Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by Warren » Dec 13 2017 3:24pm

Back in the 1990's, this guy used to ride in many of the IHPVA races.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_LWGcbKlwPjU/T ... R1-+7A.jpg

It seemed like the most practical, effective upright fairing going.

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by wturber » Dec 13 2017 4:44pm

Warren wrote:
Dec 13 2017 3:24pm
Back in the 1990's, this guy used to ride in many of the IHPVA races.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_LWGcbKlwPjU/T ... R1-+7A.jpg

It seemed like the most practical, effective upright fairing going.
If so, then its commercial success (or lack of such) points out the rather weak cost benefits of fairings for most riders.
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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by Warren » Dec 13 2017 6:22pm

wturber wrote:
Dec 13 2017 4:44pm

If so, then its commercial success (or lack of such) points out the rather weak cost benefits of fairings for most riders.
It points out that upright bike riders are the most conformist people in the world.

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by wturber » Dec 13 2017 9:22pm

Warren wrote:
Dec 13 2017 6:22pm

It points out that upright bike riders are the most conformist people in the world.
Nah. Sure, cyclists will follow silly trends and fads just like any other group. Heck, that's what people, in general, do. But the trends don't succeed for very long unless there a good perceived cost/benefit ratio. That can come from a big perceives benefit and/or a low perceived cost. Derailer systems, mountain bikes, new frame materials, disc brakes and I suspect all very successful trends managed to provide that perception. Fairings have failed to do so on any significant scale. The cost/benefit for them on an upright bike just isn't perceived as being very good - and frequently for the very good reasons that the cost/benefit is objectively not very good. This should be no surprise given that the vast majority of upright cyclists travel at sub-15mph speeds where wind resistance isn't much of a factor.

Personally, I tend to be attracted to the non-standard and atypical and I have a very high tolerance for the unusual and non-conforming. I'm the guy who would and did buy a Zzipper fairing for his upright road bike. It was not a very satisfying purchase. It was pretty much a waste of money. The main benefit was that it satisfied my curiosity a bit. And while the wrap-around fairing shown in the previous post is probably effective at reducing wind drag, it would be a real pain in the butt for me to use on my commuter e-bike.
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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by Warren » Dec 14 2017 10:17am

The problem with a fairing is that it adds weight and bulk to an otherwise very basic vehicle. For me, and most people, we don't generate enough speed to make it worth hauling up hill. Had a Zzipper on a V-Rex back in the 1990's for one winter. Great for wind chill reduction but amplified noise, and added weight and bulk.

Hell, I bought another one five years ago, thinking I would want it on an electric bike. Not a problem hauling it up hills, but the same issues otherwise. Better to haul a bit bigger battery up to mid 20's mph. For highway speeds there is no doubt a fairing would make sense. But then you are not bicycling anyway.

That said, mrbill, Bill Bushnell, is still my hero!

https://mrbill.homeip.net/hybridBike.php

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by LockH » Dec 14 2017 2:48pm

Hehe... "The problem with a fairing is that it adds weight and bulk to an otherwise very basic vehicle."...

OK. "Ground Rules"... Watt is a "vehicle"? ie ONE passenger/one "seat"... or more?

... and "how fast" (see "aerodynamics")

Also, how "cheap" is TOO "cheap"? Hehe...

Lets say, safety TO OTHERS is "Number One Concern"?

All said... "facts are", AFAIK, any "fairing" implies MORE "aerodynamic" (less energy needed to "move"/accelerate) and (MY favorite), more comfortable. :wink:
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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by LockH » Dec 14 2017 3:22pm

`Kay. When somebuddy says "Anyone use fairings? Why not...?" WATT other "costs" are there?
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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by DRMousseau » Dec 14 2017 3:25pm

Being either directly involved with various projects, or as an interested observer in others,.... I've kinda developed my own biased views of fairing use. I've watched the most basic, a face shield, evolve in many ways over time,.... while eye protection was the primary purpose, comfort was the major factor of consideration. From simple "goggles" and "shades" to fancy helmet shields and various "windscreen" fairings, comfort was jus not to be sacrificed in such, at any speed! And that includes the comforts of stability and control. Taken to the extreme, you have an automobile, hahaha!

And who hasn't tucked tight, elbows in, knees together, head down,.... minimizing frontal resistance on a downhill accent? Still won't beat out the "Guerra Superman"!!! LoL!!! Frontal resistance at "low speed" is pretty big,... give me a tailwind any day! Overcoming it for a gain in speed or efficiency though, is usually met with inconvenience and discomfort, and comfort isn't something we care to sacrifice so casually, outside of competitive activity. Recumbents and velos weigh that balance quite carefully.

