastic, the bubble can also become more brittle in cold weather, though I have ridden in 10 F weather without incident. If you use the nose cone without a full fairing, or decide to use a cloth fairing, you will need to further strengthen you mounting brackets, as a full Coroplast fairing prevents the nose cone from bouncing forward. The best location for the fairing is so that the bottom of your heel just misses hitting the bottom of the nose cone, and your toe just misses hitting the inside of the nose cone.
bubblemounting4.gif (3451 bytes) If you are will be using the nose cone without a Coroplast fairing, you will need to add an additional strap to stop the nose cone from bouncing forward. A chunk of 1/8 x 1" aluminum strap, attached to the top "T" at one end, and angling down to just before the head tube at the other, will prevent the nose cone from bouncing forward. It can be attached with a hose clamp at each end.


Cutting your bubble:
You can cut the nose-cone bubble with a hot-knife, aviation snips, or a jigsaw. Be careful while cutting, as the plastic can crack if overstressed. Be sure to sand off any rough edges on the edges of the nose cone to prevent cracks from starting. I use aviation snips (they cost about $15 at most hardware stores).

I highly recommend that you paint the outside of your nose cone. The PETG material (The same stuff a 2-liter pop bottle is made from) is UV sensitive to a certain degree. This means that over a period of time (many years), the plastic will degrade if exposed to bright light. If you store the bike inside, the bubble will last for as long as you care to keep it. I have used a couple of kinds of enamel based spray paints with good results. Be sure to clean the bubble with a damp cloth before painting. Paint the bubble a light color, or you will cook yourself on hot days. I have been using "Americas Finest" spray paint (Home Depot) by Rustoleum in the color "Sun Yellow", as it matches the yellow Coroplast almost perfectly. The paint and bubble have held up well for over a year now...

Other Resources:
Ed Gins fairing page - Ed Gin explains how to build a Coroplast fairing
Warren's Practical fairing page - I explain some more...

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