Do you use an fairing or partial fairing on your ebike, emoped or BSM?

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An interesting article I found on how a partial fairing can lower the aerodynamic drag of a road bike in the touring position (i.e. hands on tops) to near that of an unfaired recumbent:

https://www.notechmagazine.com/2013/04/ride-your-bike-faster-or-with-less-effort-using-a-partial-fairing.html

Power usage at 35km/h (22 mph) according to the article:

Commuter bike is 345 watts
Road bike in touring position (i.e. hands on tops) is 220 watts
Road bike in crouched position and wearing tight clothing is 176 watts
Road bike in touring position (i.e. hands on tops) with partial fairing is 157 watts
Recumbent is 148 watts
Velomobile is 30 watts

The downside they mention is suspectibility to crosswinds. This means a certain amount of extra stability should be built into the bike.
 

Chalo

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Fairings on pedal bikes cause engine overheating.

Fairings on motorbikes can increase rider comfort, or decrease drag, but are not so likely to do both. The large fairings I used on my motorcycles increased overall drag (judging by measured MPG) as a consequence of making a nice generous bubble for me to inhabit.
 
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Another article on the topic:

https://www.bikeradar.com/features/could-fairings-provide-the-biggest-aero-gain-were-all-missing-out-on/

Which has a picture of a modern looking partial fairing as well as a link to this location with a very sweet looking bike:

https://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-gear/bikes-and-biking/specialized-fuci-proof-your-bike-should-be-better/
 

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Chalo

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E-HP said:
ebike4healthandfitness said:
a very sweet looking bike

in the eye of the beholder.

No kidding haha

Between matters of taste and real world experience, I do suspect we're dealing with a youngster.
 

dogman dan

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I thought all fairings caused some drag and a lot of noise, and definitely any homemade ones I tried to improve my race bike. Then I got the bmw, and found out what a modern (1997) one can be like. Its like my 80's windjammer fairing like my 2017 Nissan is like my 62 bug. Looks slick these days may look different than you think. Every weird looking bump on the headlights and body side of the nissan has a definite drag reducing purpose. Artists don't shape car bodies anymore.

Whether that fairing on the nice looking bike works, I don't know. I know for sure my Homer Simpson body could not crouch low enough behind it to matter. On my bmw, if I lower the windshield, I better crouch to lower my head. If the wind is in my face, its slows me down for sure.

Raise the windshield to cover my head, even very tall, and its faster that way.

If it works, you can be sure the UCI has banned it for any kind of speed over distance record making rides.
 
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Another partial fairing, this one is very small but claims a 15% reduction in drag.

https://newatlas.com/aerodynamic-speed-up-handlebar-bag/30716/
 

E-HP

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ebike4healthandfitness said:
Another partial fairing, this one is very small but claims a 15% reduction in drag.

https://newatlas.com/aerodynamic-speed-up-handlebar-bag/30716/

Yup. Another reason for using a battery that has a decent capacity buffer (at least 15% extra in this case). A little extra weight on the bike is a good trade off for not looking like a dufus.
 
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Pictures of Bicycle fairings:
 

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calab

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Looks more like a motorcycle if your doing superhuman feats with those fairing bicycles converted to ebike. I like the last one you edited to add, with no pedals and a ebike hub attached its a motorcycle.
More ways to get more aero always practical for superhuman ebiking https://youtu.be/bvmibwafGXc?t=20
https://youtu.be/zojjIghKQoM?t=145


ebike4healthandfitness said:
Pictures of Bicycle fairings:
 
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More pics:
 

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Frank

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I still ride with a 40 year old Zzipper on my road bike. It's worth two gears and is extremely light.

Sent from my SM-T380 using Tapatalk

 
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Frank said:
I still ride with a 40 year old Zzipper on my road bike. It's worth two gears and is extremely light.

Nice!!

Do you use the large Zipper fairing or the small one?
 

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Frank

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I guess it's the small one (second picture). I remember when installing it that it didn't work well in the upper position but when I lowered it performance increased.

I also used to ride with some of those mylar wheel discs on the rear wheel (until they got ripped during a move). I tried them on the front wheel but when a gust of wind almost blew me off the road I changed my mind, lol.
 

donn

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I used to have one of those things on my Cannondale. Might have improved aerodynamics a little, don't know, but I'm pretty sure it helped fend off rain and cold from my hands.

I loved having a Windjammer on my Moto Guzzi, too. The big Zzipper that came on my Ryan Vanguard, however, was a little too awkward to be worth it.
 
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Frank said:
I guess it's the small one (second picture). I remember when installing it that it didn't work well in the upper position but when I lowered it performance increased.

The article in the opening post mentions positioning the partial fairing low enough that the person looks over it rather than through it.

The Speed up bag ( a smaller partial fairing than the zipper, shown in the second image below) claims it's aerodynamic benefit comes from blocking airflow to the chest and stomach which in the seated position is concave and thus increases drag (first image below).

