Posted by: spencersteele | February 11, 2010

TECHPOST #1 – Gear and Chain

Gear and Chain

By Spencer Steele


February 10th 2010

Tech 114 / Lab 1

Simon Fraser University

Surrey, BC.


Table of Contents

1.0 The Bicycle

        1.1.  What is the Bicycle?

        1.2.  How does it Work?

        1.3.  How is it Used?

                 1.3.1. Transportation

                 1.3.2. Recreation

                 1.3.3. Racing

2.0 “Cycling to Carbon Neutrality Article”

                 2.1.  Article Summary

                 2.2.  Effects of the Article on Cycling

                 2.3.  Reversal Effects


Table of Figures

Fig.1 Parts of a Bicycle

Fig.2 Mountain Biking

Fig.3 Simon Fraser University


1.0  The Bicycle

         1.1. What is the Bicycle?

                        The bicycle is a  “vehicle consisting of a light frame mounted on two

                        wire-spoked wheels one behind the other and having a seat,

                        handlebars for steering, brakes, and two pedals or a small motor by

                        which it is driven.” (“Definitions of Bicycle”, n.d)

Fig.1 Parts of a Bicycle (taken from

           1.2. How does it Work?

                       The person riding the bike, referred to as the cycler, turns the pedals,

                       which power the drive train of the bicycle.  The use of gear shifters,

                       when used along with rim or disc brakes, provides the cyclist with

                       increased safety and efficiency (“Bicycle Brake Systems”, n.d.). A set

                      of forward handles attached to the front forks of the bike allows the

                      cyclist to make use of the bike’s sharp turning radius.

            1.3. How is it Used?

                      The bicycle is used for 3 main reasons: Transportation, Recreation,

                      and Racing.

                      1.3.1.   Transportation

                                   Cycling, while not extremely popular in Vancouver, remains

                                   an incredibly efficient and healthy way to travel. In many

                                   countries,the bicycle is the main form of transportation,

                                  going places whereautomobiles cannot.

                      1.3.2.   Recreation

                                    Biking is a great way to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle.

                                    BMX and Mountain Biking are two popular forms of cycling

                                    recreation that require special bike variations. 

Fig.2 Mountain Biking (courtesy of Mountain Equipment Co-op)

                     1.3.3.   Racing

                                   The “Tour de France” is one of many national well-known bike

                                   races; this form of cycling is extremely popular in Europe. 

                                   Another form of racing is Triathlon, where participants race

                                   extreme distances through swimming, running, and biking.

2.0  “Cycling to Carbon Neutrality”

             2.1. Article Summary

                     Cycling to Carbon Neutrality was an article written 2 years ago by

                     Azaria Botta, a Simon Fraser University student.  It addresses the

                     lack of infrastructure at all three of the SFU campuses for cycling to

                     be an effective form of transportation. By improving “alternative

                     transportation options and facilities”, reducing “the incentive to

                     drive”, and educating the SFU community, Botta (2008) believes

                     that the university could make its eco-friendly image come true

                     and provide a safe alternative way for its students to commute.


                      Fig.3 Simon Fraser University (provided by Stefan Lorimer)

             2.2. Effects of the Article on Cycling

                      The effect of the article on Bicycles was very positive. Botta promoted

                      mmuting by bicycles saying:

                                “Biking is a sustainable choice because it is a zero-emission

                                  mode of transport that has the power to reduce congestion,

                                  promote healthy lifestyles, be used inter-modally (bikes    

                                 can be brought on buses and Skytrains), is economical, and 

                                 the bike network in Vancouver is growing. In high-density

                                 urban environments cycling can be more efficient than driving

                                 since traffic does not hinder erformance (Sustrans, 2008).

                                 Furthermore, cycle facilities an be inexpensive and easy to

                                  implement into existing infrastructure (Sustrans, 2008).”

                      By no means does the article degrade Bicycles as a form of

                      transportation, but rather promotes it and accuses society of not

                      maintaining values and infrastructure to support the idea of a

                      sustainable transportation.

               2.3. Reversal Effects

                       If the recommendations in this article were followed and cycling

                       increased then the bicycle could eventually be replaced by other

                       technologies.  Firstly, as Botta made note of it in her article, the

                       electric bike is evolution of the bicycle that could work because of

                       its ability to “overcome the limitations of topography” (Botta, 2008)

                      and weather conditions. However, electric bikes are expensive and

                      the negative stigma associated with them would have to evolve as

                      well.  Another reversal could be the effect of a similar simpler

                      technology, the skate board. Over time, the popular skateboard

                      has evolved into other forms, such as the long board, a longer and

                     wider skateboard “commonly used for cruising, downhill racing,

                     slalom racing, or transportation” (“Long Board”, n.d.).  The long

                     board is another human-powered technology that could outperform

                     the bike because of its smaller size, facilitating it to be stored in

                     school/work lockers. Both the skate and long board fall behind when

                    compared with the bicycle’s ability to traverse steeper slopes.



            Azaria Botta. (2008). Cycling to Carbon Neutrality

                          Part 1: Facilities. Retrieved February 10, 2010 from SFU database

            Bicycle. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2010, from    


            Bicycle Brake Systems. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10,2010, from 


            Definitions of Bicycle. (n.d.).  Retrieved February 10, 2010, from



            Long Board. (n.d.) Retrieved February 10, 2010, from


             Mountain Equipment Co-op

                          (n.d.). Mountain Biking. Retrieved February 10, 2010, from


              Sustrans. (2008). Sustrans Home. Retrieved from 


              Stefan Lorimer. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2010 from



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