I'm new to both BikeCAD and frame design/bike building, but loving both. Having decided to model two of my own bikes, as a way of getting to grips with the software. I've made a list of a few things that I either couldn't find, or are missing and I'd personally like to see. Apologies if I've not looked hard enough! In no particular order:
- I cannot seem to set the colour of the dropouts? My track bike has stainless ones front & rear, just wanted to get the best look as I could
- Animation performance is dreadful when derailleur and/or chain is active, I found a forum post on this topic, I pointed jconsole at BikeCAD and it seemed to be spending all its time in a java.lang.Math.acos (http://blog.juma.me.uk/2011/02/23/performance-of-fastmath-from-commons-m...) so maybe an option to simply not animate these components would be a way round?
- I cannot see how to make any changes to the fork drop outs? As mentioned, stainless on the track bike, but also they aren't perpendicular to the ground (follow the line of the forks a little, not exactly) and this affects the wheel position... A *really* minor point, it is 1mm or so
- I cannot see how to set fastback seat stays? I set the lug details, but the top fo the seat stay just floats over the lug, again, minor point, but the ability to set the horizontal endpoint would be great
- Lug lining on the paint options would be fabulous
- My road bike (Orbea Orca) has a top tube that is basically flat along the top, but arched underneath (image I found: http://www.bicicosta.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/OrcaTLT.jpg) obviously this something that only really applies to carbon, but it'd be nice to be able to mirror that look
- A friend asked if I could model a Giant Propel he is looking at, I noticed it has aero front brakes, behind the fork, I couldn't fathom how to do that?
- Undo via command-z or control-z would be great
- A five minute auto save would be a fantastic addition
- The addition of a 'hub library' in the wheel area would be great
- I've searched for this, but haven't found it - tube offset (forward/backward) within component, i.e. steerer tube within headtube, I played around with variable sized headtubes etc. but there didn't seem to be a way to offset the physical tube for the steerer fron the front/rear of the head tube itself? Obviously, this really only applies to carbon and aero type frame designs
- Some windows don't make good use of available screen space - on the 'Paint' window for example, the 'Decal text and Colours' is very small, and doesn't grow with the window, means loads of scrolling in all directions
- On the Mac, the icon isn't high resolution, looks really fuzzy?
- Can the web site keep me logged in for longer? User preference maybe?
- Is there an easier way to display values (lengths, angles etc.) maybe context sensitive somehow? like context menu->change colour/geometry
Thanks for listening, and apologies in advance for any 'the answer to that one is under your nose' responses :)
Cheers - Robert...
Thanks for the feedback. Some great suggestions here.
The centre of the end of the seat stay is located some distance E from the top of the seat tube. It is also located some sideways distance Z from the centre of the seat tube. The key will be playing with values of Z to give you the seat stay attachment style you want. The animated GIF below demonstrates the effect of changing values of Z.
Brent - fantastic to get such a quick, and comprehensive response.
Responding to your comments, from the top...
Dropout Colour: I spotted the lug scheme, but yes, one dropout colour would be perfectly fine. It came from the fact that the first bike I modelled in BikeCAD has bare, stainless dropouts that are quite long, so a light grey/metal colour would give a nice effect.
Chain animation: I was thinking that the chain & derailleur would be visible, just not animated (but animated on export) but it is interesting to note that they introduce an overhead even when not animated. So yes, a note to the user about the performance drop off (and that it is a core Java issue, not a BikeCAD one) would be a good solution.
Front dropouts: I hadn't rationalised it through as far as you did, so thinking about it, I was probably overthinking it (and showing my lack of experience)...
Fastbacks: No, this isn't what I meant and having now spent some time tinkering with the software as you suggest, I cannot make it do what I interpret 'fastback' to be, I assume BikeCAD is calculating steat stay length based on other parameters, is it possible to set the length and fix it? This is an example I found via Google of my interpretation: http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/photos/on-show-north-american-handma...
Tube offset: I did explore the aero headtube, I guess I'd describe it as being able to specify the thickness of the front, or back of a given tube (aero head tube and seat posts being the most likely candidates?)... In your example image, if the thickness of the front of thetube was (say) 5mm that'd bring the centre line of the steerer back, which is what I'm after... But again, this is a minor point, cosmetic really! :)
Dimension templates: yeup, that's a workflow efficiency ;)
Thanks again for taking the time to reply to my rambling, I am very grateful and it is always nice to know that the developer engages with their customers :)
All the best - Robert...
Thanks for the feedback. I've just added another option for mounting seat stays. In addition to mounting the seat stays some distance along the seat tube, or some distance along the down tube, head tube, or top tube, you'll soon be able to mount the stays by some offset from the seat tube pinch boss.
This option won't actually be available until I release the next update. That means there's time to change this approach if anyone can suggest a better way of addressing this type of seat stay design.
On a different note, I meant to mention this in response to the comment about the colour buttons in the Paint dialog box. Some GUI components will be rendered differently depending on what Look and Feel you are using. When running BikeCAD on a Mac, I often change the look and feel from the default to the Metal look and feel. I find the tabs in the Dimensions dialog box are easier to manage as are the buttons in the Paint dialog box.
And thanks for the hint about look+feel, I've had a play and can see there are differences that do look much better.
Also, I think I may have found what I was looking for in terms of head set/steerer tube moving around, the TT fork style gives half of it, but without the fork bend... All good stuff to learn :)