Bike Design Class

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Bill Patterson, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. I am retired, but several years ago, I started a bike design class at
    CALPOLY SLO. Each student invents, designs, engineers, prototypes and
    tests a bike that has never been seen before. I like to go up and see
    how the students do every year.


    Friday was the demonstration day for the class. I
    put a few photos of the student built bikes at:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~wm.patterson/id4.html ...

    For those interested in weird bikes.


    --
    See bikes at: http://home.earthlink.net/~wm.patterson/index.html

    See bikes and the first human powered helicopter at:

    http://www.calpoly.edu/~wpatters/

    Reply to [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
     
    Tags:


  2. I'm not sure what I like about this post better. The fact that someone
    in America is offering a course in bicycle engineering, or that there
    are actually students signing up for it!

    Bravo (to both)!

    - -

    Chris Zacho ~ "Your Friendly Neighborhood Wheelman"

    "May you have the winds at your back,
    And a really low gear for the hills!"

    Chris'Z Corner
    http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  3. Chris Zacho The Wheelman wrote:

    > I'm not sure what I like about this post better. The fact that someone
    > in America is offering a course in bicycle engineering, or that there
    > are actually students signing up for it!
    >
    > Bravo (to both)!
    >
    > - -
    >
    > Chris Zacho ~ "Your Friendly Neighborhood Wheelman"
    >

    The powers won't let the class be taught more than once a year.
    Otherwise, there wouldn't be any seniors to take the other tech electives.

    I don't think it's so much about bikes, as it is about the full process
    of making a new mechanism. Normally, engineers only get to work on one
    part of the process. In this class they take it all the way to test. The
    only step left out is the production phase.



    --
    See bikes at: http://home.earthlink.net/~wm.patterson/index.html

    See bikes and the first human powered helicopter at:

    http://www.calpoly.edu/~wpatters/

    Reply to [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
     
  4. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 21:33:37 +0000, Bill Patterson wrote:

    > Chris Zacho The Wheelman wrote:
    >
    >> I'm not sure what I like about this post better. The fact that someone
    >> in America is offering a course in bicycle engineering, or that there
    >> are actually students signing up for it!
    >>
    >> Bravo (to both)!


    > The powers won't let the class be taught more than once a year.
    > Otherwise, there wouldn't be any seniors to take the other tech electives.
    >
    > I don't think it's so much about bikes, as it is about the full process
    > of making a new mechanism. Normally, engineers only get to work on one
    > part of the process. In this class they take it all the way to test. The
    > only step left out is the production phase.


    Bravo to you, and I echo Chris' thoughts.

    One thing that really disturbed me about engineering school (Cal Poly
    Pomona, BTW), was how few students had ever been interested in, let alone
    involved in, making anything.

    Matt O.
     
  5. Paul Hobson

    Paul Hobson Guest

    Bill Patterson wrote:
    > I am retired, but several years ago, I started a bike design class at
    > CALPOLY SLO. Each student invents, designs, engineers, prototypes and
    > tests a bike that has never been seen before. I like to go up and see
    > how the students do every year.
    >
    >
    > Friday was the demonstration day for the class. I
    > put a few photos of the student built bikes at:
    >
    > http://home.earthlink.net/~wm.patterson/id4.html ...
    >
    > For those interested in weird bikes.
    >
    >


    Very, very cool! Question: What are the rules of the project? What
    calculations/drawings must the submit? Where do the parts come from?
    Do they have to work with some sort of budget?

    I kind of wish I could do ME, but I think CE was the right choice.

    \\paul
    --
    Paul M. Hobson
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    ..:change the words to numbers
    if you want to reply to me:.
     
  6. Luke

    Luke Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Paul Hobson
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    > Very, very cool! Question: What are the rules of the project? What
    > calculations/drawings must the submit? Where do the parts come from?
    > Do they have to work with some sort of budget?


    The category of design notwithstanding, are the projects restricted to
    two wheels?
     
  7. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    [email protected] (Chris Zacho "The Wheelman") wrote:

    >I'm not sure what I like about this post better. The fact that someone
    >in America is offering a course in bicycle engineering, or that there
    >are actually students signing up for it!
    >
    >Bravo (to both)!


