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The science behind wheeled sports
The science behind wheeled sports

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The science behind wheeled sports


This course is about cycling and wheelchair racing: what we might collectively call 'wheeled sports'.

The scientific concepts of force, acceleration and speed are useful for understanding these sports. However, technology more obviously plays an important role in cycling and wheelchair racing. In this course, we will concentrate mainly on this aspect of these sports.

The structure of this course is as follows:

  • Section 1 describes different types of cycling and wheelchair events and gives a short history of these sports throughout the Olympic Games.
  • Section 2, 'Aerodynamics and wheeled sports', describes the way that air flows around a moving cyclist and the influence of aerodynamics on tactics in competitive races.
  • Section 3, 'Materials technology and wheeled sports', explains the properties of carbon fibre and how it is constructed, and looks at its effect on the development of cycles.
  • Section 4, 'Effects of new technology', considers the overall effect of aerodynamics and new materials on cycling and wheelchair racing.
  • Section 5, 'Summary and reflection', contains a brief summary of the course and asks you to reflect on how effectively you use the internet for studying.

This course is an adapted extract from the Open University course SG072 Learn about sport: the science behind the medals [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in Science