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Friction on bicycle wheels in uniform circular motion

  1. May 31, 2011 #1
    On pedaling a bicycle along a straight line, the friction act forward on the rear wheel and act backward on the front wheel.

    If I turn its handlebar so that the front wheel is at a certain angle (say theta) and pedal it in uniform circular motion, what would be the direction of the friction on both wheel?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2011 #2


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    The backward friction on the front tire is rolling resistance. The back tire also has rolling resistance, but the rider input generates sufficient torque to overcome the rolling resistance.

    When the bike is leaned over and in a stable turn with the front tire turned inwards, both the front and rear tires contribute to centrpetal acceleration, by pushing outwards on the pavement, coexistant with the pavement pushing inwards on the tires. Part of this is due to deformation at the contact patches, which results in the tires following a path with a slightly larger radius than the path the bike would follow if there was no deformation.
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