Aerodynamic expectations

First – let’s set the stage with an unscientific example “me”. I prefer to use the “comfort zone” as a honest measurement of speed the rider can hold comfortably all day. I have found this to be a more than satisfactory method of performance evaluation. Why ? A rider can be a having a soft day once in awhile and still ride with in a comfort zone there fore adding sufficient data to baseline results. If the rider was racing on a off day – his bench mark would be significantly off because of his motor – not the machine.

Why is the comfort zone more reliable? – The rider is on the bike with more regularity compared to occasional race meets. The seat of the pants performance with Heart Monitor is 2nd best only to the more dead on accuracy of a Power Meter. But lets get real – regular riding returns plenty of feedback under more consistent weather conditions. For instance the figures below is a result of long term familiarization of the many bike platforms noted. Anyone that rides regularly knows what their expected average speed is under normal conditions on what ever bike they are riding. One doesn’t have to pull out a slide rule to know his own performance level in given terrain “if“ they are in their comfort zone.

It is interesting to see the average speeds move up the mph scale significantly when aerodynamics is applied.

MTB bike – – 14 mph

Upright Cannondale bike – – 15 mph

Un-faired Tour Easy “TE” – – 16 mph

Bacchetta Corsa – – 17 mph

Front faired TE – – 18 mph

Body Socked TE – – 20 mph

Body Socked Gold Rush – – 21 mph (stiffer BB)

Body Socked ti-Rush – – The ti- Rush responds quicker than the GRR. With it’s livelier performance, it is easier to hold a cruising speed @ 22 mph

Rotator w/aero package – – 19 mph

ZOX clone FWD lowracer – – 18 mph

ZOX inside Varna Fairing – – 35 mph

Zephyr lowracer – – 19 mph

Zephyr inside Varna fairing – – 38 mph

Angletech Quadraped trike – – 15 mph (sits high)

Terra Trike Tour – – 16 mph (lowracer height)

Cat Trike ROAD – – 17 mph results later in season

ICE Sprint X 26″ – – 18 mph 

Milan SL – – Known expectations is it will cruise an estimated (26/28 (mph) with canopy open and 30/32 mph with canopy closed. Mph estimate based upon observation and talking with the Euro riders who ride both upright bikes as well as their Velomobiles while working support for Roll Over America “ROAM”.

Note: – – I have changed my mind – I will not be using the Terra Trike as a chassis for a Varna shell Velomobile build. I will instead build it as a sport trike configured somewhere between a ICE Vortex/CAT Expedition. Nine days on ROAM gave me perspective of velomobile design. I made the decision to order a Milan SL. Why? I no longer want to endure the longer custom build process. I would much rather prefer the accelerated Milan build and get on enjoying it quicker.

Once again – keep in mind – these examples are “Comfort Zone” speeds for me – not racing speeds.

About Lonnie Morse

Long time recumbent bike rider - former general aviation pilot - always looking for an adventure to experience - aero dynamics fastenates me.
This entry was posted in recumbent bicycle aerodynamics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Aerodynamic expectations

  1. Hi Lonnie,
    Great to see your new Blog.
    Look forward to reding more!
    Larry in Leduc
    P.S. Love the Aerowing fairing bits I got last spring. They worked Great this summer!
    Thinking about the Tailsok frame! Do you sell the whole assembly or still just the instruction manual?

    • Lonnie Morse says:

      Hi Larry ~

      Thanks for the feedback on the suspension fairing mounts – glad you are enjoying it.

      Most riders purchase the custom manufactured tail frames. The construction manual works for those who are tinkers and fabricators.

      Construction Manual $35.00 USD plus S&H

      Tail frame “pre-made” is $175.00 USD plus S&H

      To order – send four pictures – right side – left side – front – rear – – with you on the bike.

      Summer time – allow two weeks construction – – average 1 week shipping delivery.

      Wintertime – allow one week construction – – 1 week shipping delivery.

      Remember – a Super Zzipper fairing made for Body Socks is required.

      If I recall – you have a carbon fairing – – it should work.

      Good to hear from you Larry .

      Lonnie Morse
      Aero Wing recumbent components.

  2. Pingback: Recumbent Aerodynamics Blog by Lonnie Morse | My Recumbent Resources

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