Date of Award
Mechanical Engineering Bicycle Design Recumbent Solidworks
This thesis will discuss the process of designing, manufacturing, and testing of a two-wheeled, front-wheel drive, adjustable recumbent bicycle. The design aims to create a more accessible, comfortable, efficient, and utilitarian bicycle. The design utilizes a two-wheeled, front-wheel drive system, and is adjustable for riders of different heights. The two-wheeled design was chosen for its simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility. The front-wheel drive system that this bicycle utilizes was chosen over a more traditional rear-wheel drive because it significantly reduced the length of the chain. The increased chain length from rear-wheel drive models is the primary cause of large frictional losses in the power transmission. Furthermore, the bicycle was designed with current road bike standards in mind, as wheel spacings, chain length, and gearing are all cross-compatible with upright bicycles. The frame is TIG welded and made from 4130 chromoly steel tubing. Steel was chosen for its high strength, manufacturability, and low cost. Testing was done on varied grades against a traditional drop-bar road bike, and the recumbent bike was ~30% faster than the road bike on flat to downhill terrain but lagged behind on steep uphills.
Nordell, Andrew, "Designing and Manufacturing a Human Powered Vehicle" (2023). Honors Theses. 2731.