There is good news: the first Milan MK7 has rolled off the assembly line!
Article made by Jens
It is progressing!
Yes, it took longer than expected, an extensive update under corona conditions. But the result is outstanding!
I checked the vehicle extensively and test-driven it. The workmanship is stunning and I have no complaints. This is really a next level!
The factory is currently setting up a second form of production that will be ready next week and then two production-molds can be used in parallel to catch up. For everyone who is waiting impatiently.
Jan has done a great job implementing all the innovations and incorporating them into production, and the first copy is already at the very highest level of workmanship. Rear wheel is 100% aligned, everything sits perfectly and fits together. The gears all shift cleanly and the whole vehicle looks robust and stiff.
Here is a first impression:
The Milan and the DF can now be assembled by the same team, as the essential components (lighting system, rear swing arm, new brake cable routing, suspension struts ...) are identical. This gives a high level of security and quality, but also reduces complexity. The bonding of the internal structures is largely self-adjusting, which benefits process reliability.
More illustrations will follow!
I will once again explain the main innovations of the MK 7.
First the service hatch:
Purists were concerned about the idea of a service lid in the bow of the Milan.
I myself always did all the work in the bow of the Milan while I was sitting in the Milan. But is that reasonable for the customer?
The new hatch opening offers additional options and I am now sure that the hatch was the right decision.
Even in the initial assembly, the work is considerably simplified and the quality and cost-effectiveness in production are improved.
But that wasn't the real reason for the hatch. The hatch gives the driver easy access to the technology in the bow: changing the chainrings, adjusting the chain length, adjusting the gears, changing pedals, cleaning and oiling the chain, altering the lighting system and much more.
It enables the vehicle to be opened even wider when driving uphill and in extreme heat (or to use the Nacaduct option).
But what was also very important to me is that dealers make service work easier. In the future, retailers will no longer be expected to assemble everything while sitting with their head twisted. The combination of the new service hatch and the entrance opening in Milan that is wide open to the front makes a new unique selling point. You can now stand next to the Milan, turn the crank with your right hand through the service opening, shift the gears on the handlebars with your left hand through the hatch and at the same time watch the gear changes front and rear in a relaxed manner.
Here is the new wheel house:
In addition to the adaptation for the DF mono swing arm, an essential component of this wheel housing is the structure-borne noise-reducing design. The first test drive shows that it was successful.
In addition, the rear derailleur and the chain (especially in first gear) are given significantly more space so that there is no longer any contact between the rear derailleur cage and the wheel housing. Also a significant noise reduction.
On the left side, the new wheel housing has more space for engagement with the central screw of the axle, in order to facilitate service here.
For long derailleur cages (e.g. 1x12 gears), a deeper derailleur hood is integrated into the wheel arch, which adjusts the wheel arch when glued into the Milan body.
Next: the new seat support with pulley box
The seat support is now much stiffer and no longer flexes because it is glued to the massive cross member. The seat inclination can now be adjusted quickly and without tools, for example when adjusting to a different driver or when you want to vary your posture quickly during an extremely long tour. To do this, you simply remove individual PVC foam sheets (green sheets) or add some. The panels are fixed with Velcro.
In the event of a rear impact, these plates function to reduce the impact energy. The wide stiffened seat then forms the protective corset for the driver.
As before, under the Velcro strip is the service opening for the pulley.
The solid bars form a practical compartment on both sides of the seat that prevents parts from sliding under the seat.
The recessed crossbar gives the seat more degrees of freedom. Extreme seat adjustments can now be made.
The swing arm is easily accessible for service work.
There will also be a chain cover made of foam, which will then also allow luggage (light laundry bags) to be placed on the swing arm.
Screw connections have been made that are no longer necessary. That is still being corrected.
The entire sub-floor has now become very stable thanks to the spars.
The GT seat is now installed as standard in the new Milan MK7. It offers significantly more comfort because it has a lot more area in the back and distributes the pressure better. If you want to go in the direction of lightweight construction and asceticism, you can of course also have a narrow seat. If you want to sleep while driving, you should take the GT seat.
The new horizontal bulkhead creates a new luggage compartment in the rear that now also makes it possible to transport items of luggage in the headgear on the wheel arch, because they can no longer fall into the drive.
The DF swing arm in Milan:
As already described, the DF swing arm is installed in the Milan MK7. This swing arm is the most sophisticated velomobile swing arm today and is extremely light, manufactured using the inflation process and extremely stiff.
This swingarm was developed at velomobiel.nl and was then refined by Daniel Fenn at Intercitybike. Today it is installed in the Quest, Strada, DF, DFXL, Alpha 7 (adapted version) and now also in the Milan.
This means a great simplification in production.
⬇️ The swing arm derailleur hanger can be exchanged quickly and easily, and the new XT rear derailleur is now also used by various brands of velomobile.
⬇️ The rear derailleur hood is now integrated in the Milan- body and has been enlarged for 1-12 rear derailleurs.