View Full Version : Tailbox Materials

06-13-2014, 07:53 AM
Not strictly Velomobile but related.

I'm pondering building a streamlined Tailbox for the rear of my Lowracer & am at the 'throwing a few ideas around' kind of stage.

I want to be able to carry luggage, but also keep the weight down.

Aside from Coroplast, Plywood etc etc, another idea outside the box so to speak is to fit a rack to mount my existing pannier bags on when req'd, and construct a minimal skeleton using a tent style arrangement possibly, and stitching a fabric cover to go over the top of it - spandex or something more widely available like Kite fabric.

Anyone ventured here before?

06-13-2014, 08:35 AM
Hi there

Well yes and no !

I did build a plywood one for my SpeedRoss , the only time I decked it [ twice from low speed !] was when it carried the box it cracked it a bit however a bit of gorilla glue and slapping some more black on tended to mask the scars [ and the box as well :jester: ]

It tended to be noisy and being plywood was rigid in what it would carry , a pannier always seems to distort to accommodate odd shaped items you force into it.

John Tetz uses camping foam and does as you suggested with an internal pannier rack :-


body here :-


the area to look is cross hobbies [ no not cross dressing , that is entirely different ! ]

Model aircraft builders have some great materials , they can get plywood down to 1/64" in 2 x 4 foot sheets also they use 1/4" x 1/4" spuice that can curve around simple forms for the outside and then be cover with on of their space age materials either Solarfilm or stronger Solartex [ in the UK ] these materials can be put on with a domestic iron come ready with glue on reverse and are naturally water proof however this can be enhanced by applying several coats of banana oil [ a not shrinking dope ]

then there is this ?


and finally for this post .....PLANS !!!


boy am I good to you.....

06-13-2014, 01:09 PM
Ah yes,
The geodesic boats.

Nearly was tempted to build one.

Info on the Dacron fabric cover here.

06-13-2014, 03:27 PM
Hi Swizz69

I made a bag this year for my highroller


The fabric is what sports holdall's are normally from and to create the curve I used some 1mm thick polypropylene from oadby plastics. Really easy to cut with a pair of scissors, the sheet is what is used to give bags strength normally laid as a flat sheet in the bottom of bags.

06-14-2014, 02:37 AM
These are the sort of things I meant :-


they can look quite attractive and are simple stringers over plywood formers :-


and mine , the coffin !


a little more complicated than it looks as it straddled the wheel and had a bladder bag holder up against the slope behind the seat.

06-14-2014, 06:26 AM
Hi Swizz69,

Apologies for what is about to become an attempt at a "thread-hi-jack" ;-)

In your picture below where you have a "High-Roller-like" bike in round tube.
What did you do to accomplish the bottom bracket tube insert into the main beam?
Is it a standard tube of exactly the right size, or did you cut a slice out of another section of main-beam tube and put it in a vice to close it up a bit and weld it up?
I am facing this challenge and I am looking for "options".


06-14-2014, 07:36 AM

No worries - a welcome distraction - the previous 4 posts are occupying all my thoughts right now - my head is in tailbox overdrive - lots of different ideas to chew over & all good!

Thanks guys :D

06-14-2014, 09:24 AM

That is a commercial recumbent a Speed Ross , I was told that exhaust tubing could be bought in straight lengths and nested however that was not my experience.

The stuff I bought should have nested , maybe the ends were damaged I never did cut them off and try as IIRC there was a visible seam down the inside of the tubing and I did not know how to remove that.

Emma or John will be along shortly to tell us mere mortals how to remove the seam easily with just a kitchen scourer some Hendersen's relish and a flat shoe lace ......

06-14-2014, 09:50 AM
I did see on one of the welding vids where one chap was making a sliding in tube for a desk or table or summat, and because of the seam internally sticking out he made a groove into the tube that goes internally to accommodate it as the removing of the raised seam internally would be well tricky.

(Scourer and hendersons relish and a flat shoe lace. Chuckel chuckle!)

06-14-2014, 10:03 AM
I wonder if there will an increase in Google searches for :-

Scourer and hendersons relish and a flat shoe lace

from our overseas cousins ?

06-14-2014, 10:19 AM
(Scourer and hendersons relish and a flat shoe lace. Chuckel chuckle!)


Dremel , extension drive, and a Dremel style grind stone

In the absence of the 4 ducks that have lost their internet connection and John who is preparing for the LONDON TO BRIGHTON BIKE RIDE Tomorrow ( Fathers day )

I am sure we will wish him luck 56 miles on a trike after 560 around Holland .

Good luck John

Regards emma

06-14-2014, 10:29 AM

06-14-2014, 12:36 PM
Hi All,

Thanks for the many responses.
I know about Steel tubes direct, I was looking for a DIY (no purchase required) option. :-)
I have an alternative of a 45mm sleeve to slip over my 44.65mm main tube.
I will just slit it and put some threaded connector on it to close it up over the main tube.
It is only necessary because with so many variables and unknown's in the build at the moment I want some flexibility in where I can place the BB.
Eventually I can discard it and affix it in the one place forever.

Anyway...I must stop hi-jacking Swizz69's thread. Apologies again.