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Bicycling Science Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 485 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 3rd edition edition (March 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262731541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262731546
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 3.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you want to really understand the physiology and physics that make your bike fun and fast, Bicycling Science is the one book you need. For more than a quarter century, it has been bicycle technology's Rosetta stone for dedicated enthusiasts and professionals alike. The third edition expands on this tradition nicely, adding and updating valuable information."--John Schubert, Technical Editor, Adventure Cyclist Magazine



"Bicycling Science...dispels the mythology that so commonly surrounds bicycle technology, while encouraging the passion riders feel for the sport..." D.R.S. American Scientist



"...full of interesting material to ponder while pedaling down the road." American Journal of Physics Jearl Walker



"...full of interesting material to ponder while pedaling down the road." Jearl Walker American Journal of Physics



' Bicycling Science is the bible for bicycle and human-powered vehicle development. It offers the reader a good understanding of the technical aspects of bicycle design, as well as a look back at where we've come from, and perhaps where we're going. Everyone involved in the bicycle industry should read this book a real gem.' Bob Bryant, Publisher, Recumbent Cyclist News



' Bicycling Science is the ultimate fundamentals book in cycle science. The third edition of this highly respected work is more comprehensive and better than ever rigorous in its scholarship, yet clear and entertaining, at times even lighthearted. Wilson sets out what is established and known on the physics of cycles and human power, and identifies open questions and directions for ongoing research. For anyone with a deep interest in cycling science and human power, this book is simply essential.' Richard Ballantine, President, International Human Powered Vehicle Association



"In this much-modified third edition of Bicycling Science, David Gordon Wilson has at last compiled the definitive book about this efficient method of travel. He covers all of the bicycle's facets, from history to physics to aesthetics, in a book that is both exacting and entertaining." Paul B. MacCready, Chairman, AeroVironment Inc.



"The third edition of Bicycling Science is the best book of its type since Archibald Sharpe's 1896 Bicycles and Tricycles. Wilson's book includes excellent updates on topics ranging from bicycle history, human power, and bicycle stability to aerodynamics and mechanics. It will become the essential reference for those who really want to understand what makes a bicycle work." Chester Kyle, Co-founder, International Human Powered Vehicle Association



"This expanded and updated edition of a classic work offers a comprehensive introduction to bicycle technology... The information Wilson provides may be most appreciated by bicycle designers and builders, but is likely to interest anyone who competes, commutes, of just likes to have fun on two wheels." Science



"Will be cherished by the cyclist who wants to know more about what makes him and his bicycle tick." Fred DeLong, Bicycling



"*Bicycling Science* is the bible for bicycle and human-powered vehicle development. It offers the reader a good understanding of the technical aspects of bicycle design, as well as a look back at where we've come from, and perhaps where we're going. Everyone involved in the bicycle industry should read this book -- a real gem."--Bob Bryant, Publisher, Recumbent Cyclist News



"*Bicycling Science* is the ultimate fundamentals book in cycling science. The third edition of this highly respected work is more comprehensive and better than ever ­ rigorous in its scholarship, yet clear and entertaining, at times even lighthearted. Wilson sets out what is established and known on the physics of cycles and human power, and identifies open questions and directions for ongoing research. For anyone with a deep interest in cycling science and human power, this book is simply essential."--Richard Ballantine, President, International Human Powered Vehicle Association



"The third edition of *Bicycling Science* is the best book of its type since Archibald Sharpe's 1896 *Bicycles and Tricycles*. Wilson's book includes excellent updates on topics ranging from bicycle history, human power, and bicycle stability to aerodynamics and mechanics. It will become the essential reference for those who really want to understand what makes a bicycle work."--Chester Kyle, Co-founder, International Human Powered Vehicle Association

From the Inside Flap

"*Bicycling Science* is the bible for bicycle and human-powered vehicle development. It offers the reader a good understanding of the technical aspects of bicycle design, as well as a look back at where we've come from, and perhaps where we're going. Everyone involved in the bicycle industry should read this book -- a real gem." --Bob Bryant, Publisher, Recumbent Cyclist News

"*Bicycling Science* is the ultimate fundamentals book in cycling science. The third edition of this highly respected work is more comprehensive and better than ever ­ rigorous in its scholarship, yet clear and entertaining, at times even lighthearted. Wilson sets out what is established and known on the physics of cycles and human power, and identifies open questions and directions for ongoing research. For anyone with a deep interest in cycling science and human power, this book is simply essential." --Richard Ballantine, President, International Human Powered Vehicle Association

"In this much-modified third edition of *Bicycling Science*, David Gordon Wilson has at last compiled the definitive book about this efficient method of travel. He covers all of the bicycle's facets, from history to physics to aesthetics, in a book that is both exacting and entertaining." --Paul B. MacCready, Chairman, AeroVironment Inc.

"If you want to really understand the physiology and physics that make your bike fun and fast, Bicycling Science is the one book you need. For more than a quarter century, it has been bicycle technology's Rosetta stone for dedicated enthusiasts and professionals alike. The third edition expands on this tradition nicely, adding and updating valuable information." --John Schubert, Technical Editor, Adventure Cyclist Magazine

"The third edition of *Bicycling Science* is the best book of its type since Archibald Sharpe's 1896 *Bicycles and Tricycles*. Wilson's book includes excellent updates on topics ranging from bicycle history, human power, and bicycle stability to aerodynamics and mechanics. It will become the essential reference for those who really want to understand what makes a bicycle work." --Chester Kyle, Co-founder, International Human Powered Vehicle Association --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

175 of 178 people found the following review helpful By Jim Papadopoulos on May 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Disclosure: I am an interested party (contributor), so you may take my 'star' rating with a grain of salt. My main message is to make a point that I have also emailed to Amazon.
As of May 1, 2004 the other customer reviews posted for this title are somewhat misleading, because they refer only to the much older (second) edition. The third edition, published April 2004, is dramatically enlarged and updated -- a completely new book based on a tremendous amount of recent work. Dave Wilson and I have attempted to address all the issues to be seen in those reviews, plus many more, we hope successfully.
In this 5-year process every chapter was rewritten or even replaced outright. A great quantity of new material on history, physiology, speed calculations, aerodynamics, steering theory, human powered vehicles etc. is available nowhere else.
I encourage any scientifically curious cyclist, or bicycle industry engineer, to contribute a genuine review of the third edition, so potential readers can learn about this distinctly different book.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A. Fuchs on August 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Dr. Andreas Fuchs, Berne, Switzerland, August 2004

Long-awaited for Bicycling Science 3 is finally here: 22 years after the second edition was originally published! A main question for the reviewer was therefore: Will the 3rd edition of Bicycling Science consider the key-developments that happened in this field during the full age of the desktop computer in a wisely weighted manner? This question is a fair one since Bicycling Science ranks among the most important books in the field of cycling!

The new, third edition of Bicycling Science (BS) contains main chapters about: History, human power generation, thermal effects on power production, power and speed, bicycle aerodynamics, rolling (tires and bearings), braking, steering and balancing, mechanics and mechanisms (power transmission), materials and stresses, unusual human-powered machines, and human-powered vehicles in the future.

Compared with BS2, BS3 has relatively more content in the chapters "human power generation" and "steering and balancing". BS3 discusses relevant results of work physiology in much more detail than BS2. Since bicycling science is a wide field it is a wise decision to involve co-authors; in the "steering and balancing"-chapter Jim Papadopolous vast experience with this main topic shines up and is, at least by the reviewer, very much appreciated!

After reading BS3, the question put up by the reviewer at the beginning of this review receives an overall positive answer: D.G. Wilson lists many new references; as a very serious observer of the field of bicycling science Wilson identified the important developments and discusses them accordingly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan Prosser on November 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
As Miss Jean Brodie said, "For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like." She meant it as an insult, but I don't. Bicycling Science is nerd heaven, full of physics, engineering, molecular biology, aerodynamics and all kinds of other scientific manna. If you have an appetite for charts, graphs, and research studies, then this book will delight you with its explanations of why bikes work so well with the human body.

It's not casual reading by any means. I'd prefer the same information presented in slightly less academic tones, but that doesn't mean it isn't accurate or interesting. So I dip into my copy for short bursts. For me, it's not a cover-to-cover read, but it's been on my bedside table for months because I pick it up regularly.

Bicycling Science may well be more technical info than a casual fan can absorb. However, it's a great reference that will demystify your bike -- if that's the sort of thing you like.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ronald W. Satz on October 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Prof. Wilson is well-respected in the engineering community, and this book is the best we have on the topic. Alas, even though Americans can land a man on the moon, we don't currently have a comprehensive, accurate computer simulation of the bicycle, rider, terrain, and atmospheric condition suitable for design optimization. Bicycle science is still very empirical! Contrast this with automotive engineering, aerospace engineering, watercraft engineering, and rail travel engineering (although to be fair, there is no Defense Department money for bicycle advancements). As a systems and mechanical engineer in industry (but not the bicycle industry) I've written numerous computer simulations for all kinds of machines and processes; my engineering doctoral dissertation was on the detailed computer simulation of a modified gas turbine engine (published as Theory and Design of the New Rational Combustion Engine)--so it rather amazes me that we don't have something comparable for bicycle design. Prof. Wilson candidly states on p. 365 that "...expert application of engineering methods has played very little part in bicycle design." and on p. 282 contributing author Papadopoulos states that "...most [dynamic] analyses are incorrect, either because of faulty methods or because of errors in algebra" (and this at a time when theoretical physicists are promolgating theories to the thirteenth decimal place).

The authors present some of the simple equations, but don't number them, and there are some symbol mistakes (e.g., on p. 242 an equation is missing a couple of divisor signs and lacks a negative sign at the beginning). Symbols are defined at the end of the book, rather than at the beginning or end of each chapter.
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