Abstract

The cycling industry has long relied on expensive wind tunnel testing when designing aerodynamic products, particularly in the context of wheels which account for 10 to 15 percent of a cyclist’s total aerodynamic drag. With the recent advent of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), the industry now has an economical tool to supplement the wheel design process; however, the complex nature of rotating spoked wheels requires high resolution meshes to model at acceptable fidelity. This research investigates an alternative CFD method that lowers the computational cost of modeling aerodynamic bicycle wheels by modeling spokes using Blade Element Method (BEM). Two CFD models of a HED Trispoke wheel, one with resolved spokes and one with modeled spokes, are compared to existing CFD and wind tunnel drag coefficient data at various headwind speeds and yaw angles. Data shows good agreement.

Thesis Completion

2021

Semester

Spring

Thesis Chair

Kinzel, Michael

Co-Chair

Bhattacharya, Samik

Degree

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

5-1-2021

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