The Science of Faster Bicycles

After Chris Froome’s most recent Tour de France victory in 2017, there can be no doubt that Britain are now the top team in the world at cycling. I went to learn more about the science behind the bikes with Bristol University’s Stuart Burgess…

  • Stuart and his team helped to design the chain, sprocket and front chainwheel of the bikes used by team GB at the London 2012 Olympics
  • Aerodynamics play a crucial role in increasing speed and as a result everything is tested to ensure it’s as smooth and efficient as possible
  • The drag equation for a bicycle allows you to identify the important parameters that need to be minimised or maximised in order to decrease the drag as much as possible
  • The equipment also has to be strong enough to withstand the incredible amounts of power generated by the rider
  • Eventually the technology used in professional sport makes its way to consumers and even helps to improve efficiency in factories

You can listen to the full interview for the Naked Scientists here.

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