I recently featured on the Ali Clarkson YouTube channel, looking at how FEA can be used to better understand bike wheel behaviour. Ali’s channel has a huge following, focused mainly on trials/mountain bike riding, along with super-cool technology related to bike design. Ali recently posted a video on polymer braided spokes, as a potential replacement for steel. After a couple of months of testing, they were looking good.
In this video, we looked at a comparison of wheel strength and stiffness performance, by comparing steel with polymer braided spokes at various build tensions and riding conditions.
We used MSC Apex to develop a parametric FEA model of a wheel, which allowed us to compare different structures really quickly. The outcomes were pretty interesting, and something that we definitely couldn’t have done solely with physical test and conventional FEA.