Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
Worthwhile attempt but not the whole story
on 27 September 2011
I was interested in a scientific explanation of all aspects of cycling. Both man and machine.
This book sets out to do this and partly achieves it. But some major areas such as the science of frame geometries, the impact hysteresis losses during sprinting, the aerodynamics of different racing positions(e.g. superman position, tri-bars etc) are not covered to any meaningful extent.
So much of the science of bicycles that has come from the professional sport in the last 20 years (post Greg Lemond) has not been covered. Perhaps the result of this being a re-issue of a much older book.
The focus seems to be more on the fringes of the cycling world (recumbent bicycles, powered flight).
It comes across as the work of a well meaning amateur. Sometimes interesting and revealing perhaps with questionable analysis (to what extent was this peer reviewed?).
In response to feedback on this comment - I acknowledge the author is a distinguished engineering academic. My observation that work "comes across as the work of a well meaning amateur" should not detract from his many career achievements, one of which was to co-design a successful recumbent bike 33 years ago. The contributions from Jim Padadopoulos do bring the book out of the 1970s in places. It's just a pity the book was not updated to reflect modern developments in cycling from the sports world both on and off road. Perhaps then I could have given more than 3 stars.