Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bicycle Structural Dynamics by VélUS

Mechanical Engineering researchers Y. Champoux, S. Richard and J. Drouet from the University of Sherbrooke (Canada) aim to help bicycle manufacturers study the dynamic behavior of bicycles so they can understand the real implications of their design in actual riding conditions.

The trio belong to the VélUS bicycle research team, and I had introduced them to you a couple of months back through a post on estimating bicycle fatigue. (See HotSpot Method For Bicycle Fatigue Life).

Presented below is a paper they did on structural dynamics and it had appeared in the Sound and Vibration Control Magazine. The components and the frame of a bicycle are subjected to time-varying force excitations imposed by the cyclist and by the road. Its dynamic behavior becomes an important issue, because it is directly linked to the bike lifetime, maneuverability, efficiency and comfort. The researchers describe the bicycle structure in terms of its natural characteristics which are the frequency, damping and mode shapes - its dynamic properties.

Preliminary Resources You May Find Helpful :

Size, Rattle and Modal Analysis - An article in the Machine Design magazine

Experimental Modal Analysis : A simple non-mathematical introduction

Modal analysis explained in simple terms

Basic steps involved in experimental modal analysis

Modal analysis - Mathematical introduction

Additional (Engineering 101) :

Vibration and Waves

Machine Vibration Basics

Introduction To Statics And Dynamics (An Excellent Online Book From Cornell University)

Damping Ratio

Transfer Functions

Strain Gages : Back to Basics

How Accelerometers Work

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Anonymous said...

Iread the conclusion and it had more to do with engendering a relationship between Universities and Industry. Can you abstract for us what was learned about bicycles?

Anonymous said...


FEA modal analysis was used in designing the AIS/RMIT Australian track bike (superbike)

Article can be found here