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Upright Mike Posted - 01/12/2010 : 16:33:52
Below is my conception of a new idea for an Upright bike fairing.

Some history of upright fairings: Around 1913-1914 the first streamlined human powered vehicle race was held between two faired upright bikes. In 1914 they were banned by the UCI. Former UCI hour record holder Marcel Berthet went 49.99 km in one hour with a faired aluminum upright in the 1930's. He was 47 years old at the time. In 1974 Olympic cyclist Ron Skarin pedaled Dr Chet Kyle's streamlined upright, sewn by Joyce Kyle to a world record 43 mph. This event helped launch the first speed championships in 1975 as well as the IHPVA. Ron remarked that the streamliner swerved with heart stopping unpredictability. In the late 1970's more streamlined uprights emerged to set records. They too had problems with swerving due to their tall thin shapes with large side areas.

In the 1980's fully-faired Moultons (folding bikes with 17 inch wheels) were ridden and raced quite successfully by a team of engineers (Doug Milliken, Dave Kennedy). Jim Glover, Will Kennedy and others were the riders. In 1989, a RAAM team used the AeroEdge fairing. At this time within the HPRA racing circle, only Bryan Tucker http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/tucker-memorial.htm and myself raced uprights with fairings. With the passing of Bryan, I think I'm the only one left racing them.

I'm not going to build a SAIL like has been done in the past by enclosing the bike and rider top to bottom. I figure something up top and then Aero-Boots (please don't steal my patentable idea) around the bottom should help people to go faster on their uprights. World Record speed for an Upright fairing was set by Jim Glover at I think 52-53 mph on the Indianapolis speedway. My speed lists have him doing 51.2 mph at the 1986 speed championships in Vancouver.

In 1998, I spent about 3 months devised this fairing during a Masters-level engineering problem solving class. My classmates and I found 14 patents related to upright fairings for bicycles. Its an idea I've had languishing now for all these years.

It's not my goal to break this mark, as I know my fairing will not be as aero as some of these earlier fully faired machines. I hope I go at least a respectable 40 mph over 200 meters and maybe 30 miles in one hour. With the design I show, I hope it would be lot more controllable than the earlier fully-faired machines. Someone's got to bring some respectability back to uprights!

I welcome all comments and criticisms!
Mike Mowett

My past experiments with the spandex bag - AeroEdge fairing. This was developed in 1989 for RAAM. I narrowed it, but still only get about 1.5 mph average cruising speed increase (from say 23.5 mph to 25.0 mph) from it. It definitely needs a tail fairing section. - Here I'm doing 37 mph in a 200 meter qualifying run at Battle Mountain in 2005...

Wearing prototype Aero-Boots installed at Battle Mountain in 2005...
These were just cut up detergent and Armor All plastic bottles taped together.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Grant-53 Posted - 11/19/2014 : 13:58:17
Welcome Jeff, My father is a Boston U. alumni from the 1950's. First question, do you have drop handle bars or flat bars? Next the distance from your shoulders to your knees is the most important measurement to determine for sizing. Key is mounting the fairing to the frame. I have used two methods successfully. One is to use a u-bolt or muffler clamp to attach a boom to the head tube. The coroplast fairing pictured is attached to the down tube with two zip ties spaced about 3 inches apart. It is made from a 24 x 48 piece of 4mm coroplast for lightness. To gain speed, some type of tail piece is needed. I am working on a set of plans for a complete full fairing for a mountain/hybrid bike. The motorcycle paper model plans on the Yamaha World site could be adapted to a road bike with drop handle bars or aero bars. I live in western NY 42N 72W just out of reach of the lake effect snows
jeffeng Posted - 11/16/2014 : 13:19:57
Hi all, my name is Jeff. This is an awesome community you guys have built.

I'm writing because I'm interested in making a simple and inexpensive fairing for my upright road bike. I bike-commute all winter, and the primary purpose is to combat the Boston wind/snow/rain. The polar vortex really got to me last year.

It looks like the fairings discussed in this forum might be a great solution. By chance might anyone be able to direct me to a how-to, or suggest a way to get started? I think Grant-53's coroplast designs might be appropriate, but really I'd be grateful for any advice/guidance/suggestions.

Thank you very much in advance!
AviationMetalSmith Posted - 10/22/2014 : 16:14:04

Upright Dave Posted - 10/16/2014 : 20:06:27
Getting back to the great picture of Upright Mike standing next to Jim Glover. Ok so your telling me you didn't ask him about the actual gain on those faired moultons? Maybe it's not proper streamliner etiquette but..... I would have asked him.
Upright Dave Posted - 10/04/2014 : 15:35:15
Good post Grant. Too bad they didn't bring those to battle mountain in 2012. Maybe they don't own them anymore. Looks like the soft shell versions only did 39-43mph from the results. Even less when you minus off the 4619 ft altitude and .6% downhill.
Grant-53 Posted - 10/04/2014 : 13:01:01
51.29mph (82.53kph),
unpaced cycling record over 200m

'Liner I broke the unpaced cycling record over 200m (conventional riding position), reaching 50.21mph (80.79kph) at 11th International Human Powered Speed Championships held in Indianapolis in late September 1985. The rider was Jim Glover.

