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Vibration transmission to bicycle and rider: a field and a laboratory study

Arpınar Avşar, Pınar
The purpose of this study is to investigate the frequency and amplitude characteristics of vibration exposed to the bicycle and the rider as well as the features of the vibration transmission to the riders’ body. The findings showed that, vibration transmission to the bicycle and the rider is effective in x-and z axis. As a result of increased roughness, effective frequency range shifted to lower frequencies between 15-30Hz at both saddle and stem. The severity of transmitted vibration to the bicycle was found to be considerably higher in road bike trials (up to 25 ms-2). The frequency range of the vibration exposure of the body parts were in between 0-30Hz and independent of the level of vibration transmission the peak values were within the range of 3-12Hz. As the acceleration magnitude increased depending on road roughness, normalized rms EMG values also increased up to 50% in forearm extensor muscles during MTB trials and in the flexor muscles during road bike trials. With respect to no vibration trials, rms EMG values increased in order to maintain the same force output. Vibration transmission to the body tends to be amplified with increased force production. Transmission values were found to be higher at lower frequencies. Since the magnitude and frequency of vibration is known to have some adverse effects on body functions such as impaired breathing pattern and increased muscle tone, vibration transmitted to the body might be considered to influence the riding comfort, controllability and overall health of the cyclist.