Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 31106
Simulation of an Auto-Tuning Bicycle Suspension Fork with Quick Releasing Valves

Authors: Y. C. Mao, G. S. Chen


Bicycle configuration is not as large as those of motorcycles or automobiles, while it indeed composes a complicated dynamic system. People-s requirements on comfortability, controllability and safety grow higher as the research and development technologies improve. The shock absorber affects the vehicle suspension performances enormously. The absorber takes the vibration energy and releases it at a suitable time, keeping the wheel under a proper contact condition with road surface, maintaining the vehicle chassis stability. Suspension design for mountain bicycles is more difficult than that of city bikes since it encounters dynamic variations on road and loading conditions. Riders need a stiff damper as they exert to tread on the pedals when climbing, while a soft damper when they descend downhill. Various switchable shock absorbers are proposed in markets, however riders have to manually switch them among soft, hard and lock positions. 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. An automatic quick releasing valve is involved in this design so that it can release the peak pressure when the suspension fork runs into a square-wave type obstacle and prevent the chassis from damage, avoiding the rider skeleton from injury. This design achieves the automatic tuning process by 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 directions to the shock absorber manufacture.

Keywords: Simulation, Modelling, Damping, shock absorber, bicycle, Releasing Valve

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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