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Bicycle Physics

  1. Dec 30, 2003 #1
    Hello, I just found this place and I am glad I did. :D I have a big physics project and I need to relate bicycle to physics. I am in grade 11 and I was wondering if anybody can give me some ideas/suggestions on what kind of things I can relate physics to bicycle using up to grade 11 physics knowledge.:smile: This is a big project, I need to write a report up to around 10 pages.

    So far, my plan is to firstly, write some things that are related to physics, which do not involve calculation and are non-technical such as: Steering, pedaling, braking, balancing, etc.

    Then I want to go into more depth and do physics that are more technical and involve calculations. I am going to talk about speed (using speed, time, acceleration, distance equations), forces (Newton's law) and then I am quite stuck what to talk about next.

    I have found three useful sites:
    http://www.science.uva.nl/research/amstel/bicycle/partic/Bart/Project [Broken]

    I ordered a book called, Bicycling Science, but it's not here yet (it should have been here a few days ago!)

    Please help me! I need to get this done before the end of the winter break (Jan 4th). If you can tell me some good sites that contain some nice stuff about bicycle science, that would be great too. ^^

    Thanks for your help! :wink:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2003 #2


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    The most significant aspect of physics that applies to biking is conservation of angular momentum - more specifically, the gyroscope principle. It is what keeps a bike stable. That's all you get for free, go to a library and read about gyroscopes.

  4. Dec 30, 2003 #3


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    You can also talk about torque and tension which show up all over the place on a bycicle.
  5. Dec 31, 2003 #4
    I did some reasearch on gyroscopic forces/angular momentum, but I still don't really understand (never touched upon this kind of thing before).

    The angular momentum is when the bicycle's wheels are spinning, it helps keep the bicycle upright. For example, when the bicycle is leaning to the left, forces from gound twist the spinning wheel (is that right anyway?) can't really find a good definition for it and some of the explanations are top of my head... Can anyone clarify how angular momentum is related to the bicycle?

    Thanks in advance,
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2003
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