Chain drive efficiency has been studied to understand energy loss mechanisms in bicycle drive trains, primarily for derailleur-type systems. An analytical study of frictional energy loss mechanisms for chain drives is given along with a series of experimental measurements of chain drive efficiency under a range of power, speed and lubrication conditions. Measurements of mechanical efficiency are compared to infrared measurements indicating that frictional losses cannot account for the observed variations in efficiency. The results of this study indicate that chain tension and sprocket size primarily affect efficiency and that non-thermal loss mechanisms dominate overall chain drive efficiency.
Effects of Frictional Loss on Bicycle Chain Drive Efficiency
Contributed by the Power Transmission and Gearing Committee for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received June 1999. Associate Editor: C. M. Gosselin.
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Spicer, J. B., Richardson , C. J. K., Ehrlich , M. J., Bernstein, J. R., Fukuda , M., and Terada, M. (June 1, 1999). "Effects of Frictional Loss on Bicycle Chain Drive Efficiency ." ASME. J. Mech. Des. December 2001; 123(4): 598–605. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1412848
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