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INTRODUCTION

TYPES OF BICYCLES
Touring Bicycles
Mountain Bikes
Hybrid or Cross Bikes
Utility Bicycles
Racing Bicycles
Specialty Bicycles

COMPONENTS OF THE BICYCLE
Frame
Wheels and Tires
Saddle
Brakes
Handlebars
Pedals
Drive Train
Gears
Suspension System

SAFETY EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES
Helmets
Reflectors and Lights
Rearview Mirrors
Padded Shorts and Gloves
Racks and Panniers
Child Seats and Trailers

HISTORY OF THE MODERN BICYCLE
Early Attempts
The Safety Bicycle
The Decline of Cycling
The Bicycle Boom



BIKING:


INTRODUCTION
BICYCLE RACING
RACING EQUIPMENT
RACING ADMINISTRATION
RECREATIONAL CYCLING




Tour de France


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Racing Bicycles




Racing bicycles are designed to minimize weight and air resistance. This Tour de France competitor is wearing tight-fitting clothes and an aerodynamic helmet to further reduce air resistance.

Racing bicycles are the lightest bicycles made and are available in forms designed either for racing on paved roads or on specially built tracks. Road-racing bicycles vary in weight depending on the materials used, but they generally weigh about 8 kg (18 lb); track-racing bicycles, which are stripped of brakes, gears, and other expendable parts, may weigh as little as 6 kg (13 lb).

Racing bicycles are optimized to minimize weight, reduce air resistance and friction with the ground, and provide greater control than other types of bicycles allow. They are constructed using lightweight metal alloys and other materials. Components such as brake levers and chain rings are perforated to reduce weight whenever the extra material can be safely removed without affecting the structural integrity of the component. A short wheelbase and small fork rakes produce a harsh ride but increase responsiveness and maneuverability. Gear ratios are narrowly spaced and higher than average to give maximum speed and power; 16 to 18 speeds is most common. Racing handlebars are usually narrow for minimum weight and wind resistance and dropped for maximum control and to allow numerous hand positions. In certain track events or road time trials, the handlebars may also include an aerobar on which the rider may rest the forearms while maintaining an aerodynamic crouch (aerobars are normally not allowed in mass-start races). Wheels have very narrow, light alloy rims and high-pressure tires to minimize friction and maximize responsive handling. Wheels may have light-gauge (thin) spokes or may be of a special aerodynamic design to minimize wind resistance and turbulence. The saddle is usually as narrow as possible to minimize weight and interference with pedaling.

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