Science Behind the Bike: Four Videos from the Open University on the Eve of the Tour de France

Right in time for the Tour de France (which gets under­way tomor­row) the Open Uni­ver­si­ty has released a new video series called Sci­ence Behind the Bike. Dur­ing the past two decades, sci­ence has tak­en cycling to new places — some­times good, some­times bad. The intro­duc­tion of per­for­mance enhanc­ing drugs near­ly dam­aged the sport beyond repair, and it cer­tain­ly destroyed the careers and rep­u­ta­tions of many lead­ing cyclists. But all along, some­where out­side the pub­lic glare, many well-inten­tioned sci­en­tif­ic minds have toiled away, try­ing to find legit­i­mate ways to advance the sport. Phys­i­ol­o­gists, physi­cists, engi­neers, soft­ware design­ers, techies from For­mu­la 1 rac­ing — they’ve all brought a new per­spec­tive to cycling.

In the video above, Sci­ence Behind the Bike looks at how sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy have influ­enced the mak­ing and break­ing of the pres­ti­gious World Hour Record first estab­lished in 1893. Then, below, Forces breaks down the physics of cycling; Phys­i­ol­o­gy explains, well, the phys­i­ol­o­gy that boosts per­for­mance; and Tech­nol­o­gy digs deep­er into the high-tech hard­ware that cyclists push along. If you’re a fan of the sport, you’ll undoubt­ed­ly appre­ci­ate appear­ances by Chris Board­man, Francesco Moser, Graeme Obree and Rebec­ca Romero.




Relat­ed Con­tent:

Brus­sels Express: The Per­ils of Cycling in Europe’s Most Con­gest­ed City

David Byrne: From Talk­ing Heads Front­man to Lead­ing Urban Cyclist

The Physics of the Bike

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