How comfortable are your cycling tracks? A new method for objective bicycle vibration measurement
Michal Bíl, Richard Andrášik, Jan Kubeček
Cycling comfort consists of several factors. Their relevant values are important in the process of bicycle facility planning. Poor surface pavement quality manifests itself in terms of vibrations of a bicycle. This strongly influences the perception of a cycle track, general cycling comfort and the route choice as well. We introduce dynamic comfort index (DCI) which is capable of objectively describing the vibration properties of surface pavement on a track. The DCI is derived from data gathered when riding a bicycle equipped with a GPS device and an accelerometer. The most common types of devices were selected to make the DCI widely applicable. We tested DCI values on various bicycles and surface pavements. DCI values on individual cycling tracks were compared with the subjective feelings of 43 cyclists via questionnaires. A strong correlation (−0.94) was obtained between the objectively measured DCI values and the subjectively assessed evaluations. This makes the DCI approach transferable to any other environment. This method has been applied to an entire road network within the historical center of the city of Olomouc (Czech Republic). It can further be used by bicycle track administrators to monitor surface quality, by planners to obtain relevant surface pavement values, and by individual cyclists for optimal route choice.