Before the invention of the modern bicycle, frames were heavy, and were generally made of steel or alloy steel. Over the next century, however, bicycles became lighter and more rigid, with materials such as alloy steel able to be mechanically welded. During the 1980s, lightweight aluminum frames became popular. While steel and titanium are the strongest metals, aluminum fatigues easily within three to five years. These are the reasons why bicycle manufacturers now use different types of lightweight alloys for their frames.
If you are a cyclist, you should be aware of the rules of the road. Riding a bicycle in the street is dangerous and can result in accidents, especially at night. Luckily, you can increase your visibility by wearing reflective clothing. Also, many states now require cyclists to use reflectors. Make sure that you are riding in the same direction as traffic, so that other drivers won’t be blindsided by your bicycle. The laws vary depending on the jurisdiction where you live, but remember to follow these simple rules:
When compared to other forms of transport, a bicycle is the most efficient means of converting human energy into mobility. In developing nations, poor people are unlikely to get on a road to make their way to work. Yet if bicycles were widely used and widely available, they could be an important tool in eradicating poverty. So, if you’re interested in tackling poverty and improving the environment, consider purchasing a bicycle. You’ll be glad you did.
A bike frame must withstand the weight of an adult cyclist. Most bicycle frames are made from tubular steel – hollow steel tubes filled with air – to withstand the strain of riding for long periods of time. Carbon-fiber composite frames are lighter, stronger, and rustproof. However, they do cost more than their steel counterparts. A carbon-fiber bicycle frame is the best option for cyclists who enjoy a more challenging bike ride.
A penny-farthing is another example of an early bicycle. Michaux’s design was popularized, and prompted manufacturers to respond with new designs. By 1870, metallurgy was advanced enough to make bicycle frames out of metal. This material was stronger than wood and lighter than steel, so these bicycles became the best option for the average person. If you have a bike and are planning to ride it in a city, make sure it is made of sturdy materials.
As mentioned, a short wheelbase and a long frame length can generate stopping force at the front wheel. When combined with a large enough stopping force, these forces can lift the rear wheel longitudinally, and the result is a “front wheelie” or stoppie. If you’ve ever tried a stoppie or an endo, you’re in for an adventure! This is the best way to try a front wheelie!
A bicycle has wheels made of multiple spokes that connect the rim to the hub. These spokes are in tension and crisscross from rim to hub. Because they’re made of three-dimensional materials, they’re able to resist bending, twisting, and buckling. The spokes are an important part of bicycle design. If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at our Bicycle Technology 101 article.