Jobst Brandt has in his book The Bicycle Wheel the results of a computer simulation of the dynamic tension distribution in a loaded bicycle wheel. However, the code of the simulation is not available. It is said that:
Each spoke is an element, as is each rim segment, giving a 36-spoke wheel a total of 72 elements and 37 nodes. Each of these elements is easily defined in structural terms. The rim elements have a resistance to bending, tension and compression, while the spokes resist only tension. Equations are written for each of these conditions based on the material properties and the shape and size of the element. The equations are solved simultaneously to determine the displacement of each node when a specified load is applied at a specific node. The central node at the hub is fixed and, therefore, is not computed.
The results of the simulation show that if the example 36-spoke wheel is loaded with 500 Newtons, the spoke directly over the load has to support 198 Newtons of this load and the rest of the load is placed on other spokes. In the example wheel, the rim had a 1124 mm4 second moment of area so it was not one of the modern "deep V" rims, and the spokes were 1.6mm diameter.
I would like to replicate the results so that I can estimate how well a different wheel having a different type of a rim, a different spoke diameter or a different number of spokes carries load.
How can I simulate bicycle wheels as simply as possible, while replicating the results of Jobst Brandt?