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Research Papers: Fundamental Issues and Canonical Flows

Drag and Side Force Analysis on Bicycle Wheel–Tire Combinations

[+] Author and Article Information
Robert Crane

Department of Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering,
University of Calgary,
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
e-mail: rjcrane@ucalgary.ca

Chris Morton

Department of Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering,
University of Calgary,
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
e-mail: chris.morton@ucalgary.ca

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received February 17, 2017; final manuscript received February 23, 2018; published online March 27, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Jun Chen.

J. Fluids Eng 140(6), 061205 (Mar 27, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: FE-17-1104; doi: 10.1115/1.4039513 History: Received February 17, 2017; Revised February 23, 2018

Aerodynamic forces on bicycle racing wheels were investigated experimentally in a wind tunnel facility at the University of Calgary. The main geometric parameters investigated were the tire sidewall width, (21.40mmT26.15mm), rim depth, (55mmD90mm), rim width, (19.28mmW25.75mm), and angle of attack, (0degψ12.6deg). A total of six wheels and five tires were tested. Coefficient of drag area (CdA) and coefficient of side force area (CsA) versus angle of attack (ψ) were measured using a multi-axis force transducer. Wind tunnel conditions were set to simulate 2.94 m/s (6.6 mph) wind speeds and 13.4 m/s (30 mph) cyclist speeds. The performance of the wheel tire combinations was assessed using a wind-averaged drag method. The results show that the CdA of aerodynamic wheels is highly dependent on the wheel-tire combination. There is a strong linear correlation between wind averaged drag (CdA¯) and the ratio of the tire and rim width (T/W). The CsA of wheels is primarily controlled by the rim depth (D) and only weakly correlated with tire width (T).

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Figures

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Fig. 3

Cross-sectional views of wheels: (a) nonaerodynamic rim (wheel 1), (b) toroidal rim (wheels 2–4), and (c) v-knotch rim (wheels 5 and 6)

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Fig. 2

Definition of vectors and angles used: (a) force diagram and (b) velocity diagram

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Fig. 1

Experimental apparatus: (a) test stand side view with a wheel mounted, (b) test stand isometric view with a wheel mounted, and (c) photograph of test stand

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Fig. 7

CdA versus ψ on wheels 1–6 (error bars are given by the reference data point)

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Fig. 4

(a) CdA of wheel 2 versus ψ at two flow speeds and (b) CsA of wheel 2 versus ψ for two flow speeds (error bars are accommodated by size of data symbols)

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Fig. 5

CsA versus ψ on wheels 1–3 with Schwalbe 22 mm tire and continental 23 mm tire (error bars are accommodated by size of data symbols)

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Fig. 6

CdA versus ψ on wheels 1–3 with Schwalbe 22 mm tire and continental 23 mm tire (error bars are given by the reference data point)

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Fig. 8

Wind-averaged drag versus tire width T on wheels 1–3 (error bars are accommodated by size of data symbols)

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Fig. 9

Wind-averaged drag versus T/W on wheels 1–3 (error bars are accommodated by size of data symbols)

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