Superwheel - how does this work ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Postboxer
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby Postboxer » 21 Nov 2020, 10:51pm

Seems it would be easier to have a small motor with a battery being charged by energy generated in the suspension dampers and brakes. Or a heavy duty dynamo that only engaged when going downhill.

iandusud
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby iandusud » 22 Nov 2020, 8:17am

Brucey wrote:If you have a suspension system it becomes quite clear that there is energy being dissipated in dampers. Yet with suspension you can go faster than without

You are correct. So why do people insist on say that the suspension on a Moulton absorbs energy and make is slower?
Re the super wheel. Any advantage it might offer would surely be offset on the slightest of uphill gradients by it's 10kg weight penalty.

Brucey
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby Brucey » 22 Nov 2020, 8:40am

iandusud wrote:
Brucey wrote:If you have a suspension system it becomes quite clear that there is energy being dissipated in dampers. Yet with suspension you can go faster than without

You are correct. So why do people insist on say that the suspension on a Moulton absorbs energy and make is slower? .


very simply this is because suspension always interferes with pedalling to some extent. And you need more suspension when you have smaller wheels.

BTW this is true whether you use springs and dampers or fat tyres, so there is no free lunch here, and rolling resistance measurements e.g. (on rollers) are only part of the story.

It is quite clear that this was well-understood at least a hundred years ago; why else would tyres (right from the start) come in different widths, and the only reason you would choose a bike with small wheels would be because bigger wheels were (practically speaking) too big for some reason or other.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

gazza_d
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby gazza_d » 22 Nov 2020, 12:17pm

iandusud wrote:
Brucey wrote:If you have a suspension system it becomes quite clear that there is energy being dissipated in dampers. Yet with suspension you can go faster than without

You are correct. So why do people insist on say that the suspension on a Moulton absorbs energy and make is slower?
Re the super wheel. Any advantage it might offer would surely be offset on the slightest of uphill gradients by it's 10kg weight penalty.


I say this as a fully paid up Moulton enthusiast who has drunk all the koolaid.
It does.
It's mitigated for by the smaller, stronger wheels, the ability to use high pressure tyres, better roadholding and much better comfort.
If it take either of my Moultons out, they are as quick as my big wheelers, but handle quicker and are more comfortable.
Seated there isn't appreciable loss for me.
Fight the bike or get out of the saddle and dance up a steep hill and you know it's suspended and becomes slower than the 700c bikes.
It's always a trade off though

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Mick F
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby Mick F » 22 Nov 2020, 1:36pm

On the flat, there's no difference.

In hilly areas, and they're everywhere here, the Moulton loses up to a minute per mile.
One, the suspension absorbs the power going up, and two, the terribly non-aerodynamic frame slows you going down.
Mick F. Cornwall

iandusud
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby iandusud » 22 Nov 2020, 1:56pm

Mick F wrote:On the flat, there's no difference.

In hilly areas, and they're everywhere here, the Moulton loses up to a minute per mile.
One, the suspension absorbs the power going up, and two, the terribly non-aerodynamic frame slows you going down.

The highly aerodynamic wheels speed you up going in all conditions :D
With regard to losses in hilly areas I do think a lot depends on your riding style. I can well believe your assessment for a strong aggressive rider. For someone, like me, who sits steady in the saddle and pedals smoothly I think it is a far different matter. I speak as one who regularly rides a 17" Moulton, a 700c lightwieght, a Tandem and a cargo bike. All of the above on a weekly basis. I can also state categorically that on some far from perfect surfaces that I can maintain a higher speed on the Moulton than any of the others. As Brucey said above "with suspension you can go faster than without".

Cowsham
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby Cowsham » 22 Nov 2020, 2:22pm

iandusud wrote:
Mick F wrote:On the flat, there's no difference.

In hilly areas, and they're everywhere here, the Moulton loses up to a minute per mile.
One, the suspension absorbs the power going up, and two, the terribly non-aerodynamic frame slows you going down.

The highly aerodynamic wheels speed you up going in all conditions :D
With regard to losses in hilly areas I do think a lot depends on your riding style. I can well believe your assessment for a strong aggressive rider. For someone, like me, who sits steady in the saddle and pedals smoothly I think it is a far different matter. I speak as one who regularly rides a 17" Moulton, a 700c lightwieght, a Tandem and a cargo bike. All of the above on a weekly basis. I can also state categorically that on some far from perfect surfaces that I can maintain a higher speed on the Moulton than any of the others. As Brucey said above "with suspension you can go faster than without".


I agree but why don't top race bikes have some kind of suspension other than tyres and carbon frames ? Saw one with an experimental leaf spring arrangement down near the axle on YouTube a while ago.

iandusud
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby iandusud » 22 Nov 2020, 5:32pm

Cowsham wrote:
iandusud wrote:
Mick F wrote:On the flat, there's no difference.

