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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Descent into Non-Conformity Begins...

    (Note: Read the following with a sense of humor).

    Thus begins my experiment.



    The Dahon Helios P8 neutered into a singlespeed which I am using as a commuter bike is currently in the LBS having its front axle bearings and bottom bracket bearings replaced. The parts have to be ordered on (or as I've recently learned, being cannibalized from existing inventory). Given the bike's vintage, I hope this isn't a problem although I'll be certain to blame some 9 year old in China working for a $1 a day if it is.

    Having been warned by the inscrutable knowledge of the internet, I will be certain to watch out for misaligned forks, overly tight cups and cones, seat post frame cracks and the dreaded rim crack around the 5000 km. Until then, I'll be carefully document my experience for a class action lawsuit against Dahon for this bike I bought used off Craigslist at a cheap price - which probably means it was stolen.

    Back to the box which arrived this morning. Have a look at the shipping label:



    It's from Karl Abbe of this company: http://www.zzipper.com/

    Once I get the bike back from the LBS, I'll be mounting what's in the box and trying it out. A tip of the hat to a Moulton from 1960 for the inspiration. "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

    Last edited by puppypilgrim; 08-24-10 at 12:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Wow. Should be a fascinating journey. Keep us informed! We'll live vicariously through you.


    PS: Non-conformity is the norm on this forum!

  3. #3
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Just avoid anyone called Alan on Craiglist selling folders, the chains break lol! He will blame your calves hahaha!

    Good luck with he upgrades!

  4. #4
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    Mulleady, I don't know if I would classify it an upgrade...more of an experiment. I don't know if I will like it, hate it or go meh? I figure the fairing is a piece of transferable equipment that I can appropriate for other bikes if I don't like it on the Dahon. I've toyed with the idea over several years but didn't have the gumption to pull the trigger until now. Living in a rainy city, I like the idea of a fairing to aid against the cold and rain.

    These are the only pictures I could find of a commuter bike fitted with a fairing on the internet (non-racing specific use):


  5. #5
    The Metropolis, UK
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    I think it's a great idea to innovate and experiment. Not my cup of tea but I could see it being great for preventing flies and stuff getting into mouth and face on a tour. Look forward to your insights and pics!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Here is another picture of a Moulton with a Zipper fairing and what appears to be a hub gear of sorts. I cannot tell from the picture whether it is a singlespeed, Duomatic of some kind or 3 speed.



    It would appear this fairing is placed too low as the rider's chest is still exposed.
    Last edited by puppypilgrim; 08-25-10 at 04:26 PM.

  7. #7
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    Moulton space frame with derailleurs and Zipper Fairing.


    This fairing is positioned at a height recommended by Karl Abbe. The eyes should be located just above the fairing.
    Last edited by puppypilgrim; 08-25-10 at 04:26 PM.

  8. #8
    jur
    jur is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by puppypilgrim View Post
    Here is another picture of a Moulton with a Zipper fairing and what appears to be a hub gear of sorts. I cannot tell from the picture whether it is a singlespeed, Duomatic of some kind or 3 speed.
    Probably a SA 5 speed, going by the two shifters on the stem.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  9. #9
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    Picked up the Dahon Helios yesterday from the LBS and rode it from downtown to meet my wife and kid who were at kid's birthday party in the Kerrisdale area. The front hub bearings and bottom bracket bearing were replaced. The BB was replaced with Shimano bearings which the bike mechanic told me would basically last forever (dunno how true that is but it was comforting to hear) and the front ones were cartridge type ones.

    The front wheel now spins completely SILENT and seems to rotate forever and ever. It is hard to exaggerate the difference before and after the wheel bearing replacement. Previously, the rotation would stutter and creak. Along with the BB bearing replacement, the bike no longer creaks and the only sound is the sound of the rear freewheel and Surly Singleator and road noise. The Kojaks are quieter than the Marathon Racers the bike came with.

