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Old 03-06-12, 05:03 PM   #1
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Fairings in high wind- good or bad idea?

Just planning my wish list for when I win the lotto, but I am curious whether or not using a fairing in high winds could be potentially dangerous. Currently under a wind advisory, as it's 20-25 mph out of the SSW with gusts up to 40-50 mph.
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Old 03-06-12, 07:16 PM   #2
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Fairings are generally a good thing imho. The higher the winds, the more I like fairings - except in high crosswinds.

Heading into a wind, the fairing does what it does if you ride faster - make you more aerodynamic by smoothly shunting air away from your forward-facing flat surfaces - like the chest area. I feel like I have comparatively less problem riding into a 25mph headwind with a fairing than I would without a fairing trying to ride that fast.

Heading downwind, a fairing acts like a spinnaker/sail, catching wind and making you go faster with less effort. Gimme a super strong tailwind any day. I'll ride forever in those conditions.

Crosswinds are a mixed bag. From a forward quarter, you gain some aerodynamic benefit, but not as much as in a pure headwind. The closer to a true-crosswind/90 degrees to your forward motion, the less the aerodynamic benefit. From a rear quarter, same idea - more benefit the closer to directly behind you; you get less the closer it is to being a true crosswind.

20-30mph crosswind gusts are a definite pain in the *** and potentially dangerous if you aren't prepared for them. 40-50mph gusts would make me think twice about riding if there was no way to ride semi-sheltered from them. Something to consider about riding in high winds is flying debris.

I personally wouldn't ride in circumstances where I'd be out in steady 30mph-plus conditions for more than an hour. But that's because it would end up being "work", not fun.

On my Gold Rush Replica, riding with and without a fairing means being in different worlds - with the fairing moderate winds can be riding nirvana; without one, even moderate headwinds make a ride much more of "a pain"/similar to riding a cruiser in a sitting-straight-up riding position.
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Old 03-06-12, 11:22 PM   #3
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I've seen people ride in gusting 20-30mph crosswinds on bikes with fairings and body socks. It's possible, but you have to be thinking ahead to avoid sphincter-tightening moments.

I've never had a problem with just a front fairing. My wife is a somewhat more nervous rider and doesn't like riding in crosswinds.
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Old 03-08-12, 10:50 AM   #4
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The other day the headwinds were very gusty, my fairing (Windwrap GX) worked as well as always.
When I finally had the wind at my back was a very nice feeling and while I was riding up a gradual incline I felt my trike surge forward with the gusts, much the same as when a large truck does when passing me on the highway.
I haven't had any crosswind problems, but I've heard how the front end of the trike can lift, that can't be a good thing at any speed.
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Old 03-09-12, 10:42 AM   #5
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Head winds and tail winds--------great!!! Cross winds-------not so good.
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Old 03-12-12, 08:29 PM   #6
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I've had my Gold Rush for a few years, and now that I live in in area where strong and cold winds are fairly common am thinking of splurging on a fairing for more comfortable riding. Crosswinds are a concern, though; with self & bike not much over 130 lbs. I get blown around pretty easily.
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Old 03-19-12, 09:53 AM   #7
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Absolutely Wonderful in a strong head wind!
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