Does anyone knows whether a bicycle wheel is a statically determinate or indeterminate structure?

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    I've got a degree in engineering and I have no idea what you're talking about. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 6 '17 at 17:44
  • @DanielRHicks You are an engineer and you don't know what is a statically indeterminate structure? – veronika Oct 6 '17 at 17:50
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    Why don't you explain it? – Daniel R Hicks Oct 6 '17 at 17:50
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    While this is technically on topic for this site, and I generally don't like to refer people elsewhere, I'd recommend asking the question on Physics SE. I think you'll get better and more complete answers there. Please note that cross posting is not allowed. If you ask on Physics SE, be sure to delete this question. – jimchristie Oct 6 '17 at 18:37
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    Voted to close. The question is not targeted to cyclists. Many cyclists do not have advanced engineering qualifications and should not need one to understand a question and answer. 'Look it up on Wikipedia' is not a way to make a question acceptable. Either move to to physics.SE or engineering.SE, where the target audience can be reasonably presumed to have the prerequisite knowledge to understand the question, or provided a brief outline of what was determayhingamywhatsit is. – mattnz Oct 7 '17 at 1:53

A bicycle wheel is a complicated structure. Take a spoke in a wheel for example. The spoke is statically indeterminate because it's not mounted to the rim with some sort of bearing; instead it's mounted to the rim with a nipple, which can and does induce a bending moment in the spoke. The rim is similarly statically indeterminate because it's connected to several spokes. One could argue that the hub is connected to each spoke in a way that is free to swivel, but because the hub is connected to several spokes in tension, and because the spokes must stretch in order to allow the hub to swivel relative to the rim, the moment the hub starts to swivel we must consider the material properties of the spokes to determine how much it swivels in response to a torque. Similarly we must refer to the material properties of the rim and spokes, and estimate deformations, if we are to consider how the wheel responds to the weight of the frame and the rider.

Almost all real-world structures are statically indeterminate, and a bicycle wheel is no exception.

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  • Given the target audience of this site (as opposed to say physics.se or engineering.se), this answer provides little useful information and needs to go into more detail as to what a determinant structure is. – mattnz Oct 7 '17 at 4:16
  • very nice answer – veronika Dec 4 '17 at 14:53

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