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  1. #1
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    Let's Talk About Bent Fairings

    Some love 'em, some hate 'em.
    But why do we buy, or not buy, a fairing?
    And why do some of us throw them away with disgust and dissapointment while others think it's the best accessory they ever bought.

    Many clear fairings are mounted 3 feet in front of the rider, so do they really reduce drag or just create another low-pressure bubble to drag around with you in addition to the drag bubble you already tow around behind the rider?
    Sure its colder in the USA than it is here Down Under, so maybe just keeping that wind chill off you is enough reason to have one.

    Other fairings slope well back to the Riders chest and would be wonderful to have if it starts raining.
    Some users say they are noisy, heavy, reduce visibility, make the Bent harder to ship and stow and do'nt reduce drag much at all.

    Tell us all why you bought a fairing and if it does what you hoped it would. Or why you got rid of the damned thing.

    Clear skies, Mark.

  2. #2
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    I bought a Mueller Windwrap fairing for cold weather riding on my Greenspeed GTO. I was somewhat disappointed in that the wind seemed to roll around it. So, I made a coroplastic fairing with better coverage but horrible aerodynamics. I mounted it using the Mueller mounting hardware. It kept me warm riding all last winter. This winter was too mild to mess with it.

    I did not use the Mueller fairing long enough to see if it would help aerodynamically.

    Regards,

    Gary

  3. #3
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I have a coroplast fairing. It terminates about 1.5-2 feet in front of me. It would probably work a bit better if I raised the seatback a notch, but as is it is good for 1-2 mph gain when used in the 20 mph range. The clue that a fairing is too far in front of you is if you feel the wind hitting you in the chest. On mine, I can just feel a little buffeting above my collarbone.

    I like the fairing because it shades me from the sun, protects me from light to moderate rain, and helps in wind. In cold, the sheltering effect keeps me noticeably warmer. I get enough buffeting around the sides that it's not too hot in the summer, either. If the skies really open up, I can take it off in about 5 seconds, and use it for an umbrella. Likewise, removing it for storage is a snap. Including the mounting hardware, it's about 3 pounds, which is hardly noticeable considering I tend to put more in my seatbag than I should. My wedgie friends like it because if they're willing to ride on the drops, this baby gives them a better draft than any friend on an upright. Who knows, maybe this will be the year I add a sock to it and they lose their good pull!

  4. #4
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    Dear Blazin, you obviously have some digital dexterity as it looks like a very neat construction. It seems you like the V-Rex, so do I.

    My suspicions that bubble fairings only really reduce drag at higher speeds seem confirmed. Other afficianados often quote only 10-15% reduction.
    Are those fairing mounts welded or clamped to the frame?

    In the pic below you can see a "low mount" fairing on a V2 which would work very well to protect the rider from rain. It also does not present a large flat area to the slipstream, and the pilots body is close to the fairing which means he really is inside the "Low pressure bubble" not behind it. The rider, Jose Hernandez, is 5'6" so other riders may have a higher head position with this "Windwrap" fairing.

    Keep those reports comin guys.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dr. Duk's Avatar
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    SkyMax:

    I have ZZipper fairings on both my EasyRacers TourEasy and Ti-Rush. I have a Streamer fairing on my HP Velotechnik Streetmachine. I LOVE my fairings. They offer protection against the elements and also offer a speed advantge on my TE and Ti-Rush. I also have a tail-sok in conjunction with the fairing on my Ti-Rush. With the addition of Rotor Cranks I have a very speedy machine. When riding flats and moderate rollers I can average between 20-25 mph. That may not be fast for some speedsters but for this 58 yr old with two artifical knees I believe it suffices.

    Carpe Diem

  6. #6
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    Dear Blazin, you obviously have some digital dexterity as it looks like a very neat construction. It seems you like the V-Rex, so do I.

    My suspicions that bubble fairings only really reduce drag at higher speeds seem confirmed. Other afficianados often quote only 10-15% reduction.
    Are those fairing mounts welded or clamped to the frame?
    Yes, I really love the bike. Even with the fairing, it's slower than my Baron, but for off-days when speed isn't quite so important, riding it just makes me smile!

    My experience is that below about 15 mph, the fairing is no good at all for extra speed. All the other benefits still apply, though. My mounts are made from 1" square aluminum tubing, clamped to the frame. The aluminum parts that stay with the fairing are 3/4" square aluminum tubing, lined with velcro to make a good fit inside the 1" stuff. There are no wingnuts or screws to tighten, I simply slide the fairing in and out, and the friction fit keeps it from bouncing off when I'm riding.

  7. #7
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    Dear Doc Duk. I am impressed, and a little envious of your bent stable. Gee, I'm only 54 and my knees are the original 1950 models. Thanks for your contribution.
    Here is a site link for ppl who need a project;-

    http://www.biketcba.org/TRICORR/index.html

    By the way, what is all that White Stuff on the ground near your steeds?

    Mark T.
    Australia.

  8. #8
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    I thought about getting one for my limbo. though I saw that untill I feel better I would gain no speed. though in the 20mph winds we have been having it would help. but it would make winter riding better. but so far we have not had winter. but the 450.00 price tab was a bit much to swallow.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dr. Duk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    Dear Doc Duk. I am impressed, and a little envious of your bent stable. Gee, I'm only 54 and my knees are the original 1950 models. Thanks for your contribution.


