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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Kite Buggy Weights

Over the last 18 months I have often looked at envy at other buggies, the Sysmic S2, the Libre Majestic and Dragster and of course the the Hobbs Carbon kite buggy, with a dream of owning a new shiny chunk of metal.
Hobbs Carbon Fibre
 But the one thing that comes up again and again (for me) is the weight of these buggies...

Sysmic S1 -  56kgs (big foots)
Sysmic S2 - 38kgs (basic)
Libre Majestic - 54kgs
Libre Dragster - 48.3kgs
Hobbs Carbon Fibre - 50kgs (approx)

(All weights from the manufacturers websites.)

Libre Majestic
And this puts me off as surely there must be some kind of power/weight thing going on? Stainless steel seems to be a heavy material to produce a performance kite buggy from.
F1 the ultimate example of power v weight
This maybe a completely stupid question, but I work in health and am not an engineer (though I did do technical drawing at school )-

But why aren't kite buggies designed and built to be as light as possible?

Surely a buggy could be built out of aluminium (like aircraft, some performance car chassis, mountain bikes) and be built/engineered to withstand the stresses, they wouldn't corrode and would potentially weigh less?
Libre Dragster
Sysmic S1

I am guessing the weight may help in up-wind performance(?) and holding that power, but can that be designed/engineered into a light weight buggy. How much lighter is aluminium at an equivalent strength to stainless steel? Is it a cost issue, is aluminium more expensive to manufacture and work? Is the weight limited by what we bolt onto the frame ie rims, tyres etc?

I don't know!

In the mean time I will keep on in my nice light weight Peter Lynn Comp XR+ (14.3kgs basic).

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