    In golf, there have been studies showing the relationship between SOUND and FEEL. Basically, sound IS feel where golf clubs is concerned. When a bike is quietened, it seems to feel more solid and refined. A set of fenders was also mounted as we are nearing the end of summer.

  10. #10
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Nice one PP! Very useful to know if I ever hear such sounds. Wishing you a long and trouble-free session with the Helios now :-)

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Riding behind a fairing does improve winter comfort
    the guy with the number plate had better be in a tuck when on the roll
    as the air needs to be directed over your shoulders and not onto your chest

    If you are going to get aerodynamic benefit

  12. #12
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    I'm lugging the box containing the fairing in the first picture above back home using the commuter train and installing it this weekend. Will take project pictures and post on this thread.

    I don't use a cyclometer so I wont' be able to give you readouts. Karl of Zipper fame has said the fairing typically allows a rider to ride one cog smaller (faster) under the same conditions. I'm just gearing it up for the colder months.

    By far, the kind of riders most willing to embrace the use of fairings appear to be recumbent riders and HPV (Human Power Vehicles, not Human Papiloma Virus!!) riders.

    Last edited by puppypilgrim; 08-27-10 at 03:56 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Chop!'s Avatar
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    Fairing nuf!
    A to Z of Folding Bikes, Designers, Sellers, Accessories, Forums, Meetings, Publications
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    Chop! The mad Welshman, lost in the urban jungle somewhere between LLanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and Vladivostock!

  14. #14
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    Picture later as I have a birthday party to go to. Here's the videos after the install.

    Into a strong, strong headwind:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkMve3RBjI8

    With a tailwind:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr2KePC_1jI

    Fairing is VERY quiet. You can only hear it when it flexes going over bumps on the road. The quality of the fittings and mounting hardware from Zipper Fairing are very very good. Taking my time with the installation, I would say it took me about 2 hours to unpackage, fine adjust and fit everything together. Adept bike mechanics may fair faster.

    Even with gusts of wind, I don't feel as if the steering is twitchy. It is much more comfortable behind the fairing. Weird thing is you hear the sound of the chain and freewheel much more with a fairing than without. If you take long road trips, I think a fairing is a worthwhile piece of kit. My test ride today was in very high winds and I still found it a benefit.

  15. #15
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    Installation Pics.


    Here is the bike from the left side before the fairing installation.


    The bike from the right side before the fairing installation.


    When the brown box was opened, these three items were found. On the top is the fairing with wrapped in plastic and a made-to-measure flannel cloth sleeve ($30 extra). The green bundle contains the mounting hardware. The white envelope has the receipt and installation instructions.


    The package on the left contains the fork mounts consisting of custom made stainless steel P-clamps shrouded with black rubber. The nuts are nylon lock. The package on the right has cleaning wipes for the fairing.




    The T-brackets which mount on the handlebar and connect to the fairing.


    Close up of the machined parts which are sized to the diameter of the handlebar on your bike.


    P-clamp which goes onto the fork of the bike and fastens the lower portion of the fairing.


    Lower mount in place.


    Just roughing the upper mounts in place.
    Last edited by puppypilgrim; 08-28-10 at 04:52 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    The fairing is unfurled and lo, it is covered with an light adhesive backing to prevent scatches. I will now proceed to insert the rubber grommets into the pre-drilled holes.


    The squeezable rubber grommets being inserted into the pre-drilled holes in the fairing.


    The finished installation from the left side of the bike.


    Head on view of the bike showing coverage. The instructions say the fairing should be 1 to 1.75 inches above the front tire but I could not make it fit that low.


    View from the rider's perspective.

    Karl of Zipper Design (http://www.zzipper.com/contact.php) is a very nice gentleman and was most helpful. If you do roads trips, I highly recommend considering the use of a fairing. On an upright bike, it feels like being able to draft a car all the time...
    Last edited by puppypilgrim; 08-28-10 at 05:08 PM.

