P08001: Balance Training Bicycle


Table of Contents

Project Overview

Jennifer Zelasko (IE), Jonathan Bawas (EE), Jeffrey Tempest (ME), James Nardo (ME), Carl Mangelsdorf (ME)

Jennifer Zelasko (IE), Jonathan Bawas (EE), Jeffrey Tempest (ME), James Nardo (ME), Carl Mangelsdorf (ME)

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. BES-0527358.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. BES-0527358.

Physical Therapy patients who train on stationary bicycles can have trouble transitioning to a free standing bicycle due to a difficulty in balancing. For patients whose end goal is to be able to return to riding a freestanding bicycle, an intermediate step would be helpful in providing balance training. This device would be less stable than a stationary bicycle, and would allow PT patients to improve their balance. This type of therapy can also be used for individuals who wish to improve their balance and have no desire to ride a freestanding bicycle. The end goal of the project will be to design and build a system that can be used in the Physical Therapy Clinic at Nazareth College to help patients improve balance by simulating the instability of a freestanding bicycle without the risks associated with actual bike riding. This project has two primary challenges:
  1. Developing a system with dynamics mimicking those experienced on a traditional bicycle
  2. Finding a way to provide meaningful feedback to the patient and therapist during a bike training session

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Thank you G & G Fitness for your generous support.

Thank you G & G Fitness for your generous support.

Administrative Information

Project Name
Balance Training Bicycle
Project Number
Project Family
Assistive Devices
Assistive Devices and Bioengineering
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Dr. DeBartolo(ME)
Faculty Consultant
Dr. Marshall (ISE)
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Primary Customer
Nazareth College Physical Therapy
Customer contact information
JJ Mowder - Tinney PT, MS, NCS, CWS
Director of Clinical Education
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
585-389-2908 (Office)
585-389-2908 (Fax)

Team Documents

Basic Design Concept

Basic Design Concept

Completed Prototype

Completed Prototype


Mission Statement

Staffing Requirements

Customer Constraints

Intellectual Property Considerations

Preliminary Work Breakdown Structure

Team Values and Norms

Grading and Assessment Scheme

Required Resources


Team Organizational Chart*
1-page Project Summary*
Overall Project Plan And Schedule*

Benchmark Products

Schwinn Airdyne

Schwinn Airdyne

The Schwinn Airdyne Exercise Bike is currently used at the Nazareth College physical therapy clinic for aerobic training. The pedal resistance is controlled by a wind fan. Resistance is exponential and dependant on the pedalling speed.

Kinetic Rock 'n Roll

Kinetic Rock 'n Roll

The Kinetic Rock 'n Roll is an indoor cycling trainer to be used with a road bike. It allows the bike to move side to side as the rider pedals to create more realistic training conditions. This is the only indoor trainer that simulates the out-of-the-saddle hill climb movement of a cyclist.

Stability Ball

Stability Ball

The Stability Ball is used in a variety of balance training exercises to strengthen core muscles. This is the only balance training tool The Nazareth College physical therapy clinic currently has access to for improving the balance capabilities of current patients.

Balance Board

Balance Board

The Balance Board is another commonly used balance training device used in physical therapy clinics.

Electronic Protractor

Electronic Protractor

The AngleStar Electronic Protactor System uses an inclinometer to measure tilt angle with respect to gravity.

Concept Development

Identify Customer Needs

Establish Target Specifications

Generate Product Concepts

Select Product Concept(s)

Test Product Concept(s)

Set Final Specifications


Identified Customer Needs*
Engineering Specifications (Updated 5-15-08)*
Q.F.D. Matrix*
Subfunction Block Diagram*
Subgroup Concept Generation*
--Pugh Matrices by Subgroup*
--Concept Selection Matrices by Subgroup*
Concept Review Presentation*
--Overall Concept 3D Animation Video*
--Concept Feasibility - Force Calculations*
Concept Review Meeting Notes with Action Items*

System Level Design

Product Architecture*

Detail Design

Robust Design*

Drawing Package*

Design for Reliability*

Electrical Component Design*

Design for Safety*

Testing and Refinement



Overall Schedule SD II (updated 4-13-08)*
Preliminary Test Plan (SD II)*
Finished Prototype Testing (SD II)*

Published Documents

This section includes links to all of finished and fully polished documents. The previous sections of the web site contain the entire design history of the project. This section contains the finished products.

Concept Design Review Documents (SD I)

Concept Review Presentation*
Overall Concept 3D Animation Video*
Concept Feasibility - Force Calculations*
Concept Review Meeting Notes with Action Items*

Detailed Design Review Documents (SD I)

Concept Review Follow Up*
Design Review Presentation*
Bill of Materials to date (2-17-08)*
Detailed Design Review Meeting Notes with Action Items*

Managerial Design Review Presentation (SD I)

Managerial Design Review Presentation*

Technical Conference Publication (SD II)

Full Technical Paper*
[Microsoft Word Format]

Poster Publication (SD II)


Managerial Design Review Presentation (SD II)

Managerial Design Review Presentation (SD II)*
Bicycle Demonstration Video*
Feedback Demonstration Video*

Owner's Manual

Owner's Manual*


Budget - at project completion*

Photo Gallery

Project Photos*

2-Page Project Summary

2-Page Project Summary*
[Microsoft Word format]