Aerodynamics | Boosting the speed, enhancing the reachThe efficiency of human-powered vehicles can be dramatically enhanced through aerodynamic optimizations. Aerodynamic drag is related with the tavelling speed to the power of three. At a speed of 25 km/h, it already exceeds the resistance by bearings and tires.
Aerodynamic resistance equals the product of a vehicle´s cross-sectional area the its air drag coefficient. A usual bicycle has a drag coefficient of 1.0, a tandem bicycle 1.1, and a recumbent bicycle 0.8. With a closed recumbent tricycle, even 0.11 have been achieved.
With a partial fairing, the Läufer represents a trade-off among conflicting requirements: On the one hand, riders shall be exposed to fresh air and not feel caged. On the other hand, a closed fairing would be the aerodymic optimum.
Aerodynamic analyses in the TU Darmstadt wind tunnel and using the numerical simulation software PowerFlow have contributed to finding the best trade-off.