Fairing on a road bike

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Andrew Price, Jul 8, 2003.

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  1. Andrew Price

    Andrew Price Guest

    Leaving aside aesthetics and the probable reaction of the UCI ("Quell horreur!") is there any
    practical fairing for a conventional road bike that significantly cuts wind resistance and improves
    speed for the same effort ?

    They seem mandatory on road motor cycles, why none for us?

    best, Andrew

    "But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight; Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a
    wildcat can it fight... I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern, right straight away, at sight." A B
    'Banjo' Patterson - "Mulga Bill" 25 July 1896.
     
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  2. Nick Payne

    Nick Payne Guest

    I still have a Zzipper fairing around somewhere, though I haven't used it for a decade or more. It
    did the job well enough, though it used to flex a bit over the bumps with a sort of hollow noise. I
    found it's principal value was in reducing the wind chill factor on cold winter mornings.

    AFAIK they are still available. See http://zzipper.com/.

    Nick

    "Andrew Price" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Leaving aside aesthetics and the probable reaction of the UCI ("Quell horreur!") is there any
    > practical fairing for a conventional road bike
    that
    > significantly cuts wind resistance and improves speed for the same effort
    ?
    >
    > They seem mandatory on road motor cycles, why none for us?
     
  3. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Guest

    On Tue, 08 Jul 2003 11:18:00 GMT, "Andrew Price" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Leaving aside aesthetics and the probable reaction of the UCI ("Quell horreur!") is there any
    >practical fairing for a conventional road bike that significantly cuts wind resistance and improves
    >speed for the same effort ?
    >
    >They seem mandatory on road motor cycles, why none for us?
    >

    Motorcycles have a lot more weight to minimize the affect of wind from the side hitting a large
    surface such as a fairing? The average speed of a motorcycle is also higher than on a bicycle.

    From what I have read, it seems that fairings on bicycles are very helpful under some conditions-
    head winds- and hard to work with under other conditions- side winds.

    I wonder how the windshields on recumbents affect handling with a tail or side wind.

    >
    >
    >best, Andrew
    >
    >"But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight; Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a
    >wildcat can it fight... I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern, right straight away, at sight." A
    >B 'Banjo' Patterson - "Mulga Bill" 25 July 1896.
     
  4. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "Andrew Price" <[email protected]> wrote in news:ILxOa.450$TX6.6599
    @news-server.bigpond.net.au:
    > Leaving aside aesthetics and the probable reaction of the UCI ("Quell horreur!") is there any
    > practical fairing for a conventional road bike that significantly cuts wind resistance and
    > improves speed for the same effort ?
    >
    > They seem mandatory on road motor cycles, why none for us?

    10 or 20 years ago, companies were selling front fairings for road bikes that you could clip on your
    handlebars. Wheel covers were also available. These are rare now days, I assume because the demand
    has dried up. Unless you're riding at over 20mph on relatively flat, smooth roads, farings aren't
    worthwhile. They add weight, rattle, and cause stability problems in cross winds. Some of the
    commercial farings were also poorly designed and had only limited aero benefits.

    Lots of farings are available for recumbents, but you rarely see them on the road, for the
    same reasons.
     
  5. On Tue, 8 Jul 2003, Andrew Price wrote:

    > Leaving aside aesthetics and the probable reaction of the UCI ("Quell horreur!") is there any
    > practical fairing for a conventional road bike that significantly cuts wind resistance and
    > improves speed for the same effort ?
    >
    > They seem mandatory on road motor cycles, why none for us?

    There are a few fairings listed here: http://www.ihpva.org/SourceGuide/Parts/#fairings

    If you build your own, there are a couple of old tech articles that might be of interest--first one
    by me, second includes a simple math model:

    http://www.cervelo.com/qa/article2.html

    http://www.ihpva.org/tools/cwind_stat_stab.htm or in .doc format (with pics) from the link at very
    bottom of this page-- http://www.ihpva.org/tools/

    Might find something interesting here (also look in the pictures section--need a Yahoo sign-in for
    that page): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aerobody/files/

    -- Doug www.millikenresearch.com
     
  6. In article <[email protected]>, Andrew Price
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Leaving aside aesthetics and the probable reaction of the UCI ("Quell horreur!") is there any
    >practical fairing for a conventional road bike that significantly cuts wind resistance and improves
    >speed for the same effort ?
    >
    >They seem mandatory on road motor cycles, why none for us?
    >

    Motor cyclists obviously don't mind looking ridiculous. :) (Or maybe it's because they go faster?)