So I am assuming part of the aerodynamic benefit of the zipper partial fairing comes from being able to block airflow to the chest and stomach.
 

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tigcross

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One of the things that should be considered when talking about fairings for e-bikes is that the old rules of weight no longer have apply. With the extra power offered by electric assist one can implement a fairing solution that supplies aerodynamic advantages as well as weather protection, and because weight is less of an issue the fairing can be more robust. If you go further and put the fairing and electric motor on a recumbent position you can really reap the benefits.
side-headturnWeb-1.jpg
 

Chalo

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tigcross said:
One of the things that should be considered when talking about fairings for e-bikes is that the old rules of weight no longer have apply.

To one degree or another, you're right. But that's not the only problem with fairings on bikes. They're also fragile, noisy, and ugly. They harm the bike's handling, especially in crosswinds. They make the bike harder to park, maintain, or keep indoors. They attract unwanted attention. These things are deal breakers for most people even who don't care about their bike's weight.
 

donn

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tigcross said:
If you go further and put the fairing and electric motor on a recumbent position you can really reap the benefits.

Tail fairings (as shown in that picture) get a lot of aerodynamic credit in the recumbent world. I don't know if it's done much any more, but for a while there was some interest in a fabric "sock" for the front.
 

dogman dan

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Re directing the air above your chest, yes please. Re directing to the top of your chest, no thanks. Same wind, but you now catch it concentrated in your face.

Much depends on if you gut can fold enough to get under that wind, or not. I'm too fat to even ride my bent very comfy, let alone drop bars in max tuck.

One reason I dumped the 150 cc scooter for a 400, was the cool looking fairing on the 150 just concentrated the air right under my chin. The taller, much less cool looking windscreen on the 400 put it over my head. Looks cool is nice, but works nice is better.

RE the big ol windjammer from the 70's. It was great if you rode into the wind. Huge hole in the wind behind it. I could roll and light a joint behind that thing.

In a strong crosswind it was pretty harsh. The windjammer was a thing you bolted onto any motorcycle. On the BMW, the fairing works great, yet its not nearly as bad in a crosswind. Its designed to fit one bike, using wind tunnel testing.

But while this discussion keeps focusing on efficiency, what really matters in winter is if it keeps the rider warmer. For that, the big zipper would be a good choice.
 
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calab said:
I like the last one you edited to add, with no pedals and a ebike hub attached its a motorcycle.

ebike4healthandfitness said:
Pictures of Bicycle fairings:

I think the last one (the blue bike) is an early gravity bike where the rider holds on using the steering and pegs on the rear wheel for support. The Banana seat I believe is supposed to help achieve the quasi superman riding position. Here is a picture of the front of it:
 

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tigcross

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Chalo said:
tigcross said:
One of the things that should be considered when talking about fairings for e-bikes is that the old rules of weight no longer have apply.

To one degree or another, you're right. But that's not the only problem with fairings on bikes. They're also fragile, noisy, and ugly. They harm the bike's handling, especially in crosswinds. They make the bike harder to park, maintain, or keep indoors. They attract unwanted attention. These things are deal breakers for most people even who don't care about their bike's weight.

Chalo, I think you missed the point. With the addition of electric assist, fairings need not be fragile, ugly or noisy. The extra power means that the fairing can be built with enough layers of material to make them strong and quiet. The bodywork on the Electrom is made from multiple layers of carbon, fiberglas and kevlar. It has been dropped, crashed and even kicked a few times without cracks.

With speed and weight, there is less of an issue with cross-winds. I've had the Electrom out in 70 km/h winds and while it was challenging, it was quite manageable.

I agree that there is a noise issue with a fully enclosed fairing (I've ridden in an Organic Transit Elf and it the noise was horrible), and that is part of the reason that the Electrom is only partially faired, however the main reason was to make sure that getting on and off was easy. I do believe that with proper materiel use, decent sound dampening can be achieved on a fully enclosed vehicle.

As for ugly, well, that's subjective. Your taste in vehicle appearance is personal, not a hard fact.

Here's a video highlighting the the advantages of the Electrom fairing in the rain.

[youtube]pybFGBzFQDs[/youtube]
 

MadRhino

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I never used a fairing on ebikes, mostly because of maintenance inconvenience and potential crash damages. I like them ebikes minimalist and powerful.

On scooters and motorcycles for street riding, I like fairings because I have pretty bulky luggage and dashboard. I also use them for much longer rides, thus more likely to come back home a long ride under the rain. I park them on the street too, another good reason for fairing protection.

Long distance and efficiency are the most common reasons for fairings on ebikes. Not my kind of ride or concern, personally. A guy I see here sometimes, had built a nice solar ebike that is fully faired. Looks comfortable, but slow. I can understand that some would like it.
 
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