'Liner II about to break the World Speed Record 'Liner II (illustrated), built from 'Liner I, was slightly lighter at 45lbs (20.75kg). At the 12th HPV Speed Championship in Vancouver in August 1986, Jim Glover rode the bicycle to set a new record at 51.29mph (82.53kph), which has yet to be beaten. Nearly 100 HPVs took part, but only a dozen or so were able to exceed 50 mph (80.45 kph).

'Liner III, built from 'Liner II, is potentially faster than either of its predecessors. However, it never fully achieved its potential - circumstances always seemed to conspire against it. In testing though, it has exceeded 55mph (88kph). It was, however, the overall winner at the International Festival of the Bicycle HPV event at Hull, Quebec in 1989.

While Liner's I and II were based on a modified production AM7, the Liner III, is based on a white prototype AM-SPEED and therefore weighed a little less than the 'Liner II. A unicrown front fork was used, similar to that on the AM-ATB, now APB, and the bottom bracket height was increased by jacking-up the rear suspension. This feature had been used in 'Liners I and II, and allowed the chainwheel to be incorporated within the fairing.

The transmission consists of 86 and 82 tooth chainwheels, driving a close-ratio 9, 10, 11, 12 tooth block, thus giving a gear range of 116 - 162".

The fairing, designed and built by Doug Milliken of New York, attaches to the AM's frame via the standard front and rear carrier mounting points. The main body of the fairing is cut from 6mm thick plastic foam-cored artist's board, with the clear panel formed from Lexan. The top and bottom vacuum-formed sections are high impact polystyrene for the opaque sections, and PETG for the clear panel. Aerodynamic wheel disks were added to the accurately balanced wheels, which would spin at about 1,000rpm. 'Liners I and II used standard AM-Wolber tyres inflated to 120psi. The 'Liner III uses Moulton-Wolber slicks run at 140psi.
I found this description of the Moulton record bikes. If I remember correctly Doug Milliken was associated with Calspan in Buffalo, NY.
Upright Dave Posted - 10/02/2014 : 11:34:14
Checked my top speed today at 406 ft elevation, 75 degrees temp.

Run1 35.42mph 52/15 gear
Run2 35.47mph 52/14 gear
Grant-53 Posted - 10/01/2014 : 09:43:55
Having the fairing attached to the frame instead of the handlebars does away with crosswind instability.

Tuft testing my front fairing showed turbulence around the front brakes.

The Rocket tail cone of Oscar Egg duplicates an aircraft style tail.

I am sorting through the pictures I took at the National Sailplane Museum.

A road bike capable of 30-35 mph would be a success.
Upright Mike Posted - 09/22/2014 : 02:29:45
Originally posted by Upright Dave

Thanks for the replies guys. I'll let you do the headtube mount Grant. I've spent way too much time on this thing for little gain.

One thing still ponders my mind. Given: An Olympic level sprinter can do 42-45 mph with no fairings and maybe some chemicals.

How much extra speed did Jim Glover really get out of the 51mph full upright streamliner? Assuming he was an Olympic level cyclist..............or was he?

Hi Dave, Jim Glover was and is a pretty strong cyclist, but I don't think he was on the Olympic team. He is a cycling coach now. Here we are with the Moultons back in 2012 at Battle Mountain, when they were brought out of "retirement" to be ridden by Will Kennedy and Jim Glover. I think maybe these photos are posted somewhere already earlier in this thread but I'll post them anyway again.

PS: I think you might be discovering what I discovered too. There is a lot of work to do for an upright fairing (though you've now done much more work than me, who just bought mine!), for not a lot of gain. A full fairing would undoubtably give more gain, but more heart attacks because they sail and swerve in even the lightest of wind gusts. So.... a recumbent is the way to go!

Battle Mountain 2012 - Left to Right
Dave Kennedy, Will Kennedy, Jim Glover, Mike Mowett

The original upright king of speed bike - though Jim Glover rode a hard shell version I think...

Upright Dave Posted - 09/20/2014 : 19:06:13
Thanks for the replies guys. I'll let you do the headtube mount Grant. I've spent way too much time on this thing for little gain.

One thing still ponders my mind. Given: An Olympic level sprinter can do 42-45 mph with no fairings and maybe some chemicals.

