English Version

Physics of Bicycle Riding

In this contribution we discuss the physics of bicycle riding. It is intended to close a gap between popular and unfortunately often misleeding publications and the scientific literature, which is too complex for a general public.

The readers of this site should be familiar with triangular functions such as sin and cosine and with basic concepts of physics such as momentum of inertia, torques etc. Mathematics is kept a elementary as possible. In each section the results are summarized such that they can be understood without the use of mathematics.

Table of content

1. Introduction and synopsis

2. Geometry and Kinematics

3. Torques in the Lean Axis - Stability against Overturning

4. The Trail

5. Torques acting on the steering axis

6. No-hands Riding: Equilibrium and Steering