This was the initial inspiration for Black Art. I actually bought the building plans!
However, upon further consideration at the time I decided against attempting to build it because I was not confident of my abilities with carbon fiber (this frame is carbon with foam core) and I did not like the seat and handlebar geometry. The steering of the front fork is by a universal joint and I subsequently determined that it failed and/or got real sloppy fast. In addition, most of the hardware would have to be custom machined and that did not appeal to me at all. So, it remained an idea machine…
@CFLBob I built a sailboat many years ago using 1/8" plywood cut into 2" wide strips then covered with polypropylene fabric saturated in epoxy. The hull was beautifully shaped with multiple-curved lines. That boat sailed! I’ve worked with wood all my life, so I am very confident with wood. I used Finnish birch ply because I researched the topic and that is supposedly the strongest plywood. Also, it’s just plain beautiful stuff to work with. If I were to do it again, however, I would build the frame differently. I hollowed out the frame in three large sections to make it lighter. Although the hollows make it a bit lighter not lighter enough to compensate for the increased flexibility. I would gladly add the pound or so of weight back to get increased stiffness. Finally, recumbents lend themselves more to homebuilt than diamond frame bikes. There’s really not much you can do with diamond frame bike design that isn’t already built by someone somewhere. Recumbents on the other hand are infinitely variable.
This is the closest ‘store-bought’ recumbent to what I want in a bike. I had a chance to buy one of these a few years before I built Black Art but passed on it because I didn’t think I was ready for underseat steering. Ha! Ha!
I eventually ended up buying a used Linear Mach 2 as my first recumbent. I had intended it as a bike for my wife but she never wanted to get near it. So I rode it for a couple of years even though it was too small for me and got accustomed to underseat steering enough to like it! The one I bought was all black.
I bought the wife this bike, which she rode occasionally for a couple years and hasn’t gone near for several years more and likely will never ride again:
I was momentarily temped to use the rear wheel in my suspended recumbent. It has a Sturmey Archer 8 speed hub gear which is what I’d like to use. It also has a drum brake and no mounting holes for a disk. So that kinda makes it unusable for me.