Modelling of bicycle motion

Broadly speaking, and depending on a chosen emphasis, our research can be classified within applied mathematics, mathematical physics, classical mechanics and bicycle science. 

The intent of our work is to enhance theoretical aspects of the present understanding to render subtleties within empirical data accessible as information to be applied in practice.  In this process, a theory can either precede or follow observations.  An experiment can be set up to support a theoretical prediction or a theory can be formulated to retrodict an observation.


A practical application of this work is the increase of efficiency in bicycle competitions.


Our novel formulations are exemplified by the following:


  • Application of Monte-Carlo method to evaluate resistance coefficients and their standard deviations

  • Application of Lagrange multiplier for time-trial strategies

  • Application of implicit function theorem to examine relations among model quantities

  • Application of noninertial reference frame to generalize the lean angle on velodromes

  • Application of calculus of variations to maximize the mean ascent speed (VAM)

  • Application of calculus of variations to model power expenditure on velodromes

In each case, pragmatic consequences, in a broad sense, had been familiar to many riders and coaches. Also, not uncommonly, the questions grew from an empirical approach rather than a theoretical one. However, the importance of the theoretical approach is that it allows us to quantify the aforementioned concepts and, hence, provide a rigorous basis for a better evaluation of efforts and enhancement of results.

Fausto Coppi as seen by Roberto Lauciello (2017)


The Geomechanics Project