Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bikes work, even when you don't!

To all you cyclists: do you know how bikes stay so stable?  How they can even remain upright without a rider?

A bike pushed forward at sufficient speed will continue moving steadily forward on its own.....but why?  This video from Minute Physics explains the forces behind how bikes can steer even without a rider.

Basically, the handlebars need to be loose enough to help compensate for uneven ground and for the lean of the bike in either direction off center.

"For a bicycle to be stable, the steering mechanism has to be unstable; if the bike falls, the steering should fall even more quickly," says Arend Schwab, a Professor at Univ. of Delft in The Netherlands.

A little quantitative, but fun and informative on a machine many of us use daily for the most mundane of tasks.  Enjoy!

of course!
photo: BikeParkSlovenia