In hilly areas, and they're everywhere here, the Moulton loses up to a minute per mile.
One, the suspension absorbs the power going up, and two, the terribly non-aerodynamic frame slows you going down.

The highly aerodynamic wheels speed you up going in all conditions :D
With regard to losses in hilly areas I do think a lot depends on your riding style. I can well believe your assessment for a strong aggressive rider. For someone, like me, who sits steady in the saddle and pedals smoothly I think it is a far different matter. I speak as one who regularly rides a 17" Moulton, a 700c lightwieght, a Tandem and a cargo bike. All of the above on a weekly basis. I can also state categorically that on some far from perfect surfaces that I can maintain a higher speed on the Moulton than any of the others. As Brucey said above "with suspension you can go faster than without".


I agree but why don't top race bikes have some kind of suspension other than tyres and carbon frames ? Saw one with an experimental leaf spring arrangement down near the axle on YouTube a while ago.

I think the answer is that as has been mentioned above suspension can absorb power particularly when riding aggressively. Racing by its nature is aggressive. So I think that tyres and frame/fork design and materials is probably sufficient for the generally good surfaces they ride on (you only have to live in France and see the way the roads get freshly tarmaced when the TDF is passing through. The same applies to Yorkshire for the TDY and the World Champs!). It is notable however that pros tend you use wider tyres now than a few years ago and they don't seem to be going any slower.

hamster
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby hamster » 23 Nov 2020, 8:44am

Note also that the pro peloton did extensive experiments with front suspension in winter Classics like Paris-Roubaix (which have lots of cobbles). In the end, when you look at the differences in times, 1% loss in suspension is unacceptable and clearly the cost / benefit doesn't work. For them.

Whether it works for us is a different matter. For me, 28mm tyres are definitely faster than 23mm (Conti GP5000), even though the bike shod with 28s was a 1979 531 Witcomb and the 23 a Litespeed with a marginally more aggressive riding position. So much so that I sold the Litespeed!

iandusud
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby iandusud » 23 Nov 2020, 9:30am

hamster wrote:Note also that the pro peloton did extensive experiments with front suspension in winter Classics like Paris-Roubaix (which have lots of cobbles). In the end, when you look at the differences in times, 1% loss in suspension is unacceptable and clearly the cost / benefit doesn't work. For them.

Whether it works for us is a different matter. For me, 28mm tyres are definitely faster than 23mm (Conti GP5000), even though the bike shod with 28s was a 1979 531 Witcomb and the 23 a Litespeed with a marginally more aggressive riding position. So much so that I sold the Litespeed!

Re the use of front suspension for the winter classics I would imagine there was a real benefit on the cobbled sections but they only account for a small percentage of the total race mileage.

gazza_d
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby gazza_d » 23 Nov 2020, 9:08pm

They have tried suspension systems in races like Paris Roubaix.
Specialized and rockshox were one that was memorable. I think some of the carbon frames used in those races now have a limited amount of flex built in to act as a limited suspension.

Generally though as well as the more aggressive style of riding, absolute performance trumps comfort

MikeF
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby MikeF » 23 Nov 2020, 9:27pm

It's patented according to the article. Anyone checked?
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

Brucey
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby Brucey » 23 Nov 2020, 10:08pm

patent pending.... it says, and has said for several years.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stevek76
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby Stevek76 » 23 Nov 2020, 11:20pm

Cowsham wrote: I agree but why don't top race bikes have some kind of suspension other than tyres and carbon frames ? Saw one with an experimental leaf spring arrangement down near the axle on YouTube a while ago.


Well there's an optimum level which minimises combined loses from damping of parts of the bike flexing to the rider and those from the effective damping of the meaty sack on the bike responding to bumps from the road and that depends on the level of bumps encountered. Road racing tends to be done on good surfaces for where even the rougher ones can be handled between the carbon frame (which really does quite a bit for high frequency road buzz) and running 25mm tyres at not silly pressures. On the very good surfaces (eg tour of some gulf state with glass smooth tarmac) they'll often still run narrower tyres and three figure PSIs.

For the leaf spring did you mean the lauf? I think that was being pitched more at cyclocross which is on the boundary between dedicated suspension being faster and has dabbled with it on and off for years. Complicated by the mixed surfaces and the whole carrying the bike thing.

Cowsham
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Re: Superwheel - how does this work ?

Postby Cowsham » 24 Nov 2020, 10:36am

Yes that lauf spring system maybe the end product of what I saw as a concept -- looks much bigger and clumsier than the concept version I remember. Didn't impress me much.