Mountain bike balancing system in the MTB Game simulator

Mountain bike balancing system in the MTB Game simulator


Hi everybody, this is Aleksandr and I am going
to talk about balancing system in my MTB Game Simulator. The first thing we learn to do when riding
a bike for the first time is to keep balance. By itself, the task of maintaining balance
is solved at the level of reflexes and often remains incomprehensible to our consciousness. The solution to this problem is so hidden
from our mind that after a few days on the bike we begin to think that in order to go
straight you just need to pedal and the bike will not fall by itself. Let’s try this approach in the simulator MTB
Game Demo. To do this, we disable the balancing system
and try to ride on a flat asphalt playground. As you can see, the first attempt was failed. Perhaps the second time will be luckier. No, not the second, probably the third. In fact, how many times we would not try to
go straight without a balancing system – we will never succeed. Let’s try to reduce the speed of the simulation
in half. Obviously – failure again. Go ahead and reduce the speed four times. It is already possible to travel much further,
but there is still not much time left for the reaction. Only by slowing down the simulation speed
by 8 times it is possible to somehow get to the end of the asphalt playground. In this case, our ride in accelerated playback
looks like we drank well before riding. Here are the main things that we figured out
with the balancing system turned off: the bike always falls on its side if nothing is
done. If we turn the hadlebar to the right, then
the bike falls to the left side. If we turn the handlebar to the left, then
on the right side. To go straight – you need to constantly turn
the handlebar in the direction of the fall. The human vision system is too imprecise and
slow to solve the problem of balancing. Even with a simulation that was slowed down
8 times, it could not quickly recognize the fall and send a signal to the hands to turn
the handlebar in order to move quite smoothly. Now turn on the balancing system and see how
it copes with the same task. The bike rides perfectly straight, while handlebar
oscillations are even imperceptible. To make them noticeable – you need to reduce
the speed to very low – like this. As well as the balancing system copes, a rider
reflexively copes with steering – without involving the brain. The hands and the vestibular apparatus perceive
the weakest signals of weakening the pressure on the handlebar or the deviations of the
position and the muscles react as they were trained. In addition, it helps us in steering, that
the front wheel axix does not intersect with the axis of the headset, but is brought forward
slightly, and the axis of the headset is inclined relative to the up vector. This leads to the fact that when the bike
is tilted to the side, the wheel tends to turn itself in the same direction, making
a kind of automatic steering. Due to this effect, a bike without a rider
can travel a considerable distance without falling under certain circumstances. Also due to this, you can ride without holding
the handlebar, controlling handlebars turnings by slightly tilting the bike. But after all we can turn with the bicycle
by turning a handlebar and the bicycle does not fall anywhere. In fact, this is true and not true in the
same time. Try to focus on riding and watch carefully
before the next turn, so as not to make any additional actions, but simply turn the handlebar
in the direction of the turn. You are unlikely to fall, but also you will
not be able to turn to where it was intended. The fact is that any turn on a bike consists
of two phases: the tilt of the center of mass of the rider-bike system and the subsequent
work of the handlebar to maintain this tilt. To tilt the bike, we turn the handlebar in
the direction opposite to the turn. Usually we do it unconsciously – we just press
down and forward on the internal grip. After that, the bike begins to fall inward,
and in order to stop the fall, we turn the handlebar to the side we need and balance
it, maintaining the desired tilt until the bike turns. Finally, we return the bike to the upright
position by briefly turning the handlebar to an even greater angle. The balancing system in the MTB Game Demo
performs all the reflex muscle work – determining the necessary angle of turn of the handlebar
to tilt the bike depending on the speed and steepness of the turn, maintaining balance
in the turn and returning to the vertical position. The balancing system will work even if you
make a small mistake in the bike control or landed with a turned handlebar. But you need to understand that the balancing
system has a limit due to the limited grip on the wheels and the speed of the arm muscles
necessary for handlebar turning. This is all you need to know about the automatic
balancing of the bike in the MTB Game Demo. Good luck to you riding – enjoy the trails,
and let the artificial intelligence do all the routine work of maintaining balance!