Arduino Tells You How Rough Your Last Mountain Bike Ride Was

If you want to see what kind of abuse you’re causing your body when out on those single-track rides this system is just the thing. It’s an Arduino data logger that [Wdm006] takes along on the rides with him. When he gets back home, a Python scripts captures the data dump and graphs it. It may sound like a neat trick, but he’s got something planned for that information.

The enclosure mounts to the stem of his bike. It houses an Arduino board with a data logging shield of his own design. That shield holds an SD card for storage, and breaks the other pins out as screw terminals. Right now there’s an accelerometer on the front fork, and some method of recording wheel speed. This is the research phase of an anti-lock brake system (ABS) he plans to build for mountain biking. No word on what hardware he’ll use for that, but we can’t wait to see how it comes out.

16 thoughts on “Arduino Tells You How Rough Your Last Mountain Bike Ride Was

  1. Is it me or are people simply forgetting what a arduino is meant for?

    I see tons of projects using Arduinos and its cool but its like people will never learn to make there own board when done. They rather use the arduino and while that is fine i find it a waste and not practical. When will we see someone make a PCB from what they “prototyped” on a arduino?

    1. It seems to me that this guy is using it for R&D.
      I can’t see why he wouldn’t feel he might have to upgrade his data logger, and perhaps he’s even planning to use the same arduino to make the ABS system.

      I understand your point but in this case it seems misplaced, this is clearly not his end design.

    2. Who cares what is meant for? And that’s exactly the point of hacking, isn’t it?

      By the way, iirc regular rough mountain bike rides give people stronger bones. F1 races too, but most mountain bikes are cheaper and easier to obtain.

    3. Who cares, an arduino ends up being cheaper and easier overall. Designing a new board and sourcing the required components can be time consuming and costly. When people hack as a hobby you need to remember that not everyone is making a product to take to market with a fancy case and an optimized pcb. Sometimes they just want to make something that works.

      1. I use Picaxes, very minimal amount of extra components needed to get it running (a resistor and a decoupling capactitor at bare minimum) meaning no need to splash out on the expensive development boards for any builds.

        I started out buying a development board along with a bunch of individual Picaxe chips, initially learning to use it on the development board as it was pretty much guaranteed to work ‘out of the box’, then try my hand at building my own circuits with the chips.

    4. Do the math on it, say someone makes 15 bucks an hour at a day job. An Arduino costs about 30 bucks. If it ends up taking more than 2 hours to prototype a board, drill the holes and solder it all together, you are ahead using the Arduino. If you get into production mode that’s a different story. But I think most people are building something “just because”.

      1. I like how most people just get offended by my comment. :) Its crazy. I can buy parts to make 3 arduinos and have it cost the same as 1 from the store… Just stating the facts. It doesnt have to be production sized.

        Most people dont make $15 a hour. I wish i did. Most people who “HACK” make nothing or well minimum wage…

        How can you call yourself a hacker if you are making $15/HR which most likely means you have other tools which REAL hackers can not afford.

        Hacking is more of LOOK AT WHAT I CAN DO WITH ALMOST NOTHING…


        I have a online shop and NO I DONT MAKE MONEY… Every single thing on my site is a EXTRA… I make things and usually get 3 made at a time so i have EXTRA and might as well sell it at face value.

        I just want to say… people claim to be this and that and they dont really know anything on the hardware point. Which really sucks.

        Dont be mad about the truth.

          1. Your statement is full of assumptions about people’s motivations, financial standings, definitions of hacking, and goals. I was going to quote them, but pretty much all the things you present as facts in that last statement were assumptions. I probably shouldn’t have commented about it. In retrospect, my comment had no possible positive response. So, to help balance my statement, I’ll give a better worded response to your initial statement about the “misuse” of the arduino.

            Lets just agree that you wouldn’t use arduino. You see a better use of your time in putting together circuits from scratch. Maybe he is more of a software person. Maybe he simply didn’t have the time to design a custom circuit. Maybe he felt it was simply inefficient to spend his time designing a custom circuit when everything he needed to start his project was readily available. I don’t feel he has forgotten what the arduino was for at all. I think he’s using it exactly as it was intended, as a way to bridge the gap. Lets also not assume that it won’t one day be replaced by something else once he has finished the project. Then again, that assumption is baseless as he might also just abandon the project and move on to something else.

          2. You are correct about everything but you are also assuming all of this.

            If you re-read my post… i never said anything specific about him. I say. “ARE PEOPLE” meaning everyone in general.

            Im not forcing anything on anyone just stating a opinion of mines in which this post reminded or set me off about.

            People can do what they want with what every they please. Im just saying this…

            This world would SUCK if everyone just did everything off a Arduino. Why ??? because people would feel no need to learn the LOW LEVEL aspect of the design. Then when something goes wrong they ask tons of dumb questions on forums about something they would already know if they bothered to learn.

            I rather have someone ask me for help knowing they tried and not just skipped ahead.

            Just saying. I can RANT all day. As i work from home and well… im closed right now :) Lets just leave this as is.

            Im tired of people wasting what can be good comment space with complaints about another comment.

            I like his project. I just hope, since he spent the time to prototype this he would spend a little more to make a full design.

  2. I wonder if they’ve thought of taking this a step further, throw in a headcam to record the visual part of the journey, then when back home use the accelerometer sensor data to control some tactile transducers (bass shakers) bolted to your chair so when you play back the video your chair shakes in sync to the bike.

  3. Hey, this is WDM006, just actually saw this. Kinda cool.

    Anyways to answer some questions, I have actually built a standalone board, it was just easier to test out the concept with what I already had (arduino and datalogger sheild) at the time. A specific control board was designed for this and is in progress.

    As for the why, it’s not just to record, I am working on a cross-platform active suspension system, I just needed a bunch of data for the development of that, so thats where this came from. Thanks for the kind words, and check out for updates.

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