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Concept: Tires


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of wheelchair mass, solid vs. pneumatic tires and tire pressure on physical strain and wheelchair propulsion technique. 11 Able-bodied participants performed 14 submaximal exercise blocks on a treadmill with a fixed speed (1.11m/s) within 3 weeks to determine the effect of tire pressure (100%, 75%, 50%, 25% of the recommended value), wheelchair mass (0kg, 5kg, or 10kg extra) and tire type (pneumatic vs. solid). All test conditions (except pneumatic vs. solid) were performed with and without instrumented measurement wheels. Outcome measures were power output (PO), physical strain (heart rate (HR), oxygen uptake (VO2), gross mechanical efficiency (ME)) and propulsion technique (timing, force application). At 25% tire pressure PO and subsequently VO2 were higher compared to 100% tire pressure. Furthermore, a higher tire pressure led to a longer cycle time and contact angle and subsequently lower push frequency. Extra mass did not lead to an increase in PO, physical strain or propulsion technique. Solid tires led to a higher PO and physical strain. The solid tire effect was amplified by increased mass (tire×mass interaction). In contrast to extra mass, tire pressure and tire type have an effect on PO, physical strain or propulsion technique of steady-state wheelchair propulsion. As expected, it is important to optimize tire pressure and tire type.

Concepts: Wheel, Tire, Tires


This study was designed to examine the influence of standing position (vs. seated) during uphill cycling on both mechanical cost (MC) and energy cost (EC) in elite cyclists. For the study, thirteen elite cyclists (VO2max: 71.4 ± 8.0 ml·min-1·kg-1) performed, in a randomised order, three sets of exercises. Each set comprised 2 min of exercise, alternating every 30 s between seated and standing postures, using different slopes and intensity levels on a motorised treadmill. MC was calculated from the measurement of power output and speed, whereas EC was calculated from the measurement of oxygen consumption and speed. MC was significantly higher (+4.3%, p < 0.001) in standing position compared to seated position when all slopes and intensities were considered. However, EC was not significantly affected by the change in position. The standing position also induced a significant increase in rolling resistance power (p < 0.001), rolling resistance coefficient (p < 0.001) and lateral sways (p < 0.001). The significant increase in MC observed in standing position was due to a higher rolling resistance induced by bicycle sways and a shift forward of the centre of mass compared to seated position. This result should lead bicycle tire manufacturers to reduce the increase in rolling resistance between the two positions. Considering the relationship observed between the MC and bicycle sways, cyclists would be well advised to decrease the bicycle sways in order to reduce the MC of locomotion.

Concepts: Physical exercise, Exercise, Cycling, Classical mechanics, Introductory physics, Energy conservation, Rolling resistance, Tires


This study investigates the rolling and drag resistance parameters and bicycle and cargo masses of typical urban cyclists. These factors are important for modelling of cyclist speed, power and energy expenditure, with applications including exercise performance, health and safety assessments and transportation network analysis. However, representative values for diverse urban travellers have not been established. Resistance parameters were measured utilizing a field coast-down test for 557 intercepted cyclists in Vancouver, Canada. Masses were also measured, along with other bicycle attributes such as tire pressure and size. The average (standard deviation) of coefficient of rolling resistance, effective frontal area, bicycle plus cargo mass, and bicycle-only mass were 0.0077 (0.0036), 0.559 (0.170) m2, 18.3 (4.1) kg, and 13.7 (3.3) kg, respectively. The range of measured values is wider and higher than suggested in existing literature, which focusses on sport cyclists. Significant correlations are identified between resistance parameters and rider and bicycle attributes, indicating higher resistance parameters for less sport-oriented cyclists. The findings of this study are important for appropriately characterising the full range of urban cyclists, including commuters and casual riders.

Concepts: Mass, Cycling, Test method, Standard deviation, Tourism, Bicycle, Commuting, Tires


Although a low rolling resistance is advantageous in mountain bike cross-country racing, no studies have used the virtual elevation method to compare tyres from different manufacturers as used in international competitions so far. The aims of this study were to assess the reliability of this method, to compare the off-road rolling resistance between tyres and to calculate the influence on off-road speed. Nine 29-in. mountain bike cross-country tyres were tested on a course representing typical ground surface conditions 5 or 6 times. The coefficient of rolling resistance was estimated with the virtual elevation method by 3 investigators and corresponding off-road speeds were calculated. The virtual elevation method was highly reliable (typical error = 0.0006, 2.8%; limits of agreement <0.0005, r ≥ 0.98). The mean coefficient of rolling resistance was 0.0219 and differed from 0.0205 to 0.0237 (P < 0.001) between tyres. The calculated differences in off-road speed amounted to 2.9-3.2% (0% slope) and 2.3-2.4% (10% slope) between the slowest and the fastest tyre. The reliability of the method and the differences in rolling resistance between the tyres illustrate the value of testing tyres for important competitions on a representative ground surface using the virtual elevation method.

