Bicycle frame coupled stiffness-aerodynamic optimization (Mech 498)

There is considerable interest and activity in the design and optimization of road bicycle frames. Composite materials have enabled considerable tailoring of ply layup to optimize strength and stiffness, while aerodynamic shapes are pursued (withing UCI limitations) to minimize drag losses. Currently, manufactures offer ‘aero,’ ‘classic‘ and ‘endurance‘ categories of frames that make trade-offs in aerodynamics and stiffness.

This project will combine aerodynamic and structural optimization to examine the trade-offs between these competing goals, to explore concepts able reconcile these competing design drivers with rationally defined objective and constraint functions.