Aerodynamic forces on bicycle racing wheels were investigated experimentally in a wind tunnel facility at the University of Calgary. The main geometric parameters investigated were the tire sidewall width, (), rim depth, (), rim width, (), and angle of attack, (). A total of six wheels and five tires were tested. Coefficient of drag area () and coefficient of side force area () versus angle of attack (ψ) were measured using a multi-axis force transducer. Wind tunnel conditions were set to simulate 2.94 m/s (6.6 mph) wind speeds and 13.4 m/s (30 mph) cyclist speeds. The performance of the wheel tire combinations was assessed using a wind-averaged drag method. The results show that the of aerodynamic wheels is highly dependent on the wheel-tire combination. There is a strong linear correlation between wind averaged drag () and the ratio of the tire and rim width . The of wheels is primarily controlled by the rim depth (D) and only weakly correlated with tire width (T).
Drag and Side Force Analysis on Bicycle Wheel–Tire Combinations
Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received February 17, 2017; final manuscript received February 23, 2018; published online March 27, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Jun Chen.
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Crane, R., and Morton, C. (March 27, 2018). "Drag and Side Force Analysis on Bicycle Wheel–Tire Combinations." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. June 2018; 140(6): 061205. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4039513
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