Design and manufacture of a bicycle mounted system to improve cyclists aerodynamic posture
The aerodynamics of cycling has captivated bicycle designers and riders alike for many decades. Cycling is an extremely competitive sport, one which is growing exponentially and one where speed and minimal air resistance is paramount. As much as 90% of the resistance a rider has to overcome is due to the aerodynamic drag. By developing the relationship between a rider’s cycling position and aerodynamic performance, this project aimed to design a system that was capable of measuring and recording the aerodynamic effectiveness of a cyclist, enabling the creation of a system and interface that can be used to improve a rider’s (aerodynamic) performance. The system as designed connects multiple individual components/ subsystems to collect the necessary data to analyse performance and aerodynamic positioning through the calculation of their drag coefficient and drag area (CdA). The design process involved numerous experiments to develop and verify relationships between the body and performance and also verify the functionality of the manufactured system. This included over 30 hours of testing, with industry-leading experts and professional riders, in the R J Mitchell Wind Tunnel. Many parts have been produced using additive manufacturing and where possible, PCB’s have been designed and produced to show the first steps needed to develop the system further – into an economically viable product made by mass production.