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Measuring cycle riding comfort in Southampton using an instrumented bicycle

Miah, S., Kaparias, I., Ayub, N. , Milonidis, E. & Holmes, W. (2019). Measuring cycle riding comfort in Southampton using an instrumented bicycle. In: 6th International Conference on Models and Technologies for Intelligent Transportation Systems (MT-ITS). . IEEE. doi: 10.1109/MTITS.2019.8883328


The increased environmental awareness and the rising fuel costs make bicycles a more and more attractive mode of travel for short journeys. Considering the future prospect of this mode of transportation and the great advantages that it offers in terms of space consumption, health and environmental sustainability, several city authorities worldwide are presently undertaking schemes aiming at improving cycling infrastructure. The aim of the present study is to monitor the impact of such schemes on the riding comfort of cyclists, as expressed by the, usually lower, quantity and magnitude of vibrations occurring as a result of cycling over pavement defects. Millbrook Road East in the western edge of the city center of Southampton is used as a case study, where vibration measurements are taken by means of an instrumented bicycle during periods before and after a redevelopment scheme involving the resurfacing of the road pavement. The results show a clear overall improvement in cycling comfort post-redevelopment, with statistically significant reductions in both the number of high severity vibrations and of their magnitude in "typical" cycling trips taken on the road. However, instances of finishing "snags" in some parts of the surface appear to introduce new minor defects (e.g. around manholes) that are not visible to the naked eye, and these still have some negative effect on the riding experience. Moreover, the study highlights the detrimental impact that widespread pavement defects can have on riding comfort, which affect cyclists of all ages, abilities and styles.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: © 2019 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Publisher Keywords: severity, instrumented bicycle, riding comfort, accelerometer, survey data, cyclists’ perceptions and traffic calming schemes
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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