Principles of Engineering Design
Coursework Report: Design of a Bicycle Frame
Bicycles, whether they be mountain bikes or just ordinary street cycles, play an important role in society, especially in sport and in general means of transportation. The history of bicycles and their contribution to an economical means of transportation goes as far back as the 19th century. Bicycles have progressed and evolved ever since and ever improving with the introduction of spoked wheels, a chain drive connecting a crank with pedals, pneumatic tires and suspension which brought on massive popularity in the latter part of the 19th century. All of these innovations, ironically, actually lead to a rapid decline in the bicycle industry and this was because early 20th century American automobiles were taking over. Not only was the automobile industry taking over, it was the bicycling craze that brought pneumatic tires, spoked wheels, the manufacturing processes for machining gears and assembling frames that actually paved the way for automobiles to become so cheap and reliable at such a rapid rate. The next great transportation innovation and revolution – aviation, was in many ways a child of the bicycle industry in the sense that most of the early inventors, pilots (steering an early plane was identical to steering a bicycle by leaning into turns) and builders were previously a part of the bicycle industry. For most of the 20th century, America was completely fixated on automobiles and aviation. However, even more ironically, the soaring prices in fuel, an obesity epidemic, as well as more recent manufacturing processes and materials for the automotive and aerospace industries, paved the way for stronger, faster, lighter and cheaper bicycles. The very innovations in the automobile and aerospace industries that nearly wiped out the bicycle industry, eventually led to its revitalization and resurrection.
The frame is the main body of the bicycle and is the...