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Investigating maximum braking conditions in a bicycle

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Investigation- maximum braking


Many measures have been taken by the companies to increase the safety level of cycles. Investigating as the factors would require further studies. However, one of the important factors is the brake. Modulation and braking efficiency have been taken into account by many companies.

Important factors to be considered are:

Weight distribution of the rider on bicycle (shift in the center of mass)

Weight and load transfer during braking

The friction acting on the bicycle’s tires

AIM: To investigate the effect of limitations on maximum braking on a free- ride bicycle.

RESEARCH QUESTION: what limitations affect the maximum braking in a free ride bike?

Considering the factors:

Static friction: The bike is subjected to static friction when it

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Therefore the clockwise moment force can be derived considering, where Fis the braking force, m is the combined mass (rider and bike) and a is the acceleration due to braking. The clockwise moment will be

         Where H1 is the perpendicular distance to the line of action

        The counter clockwise moment force will be

        Where mg is the weight and L2 the perpendicular distance to the line of action.

        By equating the 2,

        Thus, a ( the maximum acceleration permitted) =  =



Weight distribution


Tyre air pressure


Brake force

Surface conditions



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Calculate the Centre of Mass using the following formula:

Vertical positioning of Centre of Mass (rider):

Using a board, place one end on a scale.

The rider is to lie on this board with the end of his head at the of the board on the side with the scale.

Place rider in riding position

Place an object the same height as the scale under the board where the rider’s feet end.

Record the value visible on the scale.

Calculate the Centre of Mass by the following formula:

Vertical positioning of Centre of Mass (bike):

Hang the bike from one point and drop a string with a weight. Mark generally the lone on the bike frame

Repeat step 1 twice from different points

Measure the height of each from the ground and combine them

Use the formula  to calculate the maximum acceleration.

...read more.

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