Influence of Test Conditions on Comfort Ranking of Road Bicycle Wheels

Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


In the past few years, the dynamic comfort of bicycles has become a hot topic in the cycling industry. To improve comfort, a wide variety of dynamic tests is used to characterize and compare bikes. Because these tests usually involve a cyclist, and since the tires have a non-linear effect on the system, test protocols are expected to have an impact on the dynamic characteristics and bicycle ranking. With the objective of establishing good practices when comparing wheel comfort, this paper presents the influence of several test parameters on the vibrations induced to the cyclist at the hands and buttocks. The influence of two excitation surfaces on bicycle dynamics is studied: a flat excitation surface and an irregular surface that locally deforms the tire. The type of excitation, such as white noise, impacts and typical road excitation, are also investigated. Results with regard to the effect of the cyclist’s mass are also presented. The conclusion of this study shows that even if those parameters have a significant influence on the vibration levels transmitted to the cyclist, they do not affect the transmissibility ranking of two wheelsets. It should be noted however that the changes observed in the cyclist’s posture and position on the bicycle can affect wheelset ranking. Great care is therefore advised in controlling the cyclist’s posture and attitude on the bicycle during the tests.


Bicycle dynamic comfort Bicycle wheel Vibrations transmission Vibration measurement Excitation techniques 


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Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

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

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