Most People Don't Know How Bikes Work 

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Why are bicycles stable? The most common answer is gyroscopic effects, but this is not right. This video was sponsored by Kiwico. Get 50% off your first month of any crate at kiwico.com/veritasium50
Huge thanks to Rick Cavallaro for creating this bike on short notice. Thanks to all the friends who participated in the filming. Rick was also responsible for the Blackbird Faster Than The Wind Downwind Cart. • Risking My Life T...
Much of the information presented here on the stability of a riderless bicycle stems from original research at
Delft bicycle.tudelft.nl/schwab/Bicy...
Cornell ruina.tam.cornell.edu/research...
This line of bicycle-balance research was initiated by Jim Papadopoulos: www.nature.com/articles/535338a
Great videos on bikes and counter-steering:
MinutePhysics: How Do Bikes Stay Up? • How Do Bikes Stay...
MinutePhysics: The Counterintuitive Physics of Turning a Bike: • The Counterintuit...
Why Bicycles Do Not Fall - Arend Schwab TED talk: • Why bicycles do n...
Today I Found Out: We Still Don't Know How Bicycles Work • We Still Don’t Kn...
TU Delft - Smart motor in handlebars prevents bicycles from falling over: • TU Delft - Smart ...
Andy Ruina Explains How Bicycles Balance Themselves: • Andy Ruina explai...
More References:
TU Delft Bicycle Site: bicycle.tudelft.nl/schwab/Bicy...
Bicycle stability program: ruina.tam.cornell.edu/research...
Special thanks to Patreon supporters: Luis Felipe, Anton Ragin, Paul Peijzel, S S, Benedikt Heinen, Diffbot, Micah Mangione, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Sam Lutfi, MJP, Gnare, Nick DiCandilo, Dave Kircher, Edward Larsen, Burt Humburg, Blake Byers, Dumky, Mike Tung, Evgeny Skvortsov, Meekay, Ismail Öncü Usta, Crated Comments, Anna, Mac Malkawi, Michael Schneider, Oleksii Leonov, Jim Osmun, Tyson McDowell, Ludovic Robillard, Jim buckmaster, fanime96, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Vincent, Marinus Kuivenhoven, Alfred Wallace, Arjun Chakroborty, Joar Wandborg, Clayton Greenwell, Michael Krugman, Cy 'kkm' K'Nelson,Ron Neal
Written by Derek Muller
Filmed by Trenton Oliver, Raquel Nuno and Derek Muller
Edited by Derek Muller
Music from Epidemic Sound and Jonny Hyman
Produced by Derek Muller, Petr Lebedev and Emily Zhang









コメント数 : 23 156   
 ShortHax 年 前
It’s easy to build a rocket. It’s not like it’s bicycle-science
Denin Paul
Denin Paul 年 前
How the turntables ...
WiZarD 年 前
You don't build a bicycle, bicycle builds you.
Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon 年 前
I see what you did there 👌
i steal memes nicely (goal: 169)
what about bananalogic
Mad Sellers
Mad Sellers 10 ヶ月 前
As the saying goes "It's just like riding a bicycle." Once you learn, you can presumably maintain the ability with little effort or thought. Bicycle riding is such an experiential skill and I think that quote really helps underscore how intuitive and indirect the learning process can be. Great video!
Ulquiorra Cifer
Ulquiorra Cifer 9 ヶ月 前
As a kid I couldn't figure out how to ride a bike for around a week. However I suddenly figured it out after watching another kid falling off of their own bike.
pure vessle
pure vessle 9 ヶ月 前
I didn't realise the quote ended until the period after thought, but I prefer it that was.
Natalee is just chilling
I thought the saying was just “you never forget how to ride a bike”
Dicey 2 ヶ月 前
@Natalee is just chilling cant believe anyone would be rude to a bike
Natalee is just chilling
@Dicey oops lol my bad I fixed it
Bobby Hill
Bobby Hill 5 ヶ月 前
I remember learning to ride a bike with no hands at age 13. Letting go of the handle bars completely made me fall once and I cut myself up pretty good. I was laying in the middle of the street for about 4 minutes soaking in all the pain. But I got it down and learned to be aware of the steering along with my leverages. Only really works when you’re going in one direction at a high speed, but you can do wide turns with no hands
RetroWoo 5 ヶ月 前
I can
Justin D
Justin D 5 ヶ月 前
I used to ride all around town with no hands. One day I went down a hill and rounded a bend at the bottom of the hill. My front tire went into a small but deep pot hole that I didnt even see. I smashed my face and had to go to the ER and a plastic surgeon to fix the hole in my nose.
Евпатий Коловрат
@Justin D 🤔🤔🤔
Peter Smythe
Peter Smythe 4 ヶ月 前
Not just wide turns at high speed. You can start with no hands, get up to speed with no hands, orbit people with no hands... I use my hands on difficult terrain or when I need the brakes.
