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Bicycle Wheel The angulur momentum of the turning bicycle wheels makes them act likegyroscopes to help stabilize the bicycle. This gyroscopic action also helps to turn the bicycle. Having pointed to the gyroscopic nature of the bicycle wheel, it should be pointed out that experiments indicate that the gyroscopic stability arising from the wheels is not a significant part of the stability of a bicycle. The moments of inertia and the speeds are not large enough. The experiments and review of Lowell and Mc ell indicate that the stability of the bicycle can be described in terms of centrifugal force. ! rider who feels an unbalance to the left will turn the handlebars left, producing a segment of a circular path with resulting centrifugal force which pushes the top of the bicycle back toward vertical and a balanced condition. "resumably the larger masses and speeds of motorcycle wheels do make the gyroscopic tor#ues a much larger factor with motorcycles.

Turning a Bicycle ! bicycle held straight up will tend to go straight. $t is $f the rider leans left, a tor#ue will be produced which causes a tempting to say that it stabilized by the gyroscopic counterclockwiseprecession of the bicycle wheel, tending to action of the bicycle wheels, but the gyroscopic action turn the bicycle to the left. is #uite small. This is a good visual example of the directions of the angular momenta and tor#ues, but the gyroscopic tor#ues of bicycle wheels are apparently #uite small %see Lowell and Mc ell&. The gyroscopically motivated descriptions like 'leaning left turns it left' are more appropriate to motorcycles.

If you lean left, you turn left

! rider leaning left will produce a tor#uewhich will cause the bicycle wheel toprecesscounterclockwise as seen from above, turning the bicycle left. The angulur momentumof the bicycle wheels is to the left. The tor#ue produced by leaning is to the rear of the bicycle, as may be seen from the right(hand rule. This gives a rearward change in theangular momentum vector, turning the bicycle left.

This is a good visual example of the directions of the angular momenta and tor#ues, but the gyroscopic tor#ues of bicycle wheels are apparently #uite small %see Lowell and Mc ell&. The gyroscopically motivated descriptions like 'leaning left turns it left' are more appropriate to motorcycles. )ith a bicycle at low speeds, the main turning influence comes from the turning of the handlebars. $n terms of the stability of the bicycle when riding, the association with leaning and turning does hold true. The construction of a bicycle is such that a left lean does cause the front wheel to turn left, contributing a kind of self( stability to the bicycle. $f you feel youself unbalanced and leaning left, then turning left does help you correct the imbalance because the centrifugal force associated with the turn does tend to push the top of the bicycle back toward the vertical. "art of the process of learning to ride a bicyle would then seem to be the learning of how to turn the front wheel to produce the needed centrifugal balancing force to bring you back to an upright and balanced orientation. More drastic turns are needed at low speeds to get the necessary centrifugal force which depends upon the inverse of the radius of curvature. Much more gentle turns are sufficient at higher speeds since the centrifugal force depends upon the s#uare of the velocity.

*yroscopic +ffects Have !lmost ,othing to -o )ith .our !bility to /ide a 0ike -!1+, H$2 +. -+3+M0+/ 44, 5644 4 Today $ found out gyroscopic effects have almost nothing to do with your ability to ride a bike. The problem with the forces generated from the gyroscopic effect on a typical bicycle is that they simply aren7t very powerful when considering the physics involved in having the ma8ority of the center of mass of the bike at the top %with you on it&. .ou are basically forming an inverted pendulum, which is much harder to balance than the other way around. To illustrate how much force is needed here, have a person get on a bike that is completely still. ,ow try and hold the bike and person centered by simply holding on around the axle of one of the tires. To compare this force with the amount generated from gyroscopic effects, take a detached bike tire with pegs on the sides and hang on to them. ,ow have someone spin the tire really fast9 once it7s spinning, try to lean the tire one way or the other. .ou7ll feel the gyroscopic effects, but you should be able to do it somewhat easily as the force you7ll feel here is likely only a few kilograms or :(46 pounds %though it might feel like more with your arms outstretched and straight in front of you&. $n the previous case, with the person sitting on the bike, unless they were extremely light or you are Hercules, $7m guessing you couldn7t even come close to keeping them balanced, particularly if your arms are outstretched fully. $f that didn7t convince you, let7s look at the math %an example done by -r. Hugh Hunt of 3ambridge ;niversity&<

)hen riding #uite fast at 45 mph, %about = m>s&, a typical bike wheel %diameter =66 mm, circumference 5 m& rotates ? times per second, which is a spin rate of w @ 56 radians per second. $ts peripheral mass, around m @ 4kg, is concentrated at the rim, i.e. at a radius of r @ ?66 mm. The moment of inertia J is therefore J @ m r5 @ 6.4 kg m5 %near enough&. 2uppose $ am falling over and $ try to use the gyroscopic effect to help push me upright again. 3onsider some pretty frantic wobbling of the handlebars back and forth sinusoidally at a rate of, say, fhandle@4.= wobbles per second %e#uivalent to an angular fre#uency of wobbling w handle@ 5 p fhandle @ 46 radians per second& and at an amplitude of, say, A>( = degrees %ie Mhandle@ =>4B6C p @ 6.4 radian& . The wobbling motion is therefore Thandle @ Mhandle sin%whandle t&, and differentiating this gives a peak handle wobbling speed of Q @ whandle. M handle @ 46 C 6.4 @ 4 rad>s . This is the forced precession rate of the front wheel acting as a gyroscope. !t its peak, the couple re#uired to achieve this precession motion, due to gyroscopic effects, is M @ J w Q @ 6.4 C 56 C 4@5,m The bike and $ weigh, say, 466 kg @ 4666 ,, so the gyroscopic effect will only help me if $ don7t tilt more than 5 mm from being perfectly upright %4666 , C 6.665 m @ 5 , m&. 2o the gyroscopic effect on a bicycle, even at 45 mph, is practically nothing in terms of what would be re#uired to keep you upright. 2o how are you not falling over every two seconds on your bicycleD "artially this is due simply to your ability to balance. However, you7ve probably noticed it7s hard to stay balanced on a bike when at a stand still. )hen you start to go really slowly, you7ll notice you naturally make large steering corrections to keep yourself balanced. This, in fact, is the primary thing that is actually keeping you upright on a bicycle at any speed, namely corrective steering. !s you feel an imbalance in one direction, it will cause you to steer the bike in that direction to compensate, the resulting centripetal force ends up balancing you back out, assuming your ad8ustment was the proper amount of turn given your speed and other such factors. $f you over turned, then you7ll have to make another correction to compensate for the imbalance created from your over correcting. The faster you go, the smaller the correction that is needed to keep you balanced. $n the beginning, these corrective motions tend to be relatively large and often with you overcompensating, because your body is still learning to ride a bike. This is why you tend to be a bit wobbly and wreck a lot when you are first learning. Ever time, these corrections will get smaller and smaller and more accurate until you don7t really notice you are doing them at all while you ride a bike above super slow speeds %obviously you7ll still notice them when barely moving on your bike and the like, as pointed out above&. 0onus Facts< Many people think that if you took two tires and spun them in opposite directions, that you7d have the same gyroscopic effect as if they were spinning in the same direction. $n fact, what will happen is that, if the wheels were spun in opposite directions, the two would cancel each other out, in terms of gyroscopic effect. This fact has been used to demonstrate to people that they can ride a bike with no problems without the gyroscopic effect by mounting extra wheels raised slightly off the ground which counter rotate the actual tires. The farther forward the center of mass for the bike A person riding the bike, the less front wheel movement that will be needed to maintain balance. This is probably most noticeable on certain custom motor cycles where the front wheel sticks well out from the bike. !nother less known factor in a bike7s ride(ability is something called GtrailH. 2imply put, this is a measure of how much the distance from the front wheel7s point touches the ground trails the steering axis7 contact point, which is where the entire steering mechanism %fork, handlebars, front wheel, etc& pivots. ! longer trail will make a bike feel much more stable than a shorter one. However, if the trail is too long, the bike will feel difficult to steer. 0ikes with too little trail, or even negative trail, will feel inherently unstable9 though, due to corrective steering, you can still ride them. -ue to the steering issue with the increased trail, mountain bikes and touring bikes typically have much less trail than street bikes. $n the case of mountain bikes, this allows for more GagilityH on the bike to help compensate for rough terrain. $n the case of touring bikes, this helps compensate for the fact that you7ll probably be packing along #uite a bit of baggage with you and thus, extra weight low to the ground. This is why touring bikes will often feel unstable if you don7t have that baggage added on and low to the ground.