    Just keep the builders of a few of those things away from a torch (or
    even a CAD program). Most of 'em are pretty nice... but a couple are
    downright scary looking. The "backwards bike" looks like a
    spontaneous deconstruction waiting to happen.

    But the designer DID save a lot of weight on the seat tube I guess...

    Mark Hickey
    Habanero Cycles
    http://www.habcycles.com
    Home of the $795 ti frame
     
  8. Mark Hickey wrote:
    >
    > Just keep the builders of a few of those things away from a torch (or
    > even a CAD program). Most of 'em are pretty nice... but a couple are
    > downright scary looking. The "backwards bike" looks like a
    > spontaneous deconstruction waiting to happen.


    Academics are in a different position than businessmen. Here is the best
    place to fail and learn. In fact a failed design could still pass the
    class. When that guy goes out in the world, he knows at least one thing
    that won't work.
    >
    > But the designer DID save a lot of weight on the seat tube I guess...


    A couple of years ago we had one build a rear steer bike that could be
    ridden. It's on that web site somewhere.

    I suppose, it's the same process as riding a track bike backward.
    >
    > Mark Hickey
    > Habanero Cycles
    > http://www.habcycles.com
    > Home of the $795 ti frame



    --
    See bikes at: http://home.earthlink.net/~wm.patterson/index.html

    See bikes and the first human powered helicopter at:

    http://www.calpoly.edu/~wpatters/

    Reply to [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
     
  9. Paul Hobson wrote:
    >
    > Very, very cool! Question: What are the rules of the project? What
    > calculations/drawings must the submit? Where do the parts come from? Do
    > they have to work with some sort of budget?
    >


    I don't know what the rules are now. I'm retired and loving it. But I
    only asked that the bike be different and hopefully handled well.
    >
    > \\paul



    --
    See bikes at: http://home.earthlink.net/~wm.patterson/index.html

    See bikes and the first human powered helicopter at:

    http://www.calpoly.edu/~wpatters/

    Reply to [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
     
  10. Luke wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>, Paul Hobson
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Very, very cool! Question: What are the rules of the project? What
    >>calculations/drawings must the submit? Where do the parts come from?
    >>Do they have to work with some sort of budget?

    >
    >
    > The category of design notwithstanding, are the projects restricted to
    > two wheels?


    The class is named "Single vehicle design" so 300 bicycles and a few
    motorcycles have been built. My text for the class only concerns 2 wheel
    vehicles. In the late '70's and 80's, I had observed various student
    bikes and some commercial recumbents that were too responsive. I decided
    to develop a theory for 2 wheelers using air craft handling qualities.
    It works well.

    There was no reason to add 3 wheelers. The theory that was available for
    3 wheelers works well for the designers. However, the stability stuff
    for 2 wheelers being used by the students wasn't working well for us.
    The simpler 'handling qualities' equations are easy to apply and give
    the designer a method of providing good handling machines.

    Bill

    --
    See bikes at: http://home.earthlink.net/~wm.patterson/index.html

    See bikes and the first human powered helicopter at:

    http://www.calpoly.edu/~wpatters/

    Reply to [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
     
  11. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    [email protected] writes:

    > I don't know where mechanical design engineers of the future are to
    > come from.


    India and China.
     
  12. [email protected] wrote:

    > That's interesting. Stanford converted all the hydraulics, machines
    > and motors and electric power labs to office cubicles. There are no
    > more hands-on laboratories where machines are touched by hand and
    > energy balances computed for real motors or pumps. In those labs I
    > saw the reason why rotary engines don't work and why the Wankel could
    > never survive on the auto market. I don't wonder today how new
    > engineers have no idea about these things.
    >
    > Jobst Brandt


    The youngsters at CALPOLY SLO have access to a full machine shop and
    welding facilities. I was very seldom disappointed when I asked for
    miracles.

    Consider the da Vinci human powered helicopter. That was a group of
    undergraduates who are in the same aviation record book with Burt Rutan.
    Not bad in my book. I had a ball working on the helicopter. They ended
    every design meeting with a big 'to do' list for me. In fact the
    experimental aviation Assoc. recently did a list of aviation firsts for
    the last 100 years. Only 2 events were human powered, the gossamer
    condor and the da vinci III. Great time.