At greater speeds, DRAG becomes a bigger factor and often overlooked, unless your "rocketing" or "sailing" at speed with minimal or no ground contact. Then a "tail" or "rudder" becomes important as does some "lift" perhaps from wings of a sort. Heck, Wilbur and Orville barely made bicycle speeds. I find those hybrid "ice-sleds" like that above to be simply AMAZING!!!! My experience in "hard-water" sailing is actually quite minimal, although rather exhilarating.

Nope,.... I'll be comfortable with some good eye-protection, gloves maybe. Although that "body sock" Aero-Edge looks like a nice addition to my rain wear! Comfort, ya know.

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by Chalo » Dec 14 2017 3:36pm

Warren wrote:
Dec 13 2017 6:22pm
wturber wrote:
Dec 13 2017 4:44pm

If so, then its commercial success (or lack of such) points out the rather weak cost benefits of fairings for most riders.
It points out that upright bike riders are the most conformist people in the world.
Um, have you ever been to a bike shop in a city? Just curious.

By the way, 'bent riders do seem to be cribbing their fashion tips from each other. :D
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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by wturber » Dec 14 2017 4:06pm

LockH wrote:
Dec 14 2017 2:48pm

All said... "facts are", AFAIK, any "fairing" implies MORE "aerodynamic" (less energy needed to "move"/accelerate) and (MY favorite), more comfortable. :wink:
Not necessarily more comfortable at all. In Phoenix, you want the wind blowing on you while riding for many months of the year. Also, the annoying noise creates a form of discomfort. Same to with the reduced visibility and effects on handling. The Zzipper fairing is not perfectly transparent - not by a long shot. Then there are reflections on the surface.

Its a feature that has never caught on in a big way. And based on my observations and the arguments presented, it hasn't caught on because the net positives are generally outweighed by the net negatives in most bicycling situations faced by most people.
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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by stateofstatic » Feb 05 2018 1:58pm

chas58 wrote:
Nov 02 2017 10:26am
A thread on efficiency got me thinking about fairings.

I ran across this:
"Numbers on the topic aren’t easy to find, but some that are regularly cited are extracted from David Gordon Wilson’s Bicycling Science. He states that a rider on a touring bike equipped with a partial fairing, and his or her hands on the handlebar, would require 63 watts less (157w vs. 220w) to overcome air resistance at 35km/h when compared with the same bike and rider without. Huge gains indeed."

Wind resistance goes up exponentially with speed, so this could make a HUGE difference on an ebike...

Maybe I should get one of these...
http://www.zzipper.com/Products/prod_upright.php

Image
So an interesting conversation I had with Karl, the owner of Zzipper:

"All of these designs will get you some drag advantage, although the Atb-Zz I didn’t design with that in mind, mostly weather protection. However, Hi-Powered Cycle’s in Chatsworth, Calif. has found that it gets them 6Mph at 45Mph and the ‘88mtnbkzz only gets 5Mph at 45Mph ( and the’88 mountain bike fairing I designed for more warp around curvature for the drag advantage!)

The Thriller gets 2Mph at 25, in no wind. I designed it for the addition of a body sock, or spandex around the sides. This usually gets another 10% speed increase, at least with recumbents! This hasn’t been tested all that much. Most of the data was with a group of students in a velodome and with motor assisted Charger Mountain Bike ( not necessarily average road conditions!)

Suggest you refer to Bicycling Science, Whitt and Wilson, MIT press. David Gorden Wilson measured a 22% drag reduction with just the small handle bar fairing during wind tunnel testing at MIT."

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by neptronix » Dec 28 2018 1:18pm

Hey stateofstatic... thanks for that post.

i'm impressed that even the ATB-ZZ ( one of the most least aerodynamic looking of their designs ) does so well. -6mph at 45mph turns a ~3000w load into a <2000w load at that speed. Or allows you to perhaps hit 50mph on the same power.

You'd think it would be standard equipment on every ebike that travels over 30mph. Not a really obtrusive fairing... not too expensive.. fitment is easy.. etc.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:


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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by donn » Dec 28 2018 2:05pm

wturber wrote:
Dec 13 2017 9:22pm
I'm the guy who would and did buy a Zzipper fairing for his upright road bike.
I'm the other guy who did that. I used it a lot, don't any more but who knows - maybe I would if I were still riding my upright with drop bars much. We're towards the other end of the weather spectrum here, there's hardly a day when ventilation is a desperate need and it's often a welcome relief from the cold wind. I do by the way have a helmet with a face shield, very nice Italian made Kask model that I had to mail order via England; once the temperature goes below 50°F it really helps keep my eyes from filling with water.

