Level Bicycle

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  • 2018

  • Next Gen

Designed By:

  • Tyran Lechner

Commissioned By:

Tyran Lechner

Designed In:

Australia

The Level bike project is the first bicycle to integrate electronically controlled adjustable geometry into bicycle frame design. Using electromechanical actuation the system reads the current terrain and changes the bicycles geometry to the most efficient position from ascending winding trails to rough, high-speed steep downhill terrain.


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  • In the world of mountain biking, designers have struggled to develop a bicycle that reaches a happy medium between pedaling efficiency for ascending, and stable handling characteristics required to retain control across high speed and rough terrain. Traditionally, mountain bikes are designed within the bounds of compromise between user needs depending on riding style and discipline. Aside from materials and manufacturing technology, the greatest progression in mountain bike design over recent years is the result of a focus on bicycle geometry - geometry being the measurements between key points on the bicycle, particularly the wheelbase, steering axis angle and saddle position.

  • This project aims to develop an all round mountain bike by finding a balance between rider input efficiency, and stability, while answering the question; How can the integration of electronics into mountain bike frame design provide a reliable active geometry adjustment system? During the commencement of this project the need for an active on-the-fly geometry adjustment system was identified and proven through data collected via MatLabs mobile device software while riding competitors products. This data, helped to create a number of parameters from which an electromechanical actuator could be specifically developed and integrated into a mountain bike frame.

  • Electronics have been integrated into bicycle design for a number of years, first with data logging devices, then electronic gear shift systems and now suspension damping control. This project is the first to use an electronic sensor system to 'read' terrain and automatically react by adjusting to a more efficient geometry configuration. While the product requires further development to become competitive in weight and reliability, it proves a point that bicycle design has a long way to progress through the inclusion of electronic systems which can intercommunicate to enhance rider experience without the need for user intervention.

  • Unknown to most who don’t regularly cycle the most noticeable differences between any given brands line-up of bicycles, aside from quality of componentry is the bicycles geometry. A bicycle company may have four different types of mountain bike frames, each differentiated by a few degrees or millimetres in geometry numbers. The Level bike side-steps this conventional system by switching between a range of geometry figures that would normally cross over to a different bike model. By buying into the Level system the bicycle presents optimal geometry placing the rider in the most efficient position to tackle a wider range of terrain. The Level system works to achieve the same goal as reactive suspension used on 80’s Formula One cars. Parting form complex computing systems, Level relies on an IMU powered by Arduino to read terrain and react by levelling out the bicycle frame and hence rider position. The Level bike contrasts to existing electronic suspension systems used on mountain and road bicycles as well as most forms of motorsport by working independently to the suspension damping system. Integrating the geometry adjustment into the frame allows for use of independent suspension brands, steering away from the need for proprietary suspension units.