    --
    See bikes at: http://home.earthlink.net/~wm.patterson/index.html

    See bikes and the first human powered helicopter at:

    http://www.calpoly.edu/~wpatters/

    Reply to [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
     
  13. [email protected] writes:
    > I don't know where mechanical design engineers of the future are to
    > come from.


    India and China.

    Don't forget Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines! But Americans
    will be famous for their skill and beauty as sex workers.

    jn
     
  14. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    [email protected] writes:

    > [email protected] writes:
    >> I don't know where mechanical design engineers of the future are to
    >> come from.

    >
    > India and China.
    >
    > Don't forget Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines! But Americans
    > will be famous for their skill and beauty as sex workers.


    Heh. I was thinking specifically of India and China as they have
    developed their own very good engineering schools and are sending
    fewer of their top-notch candidates to American schools.
     
  15. Ben Pfaff

    Ben Pfaff Guest

    [email protected] writes:

    > That's interesting. Stanford converted all the hydraulics, machines
    > and motors and electric power labs to office cubicles. There are no
    > more hands-on laboratories where machines are touched by hand and
    > energy balances computed for real motors or pumps. In those labs I
    > saw the reason why rotary engines don't work and why the Wankel could
    > never survive on the auto market. I don't wonder today how new
    > engineers have no idea about these things.


    It's getting a little off-topic for rbt, but I once visited a
    wonderful museum in Delft, The Netherlands. It was full of
    motors and engines and other mechanical equipment that had been
    opened up so you could see everything inside. For many of the
    exhibits, you could hand-crank them and watch how everything
    worked together. A lot of them were physically enormous so it
    was easy to see the interactions. We need more museums like
    this.
    --
    "J'avais trouv'e ma religion :
    rien ne me parut plus important qu'un livre.
    La biblioth`eque, j'y voyais un temple."
    --Jean-Paul Sartre
     
  16. dvt

    dvt Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > I don't know where mechanical design engineers of the future are to
    > come from. I know no one who works on machinery, including engineers
    > who take the bicycles to the shop for repairs.


    You gotta get out more, Jobst.

    --
    Dave
    dvt at psu dot edu
     
  17. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Fri, 09 Dec 2005 04:30:31 +0000, Bill Patterson wrote:

    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    >> That's interesting. Stanford converted all the hydraulics, machines
    >> and motors and electric power labs to office cubicles. There are no
    >> more hands-on laboratories where machines are touched by hand and
    >> energy balances computed for real motors or pumps. In those labs I saw
    >> the reason why rotary engines don't work and why the Wankel could never
    >> survive on the auto market. I don't wonder today how new engineers
    >> have no idea about these things.
    >>
    >> Jobst Brandt

    >
    > The youngsters at CALPOLY SLO have access to a full machine shop and
    > welding facilities. I was very seldom disappointed when I asked for
    > miracles.
    >
    > Consider the da Vinci human powered helicopter. That was a group of
    > undergraduates who are in the same aviation record book with Burt Rutan.
    > Not bad in my book. I had a ball working on the helicopter. They ended
    > every design meeting with a big 'to do' list for me. In fact the
    > experimental aviation Assoc. recently did a list of aviation firsts for
    > the last 100 years. Only 2 events were human powered, the gossamer
    > condor and the da vinci III. Great time.


    This is terrific!

    Cal Poly Pomona had the facilities too, but no one seemed interested,
    students and faculty alike. I and a few others yearned to get involved
    with such projects, but most people looked at us like we were nuts. Why
    would we want to do all this extra work if it was not required? It was
    like going to school at the Post Office.

    I think a lot of this depends on individual personalities and the energy
    they bring to campus (or not), which changes over the years. I wish we
    had profs like you, Bill.

    Matt O.
     
  18. [email protected] wrote:

    > I always thought it would be a great project to teach a course in
    > mechanical design using the 1950's VW Beetle as a subject of
    > everything you can do wrong in car design. You'll notice that no one
    > makes use of any of the design concepts on which that car was built,
    > be that wheel suspension, chassis design, and most of all motor and
    > transmission. You can put your finger on almost any part of that car
    > and find a multitude of errors, ones that other car designs had
    > discarded before WWII.


