Bicycle Braking Performance Testing and Analysis 2020-01-0876
The goal of this study was to determine the braking capabilities of different bicycle types, with different brake setups and applications. A variety of bicycles, including a mountain bike, beach cruiser, BMX bike, road bike, and commuter bike were used to perform brake-to-stop tests. Prior to brake testing, the bicycles were fully inspected, prepped, and documented. Details of the bicycles’ make, model, tires, wheels, brake setup, suspension setup, and preexisting damage were photographed and recorded. The standardized brake testing procedure consisted of rear only brake application and both front and rear brake application. In order to maintain brake application consistency, a single rider performed all series of the skid/brake tests at the same location, on dry asphalt. The tests were performed at an initial velocity of 9 – 20 mph. For each test, the rider accelerated to the test speed and applied maximum braking effort while maintaining a natural upright position to reduce lean. The tests were performed on a painted grid for visibility purposed in measuring skid lengths and post-test video analysis.
The bicycle deceleration rates were measured with a Slam Stick X accelerometer, VBOX Sport, and by hand calculation using the deposited skid marks. The average deceleration rates gathered from the testing consisted of a 0.40 - 0.71g range for front and rear brake application and 0.25 - 0.37g range for rear only brake application, across all bicycle types. Bicycles with rear coaster brake setups such as a beach cruiser braked at an average deceleration rate of 0.29 - 0.36g. Whereas bicycles with caliper and disc brake setups averaged a deceleration rate range of 0.27 - 0.37g for rear only brake application.
Nicholas Famiglietti, Benjamin Nguyen, Edward Fatzinger, Jon Landerville