Author Topic: What's so special about wheels?

What's so special about wheels?
« on: March 03, 2013 »
Styrrell of Weight Weenies writes:

So why do I need and how do I get permission to talk about bike wheels?

Actually a Weenies forum point of order, but the question is of larger concern to the cycling confraternity: What is so special about wheels? Why did nature choose this form over all others to roll?

A refresher course in Euclidean geometry teaches us that triangles, isosceles or otherwise, while a useful construct for intellectual exercises, are unsuitable as wheels. The Greek mathematician's fifth proposition in Book 1 of Elements, known as the "Bridge of asses," is particularly bracing in its analytical clarity ("only an ass would attempt this").

Polyglons in general are problematic, though squares enjoyed a brief period of favour during the reign of King Dubious IX who ruled the Assyrians for a while before losing interest and being devoured by a lion who had little trouble overtaking his clunkily departing chariot.

Circles are good for manhole covers, pies, and wheels, because all of these things have been shaped by evolution to be of equal service along their leading edge; in the case of the wheel, this is known as "where the rubber meets the road."