Justin D
Justin D 4 ヶ月 前
@Евпатий Коловрат what?
alpacawren 8 ヶ月 前
I've seen people cycle for a while with their hands off the steering completely, arms crossed or hanging loose at their sides or whatever. They could maintain balance just by forward pedaling and letting the front wheel correct itself for the most part. I was able to do it too, and you can even lean left or right to make minute angle turns at a time (helps to stay along the side of a road)
Eric0225 8 ヶ月 前
Hahaha Dutchies
leib 8 ヶ月 前
I've ridden no hands on a bike around a lake making turns and all... its not hard
Ishmam Farhad
Ishmam Farhad 8 ヶ月 前
I can also do that
Darren Z
Darren Z 8 ヶ月 前
I saw a guy the other day riding on the shoulder of a road, no hands while playing on his phone. In other words, I saw an idiot.
SJ Siemka
SJ Siemka 8 ヶ月 前
I will never understand how people ride bikes without hands...
Fountains 5 ヶ月 前
I learned to ride a motorcycle with a man that taught me counter-steering where you push away from your body with your hand on the side that you want to initiate a turn. It was so counterintuitive to hear, but once I learned how the bike reacted underneath me, I realized that I was doing it instinctively. You push away and as you "fall" into the turn, you then turn in to complete it. Learning how to ride a bike (in theory) all over again by having someone describe the actual movements rather than the instincts was jarring to me. I still think about it every now and then (riding motorcycles for over 20 years) and it still trips my brain when I move the set to the right to steer left. Thanks for the video, great stuff.
Observ45er 5 ヶ月 前
Yes. Motor cycle riders learn about counter-steering.
EtaSoon 4 ヶ月 前
Is a 100mph high speed sweeper the same or is the counter steer a endless phenomenon? Head tube angle 📐 and bike style also comes play. Cafe bike with steep head tube angle are the extreme examples. Counter steering is best demonstrated by viewing a remote controlled motorcycle. Crazy
AA Mech
AA Mech 4 ヶ月 前
@EtaSoon It depends whether you're talking about from a practical perspective or a mechanical perspective. From a mechanical perspective, motorcycles/bicycles steer in turns at any speed... "counter steering" is just a methodology for explaining the technique used to control it. From a practical perspective, in a high speed turn you have to keep pressure on the inside bar in order to maintain the turn. If you release pressure, front wheel castor (even on a bike with a steep head tube angle) causes the bike to steer deeper into the turn until the point where the wheels are brought back under the center of gravity.
Евпатий Коловрат
Контрруление помогает только на уклонах, посмотри внимательно на гонщиков MotoGP...
Dakota 4 ヶ月 前
@Observ45er You figure that out yourself? 🙄
Red 8 ヶ月 前
I remember as a kid my friends and I would try to balance on our bikes stationary and see who lasted the longest and we would end up frantically turning the wheel back and forth to stay up
philippe 6 ヶ月 前
more like right and left if it was stationary ?
z beeblebrox
z beeblebrox 年 前
You know a design is perfect when a hundred or so years after it's invented, researchers are still studying how it works so well
BornComatose 年 前
Exactly it's why the combustion engine should never go away
z beeblebrox
z beeblebrox 年 前
@BornComatose Unless you power your bike with lit farts, I think we're talking about two different things
LiL NiBBa 年 前
@z beeblebrox lit farts sounds much cooler to me
Lazy 年 前
The actual combustion engine is a cool thing, it’s just it’s fuel source. But still a really interesting piece of engineering, although not as simple as the bike tho.
Willow Ashe
Willow Ashe 10 ヶ月 前
This video explained some of my childhood feeling of inadequacy. The bike I tried to learn to ride on had gone through my 5 siblings, rusty and had dings and slight bends in the handlebars and frame. Learning felt so darn hopeless. It was embarrassing. When I was finally big enough to ride my sister’s bike, it took me minutes to figure it out and I was flying. Now I can see it might not have been all my fault that I couldn’t ever go in a straight line or get that thing to balance!
Myrdhin Müller
Myrdhin Müller 9 ヶ月 前
In the Netherlands we have a saying: you gotta learn 'it' on an old bike. This refers to early experience with sex. That you learn best with a more experienced woman. (Also in English slang 'bicycle' refers to an older promiscuous woman. One who shares her bed with many.) Anyway, it's applicable in your situation: because you managed to learn riding on that old bike, you immediately went pro on your sisters bike.
Cora Lee
Cora Lee 9 ヶ月 前
Oh! Your comment just made me remember something. I first rode a bike with training wheels when I was a kid, then learned to ride a bike without them. I told my mom that I could take the training wheels off my bike now, but she wanted me to continue using them to make sure I felt confident. I tried to ride the bike with training wheels again but I kept turning in directions I didn't intend and could hardly control the bike. I was very confused and embarrassed at the time
Ernie Colussy
Ernie Colussy 9 ヶ月 前
@Cora Lee This is why the current thinking among people that truly understand bicycles is that children should learn on strider style bicycle instead of bicycles with training wheels.
