correction of bicycle speed wobbles

This white paper will explore reducing bicycle speed wobbles by trimming of nose and ear hair.

It is believed that the phenomena has something to do with aerodynamics and air currents and eddies (similar to the dimples on golf balls) and the harmonic vibrations created by airflow past the nose and ears working their way down the arms to the handlebars. Large increases in average speed have also been experienced after freeing the body from excessive nose and ear hair.

It is believed that the increase in speed caused by trimming of nose and ear hair is due to reduced frontal area and the concurrent reduction in drag – preliminary wind tunnel testing proves this almost conclusively. Research also indicates that the eddies and currents created by nose and ear hair contribute more to shimmy than speed with most randonneurs and this effect is often most pronounced during longer Randonnees.

It is well known that randonneurs are reluctant to trim nose and ear hair because of worries about loss of balance and the danger of placing their head in too narrow a space and getting it stuck. Those dangers are indeed real but the trade-off between balancing and getting your head stuck and reducing bicycle shimmy is a personal decision and research can inform those struggling with this issue with more data and understanding.

This could be a valuable source of speed and stability for most Randonneurs if adopted properly.


2 thoughts on “correction of bicycle speed wobbles

  1. Steven of the River

    I’m glad the subject is taken up here. Until now, I considered ear and nose hair to be the dark continent of American randonneuring. But considering the recreational pace of so many of today’s riders (compared to the days of days of yore when riders pushed their limits aboard finely constructed machines), your thesis fails to address variations in ear and nose hair length at the start and at the finish. Considerable hair growth in said areas could occur during, say, a leisurely 600k. Furthermore, the consumption of malt beverages during a randonee may encourage hair growth further. In other words, ear and nose hair levels are not static variables!


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