The company approached the university to explore how design optimisation and engineering expertise could help them break into the adult market.
They were introduced to the concept of partnering with a range of university experts on a three-way collaborative partnership project, called a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). In doing so, the team could bring rigour to the development of their next wave of products in order to accelerate their business to the next level of engineering, design and manufacturing, which would otherwise not be possible. The KTP came at a crucial time for the business to extend into the adult bike market.
In accessing expertise in simulation modelling, engineering design and instrumentation, and electronic control the team were able to develop a range of experimental testbeds and electric bikes instruments, which gave them a complete engineering understanding of what was happening inside the bike and at the human-machine interface.
The team set up test rigs and utilised equipment and facilities at the university’s Advanced Engineering Centre, an internationally-recognised centre of research and enterprise excellence, to enable accurate simulation of different bike designs and materials, and the newly developed design process helped capture data to quantify and optimise bike performance. As the project progressed, student projects were established, to carry out smaller pieces of work, complementary to the KTP, which broadened the project outcomes.
The KTP project aimed to embed a scientifically informed design process to streamline and optimise electric trials bike design and implement the formalised design process to bring an innovative adult trials bike to market. This involved the development of game changing electronic interfaces for the bikes, allowing riders to control the bike in novel and innovative ways to get the best out of their performance.