User tools

On your bikes

Activity idea

In this activity, students measure speed and drag for a person on a bike to determine the effects of aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance on a cyclist’s maximum speed.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • measure distance and time to calculate a cyclist’s maximum speed
  • describe what might affect aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance
  • experiment to find out how the maximum speed that a cyclist can reach is affected by different drag and rolling resistances
  • measure the forces of drag and rolling resistance for a cyclist on a bike being pulled at a constant speed
  • explain how forces need to be balanced for a cyclist to travel at a constant speed.

Download the Word file (see link above) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • extension ideas
  • student worksheet.


Science Learning Hub Survey 2014

Dear Hub visitor,

You're invited to participate in an online survey about the New Zealand Science Learning Hub. This survey was designed to help Hub staff enhance and develop further the site. This is different from our November 2013 survey, so even if you took part in that survey, we would appreciate you taking this survey as well.

Take the survey