How to Reduce Drag when Cycling

Cyclists can use up to 90% of their energy overcoming drag, which was the motivation behind the work of Ivaylo Nedyalkov at the University of New Hampshire, who was able to measure the force on each individual cyclist in a train formation to determine the best position to reduce your overall drag.

This video is part of a collaboration between FYFD and the Journal of Fluid Mechanics featuring a series of interviews with researchers from the APS DFD 2017 conference.

Sponsored by FYFD, the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, and the UK Fluids Network. Produced by Tom Crawford and Nicole Sharp with assistance from A.J. Fillo.

Tom Rocks Maths S02 E03

Season 2 of Tom Rocks Maths on Oxide Radio continues with maths and rock aplenty as we delve into the quantum realm to uncover the third Millennium Problem worth a cool $1 million… Plus the usual puzzle, fun facts about numbers you didn’t realise you’ve secretly always wanted to know, and brilliant music from Blink 182, My Chemical Romance and Asking Alexandria. This is maths, but not as you know it.

Image credit: Cath Ennis

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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