An Optimal Handling Bicycle

We present a method to find an optimal handling bicycle using purely analytical and numerical means. Given a linear parametrized bicycle vehicle model, a simple manual controller, and a model-based metric that correlates with subjective handling measures, we formulate the search for optimal geometric parameters that give the best handling bicycle. Optimal bicycle designs for a number of design speeds are discovered including bicycles with unintuitive geometry, such as large negative trail. The resulting maximum handling quality metrics for the optimal bicycle designs follow a logarithmic relationship with respect to design speed. These optimal handling bicycles can be ridden at speeds other than the design speed and, in general, handling difficulty decreases with increasing speed. Finally, we show that there is little evidence of correlation between bicycle open-loop stability and optimal handling.