We don't actually understand why bikes stay upright as they move, writes physicist Michael Brooks at The New Statesman. A 2011 paper, published in the journal Science, poked big holes in the old theories about gyroscopic effects, and nobody has come along with anything to fill them yet.

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  1. revelation_now

    Hi Maggie, look, I saw this article published a few years ago on Ars and, frankly, I was appalled. I posted there at the time, but I'd like to set the situation straight, here, again. People DO know how bikes 'right' themselves. Its not magic, its physics. Specifically, its friction. Why does a car 'right' itself? FRICTION! Its the same concept. The interface between the tires and the road cause the phenomenon. It literally takes MORE ENERGY to turn a wheel then keep driving along the same vector. Likewise, if you blow a tire in your car, it will vear off to that direction. A first year Engineering student can impart these basic facts. The real scandal here is that these people were allowed to graduate.

    So, Maggie, feel free to post this response to Boing Boing on my behalf. Together we could blow the top off Bikey-Stay-Uppy-And-Go-Straighty Phenomenon!

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