BicycleSource Newsletter

Since written these articles, I have received several e-mails asking me how I completed different elements of the construction. I also realized that my article discussing my experiences with recumbants never did get to the point of discussing why I decided to go the fully faired route. So here goes:

Why go with a full fairing?

My interest in a full fairing dates back to my initial interest in recumbents. My first introduction to recumbents was learning about the F-40 belonging to Tom Howe. But when I found out what it cost, I quickly dismissed any idea of a full fairing. That remained true for some time although I had an occasional reminder when I saw pictures of a bike with a body stocking. I also was concerned that the heat and humidity of south Texas would preclude comfortable riding in one for a large part of the year.

I maintained the position of "I might like it but it's financially out of reach" until I stumbled upon Ed Gin's site. Ed had pictures of home made fairings that not only helped performance, but they looked good as well. The idea of making one from coroplast for under $100 was also very appealing. Now I was getting interested. My interest took a step forward when I saw Warren Beauchamp's bike and read his articles on constructing a practical hpv fairing. My personal name for his bike is the Screaming Yellow Zonker--if you've seen it, you know why.

The real impetus to get faired was my decision to commute to work on my P-38 as often as possible. This meant riding into some cold headwinds in the morning, or having to fight stiff winds coming home. Now I really wanted a fairing! The clincher came when Bob Dillard offered me a Zzipper experimental bubble at a great price. So I bought it.

How I Built It

My first step was to watch the video of Ed Gin's fairing building seminar at People Movers. This provided some guidance to augment the things I had seen on other web pages. My first idea was to make the side panels removable, with the bubble and tail box being stand alone units. I was still concerned that it might be too hot in the summer so I wanted to ride without sides if I so desired. But as I formulated the steps in my mind, I became fearful that the construction would be too complex for my limited do-it-yourself skills. Plus I figured that two sheets of coroplast running from the fairing all the way to the tail without a break would produce a nice, clean look.

My idea was to attach the coroplast on the same hardware that mounts the bubble to the supports, and then add a couple more plastic bolts to complete it. However, I screwed up the first cut, and came up short on the nose end. That's when I said the hell with it and pop riveted the coroplast to the bubble. Once I did that, I taped the seam with red duct tape. I bought some clear packing tape for the inside but I haven't put it on yet. I then placed that small strip you see on the nose to provide a little support...and it looked better.

When I got to the back, I man-handled the coroplast into a sharp curve while my daughter-in-law operated the hair dryer. I then folded the other half around and cut it with a three inch overlap. A few zip ties and some more duct tape later, the tail was complete. I left my Blackburn rack on the bike which made it easier to build a sturdy cargo compartment in the tail. Making the partitions to close off the box was a bit of trial and error. I tried to make all the cuts by taking measurements, but with the odd shape inside, I sometimes had to make some adjustments. A little red duct tape conceals most of the errors real well. Finally, I used a technique borrowed from Bill Volk's tail box by using small strips of coroplast as "angle irons." It finally all came together!

The last step was to cut the door, and I messed this up the first time out as well. I made it too small which made entry and egress rather difficult. I enlarged the width of the door which helped, but it left me with an extra crease that I don't need. I have a plan to fix that.

Future Enhancements

Here are some of the things I plan on doing. The earlier they are on the list, the more likely they are to happen:

  1. Add a bottom half to the nose. DONE!

  2. Make a mount for my light near the nose and run a wire to the tailbox where my battery pack will be. I'll mount a switch that I can access from the seat.

  3. Make a new door and mount it with hinges (as done by Warren Beauchamp) DONE!

  4. Make a convertible top by attaching a piece of fabric (Lycra?) to the tailbox and have hooks on the other end that will attach to the upper fairing support. My head will pop through a reinforced opening.

By Dave Clary,

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