College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Dr. John R. Ridgely


The ``wheelie'' is a popular, classic bicycle trick which novice bicyclists often attempt as an introduction to advanced bike tricks. However, many are hesitant to try due to the risks and safety hazards associated with performing one. The purpose of this project is to create an on-board system which will assist a user in maintaining a wheelie after achieving the required position while incorporating safety mechanisms to prevent the user from injuring themselves or others. Additional requirements of the system are non-obstructive features and seamless transitioning between wheelie conditions.

Upon researching the state of wheelie technology, existing products, such as passive, mechanical supports. were found to fail the requirements detailed above. After multiple rounds of concept generation and evaluation, a two-part solution was identified: the combination of a modified electric hub motor and a controller system, and the development of a script to identify incoming data and change the state of the motor accordingly. As an additional goal, a user interface subsystem would be implemented to allow the user to change system properties post-assembly. The states of operation would be as follows: normal bicycle function, assistance in maintaining the wheelie position, prevention of over-rotation, and minimization of damage in the case of failure.

The major components for the construction of this design were selected to be: a hub motor, a microcontroller and surrounding circuit components, an inertial measurement unit (IMU), a motor driver, and a battery. These, as well as many other additional components, were purchased and obtained in a prefabricated state. Notable exceptions would be the controller and user interface housings. All components were tabulated in a bill of materials (BOM) and the costs of all components and manufacturing processes were recorded in a budget spreadsheet. The total cost of the project was found to be $1612.08, prior to tax and shipping fees.

After the procurement, manufacturing, assembly, and testing of structural and final prototypes, the final system met the specifications noted above and satisfied the developed testing conditions.