Wilfried Klaebe
Wilfried Klaebe 10 ヶ月 前
In driving school for motorbikes, they teach about "paradox steering impulse" - to steer left, you gotta give the front wheel a bump to the right, that makes the whole bike roll counterclockwise a bit, and that then makes the bike yaw left.
IconRunner 10 ヶ月 前
Yeah this is basic countersteering. Locking out the handlebars, it's no surprise this throws people off, it's instinct and we don't even recognize it on bikes, just more pronounced on motorbikes.
James P
James P 10 ヶ月 前
Exactly - over a certain speed, you push into the turn. To turn left, you push the left handlebar. In a more upright-sitting motorcycle, I would think of it as pulling over the turn (pulling the right handlebar to turn left).
Mystery Mouseketool
Mystery Mouseketool 10 ヶ月 前
That was also the plot to the movie cars
Oskar Grochowski
Oskar Grochowski 9 ヶ月 前
i cant believe that he had to make that mechanism to figure it out (or point it out). It' so stupid
H B 9 ヶ月 前
I learnt this when I started learning how to drift with my car.
Victorbrine 4 ヶ月 前
The fact that there is still research and some mysteries for such a common every-day object is insane
Harry Dresden
Harry Dresden 5 ヶ月 前
This is taught explicitly when you go through motorcycle courses, it’s even more important to know this when operating at multiple times the speed and hundreds of pounds more weight to that you can safely operate the vehicle
Kragatar 3 ヶ月 前
I think the most impressive part of this is the human brain's ability to do something it doesn't even know it's doing.
LegalEagle 年 前
Mike Boyd could ride that bike.
ned ben
ned ben 年 前
KiLLJoY 年 前
Colin Furze would make a bike you could never fall off of using the trick.
Tony Sparks
Tony Sparks 年 前
Mike Boyd is now legally obligated to ride that bike.
• Capybara Space Force & frens 🌌🌟 • 17 yrs ago
Well well- looky here. How our worlds collide! Glad to see you're branching out into the sciences, Eagle! That's very well-rounded of you. Long-time fan btw, under several different accounts now.
KosViik 年 前
He could teach Tom Scott how to do it. Imagine the absolute beast riding this one better than a normal one.
The Endurian Gamer
The Endurian Gamer 10 ヶ月 前
I've got co-ordination issues and wanted to try this out myself. My way of cycling is, quote from my instructor, "odd"; that's mainly because I over-lean into the direction I'm going before I start turning the handle bars. In fact, I barely even move the handle bars when I have any amount of speed. Though, I tried this counter-steer method and holy hell riding a bike has never been easier.
Joseph Pruitt
Joseph Pruitt 10 ヶ月 前
I lean into turns the same way but I think its cause when ever I ride my bike to my buddies I'm hauling ass to spend less time on the 2 mile ride there
Shagger Chuck
Shagger Chuck 10 ヶ月 前
The Endurian Gamer
The Endurian Gamer 10 ヶ月 前
@Shagger Chuck Yes; cycling instructor.
Noname 6 ヶ月 前
@Shagger Chuck if he rides as hilarious as he describes it's best that he's getting help lol. his riding style sounds dangerous for long term survival on public roads.
Khâmul the Easterling
As a dutch person this is really funny to see as there are many people that do not even use the steering wheel. You can use only balance for turns.
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi 7 日 前
Not really. You balance by throwing off your balance, which involves steering.
Todor M
Todor M 9 ヶ月 前
The caster angle in the car is also responsible for that the front wheels are always trying to balance themselves going straight ahead, hence the effect when you're in a corner and release the steering wheel the steering wheel is sort of "automatically" straighten itself.
M3LLOW 10 ヶ月 前
I learned that taking motorcycling classes, our teacher showed us on cycles. Really fascinating how you learn something and you don’t know what you’ve learned but you know how to do it 😂
Alan Davis
Alan Davis 10 ヶ月 前
I first understood this the day I tried jetskiing. As a lifelong bike rider/racer when I started I couldn't initiate a turn on the jetski... the reason was that I naturally counter steered into the turn (as per the video message), but on a jetski that physically steers the output jet in the opposite direction! On a jetski you need to turn the bars the way you want to go and it feels all sorts of wrong.
Keleigh Shepherd
I'm a radiotherapy engineer. At my job interview for my current position, I was asked to explain in layman's terms how a bicycle works. I explained how the pedals make motion through the gears, and then rapidly dissembled with "as to how a bike stays upright in motion? I have no idea, I'm not a bicycle physicist" AND I STILL GOT THE JOB
Bobby Boobs
Bobby Boobs 年 前
As an interviewer you would have got extra points for that. It is essential that people in technical positions understand the extend of their knowledge and are honourable enough to admit such even in high pressure situations where revealing the limit of your knowledge could be detrimental to you personally. The worst answer in the world is to try and bluff your way through.