)hile gyroscopic and trail forces aren7t nearly sufficient to keep you balanced on a bike, they are typically sufficient to keep a riderless bike going straight until it slows to a certain point, which varies from bike to bike based on wheel size and trail. 2omething called a GgyrobikeH is currently in development to help people learn to ride bikes. This bike has an internal flywheel that provides a significant increase in gyroscopic effect. The inventors of this bike then hope that one could be developed where the gyroscopic effect would be sufficient to keep the bike mostly balanced even with a rider, while still not being too cumbersome a bike in terms of weight and the like. !nother place you7ll see this somewhat subconscious Gauto(correctingH phenomenon pop up is when you are trying to stand in one place on one foot. )hen doing so, you have to carefully balance yourself to keep from falling over. !s soon as you start hopping though, most people have little difficulty keeping themselves balanced. This is because, when you hop, you not only somewhat naturally generate corrective movements, but you will also have your foot land around where it needs to be to keep yourself balanced. /ead more at http<>>www.todayifoundout.com>index.php>5644>45>gyroscopic(effects(have(almost(nothing(to(do(with( your(ability(to(ride(a(bike>Ibm+:HE=?v"s#v1ML.JJ

What keeps the bicycle upright? The #uestion is often asked and, as often as not, is an introduction to expound on the gyroscopic forces of the rotating wheels that make bicycling possible. This claim is as accurate as the one that authoritatively explains that spokes support the bicycle wheel by hanging the hub from the upper spokes. They donKt and it doesnKt. 2ome who propose the gyroscope theory, also explain that the advanced skill of making fast turns on a bicycle involves a techni#ue they call countersteer. $n fact, a bicycle cannot be ridden without countersteer, commonly called balance, and it is this balance that is used to keep the bicycle upright, 8ust as one does while walking, running, ice skating or roller skating. To say that the gyroscopic forces of rotating wheels keep the bicycle upright, ignores that roller skates are operated the same way and have so little gyroscopic moment that one cannot detect it. En ice skates the argument fails entirely. 0esides, a bicycle can be ridden at less than three miles per hour, at which speeds there is no effective gyroscopic reaction. Those who ride no(hands sense and make use of the small gyroscopic effect of the front wheel to steer. This, together with trail of the steering geometry stabilize steering. )ithout trail, the bicycle would have poor straight ahead preference and would riding no(hands difficult. Many bicyclists never master riding no(hands because the gyroscopic forces are too small for them to detect. Hands on the handlebars completely obscure these forces. For those who ride no(hands, countersteer should be visible and obvious because the bicycle must be leaned away from the preferred lean angle and direction of a curve so that the turn can be initiated. )ith hands on the bars, although the opposing lean is unnecessary, countersteer is still needed and can be done without counter(leaning. That there are gyroscopic forces is evident from the riderless bicycle test in which a bicycle is shoved at a brisk speed %from another bicycle& and allowed to coast on its own. $f the initial course is straight, the bicycle will continue this path until it slows to a speed where gyroscopic forces are too small to correct steering. Then the bicycle takes a steep turn as it falls. *yroscopic forces are also used to walk a bicycle, holding it by the saddle and steering it to either side by #uickly tilting the bicycle. The effect can be observed by resting a road bicycle %with a horizontal top tube& on the shoulder tilted forward 8ust enough to make the front wheel aim straight ahead. 2pinning the front wheel by hand forward will make it steer as one expects, left for a left tilt, right for a right tilt, all moves performed in less than a second. )ith the wheel spinning backward, all responses are reversed. ! good example of a bicycle with no gyroscopic forces is the ski(bob, a 'bicycle' with short ski runners in place of wheels. This bicycle, having no rotating parts, is ridden downslope easily by anyone who can ride a bicycle.

Gyroscopic effect of bicycle wheels !lthough the gyroscopic effect of its wheels is not what keeps the bicycle upright, as is often claimed, it is essential in riding no(hands, or to walk the bicycle while holding only onto the saddle, as is often done. The belief that leading the bicycle while walking next to it holding onto the saddle is effected by the lean of the bicycle and trail of the front wheel is often mentioned as a mechanism and it seems possible that this is true. However, there are a few effects that make this not the case. 2eparating the variables of this effect is difficult unless a good diagnostic method is used. The tests proposed rely on leaning the bicycle near to reality, that is, the bicycle must lean laterally about an axis about as near to the axles of the wheels as it does on the road. This means that hanging the bicycle from high above will cause much translation to achieve lean. This causes lateral accelerations that interfere with the accuracy of the simulation. There are three effects that interact when walking the bicycle, hand on saddle only. They are< 4. *ravitational force of leaning, bearing on the trail of the wheel. 5. $nertial force of the center of mass of the wheel and handlebar acting on steering when the bicycle is rapidly tilted. ?. *yroscopic moment about the inclined axis of the fork when the frame is tilted about its horizontal long axis. The suspended bicycle test works as described below if the head bearings are properly ad8usted and the tilt motion is executed in less than a second about an axis near the wheel centers. )hen done slowly over several seconds the gyroscopic moment is too small to overcome the gravitational moment. $f the tilt is induced rapidly, in a small fraction of a second, 'countersteer' is induced through inertial moment about the steering axis. )ith the bicycle suspended in a vertical plane, tilted 8ust enough forward to make the front wheel stably align straight ahead< )ith the wheel not rotating, the wheel will steer toward the direction of lateral tilt if the tilt is induced in more than a half second. $f the tilt is done rapidly, the wheel will steer in the opposite direction before steering to the direction of tilt. )ith the wheel manually spun forward, its steering response becomes faster but behaves largely the same as with the non(rotating wheel. )ith the wheel manually spun backward, steering response to frame tilt is opposite to the direction of tilt when induced in one second or less. The effect diminishes as rotation slows. The effect is best observed if the bicycle is tilted back and forth, e#ually to both sides of vertical in a one second period. $n this mode, steering will nod from side to side, toward the direction of lean if the wheel is spinning forward and opposite to the direction of lean if spinning backward. The experiment of riderless bicycle stability has been discussed here and bears on this thread because the riderless bicycle has no gravitational lean steer, there being no side loads on the trail of the front wheel. This occurs because the bicycle is balanced. ! plumb bob hanging from the top tube will remain pointing to the downtube during the entire run. $n this case the bicycle uses only the gyroscopic moment of tilt to stay upright. That is, it steers into the slightest lean that would make it fall. The bicycle finally falls when speed becomes too slow... or it runs off the course.

)hat is *yroscopic +ffectD )hat is a gyroscopeD )hat is a gyroscopic effectD /ead on to find the answers.

! gyroscope is a devise that can be used to maintain orientation based on the principles of angular momentum. $t is a mechanism by means of which a rotor is 8ournaled to spin around an axis.

The gyroscopic effect can be best explained by the principle of behavior of a gyroscope. !ccording to the e#uation that describes gyroscope behavior, the tor#ue on the gyroscope applied perpendicular to its axis of rotation and also perpendicular to its angular momentum causes it to rotate about an axis perpendicular to both the tor#ue and the angular momentum. This rotational motion is referred to as precession. $f a spinning gyroscope is placed such that its axis is horizontal and loosely supported from one end, the gyroscope does not fall. $t rather maintains its horizontal axis and the unsupported end starts moving in a circular manner about the horizontal axis. The resultant rotation is perpendicular to the gravitational tor#ue and the axis of rotation. The speed of precession of a gyroscope inversely varies with its angular momentum. ! gyroscope can be considered as having three axes. The spin axis is the one defining the gyroscope strength. $f the spin axis lies along a vertical line, the other two axes lie in the plane of the page. The gyroscope spins around its spin axis, the tor#ue is applied to the primary axis and the secondary axis is the axis of precession. The spin axis gives rise to the gyroscopic effect. The gyroscopic effect is commonly used in toys like the yo(yos and tops. /ead more at 0uzzle< http<>>www.buzzle.com>articles>what(is(gyroscopic(effect.html

Boomerangs and Gyroscopes The gyroscopic effect )heels show the gyroscopic effect. First $Km going to demonstrate this with a bicycle wheel. ! bicycle wheel is a commonplace ob8ect which has a gyroscopic effect when it spins. $ would like you to examine this in some detail, and itKs also one of the exercises. $ want to show you how best to examine the gyroscopic effect. Ene of the problems with a bicycle wheel is that if you try to hold it on the spindle you get your fingers stuck in the spokes. 0ut if you go to a bike shop and get a stunt peg %preferably with little grooves& you can attach it to the bike wheel, giving you a handle, and making things much safer. ,ow spin the wheel. .ouKll feel really curious gyroscopic effects. $tKs rather hard to describe them, but $ want to make it clear to you. 2o take a piece of string. $f you get stunt pegs which have little grooves in them, the string can be attached very easily. ,ow spin the wheel, holding it up %vertically& on the piece of string. .ou should see clearly that something rather amazing is happening ( the wheel spins round in the vertical plane. This is the gyroscopic effect, and itKs called gyroscopic precession. $n broad terms the reason why this is happening is because there is a spinning ob8ect, the wheel, and there is a couple or moment or tor#ue being provided which is at right angles to the direction of spin, and $ will explain this more in a minute. This is nothing special ( bike wheels arenKt the only things that do this. $ have my 5 year(old daughterKs spinning top with me. $ can attach a piece of string to the bottom, then put the string in my mouth so $ have both hands free, then hold the top in one hand and spin it with the other. $f you try this, then hold the string and watch the top, you will see it precess around the string. +ven a 5 year(oldKs top shows these amazing gyroscopic effectsL The #uestion is, whyD 0efore we can really understand the gyroscopic effect properly we have to understand some important concepts. The first is the concept of the couple %also known as moment or tor#ue&. $n the diagram you can see a couple defined as an angular force. ,ote the two pink forces marked f applied in opposite directions to a bar, this is called a couple ( because there are two forces. $ can use the right

hand rule to define the direction of the couple. $f my fingers curl in the actual turning direction, then my thumb will point upwards in the direction of the couple. $ can also demonstrate a couple if $ sit on a rotating stool, and someone pushes my shoulders round, so $ go round and round. )hat happens is that if one of my shoulders is pulled and the other pushed, $ go round, because there are two forces in opposite directions moving me.

