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Bike Science with Shawn Small
Our Bike Science superhero
Shawn Small will rescue you from
the sea of bike jargon and myths.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Welcome to Bike Science with Shawn Small, a new column that will debunk, demystify, and sometimes destroy everything you (think you) know and love about bikes.

For more background, check out the introductory post.

If you’ve got a question or topic you’d like Shawn to look into, drop us a note and we’ll forward it to the lab.

– Bike Science with Shawn Small is made possible through the support of Strava, an online service that lets you log, analyze, compare and compete with yourself and others.



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Bike Science: Trigonometry and carbon fiber help Paralympian win

Posted on April 4th, 2011 at 12:09 pm.

[After a hiatus, our Bike Science column is back. Below, carbon fiber master and engineer Shawn Small shares the science behind one of his recent projects. Steven Peace at start line of 2010 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships.(Photo: Joy Anderson) Steven Peace was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy in his early 30s when he Read More »

Bike Science: Machismo and your ‘gain ratio’

Posted on November 24th, 2010 at 9:44 am.

(Photo © J. Maus) [This is our latest Bike Science column by Shawn Small. Read previous entries here.] In the world of singlespeeds and fixed gears you often hear people talking about each other’s “gear-inches”. This is an easy way to prove your machismo and is also a way to get useful data about your Read More »

Bike Science: Keeping the rubberside down

Posted on October 26th, 2010 at 1:35 pm.

Slip or grip? (Photo © J. Maus) [This is our latest Bike Science column by Shawn Small. Read previous entries here.] With cyclocross season in full swing and the rainy season upon us, it’s likely that tires have become a part of your bike gear conversations of late. And it’s no surprise; tires have a Read More »

A quick recap of ‘BikeBotics’ session at Barcamp

Posted on October 25th, 2010 at 1:35 pm.

— Publisher’s Note: This post is by our Bike Science columnist Shawn Small. We’ll publish short bits from him on Page Two in between his more in-depth columns that run on the Front Page. The most feasible idea that we rolled around was the idea of incorporating a proximity sensor into a rear taillight. This Read More »

Bike Science: Making sense out of traffic signal sensors

Posted on September 27th, 2010 at 3:14 pm.

A traffic signal sensor in Portland. Welcome to our newest column: Bike Science with Shawn Small One of the more frustrating aspects of cycling in an urban environment is not being able to trigger a signal and being stranded at an intersection. There you are, riding happily along, when you come to a red light Read More »

Introducing our new column: Bike Science with Shawn Small

Posted on September 10th, 2010 at 1:42 pm.

Our Bike Science superhero Shawn Small will rescue you from the sea of bike jargon and myths.(Photo © J. Maus) It’s with great excitement that I introduce our latest project here at BikePortland, a new column we call Bike Science with Shawn Small. Shawn is the man and the mind behind Portland-based carbon fiber research Read More »

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