A new handlebar design that helps cyclists achieve a more aerodynamic position could be the key to Tasmanian Institute of Sport athletes improving their performance on the track.
Chi (Addy) Ngo, a graduate of the Australian Maritime College’s Co-operative Engineering Program, worked closely with TIS Head Cycling Coach Matthew Gilmore on a customised design to help cyclists go faster by eliminating turbulent air-flow between the handlebar and the forearm.
A prototype has been tested with very successful results and it’s hoped the new design will be rolled out across the TIS cycling team to replace their current L-shaped handlebars.
“We’ve trialled the handlebars at training and through what we call power meters, and we can actually measure the difference between the old set of handlebars and the new by doing trial runs,” Mr Gilmore said.
“But more importantly, competition is our biggest way of testing any new equipment. We used the handlebars last year and actually broke the state’s record in the team’s pursuit, so it’s something we’re particularly proud of as an institute, but also just being able to validate the design that the Australian Maritime College has put together for us.
“The end product has been absolutely fantastic and it looks great, it certainly turns lots of heads, people are very intrigued by the design.”
Mr Ngo undertook the design project as part of his Bachelor of Engineering (Co-operative Engineering Program), in which students combine their university studies with periods of industry work placements. He graduated in 2016.
A model of the best prototype was created and printed using AMC’s design software and 3-D printer, with the end result being used as a mould to build the first set of handlebars out of carbon fibre.