Apeksha Maheshwari
but how do hula hoops stay in equilibrium during motion but falls when its stationary?
Urukosh !
Urukosh ! 年 前
@Apeksha Maheshwari speed invert gravity force. sam,e with the bike wheel experiment horizontal
Carl Jensen
Carl Jensen 年 前
They were just hoping you knew the answer so they could take credit at the nobel prize ceremony
Dream Wolf
Dream Wolf 年 前
Questions like that are actually geared towards to checking the ability of the applicant to acknowledge when they dont understand something. Because in any medical field, the biggest danger to patients, are professionals who cant accept that they dont know something.
Johny40Se7en 10 ヶ月 前
Wonderful video. And I'd guarantee you that because it's so humbly and simply explained, that if you showed this to a new or beginner rider, it would help them to ride significantly. That also goes for motorbikes, because the EXACT same principles apply. With the latter, you just gotta focus on having good control over the clutch and throttle too 😉 Great stuff 👍🙂
Richard Carter
Richard Carter 5 ヶ月 前
When I turn my bicycle I lean, a little, first and the steering naturally follows on. I think the portion at about 08:00 best explains it in terms of the self steering mechanism.
Renato Laino
Renato Laino 5 ヶ月 前
The same when you turn without holding the handles
K H 3 ヶ月 前
If you've ever taken a msf (motorcycle safety training) course they teach you to push on the left side of the handlebars to go left and vise versa using the same effect. Very interesting video love the bike content.
Clinton Shiells
Clinton Shiells 3 ヶ月 前
This is a very helpful video. I’m an avid cyclist and the steering and stability of bikes is often shrouded in mystery by those who design esp. racing bicycle frames.
Ian9toes 20 日 前
Cotton chipping once on a motorcycle set up with an auto clutch and outrigger so that the bike could easily be mounted and dismounted to attack weeds, was a fascinating experience. With all three wheels on the ground there was no counter steer to initiate a turn. However on the open road you could get the outrigger off the ground and then you had a normal steering motor bike. So the one vehicle had two distinct turning characteristics which didn’t take much to master, at least not for me being a seasoned dirtbike rider I assume.
Yakbreeder 年 前
We were taught counter steering in our motorcycle rider safety course years ago. Several in the class just could NOT comprehend it. One guy almost got tossed from the class for being argumentative about it. The instructor told him that anyone who has ridden a bicycle, counter steers without knowing they are. He finally accepted that he was wrong and passed the course.
Long Johnson
Long Johnson 年 前
I don’t know why they even teach “counter steering” like there is an alternative. If you don’t “counter steer” then you don’t ride a motorcycle lol.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
@Long Johnson I had found the way it was explained in class was way more complex than it actually was. But that is down to the instructor
Steve 年 前
@Whiskey Tango Foxtrot I was going to comment the same thing. My instructor taught that if you want to go right you need to "press" on the right handlebar. It felt unnecessarily confusing, and was probably just better left not being said. People intuitively know how to steer as long as they know how to ride a bicycle.
Mac Traynor
Mac Traynor 年 前
Sure -at low speeds motorcycles act the same way - At speed you "turn" the opposite way you want to go the entire time. Try it - going down the highway press forward on the left handle bar. The bike will lean left and turn left.
Misted Mind
Misted Mind 年 前
@Mac Traynor To me it's the opposite order. To go left I lean left. But to prevent the bike from "falling over" I have to press left to counter steer.
Pierre Jean F. Dupuis
I'm Dutch. I do not drive a car, just a bike. The idea of putting a motor in a bike to keep it upright or steer it seems to me like putting a V8 engine on a steak knife to make it cut better. Sure you can put a 1000 toddlers in a room and one or two may learn to operate such an insane device. Most will end up without fingers however. The price of the Segway isn't the only reason it did not replace the bike...
MidnightSundowns 5 ヶ月 前
I am very glad I watched this video. The next time I rode my bike after seeing this video I was just super more aware of how the human body moves balance wise. It’s one of those things we unconsciously take for granted and for some reason I am glad this little thing was pointed out because I like being conscious about things taken for granted.
Sean McEwan
Sean McEwan ヶ月 前
I actually did know this. I’m someone who’s always thinking how things work. I was teaching my daughter how to ride a bike not too long ago and I basically explained this to her. The balance is in the steering not your balance. I mean it’s both together but I get the concept.
Diego A Secas
Diego A Secas 3 ヶ月 前
when my dad taught me to ride he told me to not steer with the handlebar but balancing the weight of my body to the side i wanted to turn to and since it was always natural for me i find it strange that people often ignore that
Jam _
Jam _ 3 ヶ月 前
As a kid i somehow pieced together how to balance a bike without my hands on the bars and feet off the pedals. I felt like a king watching friends fail to sit on a stationary bike.
