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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 04-11-07, 05:35 PM   #1
gew0419
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I like the fender discussion, how about fairings

So, I am getting some good opinions about fenders on both sides of the issue. How about fairings? yes or no?

Last edited by gew0419; 04-11-07 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 04-11-07, 06:29 PM   #2
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Oh, would that it were that simple!!!? I rode with a fairing on my V-Rex for many years and loved having it. Likewise, there are about 60 EasyRacers in my club, and virtually all of them have fairings. That says a lot. OK, now on my lowracer... Considering the lowracer is fast enough anyway, I've chosen to NOT use a fairing with it. So yea or nay might depend on what 'bent you have as well as how you use it and what your expectations are.
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Old 04-11-07, 08:09 PM   #3
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Full fairings call for cool dry weather. By diverting the air around the bike and yourself you may go faster but have less cooling of your body. At some point you will have to ditch the fairing or risk heat stress/stroke. This I learned the hard way on a long tour in southern California.
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Old 04-11-07, 09:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
Full fairings call for cool dry weather.
Full fairings are great for cool rainy weather too! I have 2 lexan Zzippers, fiberglass & kevlar lower/doors/tailfin, and a convertible top rear window to swing down for a side window in the rain or wind on one of my trikes. Lots of insulation keeps it from overheating so far. Pretty darn heavy with all that- 77 pounds. Obviously not a racer!

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Old 04-12-07, 06:47 AM   #5
gew0419
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I live in Oregon. I ride a sun EZ sport. I commute on it daily and go for long rides on weekends. It's cold and often rainy here. I hate putting on rain gear as I am wet inside the rain gear by the time I get to work (because of sweat). So I think I will get a fairing. I need suggestions.
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Old 04-12-07, 07:58 AM   #6
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I have a Streamer fairing on my trike. I don't think I would have been able to commute through the winter without it. It effectively cut out the wind chill and kept much of the snow off me. In the rain, it keeps my feet and shins competely dry. I highly recommend a fairing to anyone who rides in less than ideal conditions.
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Old 04-12-07, 05:27 PM   #7
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...anyone who rides in less than ideal conditions.
That would be me for sure!!!
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Old 04-13-07, 01:21 PM   #8
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http://www.whatisafairing.com

I say; it's called a fairing because it takes the strong wind that's blowing in your face ,and turns it into a FAIR wind.
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Old 04-13-07, 01:23 PM   #9
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Based on the Kenworth truck spoiler.
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Old 04-13-07, 02:20 PM   #10
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As all ready pointed out, a fairing is not the best for a warm day, but let me add it can make you feel like a bug under a magnifying glass even if it is on the cool side with direct sun. I used one on my Stratus, have one I swap back and forth between the trikes and the Corsa. I almost never use it anymore, mainly if I need to ride in strong winds. Doesn't make you any faster in the winds, doesn't seem to help going down wind as one would hope, but by keeping the pounding wind off your chest, it really helps moral.

Alsoi can be good for scaring dogs who don't know what to make of you/it.
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Old 04-13-07, 07:18 PM   #11
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Some good points being made here. Not all fairings are lexan/polycarbonate (clear,) though. I made the one on my V-Rex, out of coroplast. I don't ride the 'Rex as much as I used to; but I consider the fairing good in any weather I have ever seen here in Michigan. Being translucent, it blocks the sun. No need for sunblock when using it, and no greenhouse effect!

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Old 04-14-07, 06:03 AM   #12
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I have one for my LWB bent and use it for long rides and tours. I did find out last year, though that they are best left off in a strong crosswind. We were on a tour and one day there was a 35mph direct crosswind with gust over 45. On the leg idirectly into the wind (the first 40 miles) it was OK, but on the crosswind leg the gusts would actually almost pick me up and blow me across the centerline to the other side of the road despite me fighting it with the best of my ability. That day was brutal! I thought that sooner or later I'd be blown across in front of a Mack Truck so finally pulled off the road, took it off and stashed it in a farmer's pile of hay bales along the road. That evening, borrowed a car and went back and retrieved it.
But that experience was the only time I didn't like it. I think it helps on long rides in most wind conditions. I used it in snow and rain last fall and I think it kept me a bit warmer than the DF riders.
Like cfblue, I have not noticed it being any faster downwind, but then this is pretty subjective. I've not noticed any greenhouse effect on a hot day either, other than cutting the breeze a bit maybe.
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Old 04-14-07, 12:27 PM   #13
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My Rotator Pursuit came with a fairing that I used off and on
for the first 18mo or so, until it split up the cut out over the
front wheel. I ride central Alabama where it can be pretty
hilly at times and found on the average it was a decrement
because it slowed me down enough on longer hills that the
improvement on the flats was not enough to justify the
extra 3# weight. It tended to vibrate on chipseal and boom
a bit. It was noticeably warmer in winter, not a problem in
the summer. Biggest annoyance in the afternoon in winter
was that sun angle was just right to bounce a specular
reflection off the top the fairing into my eyes when riding west.
Finally got some car polish and let it dry in the affected area
which left a semiopaque white spot which did not reflect
light. A few wayward leaves showed that air flow was over
the top of the fairing down towards my feet and out along the
inside of the fairing. As to what the fairing did for me: it
felt like I was permanently sitting in behind a DF bike. Ie, when
riding behind a DF rider and benefitting from the wind block, if
I pulled out and went around, I noted no loss of wind block
effect. I had the opportunity of sitting in behind a Tour
Easy Ti with a similar front fairing and noticed I had NO wind
shelter at all, it was as if the air flowed around the bike and
reconvened right behind it , there was no pocket of shelter.
On hills I had to pedal the Pursuit to keep up with him as he
coasted down the same hill, eventually coasting away.
Tour Easy and Pursuits have a similar form factor and rider
mounts relativel to the wind. I was unfaired at the time.
One final comment, the way the fairing on the Pursuit is
mounted, the fairing turns with the bars and tight low speed
turns would result in the foot hitting the edge of the fairing.
This was a minor annoyance. Transporting the bike is a
chore as the fairing adds a LOT of bulk to the bike and cant
be left on the bike if the bike is externally mounted to the
car and run at highway speeds.
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Old 04-15-07, 05:30 PM   #14
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Sch, I found your comments very interesting. I've had a few DF's and bents try to pull in and draft with me with my fairing, one a jet pilot who tried it and said it was like trying to follow a 747 with its massive wake turbulence! He's an experienced biker and he couldn't do it. So I think you are correct with your analysis of the air flow.
If I'm not planning on going very far or very fast I put the fairing cover over it and wrap it with a few soft bungees and it travels OK. But for any longer distances its better to take it off.
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