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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 - 04/14/2015 : 14:45:36
This incorporated leg fairings and some serious wind tunnel work.
There has been renewed interest in streamlining uprights over at ecomodder.com so I have some work to do.
Grant-53 Posted - 01/18/2015 : 21:48:07
I have two plastic wastebaskets that may get cut up to form a tail box. For the front I would use a plastic salad bowl for the nose and wedges of sheet material over the ribs. My favorite material is hex mesh glued between pieces of tarp plastic. I have some wood paneling to try as well as sheets of aluminum.
PUGZCAT Posted - 01/18/2015 : 10:00:10
A while back I garbage picked a 2 foot diameter orange plastic sailboat buoy, as near as I figure out anyways, that could be sectioned into segments for the top and bottom 3D curved surfaces of the front of a full bike fairing. The rest of fairing could be done in coroplast or luan plywood.
shooky56 Posted - 01/10/2015 : 07:17:15
Just some thoughts about materials. Browsed about 5 minutes and didn't see a "oh yeah that's exactly it" type link but I've seem some stuff, like waist flotation belts, that were both waterproof, semi-rigid and safe for a fall or deformable for dismounting (like a tail box). Have no idea of costs and producing them might not be trivial either. If stuff can be injected into a mold, it doesn't get much easier to produce. But such would be good for a DIY'er in a third world. Guess the interest for impoverished areas is some protection from the weather?

Might be something you could spray over a mold and build up also that was rubbery or plastic-like (soft enough to deform in a fall or perhaps during dismounts).

Just some rambling thoughts, discard any or all.
Grant-53 Posted - 01/09/2015 : 18:16:16
Sure, the shape is the key and most any handy material could be used. I have thought about sheet metal, cloth covered woven baskets, and even grass mats for third world markets. I have not spent much time with the vacuum form or fiberglass/resin methods since I want to keep this as simple as possible. I look over the fairing so I don't need to use a clear material to see the road. In some cases a clear section is useful for reading the speedometer.
The next aspect is the trick of getting on and off the bike with a tail box and side panels. I have some ideas about hinging sections. Since I am getting older I think the next bike will have a mixte frame.
shooky56 Posted - 01/08/2015 : 12:15:22
Grant you've put oodles more thought into this but I am curious.

I remember the Zipper-T(sp? name?) something like that back in the early mid 80s? I've seen it mentioned, probably on this topic, somewhere in here.

Could a vacuum formed piece of Lexan mounted to the head tube or top tube do anything?

24x24x1/8" lexan (w/o shopping much) is available for about $15, may want thinner to vacuum form.
Upright Dave Posted - 01/07/2015 : 21:35:49
My front fairing stays on all year round. I take the sock off during the winter because it's a pain to get into. I don't bother cycling in winds more then 10mph. Not much fun going slow. I had no issues with the wind and the sock on. I just had dumb drivers passing others on a 2 lane road flying head on at me at 70mph while I'm doing around 25mph. So that's what a 95mph pass like a few feet away.
Grant-53 Posted - 01/07/2015 : 09:13:13
Just getting people to think about fairings has been a struggle. The big issue is the stability fear and that is dealt with by mounting the fairing to the frame instead of the steering. It seems nearly all patents and commercial products show fairings mounted to the steering. My first homemade Zzipper clone was attached to the brake hoods on my touring bike. A stiff breeze crossing a bridge made the bike uncontrollable.
My target is to have a fairing system that reduces drag by 25% and can be built for under $100 using common hand tools.
AviationMetalSmith Posted - 01/02/2015 : 17:33:32
Originally posted by Grant-53

This comes under the "anything is better than nothing" department along with trash bag raincoats. To protect the hands, mount it horizontally. :)

Agreed. But that doesn't stop manufacturers from producing cheap vinyl ponchos...
Hopefully this will inspire someone.
Grant-53 Posted - 01/02/2015 : 16:37:18
This comes under the "anything is better than nothing" department along with trash bag raincoats. To protect the hands, mount it horizontally. :)
AviationMetalSmith Posted - 12/30/2014 : 08:57:08

[url=https://flic.kr/p/qjpPdw][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/qjpPdw]45 seconds to retrofit[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/people/11629987@N02/]AviationMetalSmith[/url], on Flickr

Was riding a Citibike around Manhattan yesterday. Came across a piece of Plastic, intended for protecting shipping pallets from Fork Lift Blades, had some Bungee cords...