Nadroj 年 前
To me, science often shows how incredible our intuition is. There is so much that we do "naturally" without understanding the mechanics. Sometimes we get it wrong, but I like the example of shooting a basketball. The physics involved are incredible, but people can train to put a ball in a hoop at a weird angle from incredible distance, under duress, and with remarkable consistency without a deep understanding of the mechanics.
Gerhard van Eeden
Lovely comment!
Caleb R
Caleb R 年 前
And people can understand the mechanics and not be able to do it.
Reefos Jay
Reefos Jay 年 前
I agree
Or even simpler, being able to catch something thrown at you. Many intense mathematical calculations are subconsciously made in split seconds to know the trajectory of the object and where and when to catch it.
Jacob Berry
Jacob Berry 年 前
As a shooter and basketball player, please do not discredit the thousand of hours “in the lab” where we learn the mechanics and physics of putting the ball through the basket (no matter the conditions) through sheer repetition and proper coaching. It’s not like we’re doing math of course but we’re still learning and experiencing it through all of our senses. The depth of understanding is subjective I agree but “dumb jocks” often know their particular stuff “down to a science”.
Bunker do Weisenberg
It's so crazy to think as a civilization we still don't know how certain machines use or can use the laws of physics we really are in the technological adolescence that Carl Sagan mentioned
Zitronensaaft 10 ヶ月 前
I never actually learned how to ride a bike, I always have had really poor coordination and balance. but this video actually put into context a lot of things that didn't seem to make sense to me about riding bikes.
Super Sai
Super Sai 10 ヶ月 前
Yes, people underestimate their brain!! Regardless of what you practise. Your brain can "automate" many, many things you couldn't imagine to co-ordinate
Aron James
Aron James 7 ヶ月 前
Things like riding bicycle, you don't study, you practice and eventually master it
Sun Seeker
Sun Seeker 10 ヶ月 前
That explains perfectly why you can ride a bike as long as you don't think about it. Just allowing your body to sus out what the bike is doing without trying to control it yourself.
Trifortay 2 ヶ月 前
the thing I love about riding a bike is that once you know how you never forget how, and riding one is just completely intuitive
Daan Odinot
Daan Odinot 年 前
Always fascinated by the fact that there was a period of 50 years in human history were you could go from city to city by train, but there was no bicycle yet.
TheEvermind 年 前
Also, we put a man on the moon before we put wheels on our luggage.
John Baldwin
John Baldwin 年 前
Time travel exist hahah. YOU bring it to the UNKNOWN
suhail adeeb
suhail adeeb 年 前
Actually 14 years earlier
stray hoo-man on youtube
It's like we learn words first and then alphabets
White Jesse Link on Gab
I believe this was European history as much of the rest of the world is still lacking in both technologies.
Sunshine 2 ヶ月 前
Most people do this subconsciously when turning that they probably don't even realize counter-steering is a thing, but I like how this experiment shoves how important counter steering is in your face by just removing it completely as an option from the bike and then asking someone to ride it lol. It's a simple and easy way to prove how important counterbalance is.
Roger Tulk
Roger Tulk 3 ヶ月 前
as an experiment I once turned the front forks of my bicycle around so the contact patch is pretty much right under the handlebars. Having changed the geometry like that the bicycle became very difficult to ride.
xoluvisrage 3 ヶ月 前
You guys should do a video about drifting cars. a lot of the same principles apply especially caster/self steer. that’s the main reason drifting is possible. i’d love to see y’all go in depth with the physics of drifting as that would help a lot of people refine their technique and understanding of the sport.
Frank Sorenson
Frank Sorenson 6 ヶ月 前
Counter-steering a bicycle was so natural that when I was first learning to drive (a car), I had to unlearn steering to one direction before making a turn to the other.
Jake Avery
Jake Avery ヶ月 前
This kind of saved me on my motorcycle because I already ride a bike well and people explaining that on motorcycles you need to counter steer have been confusing me. I think now I understand I've been doing it intuitively, but I can try paying more attention and doing it more conscientiously.
Daniel Morrison
"Understanding how bicycles work is still an active area of research". This really is pretty extraordinary.
Nen Master5
Nen Master5 年 前
Veritasium-Fans, I have the Hobby to recommen Science-JPvidrs to Fans of Science-JPvid-Channels.
Chimera Photography
What the hell are we doing trying to get to mars when we haven’t figured out bicycles yet 😂
Obviously Anonymous
Gives me the same energy as inventing the Rubik's Cube and then not being able to resolve it
Nen Master5
Nen Master5 年 前
@Chimera Photography XD
Macro Dakregor
It's always funny to me how humans can create things before actually understanding how they actually work
dm 2 ヶ月 前
I recently learned how to drive a motorcycle; the countersteer force on a motorcycle, especially when going like 40-50mph is so high that you have to put like a few tens of pounds constantly pushing the handle to turn. If you stop doing it, the motorcycle has a self righting force due to the trail of the front fork. It's just so much stronger on a motorcycle since it's heavier and faster.
