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Bicycles & Tricycles: A Classic Treatise on Their Design and Construction (Dover Transportation) Paperback – October 5, 2011
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Sharp shows how much engineering knowledge was known about bicycles at the early parts of the 20th century. No wonder bikes were the precursors to --the automobile, --the airplane, --Harleys!
Concerns about bottom-bracket flex, weight distribution, climbing efficiency, transmission systems, steering control, comfort, stability at speed, etc. are all covered. Various materials and their pros and cons are covered (but back then exotic materials were bamboo and heat treated rolled steel!).
If you are an engineer or have a good background in math, you will be entertained by the incredible amounts of analysis presented in the text. If you are just a techie bike geek like me you will still enjoy it without breaking out the calculator to verify the formulaes. There are lots of 'pretty pictures' and well explained concepts to inform and entertain anyone interested in the fundmental engineering priciples and concerns of bicycles.
It was written at the height of the first great period of mechanical engineering, which had transformed productive capabilities of European nations, Britain in particular, by railways, powerful factories, steamships. As such it records the immense and sophisticated technical competence of the age of, say, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. But it also introduces, in essentially final form, the impudent and revolutionary device that is bearing us forward into the post-indstrial and perfectioniat-environmental age.
The Oregon Historical Society possesses a beautiful photograph of Linus Pauling, as a high school student, cruising his bicycle over cobbled streets and streetcar tracks to deliver telegrams in downtown Portland; he possessed the energy to do that in support of his widowed mother and her rooming house on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard. Pauling went on to revolutionize chemistry, connecting it with physics on one hand and biology on the other. His first chemistry laboratory was in the basement of that house, which now is adjacent to a prominent cycle shop that specializes in urban mobility.
Archibald Sharp wrote a text of mechanical engineering that is general enough to serve as such to this day. In its specific interest, bicycles, it has never been surpassed, even though freewheels, rim brakes, derailleurs were in the future; it is rigorous, which is why it endures. Here I recapitulate what I think is Sharp's most remarkable and insightful achievement: exact description of pedaling and production of torque and power.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I gave this book to my dad for fathers day back in the 70's. He read it in an afternoon. I asked him what he thought about it and he said "Not bad if you like pluming. Read morePublished on June 17, 2012 by Barbara H.
A great source for bike history - a classic from 1862. Often quoted in other books about bicycle history and technology.Published on October 24, 2007 by Bike Commuter
This book shows that many current 'new' ideas in cycling are not at all new ..... very useful even now.Published on December 21, 2006 by Amazon Customer