The next concept we have to understand is that of moment of inertia. Moment of inertia is the angular e#uivalent of mass. En the left of the picture to the left, $ have a dumbbell shaped ob8ect which has two masses relatively close together on it, on the right of the slide there is the same dumbbell shaped ob8ect but the masses are further apart. The one on the right has a higher angular mass than the one on the left, as we shall see shortly. The angular mass we call moment of inertia. The other thing we can talk about is called angular momentum. !ngular momentum is the product of the moment of inertia and the angular velocity, 4I4 where J is moment of inertia, and 4I4 is angular velocity. This is 8ust the same as defining linear momentum as the product of mass and linear velocity. ! heavy car has more linear momentum when going at a certain speed than a light car travelling at the same speed ( it takes more effort to stop it. 2imilarly a heavy pair of dumbbells has more angular momentum than a light pair of dumbbells, and it takes more effort to stop it rotating. )hat is interesting about this, is that $ can change the moment of inertia of the dumbbells by moving the weights in and out. $ can demonstrate the concept of moment of inertia by holding two heavy weights %:kg& close to my chest. $t is #uite easy for someone to apply a couple to my shoulders and spin me around. $f $ hold the weights at armKs length, it is much harder for someone to apply a couple to my shoulders and spin me round. The reason is that $ have a higher moment of inertia. $tKs like having a higher mass. ! heavier car is harder to push than a lighter one. !n ob8ect with high moment of inertia is harder to spin than one with a low moment of inertia. $ changed my moment of inertia in the middle of that experiment, simply by moving my arms in and out with the heavy weights. .ou canKt change the mass of a car so easily. $n changing my moment of inertia, angular momentum on this %almost& frictionless stool is conserved ( this means it stays constant. 2o if my moment of inertia is reduced by bringing the weights in, or increased by bringing the weights out, then my angular speed must increase or decrease accordingly %since 4I4 &. $f $ start spinning with the weights in, $ go #uite fast. $f $ then stretch out my arms, so $ hold the weights at armKs length, $ slow down. $f $ bring them back, $ speed up again. LetKs look at the circular motion formula again. /emember the mass going round in a circle, with the centripetal force acting on it. The force is at right angles to the direction in which the ob8ect is travelling at any point. !ccording to ,ewtonKs 2econd Law of Motion, there is a change in momentum in the direction of the applied force, so the linear momentum is constantly changing.

$t is e#ual to mv, and v changes as the ob8ect changes direction %velocity incorporates the idea of direction since it is a vector, speed is 8ust the size of the velocity, without the direction&. $f we look at a spinning disc or spinning bicycle wheel, which has a certain angular moment, and then apply a couple Mprovided by the two orange forcesN to the spin. The angular momentum changes in the direction of the applied couple, so the direction of the angular moment has been tilted over Msee the small diagramN. $f we apply ,ewtonKs 2econd Law of Motion to angular motion, it says that angular momentum changes in the direction of the applied couple. )e are now in a position to look at a bicycle wheel properly. $magine a bicycle wheel spinning, with a couple applied. The string on the stunt peg holding the bicycle wheel creates a couple. The bicycle wheelKs weight provides a downwards force at the wheelKs centre, and there is also an upwards force through the string. This is a couple since there are two opposite forces which are not aligned with each other. $f $ spin the bicycle wheel this is at right angles to the couple and so at right angles to the angular momentum. This means that the angular momentum changes, creating motion in the direction of the couple. This is gyroscopic precession. This is not straightforward stuff, but it is important to realise all this can be analysed in this way.

where C is the applied couple, J is the moment of inertia, 4I4 is the spin in radians per second and 4I4 is the precession rate in radians per second Mradians are another way of measuring angles< ?=6 degrees e#uals 4I4 radiansN. $ can demonstrate this to make it clearer to you. $f $ hold the bicycle wheel up with the piece of string through the stunt peg, then there is a couple acting on the wheel. $f $ then spin the wheel, it precesses round steadily Msee the directions on the diagramN. $f $ point my right thumb upwards my fingers point in the direction of the precession. To check the formula, $ could spin the wheel backwards %changing 4I4 to a negative value&, and $ should then find the wheel precesses backwards % 4I4 has to be negative also since C and J are the same&. This turns out to be what happens. $ can also spin the wheel slowly, and the precession should then be fast ( and it is %the product 4I4 has to remain constant&. ! very fast spin causes #uite slow precession. $tKs really #uite wonderful stuffL

How Gyroscopes Work by *yroscopes can be very perplexing ob8ects because they move in peculiar ways and even seem to defy gravity. These special properties make gyroscopes extremely important in everything from your bicycle to the advanced navigation system on the space shuttle. ! typical airplane uses about a dozen gyroscopes in everything from its compass to its autopilot. The /ussian Mir space station used 44 gyroscopes to keep its orientation to the sun, and the Hubble 2pace

Telescope has a batch of navigational gyros as well. *yroscopic effects are also central to things like yo(yos and FrisbeesL $n this edition of HowStuffWorks, we will look at gyroscopes to understand why they are so useful in so many different places. .ou will also come to see the reason behind their very odd behaviorL

Precession $f you have ever played with toy gyroscopes, you know that they can perform all sorts of interesting tricks. They can balance on string or a finger9 they can resist motion about the spin axis in very odd ways9 but the most interesting effect is called precession. This is the gravity(defying part of a gyroscope. The following video shows you the effects of precession using a bicycle wheel as a gyro< The most amazing section of the video, and also the thing that is unbelievable about gyroscopes, is the part where the gyroscopic bicycle wheel is able to hang in the air like this<

The ability of a gyroscope to defy gra!ity is baffling" How can it do thatD This mysterious effect is precession. $n the general case, precession works like this< $f you have a spinning gyroscope and you try to rotate its spin axis, the gyroscope will instead try to rotate about an axis at right angles to your force axis, like this<


In figure #, the gyroscope is spinning on its a$is% In figure &, a force is applied to try to rotate the spin a$is% In figure ', the gyroscope is reacting to the input force along an a$is perpendicular to the input force% 2o why does precession happenD

(s forces are applied to the a$le, the two points identified will attempt to mo!e in the indicated directions% The )ause of Precession )hy should a gyroscope display this behaviorD $t seems totally nonsensical that the bicycle wheelKs axle can hang in the air like that. $f you think about what is actually happening to the different sections of the gyroscope as it rotates, however, you can see that this behavior is completely normalL LetKs look at two small sections of the gyroscope as it is rotating (( the top and the bottom, like this< )hen the force is applied to the axle, the section at the top of the gyroscope will try to move to the left, and the section at the bottom of the gyroscope will try to move to the right, as shown. $f the gyroscope is not spinning, then the wheel flops over, as shown in the video on the previous page. $f the gyroscope is spinning, think about what happens to these two sections of the gyroscope< *ewton+s first law of motion states that a body in motion continues to move at a constant speed along a straight line unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. 2o the top point on the gyroscope is acted on by the force applied to the axle and begins to move toward the left. $t continues trying to move leftward because of ,ewtonKs first law of motion, but the gyroKs spinning rotates it, like this<


(s the two points rotate, they continue their motion% This effect is the cause of precession. The different sections of the gyroscope receive forces at one point but then rotate to new positionsL )hen the section at the top of the gyro rotates J6 degrees to the side, it continues in its desire to move to the left. The same holds true for the section at the bottom (( it rotates J6 degrees to the side and it continues in its desire to move to the right. These forces rotate the wheel in the precession direction. !s the identified points continue to rotate J6 more degrees, their original motions are cancelled. 2o the gyroscopeKs axle hangs in the air and precesses. )hen you look at it this way you can see that precession isnKt mysterious at all (( it is totally in keeping with the laws of physicsL ,ses of Gyroscopes The effect of all this is that, once you spin a gyroscope, its axle wants to keep pointing in the same direction. $f you mount the gyroscope in a set of gimbals so that it can continue pointing in the same direction, it will. This is the basis of the gyro-compass. $f you mount two gyroscopes with their axles at right angles to one another on a platform, and place the platform inside a set of gimbals, the platform will remain completely rigid as the gimbals rotate in any way they please. This is this basis of inertial na!igation systems %$,2&. $n an $,2, sensors on the gimbalsK axles detect when the platform rotates. The $,2 uses those signals to understand the vehicleKs rotations relative to the platform. $f you add to the platform a set of three sensitive accelerometers, you can tell exactly where the vehicle is heading and how its motion is changing in all three directions. )ith this information, an airplaneKs autopilot can keep the plane on course, and a rocketKs guidance system can insert the rocket into a desired orbitL For more information on gyroscopes and their applications, check out the links on the next pageL Bicycle Wheel Gyro ! bicycle wheel acts l$ke a giant gyroscope In the weightless en!ironment of the space shuttle, the astronauts e$perimented with a toy gyroscope% .!en when an astronaut ga!e the spinning gyro a sho!e, the toy+s a$le stubbornly resisted changing direction% (ny rapidly spinning wheel e$hibits this gyroscopic property% ( spinning bicycle wheel resists efforts to tilt it and point the a$le in a new direction% /ou can use this tendency to take yourself for an une$pected spin%

( bicycle wheel%3heap or free from a thrift shop, a bike store, or your friends.& & handles %"lastic handles from a hardware store work perfectly and are cheap. *et the kind of handle that is designed to screw onto a file.& ( low friction rotating stool or platform% %Typing or computer chairs often work well.& 0ptional1 .yebolt2 drill2 chain or rope suspended from a large stand or a ceiling2 spoke guards% (dult help


%4: minutes or less& 2crew the handles onto each side of the wheelKs axle. .ou may have to remove the outer nuts to clear enough axle for the handles. .ou may want to put plastic spoke guards on the hubs first to protect your fingers from the spinning wheel. $f you have the eyebolt, drill a hole in the end of one handle for it. Mount the screw eye in the

Hold the wheel by the handles while another person gets it spinning as fast as possible. 2it on the stool with your feet off the floor, and tilt the wheel. $f the stool has sufficiently low friction, the stool should start to turn. Tilt the wheel in the other direction. *et the wheel spinning, and then use the eyebolt in the end of the handle to hang the wheel from a hook mounted to the free end of a chain or rope. Hold the wheel so that the axle is horizontal, then release it. The axle will remain more or less horizontal while it moves slowly in a circle. $f you donKt have a chain or rope, rest the eyebolt on your fingertips. 0e sure to practice this before you try a demonstration. .ou will have to move with the wheel as it slowly turns in a circle.