Harrison Robb
Harrison Robb 23 日 前
You can actually ride a bike like this, you just need a wider turning circle and to know how to shift the weight of your body through the turn. You also need enough momentum that the gyroscopic effect helps to right you on the other side of the turn. Once you learn how to ride without hands this sort of thing becomes pretty easy.
MynameisBrianZX 3 ヶ月 前
This principle of steering toward where you fall can be felt more closely if you learn to balance on a single ice skate. With momentum, it’s just a matter of steering your foot to stay under your center of mass. Without momentum, you can even push hard toward where you are falling, adjust to fall the other way, and keep pushing in an aggressive wavy path to gain speed
Sirjana Manandhar
Sirjana Manandhar 10 ヶ月 前
Counter steering has been known in the motorcycle community for ages but the strange thing is there are still people who deny it
This is the principle of how GOOD motorcycle riders ride. If you just lean left/right as many do you get a slow and dangerous way of moving. But if you steer LEFT in a Right corner you actually handle the corner much better. This gets more important the slower you go and like the video says. You cant really go LEFT by steering LEFT and leaning LEFT. By steering RIGHT you put yourself off balance and automaticly start leaning to the Left :) Fun and good video!
dogsrocks 年 前
To me its incredible how humans just learn to do these things subconsciously. Noone tells you that when youre a kid, you just try over and over again until suddenly you do it right without even knowing what youre doing differently. Imagine how many things you do right without even understanding why oder what exactly it is youre doing. Absolutely incredible
Paradox 年 前
I did actually tell my kid this, I didnt know this was something people didn't know. Its also very obvious that you have to do this on a motorbike.
@Paradox My dad explained this to me when I was learning to ride a bike and it actually screwed me up, cause I was always actively trying to countersteer and I always went too far. But maybe that's just me.
Vance Ezinwoke
I'm just here for the asmr 💕 riding a bike doesn't give you confidence You find that within yourself, I think
dogsrocks 年 前
@bob smith why you gotta do me like that though D:
Peter Ver Duin
Peter Ver Duin 10 ヶ月 前
Whats funny is you can completely forego a counter steer if you have ever ridden in a skatepark, done street/comp trials, or have been mountain biking for a while because you learn how to move your body and make the bike follow instead of you making the bike bring you around the turn itself
Brian Shissler
Brian Shissler 4 ヶ月 前
I remember as a kid I used to "ghost" my bike (coasting without rider) and spending a lot of time trying to figure it out. I was under 10, so I didn't know physics, but I have always kept that curiosity.
Pedro Muniz
Pedro Muniz 8 ヶ月 前
Honestly this video just brought me joy. As an engineering student never before have I ever thought of this and it just blew my mind as I took for granted and never questioned the fact that the gyroscopic effect was responsible for balance. Man I'm just happy that I just watched this.
Rick Cavallaro
Rick Cavallaro 8 ヶ月 前
You're going to make an excellent engineer.
Immortal 8 ヶ月 前
They actually teach this in motorcycle school here. Very important as countersteering is faster in initiating a turn than just leaning over. In case of a surprise obstacle (car taking your right of way, rock in the middle of the road etc.) this lets you react much faster to that
Papa Blue Shirt
Papa Blue Shirt 3 ヶ月 前
Really brings home what we take for granted. Now that I have tried it, it is impossible to ride with the steering locked. My headset bearings had a flat spot, so the steering would notch in that spot. It is unreal how it affects the steering and balance. It feels like you are riding on a grooved road, it is so weird.
Dax Quimm
Dax Quimm 年 前
Maintaining balance on a stationary bike is referred to as a “track stand” in the cycling world. Just a fun fact from an avid cyclist!
Jannick Breitenfellner
In professional cycling its usally called by the french name : sur place, meaning on the spot.
Ben Hansen
Ben Hansen 年 前
Cyclist also love saying this word to prove they are a real cyclist and not just a bike rider haha.
This comment is more interesting then the video
Olivia • Idle Hour •
Thats so weird my sister in law just named her baby Track Stand Grasso.
chachacha420 年 前
As a non cyclist i speak for the rest of the world when i say get your toy off the damn street and out of our way!
Shout 3 ヶ月 前
I understood how we keep the balance on bikes when I saw the tracks that the bikes leave. The front wheel was always in a zigzag pattern and back wheel was straight. That's where it clicked. Never thought about how turning works, but now I know :D
Maxima RPG MobileBoy
To be honest I didn't know riding a bike was supposed to be so complicated. I guess I'll go buy a new bike and try and learn how to actually ride one. Every one wish me luck
John Murphy
John Murphy 8 ヶ月 前
I used to ride motorcycles. To turn left you push forward very slightly on the left handlebar, which effectively turns to the right. This causes the bike to lean to the left & left you go. This is because you're extending the distance between the rear and front tyres & you don't have to fight to lean the bike, it does it itself. It's a delicate process that is best practiced before going straight out & doing it.
