Originally Posted by willkimbley
I'v been riding my 24v Synergy for about 5 years now and I'm ready to try my hand at kitting out a new bike. I live in Fresno so its pretty flat, so no great challenges there but I do want more speed and range. ...
I have no e-bike experience, but that's not a major factor here.
The best way to improve speed/range is to cut aerodynamic drag, and the most comfortable and practical way to do that is a long-wheelbase recumbent with a front fairing and body sock.
A long-wheelbase recumbent would be something like a Tour Easy
. A Tour Easy costs around $2500, but there are other similar bikes for about half that much.
The front fairing is the Lexan bubble thing on the front, that you see in many of those photos. Figure $400 or so for the front fairing. Zzipper
and Mueller Windwrap
make fairings; prices and quality of products from both companies are generally held to be comparable.
A body sock is a fabric covering, as shown here: http://www.bentbodysocks.com/
Ideally you would have a full hard fairing like on IHPVA record bikes such as the Varna Diablo
, but the cost and overall practicality of these shells leaves a lot to be desired.
A fairing+bodysock can be added to most long-wheelbase recumbents pretty easily, it provides most of the benefit that a full hard shell would and because the bodysock is soft
, it has some "give" in crosswinds making it much easier to handle than any hard shell will be.
If you can't stand the idea of using a recumbent, then Zipper makes a fairing designed for semi
-upright bikes--as shown in the middle photo here mounted on the RANS Zenetic: http://www.zzipper.com/
(-I don't know that Mueller makes a fairing that is applicable to any upright bikes, you'd have to ask them-)
The RANS Zenetic is a semi-recumbent, but I'd think that the fairing should also fit on an upright bike too. The base Zenetic msrp's for $1400, but the Fusion and base Dynamik models are around $1000: http://www.ransbikes.com/
The body sock would need a rear frame to attach to (you may have to make that yerself) and the material itself is just lycra fabric.