home-made fairing success!

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by bluegoatwoods, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Preliminary success, anyway.

    I just took a ride. About a half hour long.
    conditions; 18 deg F, winds SSW @ 20 mph, gusting to 29.
    (I was actually riding through snow drifts in process of formation.)

    And I was not uncomfortable. It was fun. My hands, feet and face did get a little chilled. No problem, though. I can bundle up a bit more.

    I used my front cargo rack as the frame to build the fairing on. I have two foot wide stips running up from about 2 inches below the front axle up to the cargo platform (about head-set height). The effect is something like those leg guards that you see on old European scooters. But these turn with the front wheel, so it's not quite the same. but it's close.

    At this point I have a 7 inch deep by 24 inch wide cargo platform. This is where I put on the duffel bag that carries my spare hats, gloves, rain gear, etc. Duffel bag also acts as a wind brake.

    Then the fairing continues upwards to cover handlebars and hands. If you looked at it from the front, you'd see almost a "mickey mouse" profile.
    the forehead is a bit below my armpit height and the ears are sticking up and out to cover my hands.

    Handling was good. I was afraid, really, that the whole thing would act like a sail and give trouble. But that doesn't seem to be the case; these were windy conditions with bad gusts but everything was fine. Looks as though it's cutting and breaking up the wind.

    It's made out of 3/16" plywood. So it's nothing to look at. but now that the principle is established I can start thinking about better looking materials.
    Suggestions would be appreciated.

    I'm gonna bundle up a bit more and take a more serious ride.

    I'll report back if there's anything noteworthy.

  2. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    coroplast, corrugated plastic is the material you should be looking at for your next version. connect pieces of coroplast with a row of plastic wire ties.

    You can get coroplast at your local glass shop, or maybe the big box building store.

    Attached is a design I made for a fairing for my Dad's recumbent bike. It was never built.

    Attached Files:

  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Coroplast? Is that that stuff that has corrugations of, say, an inch in height separated, trough to trough, by about 2 inches?
    The stuff that you might roof a deck with?

    2nd ride went well, by the way.
    I dressed a bit heavier and I was definitely much more comfortable than I would have been without the fairing. Went a good deal further.

    I did come to one curve where the drifting was considerable. The plows were making passes, but it was still about 6 inches deep in the right lane. Rough icy surface at the bottom. My footing did not feel secure at all. I went through at a crawl with my feet stuck out to catch me. But I didn't have any bad slips. I could see, though, that one wipeout would also wipeout my leg guards.

    But these were fairly extreme circumstances. I've definitely achieved ride-ability under conditions where it would not be possible without.

    And it was nice to take a moderately serious ride again.
  4. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Wait..one other thing.

    The cargo trailer did not help stabilize me to any degree that I could perceive.

    and at one point it even caused some rear wheel sliding. Low speed, cutting across some snow in a "jack knife" attitude. Still, as long as bike and trailer are straight it's probably helpful.
  5. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    the coroplast I am familiar with is about 3/16" thick & looks just like plastic cardboard.
  6. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    Yes, it is like cardboard in a cardboard box but made of plastic.

    You can get it as thin as 1/8" but that thickness may not be very strong. 1/8" or 3/16" might be better widths.