Skip to main content
Intellect

BYU IsoTruss technology makes for ultra-light bike

With a frame that's lighter, more aerodynamic and less breakable than many top-of-the-line counterparts, a new bicycle built by Brigham Young University engineers may soon change the face of cycling.

Made from carbon fiber intertwined with Kevlar string, the bike's frame employs civil engineering professor David W. Jensen's IsoTruss -- a cage-like, open tubular lattice that optimizes the inherent strength of reinforcing pyramids and triangles.

"The team's goal was to shrink the IsoTruss structure, which has been proven to work well for large-scale applications, from between 5 to 18 inches to about 1 inch in diameter," said Jensen. "Everybody involved has done a great job of accomplishing just that."

In 2002, the technology was licensed to Brigham City company IsoTruss Structures Inc., which uses it to build structures as strong as steel without the weight, like meteorological instrumentation towers and self-supporting utility poles.

As IsoTruss Structures works to market the technology, BYU researchers continue to test and develop new ways of applying it.

Tyler Evans, a senior in manufacturing engineering technology who worked on turning the IsoTruss into a bicycle, says the new geometry of the BYU bike frame generates double-takes on the mountainside, but is responsible for a cycle that's as light as, and stronger and more aerodynamic than some of the best traditional carbon-fiber mountain bikes on the market.

"This frame weighs in at 3 ¼ pounds, and we're confident the next one will be less than 3 pounds," says Tyler, also a mountain bike enthusiast. "That's a big deal in the cycling world."

Bigger yet, the BYU engineers are working to reverse the reality of "light bike, heavy price" by streamlining their manufacturing process to make ultra-light racers -- normally priced in the "$5,000 and over" range -- more affordable for cyclists everywhere.

Related Articles

data-content-type="article"

Going cashless to prevent COVID-19 was useless, new BYU microbiology study finds

May 12, 2022
A new study published in PLOS ONE from BYU scientists finds that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is almost immediately nonviable if deposited on a cash banknote. The virus actually shows greater stability on plastic money cards, with the live virus still being detected 48 hours after initial deposition, but no viable virus was detected on either cash or card that was randomly sampled in the study.


overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

BYU student’s research solves an icy dwarf planet mystery

May 09, 2022
The dwarf planet Haumea has befuddled modern scientists for years. New BYU research details the planet's creation and solves one of astronomy's puzzles.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

When it comes to buying stuff, who do you trust to sell it: Government, nonprofits or for-profits? BYU study says...

April 26, 2022
Covid-19 tests were in short supply two months ago, but now testing options abound, from free tests mailed by the U.S. government to those available from pharmacies and nonprofit healthcare providers. All other factors being equal, is there an advantage to accessing a test through any one of these avenues?
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText=