By Max Glaskin
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Additional resources for Cycling Science: How Rider and Machine Work Together
79 How are solid metals joined? What sticks my frame together? Solid/liquid cycles: welding Welding rod melts into the junction of the tubes Adjacent tube ends melt An arc (spark) from welding rod to tube junction Surface tension Face Nearly every metal frame is assembled by either welding or brazing the tubes together, and both methods involve turning solid metal into liquid and back again. The joints must be at least as strong as the tubes, and the frame builder achieves this by harnessing the complex chemistry of hot metal.
Heart rate was also slower, by 20 to 50 beats per minute. 12 In other words, despite the added weight, it was significantly easier to ride a fully suspended bike. 58 Strength and Stability a Smoothing out the bumps On the rough stuff, suspension wins out. The blue line shows the vertical forces on the front tire of a mountain bike riding over a single bump. The red line shows the same bike but with front suspension added. 15 (This is all fine for rough terrain, but it’s a very different situation on smooth asphalt.
Trial and error have taught bicycle mechanics which metal is best for each part of a bike. Quantum mechanics explains why. The bonds between metal atoms pull them into a repeating pattern (much like a collection of ball bearings settles together). Such a long-range pattern forms a crystalline structure. This tight packing makes the metal resilient, because it allows atoms to slide over each other, just as it’s easier to ride over closely packed cobblestones than ones with big gaps. The cobblestones on the Paris–Roubaix race are not just a test for riders; the infamous pavé also hammers the very atoms of their bikes.