Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
Joseph D. Mello
In recent years, the cycling industry has witnessed huge advancements in bicycle components and materials. The age old goals of speed and low weight are still present today, but the pursuit of these goals may be reducing the structural stability of various components integral to wheel performance, including the wheel hub bearings. These bearings are invaluable to bicycles but little is known about how the forces and loads applied to a bicycle affect the performance of these bearings. Broken axles and hubs are indicators of significant stresses within the hub, but little is known about how the resulting deformation affects the performance of the bearings. Specialized Bicycle Components asked the team to produce a custom test machine to help them study this problem. The team’s goal was to design a machine able to simulate rider and chain loading conditions and measure the corresponding power loss within the hub bearings. Through the implementation of this machine, Specialized hopes to gain vital information about the efficiencies of various hub, axle, and bearing combinations The team consists of three mechanical engineering seniors, Kevin Hom, Dylan Harper, and Ross Williams. Dr. Joseph Mello will be advising the team, and all contact to Specialized will be through the project sponsor Sam Pickman.