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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 08-27-08, 09:11 PM   #1
15rms
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Fairings?

I am wondering how many of you LWB riders are using full front fairings? I have a Lightfoot Ranger with a full fairing. The bike is somewhat heavy and slow. I am wondering if the fairing is really worth it? I want to get a Rans Stratus. I suspect the Rans would be faster and more advantages with the fairing. Anybody here with some experience they could share would be very helpfull.

Thanks
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Old 08-27-08, 11:46 PM   #2
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Yes, front fairings are worth it, and become more "worth it" the faster you go. I have mine so I can keep up with my wife:

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Old 08-28-08, 10:19 AM   #3
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How much weight does a full fairing add? How much does it cost? Does its becoming less transparent with age bother you?
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Old 08-28-08, 11:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LWB_guy View Post
How much weight does a full fairing add? How much does it cost? Does its becoming less transparent with age bother you?
A "full" hardshell fairing is a special-purpose custom-built product that will cost you a couple thousand dollars at least. It'd only be good for high-speed racing like what's happening at Battle Mountain this month: http://www.recumbents.com/home.asp?U...lenge-2008.htm

A Zzipper front fairing like mine will set you back $140 to $250, depending on how you get it:
http://zzipper.com/OrderForm_032707.pdf

For a RANS Stratus or Easy Racer-type bike, I'd absolutely get fairing. It might add 2 pounds, but you'll never notice the weight. You will notice that the bike is easier to push into headwinds and flies downhill.

I don't notice the scratches and dull spots in my fairing that much. In fact, I have another fairing that's 90% painted over. I ride behind it without a problem.

If you look at the photos, you'll see that I look over the fairing, not through it. If you're looking through the fairing, it's either set too high or you're looking at things so close to the front wheel that you can't react to them.
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Old 08-29-08, 08:47 AM   #5
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Depends. Guess i need a large sunroof and a LOTTA pillows. ;-)
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Old 08-29-08, 09:10 PM   #6
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It might add a couple of pounds but you get it back many times over, especially at higher speeds.
I only use mine on long rides or centuries as I consider that most of the time I'm out there to get exercise so why make it easier.
But I do love it on long rides. At the end of the day you will find yourself much fresher and less tired.
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Old 08-30-08, 12:27 PM   #7
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i need a large sunroof )
Sunroof 1, 2, 3, 4.
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File Type: jpg fairing 2.jpg (83.4 KB, 16 views)
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File Type: jpg fairing 4.jpg (45.8 KB, 20 views)
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Old 08-30-08, 07:43 PM   #8
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Think about how much more energy (gas) it takes to overcome wind at 55 mph vs 75mph with and automobile. The faster you go the more advatage areo has. Somewhere the litterature from Easy Racer says the fairing advantage starts at about 15 mph. Realize of course that means 15 mph air speed. Therefore if you are riding into a 10 mph wind at 5 mph you will start to notice the advantage. At 30 mph down a hill with a fairing and body sock "you be passing folks like they standing still" and they will be cussing you all the way. And is it ever fun!
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Old 09-01-08, 09:14 AM   #9
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shortboat,

Thank you pointing out average airspeed greater than 15 mph is the condition under which a fairing pays for its added weight.

Allan
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Old 09-01-08, 03:22 PM   #10
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The need for a fairing depends on the cross-sectional area of the bicyclist while riding. The minimum cross-sectional area would be flat on his back, feet forward, staring up at the sky. The maximum cross-sectional area would be straight up 'n' down (similar to a DF bicyclist). All the recumbents compromise between these two extremes.

Having looked at pictures of the RANS Stratus and the Easy Racer, following Jeff's assertion that these bikes benefit the most from fairings, I see that on these bikes the bottom bracket lies below the rider's waist. Whereas on some bikes, like mine, the bottom bracket lies in front of the rider's waist, reducing the cross-sectional area. Thanks for pointing that out, Jeff.
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Old 09-01-08, 07:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by LWB_guy View Post
The need for a fairing depends on the cross-sectional area of the bicyclist while riding. The minimum cross-sectional area would be flat on his back, feet forward, staring up at the sky. The maximum cross-sectional area would be straight up 'n' down (similar to a DF bicyclist). All the recumbents compromise between these two extremes.
On the far-left fringe of the spectrum, you put the rider on his/her back and then put a fairing around him/her/it:
(from http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/ristretto/ristretto.htm )



Then, if you're looking for a little more, you put the rider head-first on his back, watching the road through a mirror: http://www.eivie.com/
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Old 09-01-08, 08:42 PM   #12
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I had a fiberglass fairing that completely enclosed my tadpole trike. Extra weight to drag up hills, more strain on the brakes going downhill, poor ventilation for long tours in the summer, and the clear Lexan bubble I looked through froze over in the winter. Yea Verily for special events only. I rode Pete Pensayers' Easy Racer with a solid front fairing, cloth side panels a a small tailcone. Much more liveable.
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