# Can physics explain bicycles?

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## Do physicists understand bicycles?

Their basic mechanics are understood, but there are many questions about the physics of bikes. “It’s as simple as riding a bicycle” is a common expression. But the science of staying upright on two wheels is anything but simple — and we know surprisingly little about the intricacies of how cycling actually works.

## Why don’t you fall off a bike?

This is because the wheel’s ground contact point is behind the chair’s steering axis; the wheel trails behind. The front wheel of the bicycle also touches the ground a little [behind] where the steering axis hits the ground.

## What force is used to ride a bicycle?

The primary external forces on the bike are gravity, ground, friction, rolling resistance, and air resistance.

## Why is cycling uphill so hard physics?

The rate of deceleration is greater when cycling uphill due to the additional effects of gravity on your momentum. That said, the ‘real world’ change in your speed and momentum is minimal at most cycling gradients (undetectable on a bike computer) and can be overcome by switching to an even lower gear (higher cadence).

## Why is riding a bike so hard?

A bike is hard to pedal because it’s in the incorrect gear for the terrain or because of excessive friction. Changing to a smaller gear or reducing the friction makes riding easier. The cause of friction can be brake pads rubbing against the rim or disc, insufficient chain lubrication or low tire pressure.

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## What force keeps a bicycle wheel from flying off?

Another idea you should know about in order to understand a gyroscope is centripetal force. This is a force that pulls on an object that is spinning around another object and keeps it from flying off in a straight line.

## Is riding a bike a balanced force?

When you ride a bike the force of the friction of the tires against the road is greater than the opposing force of friction with the air. … This is an example of unbalanced forces.

## How do gears work physics?

Gears are wheels with toothed edges that rotate on an axle or shaft. The teeth of one gear fit into the teeth of another gear. This lets one gear turn the other, meaning one axle or shaft can be used to turn another shaft.