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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 06-23-14, 07:39 AM   #1
WrightVanCleve
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Those bents with that big windshiel

Does it actually help with aerodynamics or is it just for bug catching?

It seems that over the top, it would help move the air since there is not as much space between the top edge and the top of your head, but around the sides it seems like it would create more of a problem since there is such a big gap between the back edge and your body.

I keep thinking about them when I pass them, no interest in buying a bent, I just wonder as I'm riding along what purpose it serves. Seems like it is more weight than it would be worth.

If I got a bent, it would end up being a trike, and I'd see about reclining that seat as flat as I can get it while still being fairly comfortable, if I was trying to get some aerodynamics.
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Old 06-23-14, 08:52 AM   #2
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I've never ridden with one, an advantage I do see is that it may keep the rider a bit more warm. I doubt there is much of a help to speed however.
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Old 06-23-14, 09:13 AM   #3
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Helps with head winds. Team mate on the last fleche sliced through em. Also offers mounting points for lights etc.
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Old 06-23-14, 11:28 AM   #4
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They help a little bit. Add a sock, too, and it's good for 2-3 mph over stock (at 18-20 mph.) The weight penalty means that a bike that's more aerodynamic to start, such as a highracer or a lowracer, has an advantage. Despite being low, a trike would not have an advantage.
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Old 06-24-14, 05:35 AM   #5
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I ride a Bacchetta Belladare (long wheel base 26x20) with a fairing. I have never been a guy who worries about the weight of a bike too much, as I weigh 240+ lbs. The fairing is VERY light, indeed when it is not installed on the bike it rolls up into a tube about 6", the mounts are welded aluminum tubing and stainless steel band clamps. It was quick to install, only took about an hour, and I have found it to add about 1-1.5mph average when it is installed, as it seems to cut the air around the bike and my very bulky body. I bought it mostly to give me some protection from the afternoon rain we get here in Okeechobee, FL in the summer and like it very much on a long ride when the wind is blowing....

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Old 06-24-14, 10:55 PM   #6
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They help a little bit. Add a sock, too, and it's good for 2-3 mph over stock (at 18-20 mph.) The weight penalty means that a bike that's more aerodynamic to start, such as a highracer or a lowracer, has an advantage. Despite being low, a trike would not have an advantage.
I was figuring on the trike, putting a fairing and since i'm almost flat, I'd be a bit more aerodynamic than any other set up. I'd have to muck around with some kind of strap type of system to hold myself onto the trike though. But then, I'd probably be better off going with a full body and get full aerodynamics. May as well a put a motor on then. They have motors on them, I know, but I just think about stuff when riding.
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Old 06-25-14, 05:43 AM   #7
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Despite being low, a trike would not have an advantage.
Wait... Why?

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Originally Posted by Tractortom View Post
I ride a Bacchetta Belladare (long wheel base 26x20) with a fairing. I have never been a guy who worries about the weight of a bike too much, as I weigh 240+ lbs. The fairing is VERY light, indeed when it is not installed on the bike it rolls up into a tube about 6", the mounts are welded aluminum tubing and stainless steel band clamps. It was quick to install, only took about an hour, and I have found it to add about 1-1.5mph average when it is installed, as it seems to cut the air around the bike and my very bulky body. I bought it mostly to give me some protection from the afternoon rain we get here in Okeechobee, FL in the summer and like it very much on a long ride when the wind is blowing....
I really want to see pictures.
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Old 06-25-14, 06:31 AM   #8
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I really want to see pictures.
Don't think I have any on this computer, but when I get home tonight I'll post a couple of photos I took when the fairing was first installed...

Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL
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Old 06-25-14, 10:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by WrightVanCleve View Post
Does it actually help with aerodynamics or is it just for bug catching?

It seems that over the top, it would help move the air since there is not as much space between the top edge and the top of your head, but around the sides it seems like it would create more of a problem since there is such a big gap between the back edge and your body.

I keep thinking about them when I pass them, no interest in buying a bent, I just wonder as I'm riding along what purpose it serves. Seems like it is more weight than it would be worth.

