Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Making Bicycles That Balance Better

Date:
September 25, 2007
Source:
Delft University of Technology
Summary:
For nearly 150 years, scientists have been baffled by the bicycle. How is it possible that a moving bicycle can, all by itself, be so stable? Researchers believe they have now found the ultimate model of the bicycle.

Researchers test the balance of a bicycle. The ultimate goal of the bicycle research is to study the interaction between bicycle and rider in order to determine the handling quality of the bicycle. 'In this way, we can – in theory – create a customised bicycle for every rider', according to one of the researchers.
Credit: Sam Rentmeester/FMAX

For nearly 150 years, scientists have been puzzled by the bicycle. How on earth is it possible that a moving bicycle can, all by itself, be so stable? Researchers of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), working with colleagues from Cornell University and the University of Nottingham, UK, believe they have now found the ultimate model of the bicycle.

Related Articles


'Bicycle manufacturers have never been able to say precisely how a bicycle works', explains Dr Arend Schwab of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE). 'They have always had to refine their designs purely through experimentation. In our model, they can enter into the computer all of the various factors that influence the stability and handling of their bicycle. The model then calculates how the bicycle will react at specific speeds.'

Jittery bicycle

Because the model has the ability to indicate whether a design will deliver a jittery bicycle, or indeed a stable one for seniors, the bicycle industry is highly interested in the findings. The head of product development at the Dutch bicycle manufacturing company Batavus, Rob van Regenmortel, is following the research being conducted by Arend Schwab and his fellow researcher Jodi Kooijman very closely.

Van Regenmortel said, 'In designing our bicycles, for years we have worked with three parameters: The overall geometry, the distance between the axles and the angle at which the fork points downwards. These choices were once made by all bicycle makers and have been rarely deviated from because the bicycle appeared to work properly. However, with the new model, we soon hope to be able to design bicycles that are much better oriented toward specific target groups.'

Riding habits

Rob Van Regenmortel hopes to collaborate with Arend Schwab and Jodi Kooijman on a follow-up project to study the human control. The ultimate goal of the bicycle research is to study the interaction between bicycle and rider in order to determine the handling quality of the bicycle. 'In this way, we can – in theory – create a customised bicycle for every rider', says van Regenmortel. 'Individuals who have trouble maintaining their balance, for example, would then no longer be restricted to a tricycle.'

The model has recently been published in the science magazine Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series A. The researchers also discuss their findings in the new edition of Delft Outlook, the science magazine of TU Delft.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Delft University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Delft University of Technology. "Making Bicycles That Balance Better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070920111556.htm>.
Delft University of Technology. (2007, September 25). Making Bicycles That Balance Better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070920111556.htm
Delft University of Technology. "Making Bicycles That Balance Better." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070920111556.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins