Efficiency and Electrics

Despite the bike being a very old innovation it is still one of the most efficient transport vehicles known to man. Even a simple steel bike with one gear can propel a person at about 4 times walking pace whilst using just half the energy, making it 8 times more efficient than walking. The only […]

Build your own Box Bike.

So you want to build your own box bike? At Rodfordbuilt we applaud innovation, those creative “men and women in sheds” and we like to support people who wish to do their own thing. So here’s a few things to consider when designing your own box bike. Some information to help you avoid some of […]

Be safe, Be seen. Fluorescence and reflectance

When cycling the dark winter commute, being seen is half the battle in staying safe. To be seen as the light fades, you need both Fluorescent and Reflective surfaces on your bike / clothing. Here is a short analysis on how these materials work to help when selecting clothing or accessories for increased visibility. Reflectance […]

Tiring

Mention a tyre and most people will visualise a rubber band around a wheel to soften the ride and provide grip, but this seemingly simple device is actually quite complex. The complexity raises questions about which is the right tyre for a particular purpose and how you should choose a tyre for a particular vehicle. […]

Speaking of Spokes……

Perhaps you are wondering about the mechanics behind the bicycle wheel, how spokes work, what lacing patterns can be used and so forth. More likely, perhaps your not. Regardless, here are a few words on the fascinating topic of spokes. The spoked wheel was first conceived by Mr George Cayley who was an early pioneer […]

Buckle up and knuckle down

In order to reduce the weight of a bike it is important to explore tube dimensions such as wall thickness/diameter ratios and length/diameter ratios to determine the best dimensions for the purpose. Looking into this can lead to a somewhat interesting (for some at least) foray into stress analysis and buckling theory. Referring to a […]

Balancing Bikes

It is a surprising fact that even though the bike is 200 years old this year (2017), it is still difficult to explain exactly how it works. It is a case that we know what works and what doesn’t and how to build a really good bike; but not really why. However one thing is […]

Looking at Moments for a Moment

We’ve recently been investigating the benefits of different steel sections for our frame parts. Rectangular and square box section are easy to come by and have flat faces which can simplify assembly. The question is – would they be any more or less rigid? To answer this we modelled some comparative parts on a CAD […]

Fatigue……….yawn

Fatigue failure of a material is always a concern to design engineers because it is difficult to calculate for a given part and therefore presents an unknown risk in the final product. Factors that affect fatigue strength include the material, shape of the part, any defects, corrosion, heat treatment and loading. Fatigue is defined as […]