jlr774 43M
110 posts
8/16/2006 9:59 pm

Last Read:
8/17/2006 9:43 pm


The spokes on a bicycle wheel (or motorcycle
wheel) are essentially wires under a lot of
tension. The wheel gets its strength from the
tension in the spokes. In fact, none of the wheel
parts bear loads by compressing. What really
happens is that, when you sit on the bike, the
spokes near the ground relax, because you're
decreasing their tension by pushing down. To
compensate, the spokes at the top pull, increasing
their tension.

For this whole proccess to work, you need a huge
amount of tension in the wheel. In fact, the spokes
are typically stressed nearly to the breaking point
(i.e. they'd break with much more tension). Ok, so
what's the point? There's a small, knife-edge,
where everything works ok. Too little tension
and we don't have anything pulling or pushing
us to accomplish anything. To much tension and
we break under all that stress.

rm_agathon12 46M
1311 posts
8/17/2006 2:44 am

Yup. And the level of stress which any one system can handle is different so the strain which breaks one is just about what another needs to move it along.

rm_mangomami2 40F
364 posts
8/17/2006 8:32 pm

Interesting how things must be in sync that way . But that is life , always about achieving the perfect balance .

jlr774 43M
157 posts
8/17/2006 9:43 pm

agathon: Yeah, this makes working with, or even talking to new
people all the more "interesting." Not to mention making everyone
resistant to change. Status quo, anyone?

mango: Not only in perfect balance, but close to catastrophic
failure. Don't you find that weird? Isn't it weird that you either
push yourself to exhaustion or wallow about your home? At least
that's what I do, and I think it's weird.

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