Only two load cases were analysed and these were simplifications which didn’t include varied out of plane loading conditions, or changes to the pedaling leverage during the loading cycle. Regarding the tubes, these have been simply represented using beam elements as plain gauge tubes and don’t include tube butting, profile changes, changing curvature along the length, or joining methods (i.e. fillet brazed, TIG welded or lugged construction).
Regarding the materials, no consideration has been given to the strength requirements of the frames, and other common frame materials such as aluminium, titanium and carbon fibre have not been considered. The sampling techniques could be used to further develop stochastic approaches for other structural frame designs.
This study has however focused on carrying out a comprehensive analysis specifically on the frame geometry, in order to understand the contribution of key frame parameters to the overall stiffness and compliance behaviour of the frame. The model could now be adapted to include many of the above limitations as parametric inputs to develop a fuller understanding of the physical behaviour of bicycle frames.
The optimised values show a considerable improvement over the best of the existing frames, with a 13 per cent increase in vertical displacement and 15 per cent decrease in lateral displacement when compared to the best of the analysed frames. The model has been developed to allow for further develop to include more detailed tube geometry, further analysis of more frame geometries, alternative materials, and analysis of other structural characteristics.