Concepts: Statistics, Reliability, Speed, Wheel, Tires


Tires equipped with sensors, the so-called “intelligent tires”, can provide vital information for control systems, drivers and external users. In this research, tire dynamic strain characteristics in cornering conditions are collected and analysed in relation to the variation of tire working conditions, such as inflation pressure, rolling speed, vertical load and slip angle. An experimental tire strain-based prototype and an indoor tire test rig are used to demonstrate the suitability of strain sensors to establish relations between strain data and lateral force. The results of experiments show that strain values drop sharply when lateral force is decreasing, which can be used to predict tire slip conditions. As a first approach to estimate some tire working conditions, such as the slip angle and vertical load, a fuzzy logic method has been developed. The simulation and test results confirm the feasibility of strain sensors and the proposed computational model to solve the non-linearity characteristics of the tires' parameters and turn tires into a source of useful information.

Concepts: Experiment, Problem solving, Slip, Control system, Fuzzy logic, Tire, Computational linguistics, Tires


Tire characteristics and behavior are of great importance in vehicle dynamics since the forces transmitted in the tire-road contact are the main contributors to global vehicle performance. Several research groups have focused on the study and modeling of tires. Some of the most important factors that need to be known are tread characteristics and pressure distribution in the tire-ground contact patch. In this work, a test bench has been used to adequately determine the aforementioned factors. The measurement principle of the test bench is the frustration of total internal reflection (FTIR) of light. It makes use of a laterally illuminated glass on which the tire leans. An interposed plastic interface between them causes the reflection of light. Finally, a video camera captures the bright image formed through the glass. The brightness level in each pixel of the image is related to existing normal pressure. A study of the parameters that affect the test bench calibration such as type of interface material used, diffuse light, hysteresis, creep and transverse light absorption is performed. Experimental tests are conducted to relate tire inflation pressure and camber angle to the pressure distribution. Furthermore, the test bench is used to detect and evaluate the influence of defects in the tire on the contact pressures.

Concepts: Snell's law, Refraction, Reflection, Total internal reflection, Tire, Camber angle, Tires, Camber thrust


Direct tire-road contact friction estimation is essential for future autonomous cars and active safety systems. Friction estimation methods have been proposed earlier for driving conditions in the presence of a slip angle or slip ratio. However, the estimation of the friction from a freely-rolling tire is still an unsolved topic. Knowing the existing friction potential would be beneficial since vehicle control systems could be adjusted before any remarkable tire force has been produced. Since accelerometers are well-known and robust, and thus a promising sensor type for intelligent tires, this study uses three three-axis IEPE accelerometers on the inner liner of a tire to detect friction potential indicators on two equally smooth surfaces with different friction levels. The equal roughness was chosen for both surfaces in order to study the friction phenomena by neglecting the effect of surface texture on vibrations. The acceleration data before the contact is used to differentiate the two friction levels between the tire and the road. In addition, the contact lengths from the three accelerometers are used to validate the acceleration data. A method to differentiate the friction levels on the basis of the acceleration signal is also introduced.

Concepts: Signal processing, Force, Microelectromechanical systems, Slip, Road, Automobile, Tire, Tires


The aim of the current investigation was to explore the lateral stiffness of different sports wheelchair wheels available to athletes in ‘new’ and ‘used’ conditions and to determine the effect of (a) stiffness, (b) tyre type (clincher vs. tubular) and © tyre orientation on the physiological and biomechanical responses to submaximal and maximal effort propulsion specific to wheelchair basketball. Eight able-bodied individuals participated in the laboratory-based testing, which took place on a wheelchair ergometer at two fixed speeds (1.1 and 2.2 m s(-1)). Outcome measures were power output and physiological demand (oxygen uptake and heart rate). Three participants with experience of over-ground sports wheelchair propulsion also performed 2 × 20 m sprints in each wheel configuration. Results revealed that wheels differed significantly in lateral stiffness with the ‘new’ Spinergy wheel shown to be the stiffest (678.2 ± 102.1 N mm(-1)). However the effects of stiffness on physiological demand were minimal compared to tyre type whereby tubular tyres significantly reduced the rolling resistance and power output in relation to clincher tyres. Therefore tyre type (and subsequently inflation pressure) remains the most important aspect of wheel specification for athletes to consider and monitor when configuring a sports wheelchair.

Concepts: Nitrogen, Wheel, Automobile, Tire, Rim, Wheelchair basketball, Tires, Alloy wheel


Increasing urbanisation and automobile use have given rise to an increase in global tyre waste generation. A tyre becomes waste once it wears out and is no longer fit for its original purpose, and is thus in its end-of-life state. Unlike in developed countries, where waste tyre management has already become a significant issue, it is rarely a priority waste stream in developing countries. Hence, a large quantity of waste tyres ends up either in the open environment or in landfill. In Thailand, waste tyre management is in its infancy, with increased tyre production and wider use of vehicles, but low levels of recycling, leaving scope for more appropriate policies, plans and strategies to increase waste tyre recycling. This article describes the journey of waste tyres in Thailand in terms of recycling and recovery, and disposal. Material flow analysis was used as a tool to quantify the flows and accumulation of waste tyres in Thailand in 2012. The study revealed that, in Thailand in 2012, waste tyre management was still biased towards destructive technologies (48.9%), rather than material recovery involving rubber reclamation, retreading tyres and whole and shredded tyre applications (6.7%). Despite having both economic and environmental benefits, 44.4% of used tyres in 2012 were dumped in the open environment, and the remaining 0.05% in landfills.

Concepts: Waste management, Recycling, Waste, Landfill, Waste picker, Tire, Tires, Tire recycling