How much extra speed did Jim Glover really get out of the 51mph full upright streamliner? Assuming he was an Olympic level cyclist..............or was he?
Grant-53 Posted - 09/16/2014 : 13:21:27

This what I have been looking to do and you can see the similarity. Still suggest you mount the Zzipper to the head tube. Definitely awesome! Whether a tail or a fin you'll be able to keep up with Rocky the Flying Squirrel;)
Upright Mike Posted - 08/24/2014 : 09:35:02
That looks awesome Dave! Having a tail was something I always wanted! (Wait that doesn't sound right!)
Upright Dave Posted - 08/23/2014 : 12:00:05
Sure. I took a couple pictures this morning.

warren Posted - 08/22/2014 : 18:42:19
Dave - Can you get somebody to take a picture of you riding the bike?
Upright Dave Posted - 08/22/2014 : 15:22:50
Changed to a dual hinge hatch. Works better. Bike performance is still good. Small side/cross winds slow it down both directions though. Its pretty stable in light winds.

Upright Dave Posted - 07/15/2014 : 19:40:48
Ok. A few more pics. Trying to get wrinkle free pedaling and maybe save a few watts on the material rubbing my knees.

Edit: I made another hinged (using packing tape) flip up hatch so I could get to the downtube shifters. First one didn't work right. The hatch has a channel cut in the middle to get by the top tube/pump. Also snaps into place with tabs. Really need to relocate the shifters but this will do for now. Down to one finger clearance now.

Upright Dave Posted - 07/12/2014 : 15:05:37
Thanks! Good points. I usually fill the hole up front with my head and look through the Petg. I didn't use any zippers. I'm assuming the velcro has more margin for error. I used the industrial type. Added another foam box inside around the legs. Packing tape seals the holes. Stitched up the hand holes some as they were too big. Hope it works. Not much else to do now but work on the motor.

Upright Mike Posted - 07/01/2014 : 19:43:45
Great job Dave! I had velcro patches originally along the top side opening of my sock. However I didn't have enough and the flaps would come apart. Then the scratchy "hook" side of the velcro tabs would occassionally scratch my face or lips onetime drawing blood! It was crazy! Maybe a zipper would help. A long time ago, I had my mom sew on a zipper along the top opening of my sock. It definitely helped to keep things closed. However, sometimes it would start to unzip itself. I think the key is to extend the zipper and its cloth runners about an inch past the ends of the sock opening. Some cloths or jackets do this already. Otherwise with my zipper terminating on the spandex itself, it seemed to just keep getting tugged on and unzipping itself. So I resorted to biting it to hold it close (Another crazy idea), and then a safety pin (which I didn't like so close to my face either!).
Upright Dave Posted - 07/01/2014 : 13:06:08
Had a great run this morning! +1.1mph on the sock! 26.45mph avg! Might be some more speed in it. Needs some velcro on the front sides or bottom of the box. It was blowing outward. More pics:

Upright Dave Posted - 06/30/2014 : 21:38:44
Thanks Mike. Its great to hear your enthusiasm and experience! I only tried this because of this thread.

Cool idea Grant. I like building rc airplanes and sailplanes for fun. It's fun applying rc techniques to bikes. I recently started building foam airplanes but usually use wood. Here's the foam box I made for the tail. It only weighs 1 oz. It's a difficult to reach area if you're on the bike so I didn't use a zipper. I may glass it later but no use doing that right now. I can just reach the back of the tail to pull it off. I really don't know if it will help reduce vacuum but I'll try it.

Grant-53 Posted - 06/28/2014 : 10:04:16
After a tough winter all around I'm back to the fairing projects too. The website www.vintagesailplaner.com/Sheet1bis-9.pdf gave plans that seem to be adaptable to a triathlon bike. The length is shortened to the No. 6 bulkhead. The profile covers from the shoulder to just below the knee. My running gear mule is my antique 26" x 1-3/8" Huffy 3 speed tricked out with 13-16T rear gears and 40-50T front sprockets.
The handlebars are 21" steel flat with homemade aero bars 10" apart.
On my Jamis commuter bike I attached the front nose section to the head tube so I can steer behind the fairing. This also make for very little cross wind input. Side panels and a tail box are on the drawing board. The laminate made from 1" wire hex mesh, 5 mil plastic sheet, and contact cement came out well. Now I have a choice of materials to try: 4mm coroplast, mesh laminate, 3/8" plywood, Al and SS sheet metal, and aluminum honeycomb. panels.
Upright Mike Posted - 06/27/2014 : 21:23:07
ps: I did the same thing - having my handlebars and brake levers sticking out through the spandex. Its an unnecessary evil if you want to keep the fairing smaller
Upright Mike Posted - 06/27/2014 : 21:20:57
Excellent work Dave! Keep up the experiments. Its magic when you start to notice those gains!
your fellow upright bike fairing knucklehead!
Upright Dave Posted - 06/27/2014 : 19:36:20
Ok, still working on it. Trying to plug up the holes top and bottom. Added material and sewed up the top behind the back. Working on a foam plug to stick underneath in the tail. Trying to get rid of any parachute effect. Might need a zipper or two.
Upright Dave Posted - 06/24/2014 : 09:15:16
Working on my bike again. Did the sock over as best I could with a brace in the back. No speed difference. It doesn't work. Hard to believe.

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