  17. #17
    Erudite white trash lexm's Avatar
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    Gotta say: The finished product looks way cool. Bravo, good show, and full points to you!

  18. #18
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    Thanks lexm. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," they say. So I'll need to get out there and ride this baby to gauge how much of a difference it makes. I am guessing not more than 3 minutes improvement in my 52 minute commute. Being a commute and not controlled track conditions, one has to deal traffic lights and road conditions which vary from day to day. I'm just gearing up for the colder, wetter season.

    If I keep it a singlespeed, this will mean I will expend less energy for a similar speed OR it can mean I pedal at a higher cadence than previously and achieve a faster flat terrain speed. Downhills will be faster too if I am willing to coast downhill without braking (however I'm not the daredevil kind). Going uphill, the whole thing adds about 3 lbs.

  19. #19
    jur
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    I wonder if the fairing needs to be tilted back a bit for improved aerodynamics? (sez he who has no clue whatever about these things)
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  20. #20
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    Kitted out for my commute.








  21. #21
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    Good point Jur. I will experiment and see. Thanks.

    [edited after some research]

    Apparently good aerodynamics is not often intuitive...Take a look at this source page here: http://www.mueller-hp.com/ub.htm This is the webpage for Mueller's Human Powered Vehicles fairings.

    Check out the following fairing for an upright bike:


    Instead of leaning backwards, the fairing is leaning forwards!
    Last edited by puppypilgrim; 08-30-10 at 12:26 AM.

  22. #22
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    So I did my Monday morning 20 km commute to work using the bicycle with the fairing. The fairing and mounts add about 2.5 to 3 lbs (1.36 kg) to the bicycle. Admittedly since N=1, your mileage may vary.

    Here is what I found:

    - Fairing keeps me much more sheltered from the wind. No surprise here. I normally wear two layers of t-shirts, lycra leggings, shorts then a visibility vest (orange with large yellow reflective stripes). By the time I reached No. 2 Road and Westminster Hwy, I had to stop and remove the shorts and 2nd layer of t-shirt since I was so hot. Enhanced comfort allowed me to ride with a more steady cadence but the singlespeed gear caps my top speed on the flats and downhills.

    - It took me 51 minutes 27 seconds to reach door-to-door (20 km large portion uphill). Just a 1 second difference on average with and without the fairing. I am a lot more comfortable but not any faster. It appears that any speed gains for the terrain profile I use for commuting will have to come from the use of gears and not just the aerodynamic benefit of the fairing. This means my average speed including the big hill from Kent Ave to 41st is still 23 km/h door to door.

    - it is now the lack of gears that is limiting my average speed in the commute.

    - somewhere along River Road and the UBC Boathouse, I saw Philip an employee of E-Cycle (http://www.ecodrive.ca/index.html). Philip rides a modified electric scooter powered by 48 volts of lithium ion batteries towing a Rubber Maid trailer with his stuff. He caught up with me near River Rock Casino and we talked until the big uphill to Langara along Cambie. Back on the flats, I asked him how fast we were cruising at and he said 27 km/h (16.7 mph). That was about 85 rpm cadence. That was a comfortable talking pace and not a speed pace for me.

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Guess you don't fold it anymore, from the looks of it.. but you ride what you got..
    may have to work on QR mods of the handlebar and fork fittings.

  24. #24
    The Metropolis, UK
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    it is now the lack of gears that is limiting my average speed in the commute.
    Come back Snafu, PP had seen the light Single speed nirvana was just a temporary high.

    I believe your single speed efficiency came from the personal fitness you developed over the last 2 years PP. Thanks for sharing the experience about the fairing, very interesting. I'd never use one as I always need my bike to fold.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Mulleady, this was always about experimenting and learning for me. I now know with some degree of certainty that I am cycling pretty close to my max for my 20 km commute while being bound by traffic laws. It is surprisingly how little difference it made in time taken riding in real world conditions. I was a lot more comfortable though.

    Snafu, I am now considering a return to gears to see the difference it makes to the commute.

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