Sports Biomechanics Lab > Blog > Steer torque (wrench) experiments
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Steer torque (wrench) experiments

by Jason Moore — last modified Apr 19, 2010 11:40 AM

We did some preliminary torque wrench tests to help us size the torque sensor we are going to use. All the details can be found on the steer torque page and I've posted all the videos and data to the Internet archive for your viewing and analyzing pleasure. The experiments went pretty smoothly. We were able to use one basketball size court in the ARC Pavillion early in the morning before people started showing up. The pavilion floor was very smooth, probably as smooth as we will find on a floor space that size. This is definitely where we want to do future experiments. We learned more than maximum torque values too. Here's some notes:
  • The single basketball court was not big enough to get up to speed for straight line maneuvers. We could do steady circles fairly well. The upstairs area of the pavilion is also potentially good for getting speed for straight line maneuvers, but ideally we'd need all four basketball court spaces down below.
  • The floor smoothness introduces vibrations in the torque readings and bumps really do. This is partly because we had a cantilever (unbalanced) torque wrench as the handlebar. The bumps will not make that much difference on the normal balanced bars, but floor smoothness is important to keep the noise in a good frequency range.
  • We should have made use of recording audio on the video cameras so we could say the run numbers instead of counting fingers in the video screen. We had some trouble sorting out which runs were which because we forgot to count with our fingers, couldn't read the distant run number signs, or didn't quite get our fingers on the screen.
  • The sticky painters masking tape we bought was a little hard to pull up on the floor and difficult to use to make circles. Maybe some chalk or something could be used in the future.
  • The memory needle on the torque wrench was a pretty poor indicator of the max torque many times. This was mainly to bumps or us forgetting to reset it properly.
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