The science behind bicycle movement has been explained

After three years of study, U.S., Dutch, and British researchers have created a mathematical formula that can be used to explain how to ride a bicycle.  Kids often learn how to ride a bicycle while growing up, and likely remember the skill for years to come. However, understanding what is happening has intrigued some.

Essentially, to ride a bike, the following formula applies: "inertia forces + gyroscopic forces + the effects of gravity and centrifugal forces = the leading of the body and the torque applied to the handlebars of a bike."

It may seem like a rather curious research topic, but the formula could have significant impact on future bike models.  Researchers hope this formula will be especially useful for bike makers looking to design models with smaller or larger wheels, along with other modifications.

"People more than a hundred years ago were trying to figure out why a two-wheeled bicycle, given forward momentum, like a push, would seem to balance by itself," said Dr. Arend  Schwab, Delft University of Technology researcher, in an interview.  "For instance, if you are designing a folding bike with smaller wheels, or one with a shorter wheel base, this equation allows you to interpret how design changes will affect the stability and behavior of the bike."

More information about the research can be found here.  Additional information is expected to be shared during the Bicycle and Motorcycle Dynamics 2010 event this October.


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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