This paper reports preliminary work to understand the nature of vibrations from riding a bicycle and how these may impact on human comfort and bodily stress.
There are two parts to the study. The first part comprises results from a survey of cycle users which investigates potential comfort and health factors resulting from cycling and shows that health issues during and after cycling are not uncommon. These issues predominantly concern hand/arm, knee and back pain, and that they are presumed by the respondents to be caused predominantly by rider position and the condition of the road surface.
The second part reports evidence on the nature of vibrations from riding a bicycle in different circumstances. This data has been collected in London on routes of different surface roughness using a bicycle equipped with an accelerometer which measures vertical acceleration amplitude. The data collected shows that workplace vibration Exposure Action Values are exceeded for a typical commute journey and, indeed, Exposure Limit Values may be exceeded. Collecting field data presents challenges in terms of the repeatability of the measurements and comparability between measurements and these challenges are being further considered in order to identify recommendations for more extensive experimentation.