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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile attempt but not the whole story, 27 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Bicycling Science (Paperback)
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?).

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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.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Jun 2012 15:07:09 BDT
M. J. Adams says:
"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?)."

The author of the book in question, English born Professor David Gordon Wilson just happens to be Emeritus Professor of Engineering at MIT.
About as far from a "well meaning amateur" as its possible to
imagine, I'd have thought.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jun 2012 17:15:14 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 29 Jun 2012 17:17:00 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jun 2012 17:18:35 BDT
Eric Dolphy says:
Accepted - the author is a world leading academic in the field of Gas Turbine Machinery with a wealth of knowledge and experience in his field. But perhaps behind the curve on recent developments in Bicycling Science?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jun 2012 21:45:13 BDT
M. J. Adams says:
In his field ?

Along with Richard Forestall, David Gordon Wilson was co-designer of the Avatar 2000 the first and one of the most successful production designs of recumbent bicycle. And on which incidentally Tim Garside set a new world speed record of 51.9 mph.

In addition Wilson was editor of the journal "Human Power" from 1994 to 2002.

So just to sum up, in your opinion the Emeritus Professor
of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, who co-designed the first and one of the most successful production models of recumbent bicycles ever is "a well meaning amateur", who in addition knows nothing of bicycling science.

What more is there to add ?
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