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Norco DH Bike

The Job

When Norco designed their new downhill bike frame, they came to TSI to get to the root of the matter. In this case, the "root" in question was at the critical head tube connection - not an area on a performance bike where you want any doubts.

The task was to work with Norco's design team to quantify, understand and then minimize the stresses to ensure the frame would meet Norco's high performance requirements.

The Solution

The process was started by creating a highly refined finite element model of the bike frame. Using combinations of solid, shell and connector elements, TSI was able to accurately model the load transfer in the entire frame for an industry standard durability test, while still focusing highly refined elements on local critical weld areas.

Finding high stresses in the baseline design was straight-forward for our software, but dealing with them required an experienced eye. Using our knowledge of structural mechanics, the challenge shifted to working with the design team to reduce stress levels while maintaining a progressive design.

The Outcome

Working closely with Norco's design engineers over only three days, TSI was able to localize the high stresses, understand their root cause and iterate on a solution.

Another excellent example of how simulation-driven design can be an invaluable tool in solving problems where form, as well as function are critical elements.

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DH Frame Before

FEA results of initial frame design predicted high stresses in the front tube weld

DH Frame After

FEA results of revised frame design predicted significantly reduced stresses

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