    Have you tried using a clip-on bar?

    --Paul
     
  7. Fairings on a conventional race bike wouldn't make much sense, because they are banned from the
    races. Also using a recumbent increases the gains (comfort and speed) you get from fairings while
    reducing the tradeoffs. There's also the aesthetics factor...

    Dan Daniel <[email protected]> wrote:

    : I wonder how the windshields on recumbents affect handling with a tail or side wind.

    To my knowledge, a partial fairing doesn't change things very much. A full fairing with high
    speeds, strong winds and two wheels makes things much worse. Getting blown over is a problem for
    recumbents trying to occupy the very high end of the speed range. Trikes with a full fairing are
    much more stable.

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  8. Quoth Andrew Price:

    >>Leaving aside aesthetics and the probable reaction of the UCI ("Quell horreur!") is there any
    >>practical fairing for a conventional road bike

    Also sprach Nick Payne:

    > I still have a Zzipper fairing around somewhere, though I haven't used it for a decade or more. It
    > did the job well enough, though it used to flex a bit over the bumps with a sort of hollow noise.
    > I found it's principal value was in reducing the wind chill factor on cold winter mornings.
    >
    > AFAIK they are still available. See http://zzipper.com/.

    I've got one of these. I like it very much for use in the winter time, it allows me to dress for
    weather 10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature.

    I find it absolutely intolerable in the summer, however, for the same reason.

    I never noticed any improvement in speed, and, in fact, my maximum downhill speed is lower with the
    fairing, because it prevents me from getting into a serious aero tuck (my head would bump into it.)

    Sheldon "Gadgeteer" Brown +----------------------------------------------+
    | Certainly the game is rigged. | Don't let that stop you; | if you don't bet, you can't win. |
    | --Robert A. Heinlein |
    +----------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone
    617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  9. Jeff Wills

    Jeff Wills Guest

    Ken <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>... <snip>
    >
    > Lots of farings are available for recumbents, but you rarely see them on the road, for the same
    > reasons.

    Huh?? Just about every Easy Racer recumbent bicycle I see is equipped with a front fairing from
    Zzipper. (Here's a photo of some locals: http://www.easyracers.com/images/DeltaPark2002.jpg .) The
    fairing improves speed on the flats by about 10%- more on the downhill, less on the uphill. There's
    some influence in crosswinds, but it's quite manageable. I've ridden with mine with the wind gusting
    to 30+ mph. At no time did I think the fairing was creating handling issues.

    Here's a link to Zzipper's "upright" fairing: http://www.zzipper.com/UpStdFairing.html

    Jeff
     
  10. > Lots of farings are available for recumbents, but you rarely see them on the road, for the same
    > reasons.

    > Motor cyclists obviously don't mind looking ridiculous. :) (Or maybe it's because they go
    > faster?)

    Actually, the reason that you rarely see them on the road is the lack-of-cooling problem. They work
    very well - on uprights as well as recumbents - but riders get too hot behind them.

    Doug
     
  11. > Lots of farings are available for recumbents, but you rarely see them on the road, for the same
    > reasons.

    > Motor cyclists obviously don't mind looking ridiculous. :) (Or maybe it's because they go
    > faster?)

    Actually, the reason that you rarely see them on the road is the lack-of-cooling problem. They
    work beautifully on uprights as well as recumbents, but as long as they do, the rider overheats
    behind them.

    Doug
     
  12. Jeff Potter

    Jeff Potter Guest

    They used to make something called a Bullet that went underneath an aerobar. I think that's the best
    approach for an upright roadbike fairing. ---Then maybe add a clear 'visor' to go above the aerobar
    somehow. In any event a small fairing doing the most effective work is what you want. I think that a
    lower section to fair the knees, coming down from a Bullet would be good, too. A little goes a long
    way, I suspect.

    I've fiddled with roadbike fairings along these exact lines with an invention project to make
    aerodynamic panniers. THEY WORK GREAT!

