Write a report on an item of technology

We will use information provided in class to present a poster on the science of a bicycle.

Element 1

Gather information about the bicycle from books, magazines, websites

Element 2

On your poster include information about:

  • HOW the thing works
  • What is the SCIENCE that makes it work
  • WHERE you found your information

Lesson sequence

  1. Bicycle technology 1


  • Name parts of a bicycle
  • Draw a large bike on A3
  • Label and explain science behind each part:
    Gearing (Derallieur, Chainring, Sprocket, freewheeel, chain)
    Pedal and crank
    Wheel, spokes
    Tyre, tube
    Frame material, design
  1. Bicycle technology 2 - Gears

Bicycle worksheet - gear ratios Δ

The gear ratio tells you how many times the rear bicycle wheel goes around for each time the pedals go around once.

Low gears are used for accelerating or going uphill while medium gears are used to maintain constant speed, and high gears are used for downhill and downwind runs.

The bicycle gears act like levers. A low gear converts the force you exert at the pedals into another slightly lesser force that acts over a slightly longer distance, while a high gear converts the force you exert on the pedals into a much smaller force exerted over a much longer distance.

The force applied by the tire to the road can be varied over a wide range while the force applied to the pedals remains constant.

The gear ratio multiplied by the circumference of the wheel tells the distance that the bicycle will travel for each rotation of the pedals.

  1. Bicycle technology 3


  • Use books, poster, internet printouts to explain the science behind a bike