Pedaling Through the
Click on the words around the bike to
The laws of physics make bicycles
work. To find out how, click
We will give you a simple explanation
about how tires and wheels, brakes, pedals and gears
work, but check out Bicyclopedia
Stuff Works for even more
HOW THE PEDALS AND GEARS
Pedals and gears are simple machines.
The chain of a bike goes in a continuous circle around
one big sprocket wheel and any one of five small sprocket
wheels of different sizes. When the rider changes gears,
the selector mechanism called the derailleur moves the
chain to the correct sprocket wheel.
This picture shows the
The smaller sprocket wheel turns
quicker than the big one, but needs more force
to make it turn. In other words, the smaller the sprocket
wheel, the harder it is for you to pedal.
Back To The
HOW THE BRAKES
The brakes are simple machines that
slow the wheels down with your help. There are three
different kinds of brakes.
Long arm brakes are found on most
mountain bikes and hybrids. The long arm brakes use two
straight brake arms connected by a horizontal cable, and
these brakes provide great stopping power.
Cantilever brakes, otherwise known as
short arm brakes, are on some hybrids and mountain bikes.
The brake arms are shorter and they are connected by a
triangular cable. They give plenty of stopping power, but
not as much as long arm brakes.
Caliper brakes are used generally on
road bikes. They're very easy to regulate but they don't
give enough stopping power.
Back To The
HOW THE TIRES AND WHEELS
A wheel is a simple machine that helps
us move things.
In the highest gear the rear wheel
turns many times for each rotation of the
In low gear the wheel turns fewer
times in relation to the pedal. In doing that they are
trading speed for comfortable pedaling.
To The Top
Preferences | Protection
| Parts | Pros
| Past | Pleasure
| Performance | Puzzles
| About Us | Bibliography