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  1. #1
    Newbie Dogrobber's Avatar
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    Windsheilds - Who uses em'; who doesn't; and why

    As a newbie I have no history to know if this has been discussed, dissed, supported or otherwise beaten to a fine froth - I did do a search and found no thread titled with "windshield."

    I ride an aluminum EZ Racer and love it. I am a solid 250 lbs and the EZ is a strong SOB. Climbs well enough and is very comfortable. Recently I put a windshield on it and have had some results which surprised me. It seems (and I say seems, because I am not sure) that it speeds me up. It has a significant effect in headwinds - I can crank one gear higher than I could without it.

    Now this all could be on account of an increase in fitness; BUT . . . it could be a bit of assistance from the windshield.

    Now chime in if you care to. Those that don't like windshields come ahead and express yourselves - I have one on my bike, I a not wedded to it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    The clear plastic bubble on the front is customarily called a fairing. I'm sure someone who has one will chime in. I've heard that in addition to providing a small speed boost, fairings can help keep the rider warm in winter by shielding you from cold headwinds.
    Last edited by Recumbomatic; 07-09-12 at 12:43 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'll probably get a Windwrap for my bent come winter/rainy weather. I may eventually get a full sock as well, but I think I'll have to make a custom tail end to mount it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Fairing.jpgCatrike%u00252520Windwrap%25202.JPGI ran one on my trike and on my SWB.
    I did it mostly for comfort against rain and cold. For that it works great. as to speed, I am not sure there was much gain. It certainly did not slow me down, but it is hard to quantify the speed improvement.

    It is my understanding that of all the bent platforms, the LWB like your EZ, is the one that benefits the most from a fairing due to the fairly upright position. Faired and socked Tour Easy/ Easy Racer are generally considered fast.


    Some random observations:

    * It does seem to have a positive sail effect with any tail wind, even a quartering one.
    * It makes the bike bigger and harder to "park" (not an issue with the trike.
    * It makes getting on the trike a bit trickier, (not an issue with the bike).
    * It amplifies perceived chain noise in the cockpit. Both have idlers and chain tubes.
    * You may want to put a cover on the fairing when the bike is stored/parked to keep dust and scratches away.
    * I made my own mounts out of PVC pipe and aluminum, since "store bought" mounts can be pricey.
    * Warning, riding a trike with a fairing makes you want to buy a velomobile.
    Last edited by rex615; 07-09-12 at 01:34 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I built a series of Coroplast fairings for my V-Rex. My primary motivation was to make it easier keeping up with the 'A' group in my club. Some fairings were faster than others, but all of them offered some protection from cold winds and light rain. I stopped using them when I got bikes that didn't need fairings to go fast. Unfaired is lighter and easier to transport.

  6. #6
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Wouldn't have wanted a fairing on my 100+ degree rides last week.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I've tried both but concluded to go without. Primary reason is that more than half my mileage is in the dark, due to commuting, and the fairing gets in the way of the lights, and if you light from within then you have glare and reflection. If you ride in daylight you'l'l never notice this effect. If you can mount your lights above the fairing or in front of it, then it would be better all around. I also found when adding rain or snow to the dark riding, that it became problematic to see exactly where the front wheel was going when wanting to avoid a pothole or chunk of ice. I think it's solvable, I just never spent the time to do it. Agreed the wind shielding would be nice on those sub-zero days.
    Longbikes Slipstream

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Just for fun, I built a crude fairing for my TE and did some down hill coast tests. Speed and roll out distance proved it's value in that regard. And the longer the distance, the bigger the cumulative advantage. But only if you're a stong pedaler or catch a good tailwind. At my usual 10-12 mph, not much of a difference.

    On whole, I concluded, that for my laid back style of riding, a fairing was not worth the cost and fiddle factor. I would not use one at all if temps were >60 degrees, preferring the wind on my legs. Where I live, that's 9 months out of the year.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  9. #9
    Newbie Dogrobber's Avatar
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    Well; I got some input - and some schooling (its called a "fairing"). The worst thing I have found out since joining this forum is that I am a "Clydesdale."

    From Dogrobber to large, slow, horse in the space of minutes. Sigh . . . .

    Good thing I ride a roofing truss with wheels.

  10. #10
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    I don't because of too many cross winds on the trail I ride. bk

  11. #11
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    I have an aluminum Easy Racer Gold Rush, and I've always had a front fairing. I had one on the previous Tour Easy, also. In my opinion, the Easy Racer bikes work perfectly with front fairings because:
    • You get about 10% less aero drag. This will make you faster in most conditions.
    • It gives you a little protection from the weather.
    • It can be combined with a fabric body sock, which reduces aero drag even more and can keep you cooler by keeping your skin out of the hot sun.
    • It's relatively unaffected by crosswinds. I've had mine in 30mph sideways gusts without major issues.


    It does add a pound or two to the bike, but the benefits far outweigh any disadvantage.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post

    It does add a pound or two to the bike, but the benefits far outweigh any disadvantage.
    From what I've seen of the ER guys in my club, a sock adds about 20 pounds. Two pounds for the fairing, and a pound for the rear rack and mast. Add another pound for the sock material. That makes 4 pounds. BUT... Once you have the rack, you might as well get a trunk bag. And once you get a trunk bag, you MUST fill it with junk you'll never need on the road. All that adds an additional 16 pounds.
    Last edited by BlazingPedals; 07-11-12 at 01:45 PM.

  13. #13
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    From what I've seen of the ER guys in my club, a sock adds about 20 pounds. Two pounds for the fairing, and a pound for the rear rack and mast. Add another pound for the sock material. That makes 4 pounds. BUT... Once you have the rack, you might as well get a trunk bag. And once you get a trunk bag, you MUST fill it with junk you'll never need on the road. All that adds an additional 16 pounds.
    Yeah, I've done that. I built a tailbox for my Lightning. I had a huge amount of carp sitting in my "just in case" bag. I think it weighed 10 pounds.
    Jeff Wills

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  14. #14
    Senior Member gavtatu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    From what I've seen of the ER guys in my club, a sock adds about 20 pounds. Two pounds for the fairing, and a pound for the rear rack and mast. Add another pound for the sock material. That makes 4 pounds. BUT... Once you have the rack, you might as well get a trunk bag. And once you get a trunk bag, you MUST fill it with junk you'll never need on the road. All that adds an additional 16 pounds.
    as we used to say in the army...better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it !
    explains why the stores waggon had life jackets in, even if we were miles from any major water source !!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Trikin''s Avatar
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    I use a Windwrap GX not the tilting version, mounted onto my Catrike Trail.
    The only time it's off the trike is when I'm hauling it.
    Had a fairing on my 1st trike and realized the benefit's, dry feet in a downpour, blocks icy cold winds and great for slicing through heavy headwinds.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Trikin, do you think the benefits of a fairing (and I'm looking at Windwrap for mine) is worth it for two wheels with the added issue of potential sidewinds? Luckily, it rarely gets that windy here, unluck when I lived in KS.

  17. #17
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
    Trikin, do you think the benefits of a fairing (and I'm looking at Windwrap for mine) is worth it for two wheels with the added issue of potential sidewinds? Luckily, it rarely gets that windy here, unluck when I lived in KS.
    Notso- you know that WindWrap is now part of Terracycle, located in Portland, Oregon, don't you? It can get windy here (gusts blowing out of the Columbia Gorge), and us faired two-wheelers don't have issues with crosswinds.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Trikin''s Avatar
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    I've heard of wind shear but have yet to experiance it.
    Not only is the fairing great for heavy headwinds but actually can get a surge when a big truck barrels past on the highways....only lasts a moment tho
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Notso- you know that WindWrap is now part of Terracycle, located in Portland, Oregon, don't you? It can get windy here (gusts blowing out of the Columbia Gorge), and us faired two-wheelers don't have issues with crosswinds.
    Cheers for that. I will have to consider getting one come fall. I know it gets pretty windy down there (I've ridden my motorcycle through N Oregon/S Wash), but up here in Everett, it is rarely a problem.

  20. #20
    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    When I bought my Lightfoot Ranger I put a full fairing on right away. After 1 summer I took it off and have not missed it. It makes a big difference with a gusty head wind. If you want to go fast for a long ride it helps a lot. For my style of riding slow and easy the fairing is not much use.


    So if you wanted to ride fast for an extended ride that would be the time to use the fairning. Other wise not really worth the hassel.

  21. #21
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    It would be way cool if somebody had a trike that could be:

    - unfaired
    - "standard" fairing (whatever that means)
    - velomobiled

    Then we could test drive the trike and see how much the fairing and velomobile casing helped.

    Just sayin'. (Hint hint)

    Cheers,
    Charles
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    It would be way cool if somebody had a trike that could be:

    - unfaired
    - "standard" fairing (whatever that means)
    - velomobiled

    Then we could test drive the trike and see how much the fairing and velomobile casing helped.

    Just sayin'. (Hint hint)

    Cheers,
    Charles
    That would be the P-38 (unfaired) or F-40 faired/wrapped version. If you can find a bike shop that has one or two to try out, let us know! Once I get a rear rack on my 'bent, I'm going to look at getting a custom lycra wrap made (I know a good tailor in the area). I think that, with a windwrap up front, will make for nice commuting even in winter. I'll probably take it all off once the average temps get above 60 again, though.

  23. #23
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    It would be way cool if somebody had a trike that could be:

    - unfaired
    - "standard" fairing (whatever that means)
    - velomobiled

    Then we could test drive the trike and see how much the fairing and velomobile casing helped.

    Just sayin'. (Hint hint)

    Cheers,
    Charles
    Get a TerraTrike: http://www.terratrike.com/sportster.php
    Add a front fairing: http://www.t-cycle.com/Merchant2/mer...egory_Code=WWF
    Or convert it into a velomobile: http://www.velocityvelos.com/
    Jeff Wills

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  24. #24
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    I heartily dislike fairings because of their slight awkwardness, the mild feeling of enclosure and the breeze reduction. For me, velos seem even worse. That said, it sure is fun to see the faired and velomobile riders cut into a headwind. Especially with the help of even a gentle downgrade those guys and gals flat out fly.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  25. #25
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    IIRC, the Trisled Rotovelo is built on a their standard trike frame, which is separable from the velomobile body and ride-able on its own. That means anybody willing to buy one could do the experiments.

    My buddy has a VelocityVelos velomobile for sale. It's built using a Catrike700 as its base. He says it's not especially fast. For "fast" he has a carbon Quest.

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