Bicycle wheel simulator

An interactive app for designing and testing virtual bicycle wheels. Choose your wheel parameters, add forces like rider wight and pedaling torque, and plot deformation and spoke tensions.

Try it out!

Sophisticated stress analysis

Results are based on a mathematical model of the wheel that takes into account the effects of spoke tension and rim compression. The model properly predicts the "softening" effect of excessive spoke tension: the lateral stiffness of the wheel is reduced due to the compression in the rim.

Library of rim properties

The stiffness properties of a number of rims have been measured using the acoustic method developed by Matt Ford and Patrick Peng. You can select one of these pre-defined rims, or define your own by setting the bending and torsion stiffness manually.

About the author is a side-project by Matt Ford, author of Reinventing the Wheel: Stress Analysis, Stablity, and Optimization of the Bicycle Wheel.

To state the obvious: This website is made freely available for education purposes only. No guarantees are given as to the accuracy or applicability of the results quoted in or calculated by this website. The Bicycle Wheel Simulator is not a substitute for the advice of a competent wheelbuilder or bicycle mechanic. The author accepts no responsibility for any damages, including injury or death, arising out of or in connection with information obtained from this website.