! rotating bicycle wheel has angular momentum, which is a property involving the speed of rotation, the mass of the wheel, and how the mass is distributed. For example, most of a bicycle wheelKs mass is concentrated along the wheelKs rim, rather than at the center, and this causes a larger angular momentum at a given speed. !ngular momentum is characterized by both size and direction. The bicycle wheel, you, and the chair comprise a system that obeys the principle of conservation of angular momentum. This means that any change in angular momentum within the system must be accompanied by an e#ual and opposite change, so the net effect is zero. 2uppose you are now sitting on the stool with the bicycle wheel spinning. Ene way to change the angular momentum of the bicycle wheel is to change its direction. To do this, you must exert a twisting force, called a tor#ue, on the wheel. The bicycle wheel will then exert an e#ual and opposite tor#ue on you. %ThatKs because for every action there is an e#ual and opposite reaction.& Thus, when you twist the bicycle wheel in space, the bicycle wheel will twist you the opposite way. $f you are sitting on a low friction pivot, the twisting force of the bicycle wheel will cause you to turn. The change in angular momentum of the wheel is compensated for by your own change in angular momentum. The system as a whole ends up obeying the principle of conservation of angular momentum. ;nfortunately, the gyroscopic precession of the wheel hanging from the rope is not explainable in as straightforward a manner as the rotating stool effect. However, the effect itself is well worth experiencing, even though its explanation is too difficult to undertake here. For more information, consult any college physics text under precession.

0icycle and motorcycle dynamics

Bicycle and motorcycle dynamics is the science of the motion of bicycles and motorcycles and their components, due to the forcesacting on them. -ynamics is a branch of classical mechanics, which in turn is a branch of physics. 0ike motions of interest includebalancing, steering, braking, accelerating, suspension activation, and vibration. The study of these motions began in the late 4Jth century and continues today. M4NM5NM?N


0icycles and motorcycles are both single(track vehicles and so their motions have many fundamental attributes in common and are fundamentally different from and more difficult to study than other wheeled vehicles such as dicycles, tricycles, and #uadracycles.MON !s with unicycles, bikes lack lateral stability when stationary, and under most circumstances can only remain upright when moving forward.+xperimentation and mathematical analysis have shown that a bike stays upright when it is steered to keep its center of mass over its wheels. This steering is usually supplied by a rider, or in certain circumstances, by the bike itself. 2everal factors, including geometry, mass distribution, and gyroscopic effect all contribute in varying degrees to this self(stability, but long(standing hypotheses and claims that any single effect, such as gyroscopic or trail, is solely responsible for the stabilizing force have been discredited.M4NM:NM=NMPN )hile remaining upright may be the primary goal of beginning riders, a bike must lean in order to maintain balance in a turn< the higher the speed or smaller the turn radius, the more lean is re#uired. This balances the roll tor#ue about the wheel contact patches generated by centrifugal force due to the turn with that of the gravitational force. This lean is usually produced by a momentary steering in the opposite direction, called countersteering. 3ountersteering skill is usually ac#uired by motor learning and executed via procedural memory rather than by conscious thought. ;nlike other wheeled vehicles, the primary control input on bikes is steering tor#ue, not position.MBN !lthough longitudinally stable when stationary, bikes often have a high enough center of mass and a short enough wheelbase to lift a wheel off the ground under sufficient acceleration or deceleration. )hen braking, depending on the location of the combined center of mass of the bike and rider with respect to the point where the front wheel contacts the ground, bikes can either skid the front wheel or flip the bike and rider over the front wheel. ! similar situation is possible while accelerating, but with respect to the rear wheel

Forces $f the bike and rider are considered to be a single system, the forces that act on that system and its components can be roughly divided into two groups< internal and external. The external forces are due to gravity, inertia, contact with the ground, and contact with the atmosphere. The internal forces are caused by the rider and by interaction between components.

+xternal forces on a bike and rider leaning in a turn< gravity in green, drag in blue, vertical ground reaction in red, net propulsive and rolling resistance in yellow, friction in response to turn in orange, and net tor#ues on front wheel in magenta. 3edit4.$ternal forces !s with all masses, gravity pulls the rider and all the bike components toward the earth. !t each tire contact patch there are ground reaction forces with both horizontal and vertical components. The vertical components mostly counteract the force of gravity, but also vary with braking and accelerating. For details, see the section on longitudinal stability below. The horizontal components, due tofriction between the wheels and the ground, including rolling resistance, are in response to propulsive forces, braking forces, and turning forces. !erodynamic forces due to the atmosphere are mostly in the form of drag, but can also be from crosswinds. !t normal bicycling speeds on level ground, aerodynamic drag is the largest force resisting forward motion. M5=N<4BB !t faster speed, aerodynamic drag becomes overwhelmingly the largest force resisting forward motion. Turning forces are generated during maneuvers for balancing in addition to 8ust changing direction of travel. These may be interpreted as centrifugal forces in the accelerating reference frame of the bike and rider9 or simply as inertia in a stationary, inertial reference frameand not forces at all. Gyroscopic forces acting on rotating parts such as wheels, engine, transmission, etc., are also due to the inertia of those rotating parts. They are discussed further in the section on gyroscopic effects below. 3edit4Internal forces $nternal forces, those between components of the bike and rider system, are mostly caused by the rider or by friction. $n addition to pedaling, the rider can apply tor#ues between the steering mechanism %front fork, handlebars, front wheel, etc.& and rear frame, and between the rider and the rear frame. Friction exists between any parts that move


against each other< in the drive train, between the steering mechanism and the rear frame, etc. $n addition to brakes, which create friction between rotating wheels and non(rotating frame parts, many bikes have front and rear suspensions, and some motorcycles have a steering damper to dissipate undesirable kinetic energy.M4ON En bikes with rear suspensions, feedback between the drive train and the suspension is an issue designers attempt to handle with various linkage configurations and dampers.M5PN

Motions Motions of a bike can be roughly grouped into those out of the central plane of symmetry< lateral9 and those in the central plane of symmetry< longitudinal or vertical. Lateral motions include balancing, leaning, steering, and turning. Motions in the central plane of symmetry include rolling forward, of course, but also stoppies, wheelies, brake diving, and most suspension activation. Motions in these two groups are linearly decoupled, that is they do not interact with each other to the first order.M5N !n uncontrolled bike is laterally unstable when stationary and can be laterally self(stable when moving under the right conditions or when controlled by a rider. 3onversely, a bike is longitudinally stable when stationary and can be longitudinally unstable when undergoing sufficient acceleration or deceleration. [edit]Lateral dynamics Ef the two, lateral dynamics has proven to be the more complicated, re#uiring three(dimensional, multibody dynamic analysis with at least two generalized coordinates to analyze. !t a minimum, two coupled, second(order differential e#uations are re#uired to capture the principal motions. M5N +xact solutions are not possible, and numerical methods must be used instead.M5N 3ompeting theories of how bikes balance can still be found in print and online. En the other hand, as shown in later sections, much longitudinal dynamic analysis can be accomplished simply with planar kinetics and 8ust one coordinate. 3edit4Balance

0alancing a bicycle by keeping the wheels under the center of mass ! bike remains upright when it is steered so that the ground reaction forces exactly balance all the other internal and external forces it experiences, such as gravitational if leaning, inertial or centrifugal if in a turn, gyroscopic if being steered, and aerodynamic if in a crosswind.M5=N2teering may be supplied by a rider or, under certain circumstances, by the bike itself. This self(stability is generated by a combination of several effects that depend on the geometry, mass distribution, and forward speed of the bike. Tires, suspension, steering damping, and frame flex can also influence it, especially in motorcycles. +ven when staying relatively motionless, a rider can balance a bike by the same principle. )hile performing a track stand, the rider can keep the line between the two contact patches under the combined center of mass by steering the front wheel to one side or the other and then moving forward and backward slightly to move the front contact patch from side to side as necessary. Forward motion can be generated simply by pedaling. 0ackwards motion can be generated the same way on a fixed(gear bicycle. Etherwise, the rider can take advantage of an opportune slope of the pavement or lurch the upper body backwards while the brakes are momentarily engaged. M5BN $f the steering of a bike is locked, it becomes virtually impossible to balance while riding. En the other hand, if the gyroscopic effect of rotating bike wheels is cancelled by adding counter(rotating wheels, it is still easy to balance while riding.M:NM=N Ene other way that a bike can be balanced, with or without locked steering, is by applying appropriate tor#ues between the bike and rider similar to the way a gymnast can swing up from hanging straight down on uneven parallel bars, a person can start swinging on a swing from rest by pumping their legs, or a double inverted pendulum can be controlled with an actuator only at the elbow. M5JN 3edit45orward speed The rider applies tor#ue to the handlebars in order to turn the front wheel and so to control lean and maintain balance. !t high speeds, small steering angles #uickly move the ground contact points laterally9 at low speeds, larger steering angles are re#uired to achieve the same results in the same amount of time. 0ecause of this, it is usually easier to maintain balance at high speeds.M?6N


3edit4)enter of mass location The farther forward %closer to front wheel& the center of mass of the combined bike and rider, the less the front wheel has to move laterally in order to maintain balance. 3onversely, the further back %closer to the rear wheel& the center of mass is located, the more front wheel lateral movement or bike forward motion will be re#uired to regain balance. This can be noticeable on long(wheelbase recumbents and choppers. $t can also be an issue for touring bikes with a heavy load of gear over or even behind the rear wheel. M?4N Mass over the rear wheel can be more easily controlled if it is lower than mass over the front wheel.M44N ! bike is also an example of an inverted pendulum. Qust as a broomstick is easier to balance than a pencil, a tall bike %with a high center of mass& can be easier to balance when ridden than a low one because its lean rate will be slower. M?5N However, a rider can have the opposite impression of a bike when it is stationary. ! top(heavy bike can re#uire more effort to keep upright, when stopped in traffic for example, than a bike which is 8ust as tall but with a lower center of mass. This is an example of a vertical second(class lever. ! small force at the end of the lever, the seat or handlebars at the top of the bike, more easily moves a large mass if the mass is closer to the fulcrum, where the tires touch the ground. This is why touring cyclists are advised to carry loads low on a bike, and panniers hang down on either side of front and rear racks.M??N 3edit4Trail

