Parametric finite element analysis of bicycle frame geometries

Derek Covill, Steven Begg, Edward Elton, Mark Milne, Richard Morris, Tim Katz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


This paper has outlined a FE model using beam elements to represent a standard road bicycle frame. The model simulates two standard loading conditions to understand the vertical compliance and lateral stiffness characteristics of 82 existing bicycle frames from the bicycle geometry project and compares these characteristics to an optimised solution in these conditions. Perhaps unsurprisingly smaller frames (490mm seat tube) behave the most favourably in terms of both vertical compliance and lateral stiffness, while the shorter top tube length (525mm) and larger head tube angle (74.5°) results in a laterally stiffer frame which corresponds with findings from literature. The optimised values show a considerable improvement over the best of the existing frames, with a 13% increase in vertical displacement and 15% decrease in lateral displacement when compared to the best of the analysed frames. The model has been developed to allow for further develop to include more detailed tube geometry, further analysis of more frame geometries, alternative materials, and analysis of other structural characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 2014 conference of the International Sports Engineering Association
Place of PublicationUK
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014
EventThe 2014 conference of the International Sports Engineering Association - Sheffield Hallam, UK, 2014
Duration: 1 Feb 2014 → …

Publication series

NameProcedia Engineering


ConferenceThe 2014 conference of the International Sports Engineering Association
Period1/02/14 → …

Bibliographical note

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.


  • bicycle
  • frame
  • geometry
  • finite element analysis
  • stiffness
  • compliance
  • parametric


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