Well, all I can say is if this were the Myth Busters show on Discovery, and the question was "do upright bikes benefit from handlebar mounted fairings?" then this baby is ..........CONFIRMED!!!!!
I just had a nice little trip nearing the end of the day starting at about 4:15 PM, and I took my usual route to the bike shop, then to the hobby shop to get my loaner charger so I can send back my Hyperion to be warrantied, and I got to test the gamut!
First, I went along with traffic after leaving my house, got up to about 20 MPH before turning into a nearby housing development, then soon down my favorite hill, and a special treat!
There just happened
to be a guy in a recumbent bike in the bike path, so I thought sweet! Lets see if I can catch up to him and maybe even pass him! (he was almost a full block ahead of me, but I imagine he doesn't go for broke down this hill, most cyclists are afraid to)
And then I noticed I had a light but noticeable headwind, so I thought, oh well, at least I can see what it will do under these conditions.
To my surprise, I went down the hill with something between a 5 - 10 MPH headwind according to weather underground (we have had a pretty sporadic yet dominant SE wind most of the day, calm much of he time) I still made it up to 37 MPH going down (normally in these conditions I would be lucky to get 33 MPH) kept the cars at bay behind me, AND passes the 'bent at the point where things start to flatten out, he was really kewl, gave me a big thumbs up!
SO.... the next part of the test doesn't really come until the trip back UP that monstrous hill!
After going around down town OR City, to the hobby shop then back to the base of the elevator and chatting with Al and Steve at Classic Cycles, I headed up the elevator around 5:50 PM (I almost always take the elevator, so this is part of the normal routine, sure I would have used more energy going up the first steep part of the hill, but the elevator still doesn't spare me of the steepest part of the nearly 2 mile long hill which is 12%).
One thing that I have started to realize at this point in the ride is that the motor doesn't really pull much until I hit about 60 - 75% throttle, so it's definitely running at a efficient range with the new gearing!
I take the same path on the sidewalk up the steep part of 7th street mainly because it's the most direct route, and I don't have to take Linn (the same path I like to go down) that has a really narrow bike path along a winding narrow road with blind corners where cars usually creep into the bike path while turning, and I don't have to worry as much about stopping along the route as 7th is a main through street.
When I start to approach the DQ I know I am going to have to gear down to the smallest ring in front (22T) of my pedal chain to make this hill, and to my surprise, I really didn't have to add anything at all!
Since the motor is now running in such a efficient way, I really don't need to add any pedaling at all, and it's going 10 MPH on the steepest part, 12% with ease, at only 15AMPS!!
This is FIVE amps less than before for the same performance!!
And here is where I got really excited!
The total trip was 8 miles, I used just 1.79 AH!!!!
That makes 86 Wh's for 8 miles, so just 10.75 Wh's per mile!!!
So you want to know if the gearing is the real change worth noting or the fairing, well, to that I'd have to say both! Reason is, going down hill, with the gearing of the motor maxing at 30 MPH no-load speed, it's not adding anything going down, and it's just my pedaling adding another 7 MPH going down hill into a pretty good head wind, AND going up hill, it's probably more about the gearing on the 12%, but I'm sure that the fairing still helps!!
As far as testing with-out the fairing too, sure, I'll get around to it, but it's gonna have to be a really warm day since I'm really loving the extra protection given to my hands, and when it's 50 F , it still gets too chilly for my hands in even my favorite neoprene gloves.
To compare, this kind of a trip typically would take an average of 1 AH per mile when including that big hill climb so, in other words, normally that would have taken 8AH's, and I used less than TWO!!!
I have to say with today's results being even much much better than yesterday, as far as I am concerned, this fairing has been worth it's weight! If I wanted similar performance by just getting more battery and voltage, I would have paid more than double, and I would have added twice the battery weight as I have now, in other words, I might not need to go 14S after all, 12S might just be fine especially considering it's a very real possibility that 12 AH's can do the work of 24AH's!