‘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.’ The model has recently been published in the science magazine Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series A.
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.