Design of a composite off-road bicycle shock absorber
Powers, Theodore C.
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This thesis examines the use of laminated composites as shock absorbing members of an off-road bicycle frame. An existing design, in which frame components absorb shock by bending, is analyzed to determine the amount of allowed motion. The loads associated with such deflections are also determined. A laminated composite tube is then designed to replace each shock-absorbing metallic component. Classical lamination theory is first utilized to estimate the required laminate properties. Using Finite Element Methods (FEM), the laminate stacking sequence and fiber orientation are refined until the bending stiffness equals that of the metallic component being replaced. FEM is also used to ensure that neither fiber nor matrix stresses exceed maximum allowable values.