Big aero advantage, I guess not, but as pointed out above I wasn't going all that fast. I also have a Zzipper that came with my Ryan Vanguard recumbent, but don't use it mostly due to mounting problems. I think that kind of fairing can be very successful on recumbents, but mostly the long wheelbase type with handlebars on the "steering tube" like an upright bicycle.

Image

It can be done without those handlebars, but now you have a big extra after market structure that has to be attached to the top tube, and which can be subject to some considerable rotational force in side winds or when it tips over.

Image

I'd be happy to use a fairing if it's stable and robust.

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by veloman » Dec 28 2018 8:51pm

The ZZ Thriller looks too big, particularly with the leg coverage. A smaller version of the OS ZZ, combined with aerobars to the get rider lower seems like it would be the best setup for most.

https://www.zzipper.com/Products/prod_upright.php

My two designs, the first was the ebike and the 2nd(white) was for the emoto. Both worked very well for knocking down wattage at normal riding speeds. (25-30mph for ebike), and 35mph+ for emoto. wh/mile told the story. About 70 down to 50wh/mile for the emoto.

I ended up leaving the emoto scene and the ebike is now without the fairing because I wanted to pedal more, and so that meant a normal seat position, which made the fairing look a little odd since it was designed for the low seat.

The ebike easily consumes more watts with me pedaling moderately at 25mph than it did with the fairing/low seat and no pedaling. Throw in a cold headwind, and things get real ugly for the non-faired setup. I ride a lot slower than I use to. (another benefit of the normal "high" seat is the cargo room behind me). I really do missed tucking down below my windshield of the fairing when getting hit with a cold headwind. The sense of just knowing you are the most practical and most efficient setup pretty much anywhere.

The moral of the story here is that a normal upright bike (even mtb racer position) exposed too much frontal area to allow a non ugly, unobtrusive fairing to make much of a difference. You need to go recumbent or semi recumbent at least. Though I think a small one for roadies on aerobars might give a noticeable benefit. No one has made one though. I have been thinking about it for years, but lose my focus. Roadies tend to follow the racing scene which of course won't allow any aero mods.

I think if you get a crank foward bike like the Rans Fusion, drop the handlebars a LOT, that will get close to the position I had on my ebike above, but you could still pedal. Frontal area should be low enough to allow a reasonable fairing. I've though about going this route, but rear suspension is a must on an ebike IMO. There is a semi crank forward rear suspended brand out of San Diego, but I didn't want to drop $250 on it since I don't have a sizeable commute. Also, not sure the cranks are forward enough to really get you lower. http://www.rustyspokes.com/

I've been at stores analyzing mixing bowls, thinking how I could modify one to make a cheap quick fairing. :D
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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by neptronix » Dec 28 2018 8:59pm

I emailed karl at zzipper and he agrees that the ZZ-ATB is the best choice for my rare dual suspension cannondale semi recumbent that i'm slowly piecing together and testing.
IMG_20181220_165411.jpg
IMG_20181220_165411.jpg (189.4 KiB) Viewed 301 times
A full fairing would be great, but mounting options are too limited and i don't want the bike to stand out even more than it already does.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:


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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by veloman » Dec 28 2018 9:03pm

neptronix wrote:
Dec 28 2018 1:18pm
Hey stateofstatic... thanks for that post.

i'm impressed that even the ATB-ZZ ( one of the most least aerodynamic looking of their designs ) does so well. -6mph at 45mph turns a ~3000w load into a <2000w load at that speed. Or allows you to perhaps hit 50mph on the same power.

You'd think it would be standard equipment on every ebike that travels over 30mph. Not a really obtrusive fairing... not too expensive.. fitment is easy.. etc.
I would love to see actual data backing that claim up. 6mph at 45mph is freeking huge. I would guess that fairing gave 3mph. It just looks too flat.

You got to remember that in that test, they are tucking down. If you don't tuck behind the fairing, probably no benefit. Tucking down for a significant portion of a ride isn't the most fun.
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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by veloman » Dec 28 2018 9:08pm

neptronix wrote:
Dec 28 2018 8:59pm
I emailed karl at zzipper and he agrees that the ZZ-ATB is the best choice for my rare dual suspension cannondale semi recumbent that i'm slowly piecing together and testing.

IMG_20181220_165411.jpg

A full fairing would be great, but mounting options are too limited and i don't want the bike to stand out even more than it already does.
Rear suspension - good idea. The one recumbent I converted, I destroyed the back wheel when I had some extra cargo on the rear rack.

The problem I've had with these recumbents is the twitchy steering. A normal size front wheel helps, and maybe a really slack headtube. If you could get a 26" front wheel/headshok on that, you'll be more aero too.