If I got a bent, it would end up being a trike, and I'd see about reclining that seat as flat as I can get it while still being fairly comfortable, if I was trying to get some aerodynamics.
The fairing helps. It's highly bike- or trike-design dependent, but it always helps.

On my LWB Easy Racer bikes, installing a front fairing reduces aero drag by about 10%. Adding a body sock drops another 5%, plus the shade from the 'sock can keep you cooler on a hot day. That's a lot of advantages for 2 or 3 pounds, about the weight of a water bottle.

On my SWB Lightning, switching from no-fairing to 3/4 fairing (it wasn't 100% coverage) dropped my 10-mile time trial time from 26 minutes to 23 minutes with no other changes. I had to take it off because I couldn't ride it slow enough for my wife to keep up.

Since you're in Dayton, you should look up Garrie Hill. He's part of the Midwest Recumbent Mafia and pretty knowledgeable about recumbent and fairing design. He hangs out on the Recumbents.com forum.

A full hard-shell fairing is the ultimate, but they're custom-built, hard to maintain, usually fragile, and very expensive. But when they're done right, they're very, very fast:
Human Power Team Delft & Amsterdam

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Old 06-25-14, 10:59 PM   #10
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I enjoyed watching how they started the fully faired bent in the video above
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Old 06-28-14, 05:52 PM   #11
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I'd have to muck around with some kind of strap type of system to hold myself onto the trike though.
Not sure what you mean by that. Trikes have seats. If you add a full body, it's called a Velomobile. My buddy has done 28.5 mph average for a century in his Quest velomobile. That's a hundred miles in 3:36; and in case that's not apparent, it was solo. Who needs a motor???

But for most trikes, you're taking a design that's inherently slower, and then you're adding a fairing that doesn't even cover the front wheels. You'll gain a little, but it still won't be as fast as a fast 2-wheeler.
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Old 06-28-14, 06:42 PM   #12
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How do you stop while in a fairing and not just fall over sideways?
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Old 06-29-14, 02:27 PM   #13
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How do you stop while in a fairing and not just fall over sideways?
If you are referring to a velomobile, those are generally trikes.
A fairing is just a front windscreen/windshield.
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Old 06-29-14, 07:59 PM   #14
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How do you stop while in a fairing and not just fall over sideways?
In the case of a 2-wheeler; to be streetable it'll have either landing gear or foot/arm holes. Virtually all commercial velomobile offerings are 3-wheeled, in which case balance takes care of itself. If you've just got a front fairing, access to the ground is unimpeded.
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Old 06-30-14, 06:44 AM   #15
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I have fairings on both my LWB Rans Stratus and my ICE T trike. I am a slow rider so the benefits are weather protection, cold and rain. It was said that speed with a fairing increases over 15 mph. since I average 10 it has no speed benefit. I recently took off the fairing on my trike after 6 yrs and love the open feel. I will probably re-install come Winter or if I do another tour. I am thinking of removing the fairing on my Stratus as I find no real benefit anymore and it does catch the wind in a negative way at times. Again will re-install come Winter.
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Old 07-29-14, 12:12 PM   #16
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I ride the Catrike Expedition and use a Windwrap fairing. The fairing works well in heavy headwinds as well as keeping my feet dry in heavy downpours. A couple years back our winter was bitterly cold, the fairing defected the worst of the chill and kept my feet from freezing.
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Old 07-29-14, 01:59 PM   #17
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I ride my trike all winter in Boise Idaho, with a windwrap fairing. It looks about like Trikin's trike. My main benefit is keeping my feet warmer in the winter. I wear Keen Commuter sandals with wool socks all winter, to below zero. It does also help in headwinds compared to a DF, and might add a little aerodynamic advantage, but not much. When in a group ride, when we turn into the wind I always gain on the DFs that are ahead of me. I don't take if off in the summer. Too lazy, and not enough benefit in taking it off.

"I'd have to muck around with some kind of strap type of system to hold myself onto" You totally don't need a seatbelt on a trike.
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