3D measuring for performance evaluation of bicycles
Bike Lab International
The structural stiffness of bicycle components is both a performance and safety parameter. For example, the out-of-plane stiffness is important to guarantee track stability at high downhill speeds or fast cornering. Monitoring the stiffness (change) during a fatigue test will additionally provide information about the performance and safety aspects during the lifetime of the component. In bicycle test labs, it is well known how to measure stiffness, it is mostly done by measuring the force and deflection at one single point on the (bicycle) frame. Although the value is reliable and accurate, it can be challenging to understand which zones/regions have a major/minor influence on the measured stiffness, and consequently to decide where to modify the frame to meet the required performance and safety specifications. This shortcoming can be solved by measuring the frame deflection simultaneously at thousands of points on the frame. The result is a detailed view of the deformation of the structure when a load is applied to it. Zones with high or low deformation indicate which contribute more or less to the global stiffness. The application of this method will be demonstrated on a bicycle frame in a stiffness experiment.
Joachim Vanwalleghem is since 2016 founder of the test house for bicycles, BikeLabs International. His passion and daily work lays in the test lab, where (new) test methods are being developed that support bike companies in their research & development. During the past years, he worked for several international bike companies and cycling teams.