    By the way, what is all that White Stuff on the ground near your steeds?

    Mark T.
    Australia.
    I wish I still had the original 1946 models but they served me well until they no longer could do the job. I would more than be happy to try and send you some of the WHITE STUFF. In fact there is some new examples falling to the Earth as I send this reply.

    Carpe Diem

  10. #10
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    Dear Doc Duk, Seems that funny White Stuff would not last long here. If you need warming up then go to my local beach with this link->
    http://www.coastalwatch.com/cam.asp?cam=2200
    The current Temp of the Surf is about 79F. The camera changes views every minute or so.
    If you like I can send you your own "Beach Kit" consisting of Sand, Cocoanuts and Parrot Eggs.

    BACK TO FAIRINGS, Here are some pics of fairings that I think are good because they fit the Bent Pilot closely therefore offering good protection from White Stuff.

    The "Demma-Strat" is my favourite, probably because the builder has used wood + fabric type light aircraft construction and as a Pilot I can relate to the "Cockpit" feel of such a machine. I'm sure it would be quite fast, but probably handle like a Buffaloe on a wet clay bank in a crosswind.

    Clear Skies, Max.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dr. Duk's Avatar
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    SkyMax:
    Thanks for the beach "links". Makes me very envious. As for the fairings I can remember a very old adage that could apply to each and everything that we do to our beloved "Bents". "KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID".


    Carpe Diem

  12. #12
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    I have a Mueller Windwrap fairing on my Rocket. It's great in bad weather. As for speed, it's hilly where I live so I don't think I average fast enough speeds for it to be enough of an advantage. I'm actually a bit slower on a local hilly time trial route with it than without it, I guess the added weight outweighs the aerodynamic advantage.
    But I really notice an advantage (maybe 2 mph) when I go down to the flatlands or in headwinds, where my "airspeed" is high enough for the fairing to really help. In these conditions on club rides the DF'ers tuck in behind me which is kind of fun.
    Rich
    Rans Rocket; Montague CX; Dahon Helios SL

  13. #13
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveknight
    I thought about getting one for my limbo. ... but the 450.00 price tab was a bit much to swallow.
    That's why I built a coroplast one. It works, it looks respectable, and costs about $40 to make. My other money-saving option would be to get a Mueller bubble and put it on my own aluminum frame. The bubble costs slughtly under $200, and my frame is around $30.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bentcruiser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
    That's why I built a coroplast one. It works, it looks respectable, and costs about $40 to make. My other money-saving option would be to get a Mueller bubble and put it on my own aluminum frame. The bubble costs slughtly under $200, and my frame is around $30.
    Could you post pictures or a link to pictures of your creation?
    Derek
    Burley Canto

  15. #15
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    Yeah, i'd like to see that.

  16. #16
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentcruiser
    Could you post pictures or a link to pictures of your creation?
    I posted a pic of the Coroplast fairing; the Mueller was just another possibility, not something I've actually done. (Sorry for the confusing post.)

  17. #17
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Skymax, since you liked the fabric fairing on the Strat (or whatever it was,) I thought you'd like to see this one. It is made of aluminum tubing and doped nylon fabric, with a few pieces of coroplast on the inside for reinforcement. The bike underneath is an M5-ish homebuilt.

  18. #18
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    ooooh! I do like to see that!
    Very nice job.
    Max.

  19. #19
    Spring is overrated. Sylvan's Avatar
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    Here's a link to some seriously cool fairings and recumbents. I've seen "Great White" on my country roads here abouts... VERY cool looking!

    http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisi...4_pictures.htm
    Never put off until tomorrow anything that you could postpone indefinitely!

  20. #20
    lowracer ninja master lowracer1's Avatar
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    I like the fairing because, number 1 it makes the bike faster, number 2 because I can throw stuff into it for easy transport.

    http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6616
    http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6617

    http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=7408
    chris@promocycle.net

  21. #21
    Senior Member GeezerGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowracer1
    I like the fairing because, number 1 it makes the bike faster, number 2 because I can throw stuff into it for easy transport.
    http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6616
    http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6617
    http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=7408

    It looks like it has a lot of side area. How does it handle in a side wind?

  22. #22
    No virtual racing here
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    I had one of those fairing thingys years ago. After a few rides I took it off my bent put it in the backyard and filled it with water. My dog jumps in that fairing and cools off on a hot day. I put that plastic bubble to good use for Sparky on those dog days of summer.

    Recumbents are made for slow pedaling and enjoying the roses. Bubble riders are a funny lot. Got to laugh about em.

    Spuds
    Last edited by Spuds McDoogle; 03-15-05 at 09:43 PM.

  23. #23
    horizontally adapted bentrox!'s Avatar
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    Don't mind Spuds. He's been trolling so long now he can't even disguise it.
    I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
    Good night and joy be with you all.

  24. #24
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentrox!
    Don't mind Spuds. He's been trolling so long now he can't even disguise it.
    All I get is a notice saying, "This user is on your ignore list."

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