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Tests are conducted in a wind chamber to investigate the aerodynamics of riding a bike. The expert explains how air pushes against the rider exerting a force or drag to slow the rider down. They talk about the factors affecting drag and conduct various tests to reduce the drag on the rider.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
17 May 2007

Classroom Ideas

Students could investigate the relationship between shape and friction in relation to sport or vehicle design. In either case a more aerodynamic shape results in a reduction of friction and an increase in efficency. Video footage of cars or cyclists in wind tunnels would help demostrate the reduction of friciton. In the case of cycling students could investigate the difference in speed that can be achieved on a conventional versus a recumbent bike. They could also look into the idea of drafting, where the effort a cyclist has to make to maintain a certain speed is significantly reduced if he or she is shielded by another cyclist.