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26 Oct 2011

Coroplast for my Fuego

How can you make your favourite 'bent better? Make it faster! I have good experiences with the TF on the Pioneer, so I thought I could make something similar for my Fuego. This time more aimed at speed than at practicality. And because the rack of the Fuego sits quite high, the luggage compartment will be tiny. It turned out to be big enough for long 1 day rides.

The TF on the Pioneer is effective, but I used a lot of tape. That works, but doesn't look slick. I decided to use more pop rivets for this TF. That method worked. The finishing is much better.

I started with the same cardboard template I used for the Pio, only made the back part (part that rests on the seat) a bit narrower. The Fuego is my fair weather and race bike, so not often will I wear thick clothing when I ride it. The result is a widest point of no more than 46 centimetres. And those who paid attention at their aerodynamic lessons will know that a narrow TF can be shorter than the wide TF. That's the reason this fairing is relatively short, keeping the bike easy to manoeuvre and store.

After I'd cut the back plate to size, I strapped it to the seat of the Fuego and then bent the connection flaps with the use of a hot air gun. I then roughly cut the side parts to size and started pop riveting them in place. One by one and carefully heating the material when bending was needed. In practice, you'll quickly get the hang of it. Good household scissors work well for cutting.

30 or so rivets (and 60 m3 washers!) later I could cut it to size in more precisely. Just a matter of look, fit, try, and cut. Small steps, as you can't cut part back on.

First ride was my 42km commute to work. It held and didn't cause any problems. Coroplast dampens sound good and keeps it's flexibility for a long time. This afternoon I tried to do some roll test. Coast from 40 to 30kph and measure how that takes. Do that in 2 directions and repeat the test without the fairing. The differences you see in coasting time give an idea of what the TF does.

However, the wind was changing all the time. The times I measured weren't really clear. But, based on what I saw on my cyclometer and felt, Id say it ads about 7%. And, as it often is for aero ad-ons, the faster you go or the more headwind you have,the more effect it is. I certainly won't be riding without it often.

My address for Coroplast is http://kunststofshop.nl/

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