As a culminating design experience for my B.E. degree, I worked with a team of five other engineers to design a semi-prone, forward-facing bicycle for a physiotherapist who sponsored the project. He maintained that bicycle users experience discomfort and suffer injuries from the current bicycle’s seat, geometry, and rider’s body position. As such, he wanted us to find an alternative body position to the state of the art and implement it into a novel bicycle design. We first developed a test rig to educate ourselves on power output from a normal bicycle to ensure that our new design didn’t deviate too far from an established baseline. We then used 3D motion analysis software to observe body position and spinal curvature in a series of semi-prone positions to find an ergonomically safe and beneficial position. Next, we iterated on a new bicycle design which incorporated those findings. After a number of prototypes, we fabricated a fully-functioning, 21-speed bike that can adjust to fit a rider of different heights and body-proportions and dubbed it the “Leaner.” The next few slides depict just a small sampling of the entire six month process. My main responsibilities included overall project management and the lead design role.
We produced a short video as a promo for the “Leaner,” which can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht81FBit6qw