Quickest known retrofit/conversion of a bike from unaired to partially faired?

I had to stop using it account it was blocking the headlight.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/pEcxen][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/pEcxen]DSCF2215[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/people/11629987@N02/]AviationMetalSmith[/url], on Flickr

[url=https://flic.kr/p/qAXR2M][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/qAXR2M]Aerodynamic Experiment[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/people/11629987@N02/]AviationMetalSmith[/url], on Flickr

I would recommend this product to a friend.
AviationMetalSmith Posted - 12/21/2014 : 10:56:50
Originally posted by Speedbiker

I respectfully hope you are actually using lexan or PETG in your windscreen as acrylic creates dangerous edges when broken. If cost is a factor, PETG is very affordable, and it tears rather than breaks at modest temperatures.

I had a big role of PETG that I got while working at the local plastics factory (that I mentioned earlier), I think it's still out-back, possibly buried... it was "surplus".

The newer designs omitted the clear windshield altogether.

But yes, and no, I had tried to form acrylic, but never had much luck with it. Acrylic doesn't not shatter as readily as Styrene. I know it is illegal to use Styrene as a Motorcycle windshield...

I think I made a mistake earlier, under b) "it will be all fiberglass", should read "it will be fiberglass and Coroplast™ (polypropylene).

Speedbiker Posted - 12/20/2014 : 13:57:38
I respectfully hope you are actually using lexan or PETG in your windscreen as acrylic creates dangerous edges when broken. If cost is a factor, PETG is very affordable, and it tears rather than breaks at modest temperatures.
AviationMetalSmith Posted - 12/20/2014 : 10:03:37
I should add a few notes about the Type 6, which was pictured, above...
1) The Fairing, or Fairings, the Shell, is made of Five or more parts, and is held together with Pop-Rivets (blind rivets).
2) The Shell is made of Dupont Kevlar, so , yes, some money was involved, although I do recall being slightly "broke" after spending the money on Kevlar™...
3) Only the forward part of the Windshield is Acrylic, the rest is flexible, clear 12 mil thickness Vinyl. The sides are tinted. I had a source of this Vinyl, in my home-town, but the company moved out-of-town:
4) I used a No-Weld Method throughout the Construction.
5) This Velomobile represents an evolutionary dead-end. The Type 7 and the Type 9 used a *different* No-Weld Method, in their construction...

I am wavering on my decision to build another Velomobile... If I say I won't, I will change my mind , and start building one a week later...
But If I do start building,
a) I will use the semi-recumbent "Banana Seat" designed for the Type Ten,
b) I will use all Fiberglass,
c) I will put a hinged , transparent Hatch , in the roof, in case I want to stand on the pedals.
d) It will have all LED Lighting
e) It will be a bit wider, for more "elbow-room".
f) In deference to everything we know about Aerodynamics, it will have the full width "Farm Triangle" Reflector, and the accompanying wide Rear Panniers. I will be unable to taper the tail. I need Visibility in New York Traffic !!!
g) The Shell would have to be One-Piece.
Items a. and c. above will help lower the roof height.
Speedbiker Posted - 12/19/2014 : 22:16:28
Of everyone I know who has built their own faired bicycle and raced at Battle Mountain, none were remotely wealthy as far as I recall. Most are of average financial resource. Most of the top machines were built on a modest budget. Styrofoam and fiberglass are very affordable, yet wonderous, efficient,and fast bicycles can be built.
Grant-53 Posted - 12/19/2014 : 17:44:05
On the 20" bike with a full fairing I would try to clean up the area above the windshield. A front wheel disc might be safe in this case. I have a similar frame awaiting a project but a mountain bike is first on the list.
I noted the rib construction of antique streamliner compared to sailplane construction of aluminum skin over a 1" square tubing space frame.
AviationMetalSmith Posted - 12/19/2014 : 09:30:24
Originally posted by Speedbiker

Reverse evolution.