The Egg
The Egg 9 ヶ月 前
I noticed this myself once. I kept trying to turn without turning slightly in the opposite direction first. It was frustrating and I just couldn't do it. Also, I tried turning without leaning slightly. It can't be done. You must steer in the opposite direction AND lean in the direction you want to go or the bike will not turn.
I feel like everyone who rides knows about countersteering. When i learned how to ride a motorcycle this is one of the first theories i learned
Michael Searing
As a mechanical engineer, I have to add that there IS a way to turn right without steering left. Stand up on the pedals and tilt the bike to the right. Since the bike is between the pivot point (of the inverted pendulum) and your center of mass, your overall center of mass will shift to the right, causing you to fall to the right and then catch yourself by steering to the right. You can try this at home without a bike by balancing on one foot with your arms at your sides, then pushing your free leg quickly to the side. You'll always fall in that direction (if you do it quickly enough that the foot you're standing on can't correct for the shift in mass). This effect isn't very noticeable while biking since you're usually sitting on the seat (removing this degree of freedom). And you're usually moving fast enough that leaning the bike causes a natural steer (in the same direction) which moves your pivot point faster than rocking the bike moves your center of mass. This is also a way to track stand without rolling back and forth. You'll find this very difficult to learn, since typically when you fall to the right, you push your arms to the right, but to balance on a stationary bike, you need to push your arms (the bike) to the left. If you haven't seen it, check out Smarter Every Day's video "The Backwards Brain Bicycle" as a complement to this video. And this is your only option if you're riding with a group and your front wheel overlaps the rear wheel of the bike in the front of you and comes close to touching it; you can't steer into their rear wheel to turn away, since you'd hit them and wreck yourself. And you can't brake hard, since you'd wreck the person behind you. You have to get out of the saddle and tilt your bike away from theirs, initially countering the bike's natural tendency to steer in that direction.
Wells Tanner
Wells Tanner 年 前
Was looking for this comment. I guess as a competitive cyclist I have been able to become aware that the correct technique to corner at higher speeds and even more efficiently is to lean and essentially countersteer a little bit. The countersteer is not something you practice but rather the weighting of the bike is huge. Getting more weight closer to over your wheels and tires allows you to increase grip because of what i assume to be increased contact patch and some physics. Cool to read! Thanks
Giga Brother
Giga Brother 年 前
@Wells Tanner This video is for and about how tourists ride those blue rental bikes. Try steering this way (as shown in the video) on a downhill at 40mph and have your dentist on speed-dial.
rndviddump 年 前
​@Giga Brother YES. Exactly this. I often feel as though the plot gets lost in some of these explanations. When you are going sufficiently fast enough, a slight shift of your weight by leaning the bike and body are enough to allow for a turn without having to first turn the handlebars in the opposite direction. If you look at a video of a person steering without touching the handlebars, you will find at even lower speeds that shifting weight will turn the wheel in the intended direction of travel. Unicycles can also be brought up, but that's slightly outside scope i think. Imo the correct explanation in this video should be that bikes are steered primarily by shifting weight not by turning the handles. The handles are there for comfort and precision/stability.
CreeperLano 年 前
you wouldn't have to stand up right? i mean i can already do it by sitting and only leaning to a side
Nate DeJong
Nate DeJong 年 前
@rndviddump I think you're missing the point slightly - it's very difficult/unnatural to "shift weight" on a bicycle without being able to manipulate the steering. Slight adjustments to the steering is how one compensates for shifting weight. This is also true on a bike that is ridden with no hands - only in that case the rider has to be sensitive/careful enough about their weight distribution that they can make minor steering adjustments by balance. It's a positive feedback control system, so in order to turn right with no hands, the rider intuitively will start with a very slight lean to the left, and induce a left turn in the steering wheel before leaning right to turn. Most people find this a bit difficult (and it very much depends on the inherent stability of the bike), so they instead make minor (read: pre-turn) steering adjustments with their hands, and then as you say, actually lean to make turns. But in either case, control of the steering is critical to maintain balance.
Mr. Man
Mr. Man 8 ヶ月 前
I had no idea bicycles had this much thought put into their design. This was a crazy video!
Z. Smith
Z. Smith 3 ヶ月 前
honestly, the first designers didn’t know either. They didn’t use these concepts to make their bikes, they just tried some stuff and kept what worked.
MrDoughnut99 8 ヶ月 前
It seems like a critical factor in the self steering is that when the bike leans left causing the front wheel to turn left - allowing the bike to keep rolling but now to the left slightly - the linear momentum of the bike is then pointed to the right slightly with respect to the new orientation/trajectory of the bike, encouraging the bike to steer right, and then turn slightly right. As such I would expect that on flat ground with a symmetrical push-off an un-manned bike would oscillate left to right and back again in a somewhat sinusoidal manner. This feedback mechanism allows the bike to not just ride upright, but to do so in a roughly straight oscillating manner, as opposed to going in loops and loops. I feel like this feedback loop was somewhat missing from the video’s explanation (the three mechanisms at the end), but maybe this is encapsulated in those mechanisms and I am just not seeing the connection? Super interesting video!
