Biking is a cool, entertaining, and a pretty healthy activity and that’s for sure. It’s no wonder many health practitioners would advise you to choose it as a recreational activity. But have you ever thought how your best hybrid bike stays upright? Well, maybe not; but it’s a good thing you’re thinking about it right now!
I did too. But ask a scientist or mathematician and one thing will hit you. No one knows for sure how a bike really stays upright. The question has preoccupied the minds of the best scholars for centuries now. Nonetheless, very little progress has been made on the research and so are the findings. Until now, here is what we know.
By design alone, a bike is made to want to and to stay upright when rode. If you ride and hope on your best hybrid bike as it moves, it will want to keep the stance and thus will keep rolling along the two wheels as if triggered by a wand of a magic rolls.
And that’s not all. As your bike slows too, you will realize that the front wheel will also turn in the same direction that it’s falling in just but a last ditch to try and maintain the upright position and prevent it from falling: cool, right?
This might sound complex. It’s the main reason we are wondering what actually happens to keep that bike steady. Well, there are a series of complex interactions and activities among multiple bike design elements that trigger this.
As published by a team of researchers from the Netherlands and the US in 2011; these experts explained that the “gryroscopic” action of a bike’s front wheel, the trail of the bike (distance between the bike’s steering axis), and the weight of the bike’s front assembly all play key roles in the bicycle’s stability when you are riding.
You will realize that’s the longer the bike’s trail; which like we have seen is an imaginary straight line which goes through your bike’s steering axis to the ground past the front tire; the more stable your bike will be. This is a sure deal in keeping you stable and upright on the steer.
The spinning front wheel doubles up the stability of your best hybrid bike. It acts as the main gyroscope. What this means is that’s the front wheel’s angular motion and momentum/ speed wheel resist any external efforts that might try to push it off balance.
However, when the same group of researcher built a bike with no trail and gyroscopic effect, the bike still stayed upright. That makes the whole process quite debatable as this finding suggests that apart from the presence of a trail and the gyroscopic effect there are probably many other factors involved in keeping the bike in the upright position.
As sure as you live, this could become quite vivid especially with new studies coming up and new technologies emerging on a daily basis. And what could these other factors be? Here is the latest line of thought.
Other Factors Contributing to the Stability of a Hybrid Bike
- The weight of the bike’s steering assembly (including the bar, fork, stem, and headset).
- The posture and position of the person riding the bike.
- The steering ability of the bike’s rider.
Why these things play a key role might still not be quite at the grasp of researcher’s. However, the truth is that whichever way it plays, these are very important factors to keep in mind when you are enjoying your ride, across the plains, mountains, along the alley, or towards the grocery shop.