0icycle head angle, rake, and trail ! factor that influences how easy or difficult a bike will be to ride is trail, the distance that the front wheel ground contact point trails behind the steering axis ground contact point. The steering axis is the axis about which the entire steering mechanism %fork, handlebars, front wheel, etc.& pivots. $n traditional bike designs, with a steering axis tilted back from the vertical, positive trail tends to steer the front wheel into the direction of a lean, independent of forward speed.M5=N This can be simulated by pushing a stationary bike to one side. The front wheel will usually also steer to that side. $n a lean, gravity provides this force. The dynamics of a moving bike are more complicated, however, and other factors can contribute to or detract from this effect. M4N Trail is a function of head angle, fork offset or rake, and wheel size. Their relationship can be described by this formula<M?ON

where is wheel radius, is the head angle measured clock(wise from the horizontal and is the fork offset or rake. Trail can be increased by increasing the wheel size, decreasing or slackening the head angle, or decreasing the fork rake. The more trail a traditional bike has, the more stable it feels, M?:N although too much trail can make a bike feel difficult to steer. 0ikes with negative trail %where the contact patch is actually in front of where the steering axis intersects the ground&, while still ridable, are reported to feel very unstable. ,ormally, road racing bicycles have more trail than mountain bikes or touring bikes. $n the case of mountain bikes, less trail allows more accurate path


selection off(road, and also allows the rider to recover from obstacles on the trail which might knock the front wheel off course. Touring bikes are built with small trail to allow the rider to control a bike weighed down with baggage. !s a conse#uence, an unloaded touring bike can feel unstable. $n bicycles, fork rake, often a curve in the fork blades forward of the steering axis, is used to diminish trail. M?=N 0ikes with negative trail exist, such as the "ython Lowracer, and are ridable, and an experimental bike with negative trail has been shown to be self(stable. M4N $n motorcycles, rake refers to the head angle instead, and offset created by the triple tree is used to diminish trail.

! small survey by )hitt and )ilsonM5=N found< touring bicycles with head angles between P5R and P?R and trail between O? mm and =6 mm racing bicycles with head angles between P?R and POR and trail between 5B mm and O: mm track bicycles with head angles of P:R and trail between 5?.: mm and ?P mm.

However, these ranges are not hard and fast. For example, LeMond /acing 3ycles offers M?BN both with forks that have O: mm of offset or rake and the same size wheels< a 566= Tete de 3ourse, designed for road racing, with a head angle that varies from P4SR to POR, depending on frame size, and thus trail that varies from :4.: mm to =J mm. a 566P Filmore, designed for the track, with a head angle that varies from P5TR to POR, depending on frame size, and thus trail that varies from :4.: mm to =4 mm.

The amount of trail a particular bike has may vary with time for several reasons. En bikes with front suspension, especially telescopic forks, compressing the front suspension, due to heavy braking for example, can steepen the steering axis angle and reduce trail. Trail also varies with lean angle, and steering angle, usually decreasing from a maximum when the bike is straight upright and steered straight ahead. M?JN Trail can decrease to zero with sufficiently large lean and steer angles, which can alter how stable a bike feels. M44N Finally, even the profile of the front tire can influence how trail varies as the bike is leaned and steered. ! measurement similar to trail, called either mechanical trail, normal trail, or true trail,MO6N is the perpendicular distance from the steering axis to the centroid of the front wheel contact patch. 3edit4Wheelbase ! factor that influences the directional stability of a bike is wheelbase, the horizontal distance between the ground contact points of the front and rear wheels. For a given displacement of the front wheel, due to some disturbance, the angle of the resulting path from the original is inversely proportional to wheelbase. MJN !lso, the radius of curvature for a given steer angle and lean angle is proportional to the wheelbase. MJN Finally, the wheelbase increases when the bike is leaned and steered. $n the extreme, when the lean angle is J6U, and the bike is steered in the direction of that lean, the wheelbase is increased by the radius of the front and rear wheels. M44NMclarification neededN 3edit4Steering mechanism mass distribution !nother factor that can also contribute to the self(stability of traditional bike designs is the distribution of mass in the steering mechanism, which includes the front wheel, the fork, and the handlebar. $f the center of mass for the steering mechanism is in front of the steering axis, then the pull of gravity will also cause the front wheel to steer in the direction of a lean. This can be seen by leaning a stationary bike to one side. The front wheel will usually also steer to that side independent of any interaction with the ground. MO4N !dditional parameters, such as the fore(to(aft position of the center of mass and the elevation of the center of mass also contribute to the dynamic behavior of a bike.M5=NMO4N


3edit4Gyroscopic effects

*yroscopic effect on front wheel of a bike. !pplying a tor#ue %in green& about the lean axis results in a reaction tor#ue %in blue& about the steer axis. The role of the gyroscopic effect in most bike designs is to help steer the front wheel into the direction of a lean. This phenomenon is calledprecession and the rate at which an ob8ect precesses is inversely proportional to its rate of spin. The slower a front wheel spins, the faster it will precess when the bike leans, and vice(versa. MO5N The rear wheel is prevented from precessing as the front wheel does by friction of the tires on the ground, and so continues to lean as though it were not spinning at all. Hence gyroscopic forces do not provide any resistance to tipping.MO?N !t low forward speeds, the precession of the front wheel is too #uick, contributing to an uncontrolled bike7s tendency to oversteer, start to lean the other way and eventually oscillate and fall over. !t high forward speeds, the precession is usually too slow, contributing to an uncontrolled bike7s tendency to understeer and eventually fall over without ever having reached the upright position. M44N This instability is very slow, on the order of seconds, and is easy for most riders to counteract. Thus a fast bike may feel stable even though it is actually not self(stable and would fall over if it were uncontrolled. !nother contribution of gyroscopic effects is a roll moment generated by the front wheel during countersteering. For example, steering left causes a moment to the right. The moment is small compared to the moment generated by the out(tracking front wheel, but begins as soon as the rider applies tor#ue to the handlebars and so can be helpful in motorcycle racing.MJN For more detail, see the countersteering article. 3edit4Self-stability 0etween the two unstable regimes mentioned in the previous section, and influenced by all the factors described above that contribute to balance %trail, mass distribution, gyroscopic effects, etc.&, there may be a range of forward speeds for a given bike design at which these effects steer an uncontrolled bike upright. M5N $t has been proven that neither gyroscopic effects nor positive trail are sufficient by themselves or necessary for self(stability, although they certainly can enhance hands(free control.M4N However, even without self(stability a bike may be ridden by steering it to keep it over its wheels. M=N ,ote that the effects mentioned above that would combine to produce self(stability may be overwhelmed by additional factors such as headset friction and stiff control cables.M5=N This video shows a riderless bicycle exhibiting self(stability. 3edit46ongitudinal acceleration Longitudinal acceleration has been shown to have a large and complex effect on lateral dynamics. $n one study, positive acceleration eliminates self stability, and negative acceleration %deceleration& changes the speeds of self stability.M46N 3edit4Turning

Motorcycles leaning in a turn.


The forces, both physical and inertial, acting on a leaning bike in the rotating reference frame of a turn where N is the normal force,Ff is friction, m is mass, r is turn radius, v is forward speed, and g is the acceleration of gravity.

*raph of bike lean angle vs forward speed, assuming unlimited friction between tires and ground.

3yclist riding with no hands on the handlebars. $n order for a bike to turn, that is, change its direction of forward travel, the front wheel must aim approximately in the desired direction, as with any front(wheel steered vehicle. Friction between the wheels and the ground then generates the centripetal accelerationnecessary to alter the course from straight ahead as a combination of cornering force and camber thrust. The radius of the turn of an upright %not leaning& bike can be roughly approximated, for small steering angles, by<

where is the approximate radius, steering axis.MJN

is the wheelbase,

is the steer angle, and

is the caster angle of the


3edit46eaning However, unlike other wheeled vehicles, bikes must also lean during a turn to balance the relevant forces< gravitational, inertial, frictional, and ground support. The angle of lean, , can easily be calculated using the laws of circular motion<

where v is the forward speed, r is the radius of the turn and g is the acceleration of gravity.MO5N This is in the idealized case. ! slight increase in the lean angle may be re#uired on motorcycles to compensate for the width of modern tires at the same forward speed and turn radius. M?JN For example, a bike in a 46 m %?? ft& radius steady(state turn at 46 m>s %?= km>h, 55 mph& must be at an angle of O:.=R. ! rider can lean with respect to the bike in order to keep either the torso or the bike more or less upright if desired. The angle that matters is the one between the horizontal plane and the plane defined by the tire contacts and the location of the center of mass of bike and rider. This lean of the bike decreases the actual radius of the turn proportionally to the cosine of the lean angle. The resulting radius can be roughly approximated %within 5V of exact value& by<

where r is the approximate radius, w is the wheelbase, is the lean angle, is the steer angle, and is the caster angle of the steering axis.MJN !s a bike leans, the tiresK contact patches move farther to the side causing wear. The portions at either edge of a motorcycle tire that remain unworn by leaning into turns is sometimes referred to as chicken strips. The finite width of the tires alters the actual lean angle of the rear frame from the ideal lean angle described above. The actual lean angle between the frame and the vertical must increase with tire width and decrease with center of mass height. 0ikes with fat tires and low center of mass must lean more than bikes with skinnier tires or higher centers of mass to negotiate the same turn at the same speed.MJN The increase in lean angle due to a tire thickness of 5t can be calculated as

where is the ideal lean angle, and is the height of the center of mass.MJN For example, a motorcycle with a 45 inch wide rear tire will have t @ = inches. $f the combined bike and rider center of mass is at a height of 5= inches, then a 5:R lean must be increased by P.5BR< a nearly ?6V increase. $f the tires are only = inches wide, then the lean angle increase is only ?.4=R, 8ust under half. 3edit4)ountersteering Main article! Countersteering $n order to initiate a turn and the necessary lean in the direction of that turn, a bike must momentarily steer in the opposite direction. This is often referred to as countersteering. )ith the front wheel now at a finite angle to the direction of motion, a lateral force is developed at the contact patch of the tire. This force creates a tor#ue around the longitudinal %roll& axis of the bike. This tor#ue causes the bike to roll in the opposite direction of the turn. )here there is no external influence, such as an opportune side wind to create the force necessary to lean the bike, countersteering is necessary to initiate a rapid turn. MO5N )hile the initial steer tor#ue and steer angle are both opposite the desired turn direction, this may not be the case to maintain a steady(state turn. The sustained steer angle is usually in the same direction as the turn, but may remain opposite to the direction of the turn, especially at high speeds.MOON The sustained steer tor#ue re#uired to maintain that steer angle is usually opposite the turn direction.MO:N The actual magnitude and orientation of both the sustained steer angle and


