Modelling and Simulation of a Self-Tuning Suspension Fork for Bicycles

Y.C. Mao, G.S. Chen, P.Y. Wang, and Z.G. Huang (Taiwan)


Modelling, Simulation, Bicycle, Shock Absorber,Damping Coefficient, Self-Tuning


Human-bicycle system is a vibration-sensitive system since the actuator, human rider, runs noiselessly and smoothly. The bicycle riders need soft damping condition when they pass through rough surfaces, while hard damping on smooth surfaces. They need a completely stiff damper as acceleration, or exert to tread on the pedals when climbing. There are switchable shock absorbers in markets, however riders have to manually switch them among soft, hard and lock positions during different situations. This study proposes a novel design of the bicycle shock absorber, which provides automatic smooth tuning of the damping coefficient, from a predetermined lower bound to theoretically unlimited. This design achieves the automatic tuning process by an innovative plunger valve and fluidic passage arrangements without any electronic devices. Theoretical modelling of the damper and spring are established in this study. Design parameters of the valves and fluidic passages are determined. Relations between design parameters and shock absorber performances are discussed in this paper. The analytical results give design directions to the shock absorber manufacture.

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