You can definitely get a matching fairing for that bike though. Check bentrideronline classifieds.
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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by donn » Dec 28 2018 10:03pm

That Cannondale is kind of the extreme case of a Compact Long Wheel Base, with that 16" front wheel, but has a reputation for a pretty decent ride. My Burley Limbo is in the same category, but I expect a bit longer with a 20" wheel (and 26 in the back, suspended.) I don't find the steering twitchy at all, but it isn't as locked in at high speed as my Ryan Vanguard, which is a bit longer wheelbase. Both have fairly ordinary steering tube angles.

I don't know about fairing options. Terra-Cycle recommends the long wheelbase WRNS model of its Windwrap fairing, for the Cannondale, and they provide elaborate and as usually very nicely made mounting hardware, but there's a lot that could go wrong. The Cannondale is just one of many recumbents with a steering "mast" and relatively high crank; I wouldn't be too sure they've ever seen one in person, and the fairing itself looks long.

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by neptronix » Dec 29 2018 12:43am

The cannondale rides like a freaking couch and i freakin' LOVE that. No problem going over potholes 'n crap with the small wheel. I also have a lightweight moped tire on the back, which probably helps to some degree.

If you mis-steer at 30mph, or quickly try to doge a pothole, etc. It's rather forgiving and will kind of respond with a wobble, and you have to just let it wobble out and regain it's footing. One of the weirdest things i've experienced.

The time it is most twitchy is between 0 and 5 mph. After 5mph, the ride smooths out, and eventually you get used to the weird steering. Then you learn how to take corners hard and fast :twisted:

I want to have a little more weight up front so that the front end is a bit better planted, as it's a very rear heavy bike, especially with that battery pack temporarily mounted in such a horrible place.
donn wrote:
Dec 28 2018 10:03pm
Terra-Cycle recommends the long wheelbase WRNS model of its Windwrap fairing, for the Cannondale, and they provide elaborate and as usually very nicely made mounting hardware, but there's a lot that could go wrong.
Ah yeah, the problem i have with those long fairings is that they bolt onto the front fork, which is a suspension fork. So i'm going to have to go with a handlebar mounted fairing.

I actually have a shorter tube and big BMX handlebars on the thing as we speak ( not pictured ), so that makes the fitment of a fairing even more weird.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:


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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by LeftieBiker » Dec 29 2018 1:09am

I've started using an Ebay-sourced universal motorcycle windhield. In this case I want it to block the wind, and it does so surprisingly well. Pre-fairing I couldn't ride in ambient temps below about 38F. Now, with the windshield on, I can ride down to a few degrees below Freezing. Wind hasn't been a problem, so far - it's very stable. And it's a quick remove type, although it uses hex screws rather than nobs.


Image

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by amberwolf » Dec 29 2018 2:33am

neptronix wrote:
Dec 29 2018 12:43am
The cannondale rides like a freaking couch and i freakin' LOVE that.
A suspended-mesh seat would be even more comfortable (absorbs road vibrations better, as well as some of the larger bumps).

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by donn » Dec 29 2018 2:39am

I have only two to compare, but of those two I sure like the mesh sling seat on the Ryan Vanguard.

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by amberwolf » Dec 29 2018 3:26am

For CrazyBike2, I built a flexible-ish curved wooden seat, using variuos types of foam padding and a vinyl covering. It was ok, but the flexing decreased pedal power, and it still passed road vibrtion/etc thru just like a saddle would.

Then after reading the Recycled Recumbent site, I built a suspended mesh seat; it wasnt' very good but it was way better than any of the foam saddles or seats, once I got the lacing adjusted.

SB Cruiser now uses a Stadium Chair (after several foam-padded seat versions) which works similarly; it's more comfy in some ways and less in others, but it still does the job of keepign most of the small hits off my back and butt, and road vibration, etc. It's main feature is that it folds down flat, which is very useful since it's bolted to the top of a cargo box that opens forward. That doesn't work as easily or well with a non-folding seat.

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by craneplaneguy » Dec 29 2018 4:01pm

Warren wrote:
Dec 13 2017 3:24pm
Back in the 1990's, this guy used to ride in many of the IHPVA races.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_LWGcbKlwPjU/T ... R1-+7A.jpg

It seemed like the most practical, effective upright fairing going.
Looks like he's wearing a giant condom.....

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Re: Anyone use fairings? Why not...?

Post by neptronix » Dec 29 2018 5:05pm

amberwolf wrote:
Dec 29 2018 2:33am
neptronix wrote:
Dec 29 2018 12:43am
The cannondale rides like a freaking couch and i freakin' LOVE that.
A suspended-mesh seat would be even more comfortable (absorbs road vibrations better, as well as some of the larger bumps).
It has one!
Efficiency is everything :bolt:


My first major build: 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: ? on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.

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