Knockout Narratives Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | January 19, 2015

    Emma Hooper: IMG From Musician to Novelist

    I was asleep on the floor of the magicians' apartment. Not one, but three magicians lived there, and their mysterious, mischievous, and sometimes... Continue »

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Sports and Fitness- Bicycling General
6 Remote Warehouse Sports and Fitness- Bicycling General

Cycling Science: How Rider and Machine Work Together


Cycling Science: How Rider and Machine Work Together Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Every July hundreds of thousands flock to the Champs-Élysées in Paris—and millions more to their televisions and computers—to witness the dramatic conclusion of the grueling three weeks of the Tour de France. There is no better measure of the worldwide love of the bicycle. But of the 1.2 billion cyclists traversing the world’s roadways and trails, few of us take the time to consider the science behind the sport. The simple process of getting about on two wheels brings us in touch with a wealth of fascinating science, and here journalist Max Glaskin investigates the scientific wonders that keep cyclists in their saddles.
Cycling Science tours readers through a wide variety of topics, from tire rolling resistance and the difference between yield strength and ultimate strength, to the importance of aerodynamics and the impact that shaved legs have on speed. Each chapter explores a different subject—fundamentals, strength and stability, materials, power, aerodynamics, and the human factor—and is organized around a series of questions: What is the ideal frame shape? What is the biggest source of drag? What keeps a bicycle from falling over? How much power can a cyclist produce? Which muscles does cycling use? Each question is examined with the aid of explanatory diagrams and illustrations, and the book can be used to search for particular topics, or read through for a comprehensive overview of how machine and rider work together.
Athletes have much to gain from understanding the science of their sports, and Cycling Science will be a must-read for cyclists of all stripes—professionals, recreational riders, and anyone seeking to enhance their enjoyment of cycling.

About the Author

Max Glaskin is an award-winning science and technology journalist with a special interest in cycling. He has contributed to a vast range of publications, including New Scientist, Reader’s Digest, and the Times (London).


Table of Contents


Chapter 1: fundamentals

What are the forces acting on a bicycle?

Equipment: the bicycle

How efficient is cycling?

What is the most efficient design?

Photo feature: conservation of energy

How does bike geometry relate to gender?

What is the environmental impact of cycling?

How does cycling benefit the cyclist?

What are the risks in travelling by bike?

Equipment: suspension

How much power can a cyclist generate?

How can i compute the power output?

Does a tandem have scientific advantages?

Chapter 2: strength & stability

How can i calculate the stresses of riding?

How important is the elastic limit of materials?

Can a good youngs modulus help give a better ride?

How important is ultimate tensile strength?

Equipment: the shape of the frame

Is there an optimum frame shape?

How can i calculate the perfect fit?

How much energy does a frame absorb?

Photo feature: controlling the forces

Does suspension make a significant difference to efficiency?

What are self-stabilising dynamics?

What are the forces that affect cornering?

Equipment: folding bicycles

What is the effect of an extra wheel on stability?

Chapter 3: materials

Which matter is used to make bicycles?

Why are metals strong?

What difference does alloying metals make?

Equipment: the frame

How is mechanical stiffness related to tube diameter?

How are solid metals joined?

Equipment: frame tubes

What is a polymer?

How are composites constructed?

What role do liquids play in cycling?

Photo feature: defeating the atmosphere

How do gases affect riding?

Whats plasma - and could it make me faster?

Chapter 4: power on

How does a bike turn effort into speed?

What is the power interface between human and machine?

How does gearing help efficiency?

Equipment: derailleurs

How efficient is a bike chain? 

Is wheel weight important?

How do tensioned spokes make the wheel work?

Equipment: the wheel

What part does the tyre play in moving the bike forward?

Why do different brakes slow more or less effectively?

How does mechanical advantage aid braking?

Photo feature: mixing and matching

How do bearings reduce friction?

Chapter 5: aerodynamics

Why bother with aerodynamics?

How are aerodynamics assessed?

How does the air flow around a cyclist?

Equipment: recumbents

How can a rider reduce their own air resistance?

Can arms and hands affect aerodynamics?

Photo feature: descenders beat climbers

How does an aerodynamic helmet work?

Does an aero frame make a difference?

Equipment: track design

How do wheels affect aerodynamics? 

What is the advantage of riding in the slipstream of another bike?

Chapter 6: human factor

How does a cyclists body work?

How does my brain help me ride?

How do a cyclists muscles behave?

Equipment: clothing

How are muscles fuelled?

What is the fast and slow twitch?

Photo feature: its all in the head

How does breathing affect cycling?

What are the effects of altitude training?

Is my heart critical for peak performance?

How does ‘blood boosting work?

Does skin really affect riding efficiency?

Equipment: the human body

Which is the most effective way to ride faster?



Table of measurements



Product Details

Glaskin, Max
University of Chicago Press
Science Reference-General
Sports and Fitness-Bicycling General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
300 color plates
9.25 x 9 in

Other books you might like

  1. Bruce
    Sale Trade Paper $8.98

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Culture
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » General
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » New Arrivals
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Bicycling » General

Cycling Science: How Rider and Machine Work Together New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$30.00 In Stock
Product details 192 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226924137 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at