Brent Kostich

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Kapseong Ro

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Hudson

Third Advisor

Dr. Jun-Seok Oh


Bicycle, bicycle dynamics, IPB, dynamic simulation, bicycle transportation

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Bicycles have been used as a form of non-motorized transportation for several hundred years. Recently, their use in the transportation realm has been reinvigorated because of growing population densities and efforts to improve environmental sustainability. However, a large deterrent for public use of the bicycle is concern over its level of safety in the transportation environment. The goal of this thesis is to develop two complementary research tools that advance the study of bicycle safety factors.

First, an instrumented probe bicycle (IPB) is constructed from the ground up. The bicycle is outfitted with an array of sensors that are integrated into a unified instrumentation system. The design presented herein describes the components and capabilities of this IPB, as well as its limitation. Since the study of transportation safety often requires the identification of high-risk areas, it is necessary to classify data by geographic location. A geographic segmenting algorithm is formulated to complement the IPB system. Both the instrumented bicycle and the algorithm are evaluated from pilot testing and found to perform satisfactorily.

Second, a computation dynamic model is developed to analyze bicycle motion. Despite being a simple system, the bicycle has relatively complex dynamics. Understanding these dynamics is useful in assessing situational rider safety. To generate the model, differential equations of motion are derived from first principles. These equations are developed into a computer program for numerical integration. Model validation is preformed against previous work and found to be accurate.