The effect of mountain bicycle fork stiffness on impact acceleration Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/m326m5328

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  • Mountain bike suspension forks have been developed to reduce the accelerations transmitted to the rider. However, the effectiveness of suspension forks has not been systematically investigated. It was the goal of this project to quantify the amount of impact acceleration damping afforded by three stiffness settings of suspension forks compared to rigid mountain bike forks. Seven experienced mountain bike riders gave their informed consent to participate in the study. The subjects coasted down a ramp and impacted a bump at 5.4 m/s located about 2.3 m past the ramp end. Accelerometers were placed on the axle and frame of the bicycle which was fitted with either a rigid fork (FR) or suspension forks set on soft (F1), medium (F3), or firm (F6) stiffness. Bumps were either small (B1), medium (B2) or large (B3). Accelerometer data were telemetered to a computer, sampled at 1000 Hz and smoothed with Butterworth filter with 50 Hz cutoff. Peak acceleration during impact (P1) and landing (P2) as well as the slope of the impact acceleration peak (jerk, J) were extracted from the data and analyzed using a 2 x 3 x 4 repeated measures ANOVA for each of the dependent variables (P1, P2, J), and with linear contrasts as follow-up tests. A significance level of p<.01 was chosen. All forks were found to produce similar impact acceleration (P1) at the axle and frame on the small bump (B1). On larger bumps (B2 and B3), softer suspension forks (F1 and F3) significantly reduced acceleration transmitted to the rider during bump impact (P1), while maintaining significantly higher axle acceleration than other forks (p<.001); Jerk was significantly reduced at the frame compared to the axle for each suspension fork with the larger bumps. Landing impacts (P2) were of similar magnitude for most fork conditions at both the axle and frame. It appears from these data that suspension forks with moderate stiffness may provide the best impact acceleration damping for mountain bikes encountering impacts with characteristics similar to the bumps and velocity used in this study. It is unclear how these results generalize to other conditions encountered while riding.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-10-09T17:50:22Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 OrendurffMichael1997.pdf: 3819491 bytes, checksum: df1a30d9c701d90325a9013e4db7fb59 (MD5)
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