A Laboratory Technique to Compare Road Bike Dynamic Comfort

  • Yvan Champoux
  • Julien Lépine
  • Philippe-Aubert Gauthier
  • Jean-Marc Drouet
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


Comfort is an important characteristic in road bikes, and a major source of discomfort is the vibration transmitted to the cyclist. Since human memory tends to forget the perceived vibration stimulus strength soon after the perception is no longer present, a comparison between two situations must be done rapidly. Laboratory testing is therefore frequently used to investigate and document perception. This paper presents a laboratory technique enabling us to subject the cyclist to various types of bike vibration stimuli. The technique is based on the use of a bicycle simulator that generates vertical displacement under both wheels of a bike. A commercial bicycle is used to replicate vibration outputs at the saddle and the stem of different bikes. The strategy to determine the appropriate driving signals of each simulator actuator is presented in this paper. This requires solving an inverse problem. The results indicate that the measured and the reproduced PSD spectrum shapes are very similar. The main factor influencing the quality of reproduction is cyclist intervariability.


Vibration Bicycle Perception Reproduction Comfort Excitation techniques 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Science and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) and the participation of Cervélo and Vroomen-White Design.


  1. 1.
    Richard S, Champoux Y (2004) Modal analysis of a road bike’s front components. In: Proceedings of IMAC XXII, Dearborn, Feb 2004Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Champoux Y, Richard SE, Drouet J (2007) Bicycle structural dynamics. Sound Vib 41(7):16–24Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lépine J, Champoux Y, Drouet JM (2013) Influence of test conditions in comfort ranking of road bicycle wheels. Paper accepted for the IMAC XXXI, Garden Grove, Feb 2013Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gibson J (1979) The ecological approach to visual perception, 1986 ed. Houghton Mifflin, BostonGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gaver W (1993) What in the world do we hear? An ecological approach to auditory event perception. Ecol Psychol 5(1):1–29MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Guastavino C, Katz B, Polack JD, Levitin D, Dubois D (2005) Ecological validity of soundscape reproduction. Acust United Acta Acust 91(2):333–341Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Guastavino C (2009) Validité écologique des dispositifs expérimentaux. In: Dubois D (ed) Le Sentir et le Dire. Concepts et méthodes en psychologie et linguistique cognitives. L’Harmattan (Coll. Sciences Cognitives), Paris, pp 229–248Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Brassard F (2010) Développement d’un simulateur de vibration pour vélo de route. Master degree thesis, Université de Sherbrooke, SherbrookeGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Nelson PA, Rose JFW (2005) Errors in two-point sound reproduction. J Acoust Soc Am 118:193–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kirkeby O, Nelson PA (1999) Digital filter design for inversion problems in sound reproduction. J Audio Eng Soc 47(7/8):583–595Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Norcross SG, Soulodre GA, Lavoie MC (2004) Subjective investigations of inverse filtering. J Audio Eng Soc 52(10):1003–1028Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lentz T (2006) Dynamic crosstalk cancellation for binaural synthesis in virtual reality environments. J Audio Eng Soc 54(4):283–294Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    ISO 2631–1 (1997) Mechanical vibration and shock – evaluation of human exposure to whole-body vibration–Part 1: general requirementsGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    ISO 5349–1 (2001) Mechanical vibration – measurement and evaluation of human exposure to hand-transmitted vibration–Part 1: general requirementsGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yvan Champoux
    • 1
  • Julien Lépine
    • 1
  • Philippe-Aubert Gauthier
    • 1
  • Jean-Marc Drouet
    • 1
  1. 1.VélUS Research Group, Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

Personalised recommendations