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Electric Bicycles - A Guide to Design and Use

Electric Bicycles - A Guide to Design and Use

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Published by Sam

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Published by: Sam on Jul 10, 2012
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Molded Ca,bon-Fibe,-Reinfo,ced Bicyc/e Premes Bicycle frames are tra-
ditionally built by welding or brazing high-strength tubing into fittings like the
bottom bracket and headset. This construction has produced sturdy bicycles that
have been proven to be safe in decades of service. New materials technology
is changing the designs of other manufactured products. For example, automo-
bile bodies are made by welding together hundreds of metal pieces. Electric car
builders find that they can mold the body with durable plastics for a fraction of
the cost oftraditional bodybuilding. Airplane manufacturers have found that with
carbon fiber reinforcement even ftight-safety-critical structures can be made with
plastics rather than metal.

Carbon-fiber-reinforced bicycle frames are already being built. Feasible
options include provisions for mounting propulsion motors and enclosed space
for batteries in structures tbat also carry stresses. Electric wiring could be enclosed
in tbe frame structure to protect it from moisture and accident damage. Frame
members could also be designed to minimize air drag.
Today's bicycle configuration has evolved from the first bicycles. Human
factors studies have changed many traditional body positions to achieve effi-
cient results. For example, the human-powered Raven airplane is designed for a
5-h lOO-mile nonstop ftight. Modeling the airplane on a computer, which could
calculate its performance, minimized the required propulsion power.
Configuration variations were tested in the model, and the lowest power

design was adopted. However, this design was dynamically unstable, and it also

approached the power output limit of an athletically conditioned pilot. The pilot
would be overstressed if he had to continuously control the airplane's attitude,
as weil as pedal vigorously. Adding a I-Ib battery-powered autopilot that moved
the rudder to damp out the instability solved this problem.
Applying today's human factors knowledge into the electric bicycle design
could produce a surprising comfortable mode of personal transportation.

Comfortable Rain-Resistant Cold-Weather Clothing Bill Woods bicycled
over interesting routes in the Northwest United States and wrote books describing
them in pertinent detail. His comment on clothing was: "You are going to get
wet from sweat or rain, so wear the minimum clothes." The heat from bard
pedaling could be absent wben riding an electric bicycle. Also, today's clotbing
technology bas provided comfort for tasks ranging from deep underocean diving
to working in a spacecraft.
Now-available fabric and insulation technology makes possible tbe design
and fabrication of clothing that can be worn over work clothes to keep the bicycle
rider comfortable. The electric bicycle rider does not need to have freedom of
continuous movement of bis legs. He does not need to stand up to pump up
steep bills. Furthermore, he would appreciate not having to take a shower after
he arrives at his workplace on a bicycle. Meeting these challenges is within the
capability of the clothing industry.


Energy Management of Power Sourees New application of algorithms in
microprocessors for minimizing energy expenditures in bicycle propulsion is a
possibility. Inclinometers within the circuitry and operator input of desired travel
parameters and digital map data can be used by a mieroprocessor to compute
and assist in controlling the bicycle speed for minimum energy to meet specified
travel parameters.

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