    Well, technically from my ad-hoc fullsize model and testing my time trials with race bike and
    aerobar were the same as touring bike and aero-panniers + 20 lbs. Usually a full set of pans, etc.,
    would slow one down a lot I'd think. I had no loss.

    Who cares if they're illegal in races: take it off if you want to race. : )

    Andrew Price wrote:

    > Leaving aside aesthetics and the probable reaction of the UCI ("Quell horreur!") is there any
    > practical fairing for a conventional road bike that significantly cuts wind resistance and
    > improves speed for the same effort ?
    >
    > They seem mandatory on road motor cycles, why none for us?
    >
    > best, Andrew
    >
    > "But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight; Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a
    > wildcat can it fight... I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern, right straight away, at sight." A
    > B 'Banjo' Patterson - "Mulga Bill" 25 July 1896.

    --

    Jeff Potter
    ****
    *Out Your Backdoor * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com for modern folkways and culture revival...
    ...offering "small world" views on bikes, bows, books, movies... ...new books featuring: XC ski
    culture, a Gulf Coast thriller folding bicycles ... with radical novels coming up! ...original
    downloadable music ... and articles galore! plus national "Off the Beaten Path" travel forums!
    HOLY SMOKES!
     
  13. Ever see a set of Tailwind panniers? Designed by Glen Brown (a real aerodynamicist) and sold by
    Specialized around 1980 or so. Wasn't able to find any pics on the web, but maybe they are out there
    somewhere...

    In the wind tunnel, wearing typical touring clothes of the day (shorts and T shirt) they had
    essentially no effect on drag (installed or removed). Other "baggy" panniers added significant drag
    (these were all tested at the same time).

    Too bad Tailwind went out of the market, nice product.

    -- Doug Milliken www.millikenresearch.com (day job)

    On Sun, 7 Sep 2003, Jeff Potter wrote:

    <snipped>

    > I've fiddled with roadbike fairings along these exact lines with an invention project to make
    > aerodynamic panniers. THEY WORK GREAT!
    >
    > Well, technically from my ad-hoc fullsize model and testing my time trials with race bike and
    > aerobar were the same as touring bike and aero-panniers + 20 lbs. Usually a full set of pans,
    > etc., would slow one down a lot I'd think. I had no loss.
    >
    > Who cares if they're illegal in races: take it off if you want to race. : )
    >
    > Andrew Price wrote:
    >
    > > Leaving aside aesthetics and the probable reaction of the UCI ("Quell horreur!") is there any
    > > practical fairing for a conventional road bike that significantly cuts wind resistance and
    > > improves speed for the same effort ?
    > >
    > > They seem mandatory on road motor cycles, why none for us?
    > >
    > > best, Andrew
     
  14. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    > Ever see a set of Tailwind panniers?

    Yes they worked.

    I used to tour with a set of front low-rider Tailwind panniers. Hopping into a paceline from Bourg
    d'Oisans to Grenoble was fun as these French and Belgian guys couldn't believe a guy with bags like
    that on his bike could hang on, let alone contribute.

    -Bruce

    "Doug Milliken" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    >
    > Ever see a set of Tailwind panniers? Designed by Glen Brown (a real aerodynamicist) and sold by
    > Specialized around 1980 or so. Wasn't able to find any pics on the web, but maybe they are out
    > there somewhere...
    >
    > In the wind tunnel, wearing typical touring clothes of the day (shorts and T shirt) they had
    > essentially no effect on drag (installed or removed). Other "baggy" panniers added significant
    > drag (these were all tested at
    the
    > same time).
    >
    > Too bad Tailwind went out of the market, nice product.
    >
    > -- Doug Milliken www.millikenresearch.com (day job)
     
  15. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Bruce" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > > Ever see a set of Tailwind panniers?
    >
    > I used to tour with a set of front low-rider Tailwind panniers. Hopping into a paceline from Bourg
    > d'Oisans to Grenoble was fun as these French and Belgian guys couldn't believe a guy with bags
    > like that on his bike could hang on, let alone contribute.

    Aided by the fact that the stretch from Bourg-d'Oisans to Rochtaillee over the Romanche to Vizille
    is practically all downhill, being a false flat. The mass you were hauling would have been neutral
    or even beneficial on much of that route. It must have been fun!
     
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