Philippe Bunau-Varilla
was a millionaire, I'm not.

Speedbiker Posted - 12/17/2014 : 15:26:02
Reverse evolution.
AviationMetalSmith Posted - 12/17/2014 : 10:10:37
[url=https://flic.kr/p/pCYXsJ][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/pCYXsJ]Bunau-Varilla-Velo[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/people/11629987@N02/]AviationMetalSmith[/url], on Flickr
The Bunau-Varila Streamliner (above), and my "Type 6" (below) for comparison...
[url=https://flic.kr/p/eNLyBr][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/eNLyBr]Type6Velomobile1990[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/people/11629987@N02/]AviationMetalSmith[/url], on Flickr
Grant-53 Posted - 12/06/2014 : 10:01:11
The only racing I ever tried was pacing the school bus across town on my Huffy 3 spd as a teen. I am 61 and a life long commuter. I ooze along at 10-12 mph on a Jamis Arragon. I see two populations in need of fairings. One is the middle aged man on a mountain bike and the other is a high speed road rider on a triathlon or TT style bike. I spent some time discussing triathlon legal accessories and a scooter shell for motor pacing with Greg Coombs in North Carolina this summer. The adage from motorsport is that there is no substitute for cubic inches, cubic brains, and cubic money. In our case cubic inches translates to VOx.
shooky56 Posted - 12/05/2014 : 13:00:47
tail area: Oh you'd actually said that yourself, sorry for the redundancy. I'm fascinated by your efforts. BTW, I don't race now but, at age 51, I rode my p3c on my 20 mile loop course (not out and back but starts/finishes same spot) at 25.3 mph average. 40 mile loop at 24.0, 10K at 26.3 (out and back), and 5K at 26.8 (out and back). I'm getting old and weak and missed my heyday a bit busy raising kids but it sounds like we are ... or were... similar motors.

About all I focused on was hard training and racing form. Trying to hold the air gremlins at bay :)
shooky56 Posted - 12/05/2014 : 12:54:05

Mike: I did mess around with moving the rider some, don't have a frame designer in this yet so the frame is still my recumbent. The upright feature is quite a ways from being usable with any level of convenience but the shape did have a nice teardrop.

On your racing body sock. I think the pressure drag should be greatly improved with the inclusion of a more tapered tail area. It may be possible to use expansion foam to generate that shape, even "outside the sock" like a rear end to the seat. But anything to improve that bluntness at your fear area. Taper could be inside the sock but that might be a bit cumbersome.

Also, did you read (not sure where the link would be these days) that article where a guy who lectures about TT positions "ate crow" about water bottles. The meal was to himself as he said "No bottles on the seat tube". Turns out many riders have lower drag with a seat tube bottle than none at all (keeps you from having 3 points of interruption in the leg area by filling the gap between the legs). Downtube was a no-no. Aerobar shaped bottles were the best of all and actually improved net drag.

Grant-53 Posted - 12/05/2014 : 11:46:05
The big gains in drag reduction seem to be in the tail section.
Grant-53 Posted - 11/29/2014 : 15:32:07
This is the layout of one of my front fairings. The solid lines are cuts and the dash lines are overlap positions. The shape is secured by using zip ties looped through holes an inch apart.

The Kawasaki windscreen has the curvature to minimize side wind inputs.
timtak Posted - 11/26/2014 : 22:35:21
Thank you for the advice here.

I have attached a Kawasaki motorbike windshield to the front of my bike. I am thinking of bolting another but I may get a Zzipper, but probably not a sock.
Motorcycle Windshield on Road bike[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/people/64015205@N00/]timtak[/url], on Flickr

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