Researchers in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at National Defense University in Tashi, Taiwan, are developing a computer system for bicyclists that tells them when to change gears to optimize power while maintaining comfort. The researchers cite ergonomic studies that show cyclists can be in an optimum state while cycling with a fixed output power and peddling speed. The researchers developed an algorithm that provides cyclists with a gear shift strategy to maintain the optimal gear without sacrificing comfort.
The algorithm, which has been tested in a simulation of a 12-speed bicycle, provides a gear-shifting sequence with minimal power losses and gear shifts. The algorithm will enable riders to operate the derailleur gearing system more easily, making riders more comfortable because they will be in the correct gear and shifting gears will be smoother. The researchers say the technology could eventually be extended to an entirely automatic mechanical gear-shifting system.
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