    I would say that the fundamental design concept of the current 911
    (watercooling aside) is the same as the original VW- flat rear engine,
    so that would seem to invalidate your statement that NO ONE makes use
    of ANY of the design concepts. There is at least one maker still using
    at least one of the design concepts. Of course, there never were that
    many air-cooled flat fours, anyway. I do have a water-cooled flat four
    in my Subaru, though.

    Obviously, every single part of the car has evolved over the course of
    the ~70 years since Porsche designed the original Volkswagen (before
    WWII), so it was a twenty-year old design by about 1955. Whatever its
    flaws, I am not prepared to say that they were more than other cars
    being built up to about 1970, when the Japanese really began to have an
    impact. In keeping with its name, one thing interesting about the VW
    was that the engine could be removed without an engine lift. You could
    actually unbolt the engine, lower it onto blocks and lift the car over
    it and pull the engine out. I helped a friend do it once.
     
  19. someone writes:

    >> I always thought it would be a great project to teach a course in
    >> mechanical design using the 1950's VW Beetle as a subject of
    >> everything you can do wrong in car design. You'll notice that no
    >> one makes use of any of the design concepts on which that car was
    >> built, be that wheel suspension, chassis design, and most of all
    >> motor and transmission. You can put your finger on almost any part
    >> of that car and find a multitude of errors, ones that other car
    >> designs had discarded before WWII.


    > I would say that the fundamental design concept of the current 911
    > (water cooling aside) is the same as the original VW- flat rear
    > engine, so that would seem to invalidate your statement that NO ONE
    > makes use of ANY of the design concepts. There is at least one maker
    > still using at least one of the design concepts. Of course, there
    > never were that many air-cooled flat fours, anyway. I do have a
    > water-cooled flat four in my Subaru, though.


    Location of the engine is not the problem although it presents other
    problems that most car designs recognize. Front suspension, steering
    gear, engine and controls all get along well in a front engine car.
    Baggage and spare wheel storage do fine alone in the rear. The front
    end mechanisms interfere with luggage space and make that a minimal
    space with rear engines.

    There will always be "recumbents" in the bicycle industry and
    similarly, rear engined cars in the auto industry. They do not make
    up the mainstream or any part of it. There is no excuse for air
    cooling in cars without some special purpose in mind.

    > Obviously, every single part of the car has evolved over the course of
    > the ~70 years since Porsche designed the original Volkswagen (before
    > WWII), so it was a twenty-year old design by about 1955.


    That's what PR will have you believe. Porsche never designed any part
    of the VW. In fact you can't find a single drawing, that he
    made. That work was done by engineers after he brought the car in from
    Czechoslovakia where he had seen it and sold the concept to the German
    government. The main appeal was that everything about it was
    different and that Porsche was a good salesman of the idea. The same
    was true for the American market.

    > Whatever its flaws, I am not prepared to say that they were more
    > than other cars being built up to about 1970, when the Japanese
    > really began to have an impact. In keeping with its name, one thing
    > interesting about the VW was that the engine could be removed
    > without an engine lift. You could actually unbolt the engine, lower
    > it onto blocks and lift the car over it and pull the engine out. I
    > helped a friend do it once.


    That was one of their great PR claims, that one could remove the
    engine in less than 15 minutes. To that I ask, how often did you need
    to remove the engine from your... Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Nash... In
    contrast, VW engines were out on the repair bench all the time. Let's
    not get into the details of transmissions, torsion bar suspension and
    all the other odd features.

    Jobst Brandt
     
  20. Simon Cooper

    Simon Cooper Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > someone writes:
    > > engine, so that would seem to invalidate your statement that NO ONE
    > > makes use of ANY of the design concepts. There is at least one maker
    > > still using at least one of the design concepts. Of course, there
    > > never were that many air-cooled flat fours, anyway. I do have a
    > > water-cooled flat four in my Subaru, though.


    > There will always be "recumbents" in the bicycle industry and
    > similarly, rear engined cars in the auto industry. They do not make
    > up the mainstream or any part of it. There is no excuse for air
    > cooling in cars without some special purpose in mind.


    If you'd had as much trouble with the water cooling system of a car as I've
    had with my Trans Am, you might think more highly of air cooling...

    The flat four in my Subaru seems fine. I'll bet a poll of this group would
    reveal a far higher than is natural number of Subaru owners...
     
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