sustained steer tor#ue of a particular bike in a particular turn depend on forward speed, bike geometry, tire properties, and combined bike and rider mass distribution. M55N Ence in a turn, the radius can only be changed with an appropriate change in lean angle, and this can be accomplished by additional countersteering out of the turn to increase lean and decrease radius, then into the turn to decrease lean and increase radius. To exit the turn, the bike must again countersteer, momentarily steering more into the turn in order to decrease the radius, thus increasing inertial forces, and thereby decreasing the angle of lean. MO=N 3edit4Steady-state turning Ence a turn is established, the tor#ue that must be applied to the steering mechanism in order to maintain a constant radius at a constant forward speed depends on the forward speed and the geometry and mass distribution of the bike.M44NM55N !t speeds below the capsize speed, described below in the section on "igenvalues and also called the inversion speed, the self(stability of the bike will cause it to tend to steer into the turn, righting itself and exiting the turn, unless a tor#ue is applied in the opposite direction of the turn. !t speeds above the capsize speed, the capsize instability will cause it to tend to steer out of the turn, increasing the lean, unless a tor#ue is applied in the direction of the turn. !t the capsize speed no input steering tor#ue is necessary to maintain the steady(state turn. 3edit4Steering angle 2everal effects influence the steering angle, the angle at which the front assembly is rotated about the steering axis, necessary to maintain a steady(state turn. 2ome of these are uni#ue to single(track vehicles, while others are also experienced by automobiles. 2ome of these may be mentioned elsewhere in this article, and they are repeated here, though not necessarily in order of importance, so that they may be found in one place. First, the actual kinematic steering angle, the angle pro8ected onto the road plane to which the front assembly is rotated is a function of the steering angle and the steering axis angle<

where is the kinematic steering angle, of the steering axis.MJN

is the steering angle, and

is the caster angle

2econd, the lean of the bike decreases the actual radius of the turn proportionally to the cosine of the lean angle. The resulting radius can be roughly approximated %within 5V of exact value& by<


is the approximate radius,

is the wheelbase,

is the lean angle,


is the

steering angle, and

is the caster angle of the steering axis.

Third, because the front and rear tires can have different slip angles due to weight distribution, tire properties, etc., bikes can experience understeer or oversteer. )hen understeering, the steering angle must be greater, and when oversteering, the steering angle must be less than it would be if the slip angles were e#ual to maintain a given turn radius.MJN 2ome authors even use the term counter#steering to refer to the need on some bikes under some conditions to steer in the opposite direction of the turn %negative steering angle& to maintain control in response to significant rear wheel slippage. MJN Fourth, camber thrust contributes to the centripetal force necessary to cause the bike to deviate from a straight path, along with cornering force due to the slip angle, and can be the largest contributor.M?JN 3amber thrust contributes to the ability of bikes to negotiate a turn with the same radius as automobiles but with a smaller steering angle. M?JN )hen a bike is steered and leaned in the same direction, the camber angle of the front tire is greater than that of the rear and so can generate more camber thrust, all else being e#ual.MJN


3edit4*o hands )hile countersteering is usually initiated by applying tor#ue directly to the handlebars, on lighter vehicles such as bicycles, it can also be accomplished by shifting the rider7s weight. $f the rider leans to the right relative to the bike, the bike leans to the left to conserve angular momentum, and the combined center of mass remains nearly in the same vertical plane. This leftward lean of the bike, called counter lean by some authors,M?JN will cause it to steer to the left and initiate a right(hand turn as if the rider had countersteered to the left by applying a tor#ue directly to the handlebars. MO5N ,ote that this techni#ue may be complicated by additional factors such as headset friction and stiff control cables. $n fact the combined center of mass does move slightly to the left when the rider leans to the right relative to the bike, and the bike leans to the left in response. The action, in space, would have the tires move right, but this is prevented by friction between the tires and the ground, and thus pushes the combined center of mass left. This is a small effect, however, as evidenced by the difficulty most people have in balancing a bike by this method alone. 3edit4Gyroscopic effects !s mentioned above in the section on balance, one effect of turning the front wheel is a roll moment caused by gyroscopic precession. The magnitude of this moment is proportional to the moment of inertia of the front wheel, its spin rate %forward motion&, the rate that the rider turns the front wheel by applying a tor#ue to the handlebars, and thecosine of the angle between the steering axis and the vertical. MJN For a sample motorcycle moving at 55 m>s %:6 mph& that has a front wheel with a moment of inertia of 6.= kgWm5, turning the front wheel one degree in half a second generates a roll moment of ?.: ,Wm. $n comparison, the lateral force on the front tire as it tracks out from under the motorcycle reaches a maximum of :6 ,. This, acting on the 6.= m %5 ft& height of the center of mass, generates a roll moment of ?6 ,Wm. )hile the moment from gyroscopic forces is only 45V of this, it can play a significant part because it begins to act as soon as the rider applies the tor#ue, instead of building up more slowly as the wheel out(tracks. This can be especially helpful in motorcycle racing. 3edit4Two-wheel steering 0ecause of theoretical benefits, such as a tighter turning radius at low speed, attempts have been made to construct motorcycles with two(wheel steering. Ene working prototype by $an -rysdale in !ustralia is reported to 'work very well.' MOPNMOBN $ssues in the design include whether to provide active control of the rear wheel or let it swing freely. $n the case of active control, the control algorithm needs to decide between steering with or in the opposite direction of the front wheel, when, and how much. Ene implementation of two(wheel steering, the 2ideways bike, lets the rider control the steering of both wheels directly. !nother, the 2wing 0ike, had the second steering axis in front of the seat so that it could also be controlled by the handlebars. Milton ). /aymond built a long low two(wheel steering bicycle, called 'X(5', with various steering mechanisms to control the two wheels independently. 2teering motions included 'balance', in which both wheels move together to steer the tire contacts under the center of mass9 and 'true circle', in which the wheels steer e#ually in opposite directions and thus steering the bicycle without substantially changing the lateral position of the tire contacts relative to the center of mass. X(5 was also able to go 'crabwise' with the wheels parallel but out of line with the frame, for instance with the front wheel near the roadway center line and rear wheel near the curb. '0alance' steering allowed easy balancing despite long wheelbase and low center of mass, but no self(balancing %'no hands'& configuration was discovered. True circle, as expected, was essentially impossible to balance, as steering does not correct for misalignment of the tire patch and center of mass. 3rabwise cycling at angles tested up to about O:R did not show a tendency to fall over, even under braking.Mcitation neededN X(5 is mentioned in passing in )hitt and )ilsonKs $icycling %cience 5nd edition.M5=N


3edit47ear-wheel steering 0ecause of the theoretical benefits, especially a simplified front(wheel drive mechanism, attempts have been made to construct a ridable rear(wheel steering bike. The 0endix 3ompany built a rear(wheel steering bicycle, and the ;.2. -epartment of Transportation commissioned the construction of a rear(wheel steering motorcycle< both proved to be unridable. /ainbow Trainers, $nc. in !lton, $llinois, offered ;2Y:,666 to the first person 'who can successfully ride the rear(steered bicycle, /ear 2teered 0icycle $'. MOJN Ene documented example of someone successfully riding a rear(wheel steering bicycle is that of L. H. Laiterman at Massachusetts $nstitute of Technology, on a specially designed recumbent bike.M5=N The difficulty is that turning left, accomplished by turning the rear wheel to the right, initially moves the center of mass to the right, and vice versa. This complicates the task of compensating for leans induced by the environment. M:6N +xamination of the eigenvalues for bicycles with common geometries and mass distributions shows that when moving in reverse, so as to have rear(wheel steering, they are inherently unstable. Ether, purpose(built designs have been published, however, that do not suffer this problem.M4NM:4N 3edit4)enter steering

Flevobike with center steering 0etween the extremes of bicycles with classical front(wheel steering and those with strictly rear(wheel steering is a class of bikes with a pivot point somewhere between the two referred to as center(steering, similar to articulated steering. !n early implementation of the concept was the "hantom bicycle in the early 4BP6s promoted as a safer alternative to the penny(farthing.M:5N This design allows for simple front(wheel drive and current implementations appear to be #uite stable, even ridable no(hands, as many photographs illustrate.M:?NM:ON These designs, such as the "ython Lowracer, usually have very lax head angles %O6R to =:R& and positive or even negative trail. The builder of a bike with negative trail states that steering the bike from straight ahead forces the seat %and thus the rider& to rise slightly and this offsets the destabilizing effect of the negative trail. M::N 3edit4Tiller effect Tiller effect is the expression used to describe how handlebars that extend far behind the steering axis %head tube& act like a tiller on a boat, in that one moves the bars to the right in order to turn the front wheel to the left, and vice versa. This situation is commonly found on cruiser bicycles, some recumbents, and even some cruiser motorcycles. $t can be troublesome when it limits the ability to steer because of interference or the limits of arm reach.M:=N 3edit4Tires Tires have a large influence over bike handling, especially on motorcycles. MJNM?JN Tires influence bike dynamics in two distinct ways< finite crown radius and force generation. $ncrease the crown radius of the front tire has been shown to decrease the size or eliminate self stability. $ncreasing the crown radius of the rear tire has the opposite effect, but to a lesser degree.M46N Tires generate the lateral forces necessary for steering and balance through a combination of cornering force and camber thrust. Tire inflation pressures have also been found to be important variables in the behavior of a motorcycle at high speeds. M:PN 0ecause the front and rear tires can have different slip angles due to weight distribution, tire properties, etc., bikes can experience understeer or oversteer. Ef the two, understeer, in which the front wheel slides more than the rear wheel, is more dangerous since front wheel steering is critical for maintaining balance. MJN !lso, because real tires have a finite contact patch with the road surface that can generate a scrub


tor#ue, and when in a turn, can experience some side slipping as they roll, they can generate tor#ues about an axis normal to the plane of the contact patch.

