How Things Work: Front and Rear Bicycle Brakes Feature Summary

Type:
Physics in Your World
Title:
How Things Work: Front and Rear Bicycle Brakes
Description:
The car in this photo (hi-res version) is "doing a wheelie." Note the big racing slicks on the rear wheels--the force of friction that the road exerts on the rear tires creates a torque that rotates the front end of the car upwards. The same effect limits the effectiveness of the rear brakes; in this case the torque rotates the rear of the bicycle upward and reduces the rear tire's contact with the road (see How Things Work: Front and Rear Bicycle Brakes by Lou Bloomfield).

(This feature was updated on June 26, 2011.)
Image:
photo credit: Richard Heeps Photography
photo credit: Richard Heeps Photography
Image URL:
http://www.compadre.org/Informal/images/features/car-wheelielarge.jpg
Featured:
January 1, 2007 - January 16, 2007