Every year, the senior design class in the Civil Engineering Department is tasked with difficult projects varying from concrete planes to steel trebuchets. This year, the class was split into two teams and tasked with two separate projects. Our company, (with the self-given company name of Bicycrete LLC), was tasked with the job of developing, designing, constructing and demonstrating a bicycle whose frame is constructed of portland cement-based concrete.
Design criteria included dimension specifications of a 54 centimeter frame, 700c wheels, and that the bicycle was road legal for the State of Florida during day time riding conditions. The bicycle frame dimensions must also be in conformance with Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) standards.
Joints from an actual bicycle frame are allowed to be embedded in the concrete to only the amount required to develop appropriate pull-out strength. Although the frame is constructed of concrete, the handlebar, seat, front fork, breaks, and of course the wheels from an actual bicycle will be attached to the concrete frame. Bicycrete LLC decided to use carbon fiber reinforcement technology in their concrete mix to aid in the multi-directional, dynamic loadings that are typical of bicycles.
The bicycle is scheduled to be finished by April 26. On April 28, the bicycle will undergo a performance test. One member of the team will ride the bicycle in a straight line over a distance of 15 meters without stopping.
Everyone is invited to attend! Project demonstration will be at 3:00 PM in Lehman 175 (then transitioning to parking lot for riding space). We are very excited to see the final result (good luck to our rider Kyle!) of all of our hard work for the world’s first concrete-framed bicycle!