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Subtitle: a series of remarks on the development of bicycles, tricycles, and man-motor carriages
Author: Robert Pittis Scott
Year published: 1889
Publisher: J.B. Lippincott
Bicycles and tricycles
History / General
Sports & Recreation / Cycling
Transportation / Motorcycles / General
Random excerpt from the book:
... the Kangaroo type slip more than the high Ordinary is referred to the pressure of the foot being low down, pushing the bottom of the wheel to one side more than in a high machine when it is high up. We should wish to point out that no such effect can take place so long as the pressure of the foot does not cause the machine to wabble; since, so long as there is no change in the velocity or direction of motion of the machine, the position, direction, or amount of internal forces, such as the pressure of the foot, do not affect the position, direction, or amount of external forces, such as the pressure of the wheel on the ground. This is one of the first great elementary principles of mechanics. The reason why a small bicycle has, in general, more tendency to slip sideways than one in which the rider is seated high up is, that if the wheel slips off a stone or down the side of a rut, the distance sideways to which the wheel will slip is independent of the size of the wheel, and depends on the size of the stone or rut, the state of the road, the speed the machine is going at, etc. But the amount by which the machine is inclined to the vertical from a given side-slip will depend on how high the centre of gravity is, and, therefore, on how high the rider is seated, and accordingly it will be less the higher the saddle is. Now, it is a theorem in mechanics, which we will ask the reader to assume, that the greater this inclination the greater the tendency of the wheel to go on slipping, when it has hopped off the rut, stone, etc., and, therefore, the higher the saddle the less side-slipping there will be in similar machines.'" I think the above sufficiently exposes the sophistry of the wide-tread theory, but lest some of the old adherents to the idea should not be willing to accept Mr. Stoney's mechanical reasoning, I have had made a device to test the matter in this way (see Fig. 3). We have an upright frame provided with two cross pieces, 6 c and ef, a saddle at a, ...
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