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Special thanks: to Mr. Vince San Nicolas, and Global Bikes of Ahwatukee.


Your talent, creativity, and teamwork are seen and they are valued.

PSC Bike Wheel 2019.JPG

PSC wheel Pictures

Program note:


One of the major elements of attraction for using a proximal sensing cart in field phenotyping, is the narrow bicycle wheel, which limits experimental plot disturbance. We have found that a bike tire is the narrowest, good performance option for a several crop-row coverage terrestrial platform. A double walled rim with 38 spokes and a puncture resistant tire setup now appear to be our best durable value product.


When operating in the field, shielded bike wheels will offer least plant disturbance, and yet bike wheels also do not compact soil much, while they still retain good traction. Conversely, a mud condition is not operable; and never steer a rig in a way that delivers side force to a wheel. Side force on a wheel can cause rim catastrophic failure. For safety, have a second operation person watch wheel positions throughout all runs, and lift wheels to safe tracks if necessary.


USDA Plant Group Maricopa Phenotyping team is grateful for the expert assistance of Mr. Vince San Nicolas and Global Bikes, in selecting and maintaining bike wheels supporting our proximal sensing cart program, which is located at the University of Arizona’s Maricopa Agricultural Center farm, in Maricopa Arizona.



Proximal Sensing Carts for field phenotyping is a new technical method used to support agricultural research. Contact Matt Conley at USDA ARS ALARC for additional information.

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