0ike tire contact patch during a right(hand turn Ene tor#ue generated by a tire, called the self aligning tor#ue, is caused by asymmetries in the side(slip along the length of the contact patch. The resultant force of this side(slip occurs behind the geometric center of the contact patch, a distance described as thepneumatic trail, and so creates a tor#ue on the tire. 2ince the direction of the side(slip is towards the outside of the turn, the force on the tire is towards the center of the turn. Therefore, this tor#ue tends to turn the front wheel in the direction of the side(slip, away from the direction of the turn, and therefore tends to increase the radius of the turn. !nother tor#ue is produced by the finite width of the contact patch and the lean of the tire in a turn. The portion of the contact patch towards the outside of the turn is actually moving rearward, with respect to the wheelKs hub, faster than the rest of the contact patch, because of its greater radius from the hub. 0y the same reasoning, the inner portion is moving rearward more slowly. 2o the outer and inner portions of the contact patch slip on the pavement in opposite directions, generating a tor#ue that tends to turn the front wheel in the direction of the turn, and therefore tends to decrease the turn radius. The combination of these two opposite tor#ues creates a resulting yaw tor#ue on the front wheel, and its direction is a function of the side(slip angle of the tire, the angle between the actual path of the tire and the direction it is pointing, and the camber angle of the tire %the angle that the tire leans from the vertical&. MJN The result of this tor#ue is often the suppression of the inversion speed predicted by rigid wheel models described above in the section on steady(state turning.M44N 3edit4High side Main article! &ig sider ! highsider, highside, or high side is a type of bike motion which is caused by a rear wheel gaining traction when it is not facing in the direction of travel, usually after slipping sideways in a curve.MJN This can occur under heavy braking, acceleration, a varying road surface, or suspension activation, especially due to interaction with the drive train. M:BN $t can take the form of a single slip(then(flip or a series of violent oscillations. M?JN


3edit48aneu!erability and handling 0ike maneuverability and handling is difficult to #uantify for several reasons. The geometry of a bike, especially the steering axis angle makes kinematic analysis complicated.M5N;nder many conditions, bikes are inherently unstable and must always be under rider control. Finally, the riderKs skill has a large influence on the bikeKs performance in any maneuver.MJN 0ike designs tend to consist of a trade(off between maneuverability and stability. 3edit47ider control inputs

*raphs showing the lean and steer angle response of an otherwise uncontrolled bike, traveling at a forward speed in its stable range %= m>s&, to a steer tor#ue that begins as an impulse and then remains constant. Tor#ue to right causes initial steer to right, lean to left, and eventually a steady(state steer, lean, and turn to left. The primary control input that the rider can make is to apply a tor#ue directly to the steering mechanism via the handlebars. 0ecause of the bikeKs own dynamics, due to steering geometry and gyroscopic effects, direct position control over steering angle has been found to be problematic.MBN ! secondary control input that the rider can make is to lean the upper torso relative to the bike. !s mentioned above, the effectiveness of rider lean varies inversely with the


mass of the bike. En heavy bikes, such as motorcycles, rider lean mostly alters the ground clearance re#uirements in a turn, improves the view of the road, and improves the bike system dynamics in a very low(fre#uency passive manner. MBN 3edit49ifferences from automobiles The need to keep a bike upright to avoid in8ury to the rider and damage to the vehicle even limits the type of maneuverability testing that is commonly performed. For example, while automobile enthusiast publications often perform and #uote skidpad results, motorcycle publications do not. The need to 'set up' for a turn, lean the bike to the appropriate angle, means that the rider must see further ahead than is necessary for a typical car at the same speed, and this need increases more than in proportion to the speed.MBN 3edit47ating schemes 2everal schemes have been devised to rate the handling of bikes, particularly motorcycles.MJN The roll inde$ is the ratio between steering tor#ue and roll or lean angle. The acceleration inde$ is the ratio between steering tor#ue and lateral or centripetal acceleration. The steering ratio is the ratio between the theoretical turning radius based on ideal tire behavior and the actual turning radius.MJN1alues less than one, where the front wheel side slip is greater than the rear wheel side slip, are described as under( steering9 e#ual to one as neutral steering9 and greater than one as over(steering. 1alues less than zero, in which the front wheel must be turned opposite the direction of the curve due to much greater rear wheel side slip than front wheel have been described as counter(steering. /iders tend to prefer neutral or slight over(steering.MJN 3ar drivers tend to prefer under(steering. The :och inde$ is the ratio between peak steering tor#ue and the product of peak lean rate and forward speed. Large, touring motorcycles tend to have a high och index, sport motorcycles tend to have a medium och index, and scooters tend to have a low och index.MJN $t is easier to maneuver light scooters than heavy motorcycles.

3edit46ateral motion theory !lthough its e#uations of motion can be linearized, a bike is a nonlinear system. The variable%s& to be solved for cannot be written as a linear sum of independent components, i.e. its behavior is not expressible as a sum of the behaviors of its descriptors.M5N *enerally, nonlinear systems are difficult to solve and are much less understandable than linear systems. $n the idealized case, in which friction and any flexing is ignored, a bike is a conservative system. -amping, however, can still be demonstrated< under the right circumstances, side(to(side oscillations will decrease with time. +nergy added with a sideways 8olt to a bike running straight and upright %demonstratingself(stability& is converted into increased forward speed, not lost, as the oscillations die out. ! bike is a nonholonomic system because its outcome is path(dependent. $n order to know its exact configuration, especially location, it is necessary to know not only the configuration of its parts, but also their histories< how they have moved over time. This complicates mathematical analysis.MO5N Finally, in the language of control theory, a bike exhibits non(minimum phase behavior.M:JN $t turns in the direction opposite of how it is initially steered, as described above in the section oncountersteering


3edit49egrees of freedom

*raphs of bike steer angle and lean angle vs turn radius. The number of degrees of freedom of a bike depends on the particular model being used. The simplest model that captures the key dynamic features, four rigid bodies with knife edge wheels rolling on a flat smooth surface, has P degrees of freedom %configuration variables re#uired to completely describe the location and orientation of all O bodies&<M5N 4. ' coordinate of rear wheel contact point 2. y coordinate of rear wheel contact point

3. orientation angle of rear frame %yaw&

O. rotation angle of rear wheel :. rotation angle of front wheel

6. lean angle of rear frame %roll&

P. steering angle between rear frame and front end !dding complexity to the model, such as suspension, tire compliance, frame flex, or rider movement, adds degrees of freedom. )hile the rear frame does pitch with leaning and steering, the pitch angle is completely constrained by the re#uirement for both wheels to remain on the ground, and so can be calculated geometrically from the other seven variables. $f the location of the bike and the rotation of the wheels are ignored, the first five degrees of freedom can also be ignored, and the bike can be described by 8ust two variables< lean angle and steer angle.


Longitudinal dynamics

! bicyclist performing a wheelie. 0ikes may experience a variety of longitudinal forces and motions. En most bikes, when the front wheel is turned to one side or the other, the entire rear frame pitches forward slightly, depending on the steering axis angle and the amount of trail.MJNMO4N En bikes with suspensions, either front, rear, or both, trim is used to describe the geometric configuration of the bike, especially in response to forces of braking, accelerating, turning, drive train, and aerodynamic drag.MJN The load borne by the two wheels varies not only with center of mass location, which in turn varies with the amount and location of passengers and luggage, but also with acceleration and deceleration. This phenomenon is known as load transferMJN or weight transfer,M?JNM:BN depending on the author, and provides challenges and opportunities to both riders and designers. For example, motorcycle racers can use it to increase the friction available to the front tire when cornering, and attempts to reduce front suspension compression during heavy braking has spawned several motorcycle fork designs. The net aerodynamic drag forces may be considered to act at a single point, called the center of pressure.M?JN !t high speeds, this will create a net moment about the rear driving wheel and result in a net transfer of load from the front wheel to the rear wheel.M?JN !lso, depending on the shape of the bike and the shape of any fairing that might be installed, aerodynamic lift may be present that either increases or further reduces the load on the front wheel. M?JN 3edit4Stability Though longitudinally stable when stationary, a bike may become longitudinally unstable under sufficient acceleration or deceleration, and +ulerKs second law can be used to analyze the ground reaction forces generated. MP6N For example, the normal %vertical& ground reaction forces at the wheels for a bike with a wheelbase and a center of mass at height and at a distance in front of the rear wheel hub, and for simplicity, with both wheels locked, can be expressed as<MJN

for the rear wheel and The frictional %horizontal& forces are simply for the rear wheel and where is the coefficient of friction, gravity. Therefore, if for the front wheel, is the total mass of the bike and rider, and

for the front wheel.

is the acceleration of

which occurs if the center of mass is anywhere above or in front of a line extending back from the front wheel contact patch and inclined at the angle


above the horizontal,M?JN then the normal force of the rear wheel will be zero %at which point the e#uation no longer applies& and the bike will begin to flip or loop forward over the front wheel. En the other hand, if the center of mass height is behind or below the line, as is true, for example on most tandem bicycles or long(wheel(base recumbent bicycles, then, even if the coefficient of friction is 4.6, it is impossible for the front wheel to generate enough braking force to flip the bike. $t will skid instead, unless it hits some fixed obstacle, such as a curb. 2imilarly, powerful motorcycles can generate enough tor#ue at the rear wheel to lift the front wheel off the ground in a maneuver called a wheelie. ! line similar to the one described above to analyze braking performance can be drawn from the rear wheel contact patch to predict if a wheelie is possible given the available friction, the center of mass location, and sufficient power. M?JN This can also happen on bicycles, although there is much less power available, if the center of mass is back or up far enough or the rider lurches back when applying power to the pedals. MP4N Ef course, the angle of the terrain can influence all of the calculations above. !ll else remaining e#ual, the risk of pitching over the front end is reduced when riding up hill and increased when riding down hill. The possibility of performing a wheelie increases when riding up hill, MP4N and is a ma8or factor in motorcycle hillclimbing competitions. 3edit4Braking according to ground conditions

)ith no braking, on a bicycle m is usually approximately over the bottom bracket )hen braking, the rider in motion is seeking to change the speed of the combined mass m of rider plus bike. This is a negative acceleration a in the line of travel. F@ma, the acceleration a causes an inertial forward force F on mass m. The braking a is from an initial speed u to a final speed v, over a length of time t. The e#uation u ( v @ at implies that the greater the acceleration the shorter the time needed to change speed. The stopping distance s is also shortest when acceleration a is at the highest possible value compatible with road conditions< the e#uation s @ ut A 4>5 at5 makes s low when a is high and t is low. How much braking force to apply to each wheel depends both on ground conditions and on the balance of weight on the wheels at each instant in time. The total braking force cannot exceed the


gravity force on the rider and bike times the coefficient of friction ( of the tire on the ground. mg( Z@ Ff A Fr. ! skid occurs if the ratio of either Ff over Nf or Fr over Nr is greater than (, with a rear wheel skid having less of a negative impact on lateral stability. )hen braking, the inertial force ma in the line of travel, not being co(linear with f, tends to rotate m about f. This tendency to rotate, an overturning moment, is resisted by a moment from mg.

$n light braking, Nr is still significant so Frcan contribute towards braking. Nrdecreases as ma increases Taking moments about the front wheel contact point at an instance in time< )hen there is no braking, mass m is typically above the bottom bracket, about 5>? of the way back between the front and rear wheels, with Nr thus greater than Nf. $n constant light braking, whether because an emergency stop is not re#uired or because poor ground conditions prevent heavy braking, much weight still rests on the rear wheel, meaning that Nr is still large and Fr can contribute towards a. !s braking a increases, Nr and Fr because the moment ma increases with a. !t maximum constant a, clockwise and anti(clockwise moments are e#ual, at which point Nr @ 6. !ny greater Ff initiates a stoppie.


!t maximum braking, Nr @ 6 Ether factors< -ownhill it is much easier to topple over the front wheel because the incline moves the line of mg closer to f. To try to reduce this tendency the rider can stand back on the pedals to try to keep m as far back as possible. )hen braking is increasing the center of mass m tends to to move forward relative to the front wheel, the rider can move forward relative to the bike, and, if the bike has suspension on the front wheel, the front forks compress under load, changing the bike geometry. This all puts extra load on the front wheel. !t the end of a brake maneuver, as the rider comes to a halt, the suspension decompresses and pushes the rider back. 1alues for ( vary greatly depending on a number of factors< The material that the ground or road surface is made of. )hether the ground is wet or dry. The smoothness or roughness of the ground. The firmness or looseness of the ground. The speed of the vehicle, with friction reducing above ?6 mph %:6kph&. )hether friction is rolling or sliding, with sliding friction at least 46V below peak rolling friction. MP5N


! motorcyclist performing a stoppie. Most of the braking force of standard upright bikes comes from the front wheel. !s the analysis above shows, if the brakes themselves are strong enough, the rear wheel is easy to skid, while the front wheel often can generate enough stopping force to flip the rider and bike over the front wheel. This is called a stoppie if the rear wheel is lifted but the bike does not flip, or an endo %abbreviated form ofend#over#end& if the bike flips. En long or low bikes, however, such as cruiser motorcycles and recumbent bicycles, the front tire will skid instead, possibly causing a loss of balance. $n the case of a front suspension, especially telescoping fork tubes, the increase in downward force on the front wheel during braking may cause the suspension to compress and the front end to lower. This is known as bra)e diving. ! riding techni#ue that takes advantage of how braking increases the downward force on the front wheel is known as trail bra)ing.


3edit45ront wheel braking The limiting factors on the maximum deceleration in front wheel braking are< the maximum, limiting value of static friction between the tire and the ground, often between 6.: and 6.B for rubber on dry asphalt,MP?N the kinetic friction between the brake pads and the rim or disk, and pitching or looping %of bike and rider& over the front wheel.

For an upright bicycle on dry asphalt with excellent brakes, pitching will probably be the limiting factor. The combined center of mass of a typical upright bicycle and rider will be about =6 cm %5O in& back from the front wheel contact patch and 456 cm %OP in& above, allowing a maximum deceleration of 6.: g %: m>s5 or 4= ft>s5&.M5=N $f the rider modulates the brakes properly, however, pitching can be avoided. $f the rider moves his weight back and down, even larger decelerations are possible. Front brakes on many inexpensive bikes are not strong enough so, on the road, they are the limiting factor. 3heap cantilever brakes, especially with 'power modulators', and /aleigh(style side(pull brakes severely restrict the stopping force. $n wet conditions they are even less effective. Front wheel slides are more common off(road. Mud, water, and loose stones reduce the friction between the tire and trail, although knobby tires can mitigate this effect by grabbing the surface irregularities. Front wheel slides are also common on corners, whether on road or off. 3entripetal acceleration adds to the forces on the tire(ground contact, and when the friction force is exceeded the wheel slides. 3edit47ear-wheel braking The rear brake of an upright bicycle can only produce about 6.4 g %4 m>s5& deceleration at best, M5=N because of the decrease in normal force at the rear wheel as described above. !ll bikes with only rear braking are sub8ect to this limitation< for example, bikes with only a coaster brake, and fixed( gear bikes with no other braking mechanism. There are, however, situations that may warrant rear wheel brakingMPON 2lippery surfaces or bumpy surfaces. ;nder front wheel braking, the lower coefficient of friction may cause the front wheel to skid which often results in a loss of balance. MPON Front flat tire. 0raking a wheel with a flat tire can cause the tire to come off the rim which greatly reduces friction and, in the case of a front wheel, result in a loss of balance. MPON Front brake failure.MPON

3edit4Braking techni;ue +xpert opinion varies from 'use both levers e#ually at first' MP:N to 'the fastest that you can stop any bike of normal wheelbase is to apply the front brake so hard that the rear wheel is 8ust about to lift off the ground,'MPON depending on road conditions, rider skill level, and desired fraction of maximum possible deceleration. [edit] uspension

Mountain bike rear suspension Main article! $icycle suspension


Main article! %uspension *motorcycle+ 0ikes may have only front, only rear, full suspension or no suspension that operate primarily in the central plane of symmetry9 though with some consideration given to lateral compliance. M?JN The goals of a bike suspension are to reduce vibration experienced by the rider, maintain wheel contact with the ground, and maintain vehicle trim.MJN The primary suspension parameters are stiffness, damping, sprung and unsprung mass, and tire characteristics.M?JN 0esides irregularities in the terrain, brake, acceleration, and drive(train forces can also activate the suspension as described above. +xamples include bob and pedal feedback on bicycles, the shaft effect on motorcycles, and s#uat and brake dive on both. [edit]!ibration The study of vibration in bikes includes its causes, such as engine balance,MP=N wheel balance, ground surface, and aerodynamics9 its transmission and absorption9 and its effects on the bike, the rider, and safety.MPPN !n important factor in any vibration analysis is a comparison of the natural fre#uencies of the system with the possible driving fre#uencies of the vibration sources. MPBN ! close match means mechanical resonance that can result in large amplitudes. ! challenge in vibration damping is to create compliance in certain directions %vertically& without sacrificing frame rigidity needed for power transmission and handling %torsionally&.MPJN !nother issue with vibration for the bike is the possibility of failure due to material fatigueMB6N +ffects of vibration on riders include discomfort, loss of efficiency, Hand(!rm 1ibration 2yndrome, a secondary form /aynaudKs disease, and whole body vibration. 1ibrating instruments may be inaccurate or difficult to read. MB6N 3edit4In bicycles The primary cause of vibrations in a properly functioning bicycle is the surface over which it rolls. $n addition to pneumatic tires and traditional bicycle suspensions, a variety of techni#ues have been developed to damp vibrations before they reach the rider. These include materials, such as carbon fiber, either in the whole frame or 8ust key components such as the front fork, seatpost, or handlebars9 tube shapes, such as curved seat stays9MB4N and special inserts, such as [ertz by 2pecialized,MB5NMB?N and 0uzzkills by 0ontrager. 3edit4In motorcycles $n addition to the road surface, vibrations in a motorcycle can be caused by the engine and wheels, if unbalanced. Manufacturers employ a variety of technologies to reduce or damp these vibrations, such as engine balance shafts, rubber engine mounts,MBON and tire weights.MB:N The problems that vibration causes have also spawned an industry of after(market parts and systems designed to reduce it. !dd(ons include handlebar weights,MB=N isolated foot pegs, and engine counterweights. !t high speeds, motorcycles and their riders may also experience aerodynamic flutter or buffeting. MBPN This can be abated by changing the air flow over key parts, such as the windshield.MBBN [edit]"#perimentation ! variety of experiments have been performed in order to verify or disprove various hypotheses about bike dynamics. -avid Qones built several bikes in a search for an unridable configuration. M=N /ichard lein built several bikes to confirm QonesKs findings. M:N


/ichard lein also built a 'Tor#ue )rench 0ike' and a '/ocket 0ike' to investigate steering tor#ues and their effects.M:N

eith 3ode built a motorcycle with fixed handlebars to investigate the effects of rider motion and position on steering.MBJN

2chwab and ooi8man have performed measurements with an instrumented bike. MJ6N Hubbard and Moore have performed measurements with an instrumented bike. MJ4N