Oli Stoneoak
Oli Stoneoak 3 ヶ月 前
"Most people don't know how a bike works. So we modified this bike so that it doesn't function like normal bikes, to prove it."
Haku 9 ヶ月 前
As someone who drives free hand all the time I figured this out some time ago. When making a turn while your hands are not on the handlebar you have to lean into the opposite direction first before making a turn. Great video.
Paul TheSkeptic
Paul TheSkeptic 9 ヶ月 前
I was told that the rotating wheels act as gyroscopes keeping you up. Maybe that's true to some degree but this makes so much more sense. Yeah, you're just steering under yourself. It's a balancing act. We are bipedal. We're better at balancing than we think.
Your Pal Kindred
I never realised how intelligently built bikes were. It looks so simple but it's such a genius creation
Conal Bennett
The people who designed them probably didn't realise either. It was just an accident that they discovered the principles shown in the video.
Scrag Jonez V
They haven't changed very radically in the 150 some odd years since we pretty much figured them out. Only took us about 60-70 years from the very first two wheeler to basically reach the peak of bicycle tech. Kinda strange that no one had gotten around to inventing a bicycle until just 200 years ago. The wheel had been around for a good long while already. Surely the other components of a bike could've been readily cobbled together for a few hundred years before they finally were. I dunno.
beebait 年 前
@Conal Bennett it was kinda just an iterative thing. Early bikes looks funky and they just kept what worked and replaced what didnt work.
Yah a steering wheel...deep
Cable Waffel
Cable Waffel 10 ヶ月 前
The fact that humans made bicycles work without even knowing how they work is incredible.
Chester Wang
Chester Wang 10 ヶ月 前
Another way to think about it is when you turn the bike, there is a centripetal force trying push the bike in the opposite direction of the turn, which is why you should lean into the turn - the turn supports your lean.
bonk 10 ヶ月 前
Mountain bike rider would experience this first hand. If you ride mountain bikes think about this, have you ever felt like the bike is moving under you but you aren’t? That’s this!👍
RZPogi 7 ヶ月 前
I tried resisting that opposite movement. My turning radius increased significantly, and my arms got tired resisting the force after a few turns.
Situation Normal
It's actually fascinating how our body learns something intuitively yet our mind stays blissfully unaware. When I said our mind that doesn't mean brain or something, by mind I meant conscious decision making. So all you nitpicky geniuses can stop now.
SternLX 年 前
Yup, with motorcycles you're carrying more speed, so you're not really make a left to go right, you're just pushing the front wheel off axis to get it to lean in the opposite direction. Above a certain speed you can just lean the direction you want to go and input nothing on the bars. The front wheel just falls in the direction of the turn due to the rake distance.
Urukosh !
Urukosh ! 年 前
no u i know how it works. simple physics
Chris Tian
Chris Tian 年 前
The broomstick balancing was a great example of this right?
Artur B
Artur B 年 前
And the more mind you try to push on whatever your doing, the worse it gets
phobos2k2 年 前
It is fascinating. In a similar way we learn our first language. A child can speak and pick out errors, but not tell us all the grammatical rules of the language, because they never learned them. Still the best way to pick up a language. Learning the rules should always come second.
Amaya Ells
Amaya Ells 9 ヶ月 前
I knew about counter steering, my dad rides a motorbike and knew about it so taught me when I started riding more. Understanding counter steering does help.
Nned Denn
Nned Denn 3 ヶ月 前
As a guy who rides bycicle for more then 6 years I'm staggered. Didn't I notice that movement or do I turn in another way? On bikes you just lean and stern IN the way you are turning, and this works great.
Bicycles are one of the most underrated Technological masterpiece created by Humankind.
Elijah 6 ヶ月 前
That is about as strange as the reversed steering bike. [We made one at our church several years ago and one of the younger teens jumped on it and started riding it. He never rode one like it before, it just came natural to him].
TymexComputing 9 ヶ月 前
The fighterjets also have these kind of stabilization - built into the wings - it must stabilize all the little aberrations the plane touches and must do it faster than the human would see it
Arkios 年 前
Tom Scott: "I have just now finally learned how to ride a bike" Meanwhile, Derek, just a few days later: "Here's the reason why most people learning to ride a bike have problems at the beginning"
EcceJack 年 前
My thoughts exactly! :D And also responding to the "gyroscopic effect" statement along the way
Morgan Harris
Dereked again!
Yakoto 年 前
exactly what I thought LOL
Light Warrior
He would have learned how to ride it in 30 minutes.
Hoàng Minh Nguyễn
@Arshad on the tom scott plus channel, he learned to ride a bike from mike boyd whose channel is about him learning new skills
FeNanDoH3nR1Qu3 6 ヶ月 前
É realmente incrível como os estudos fazem a diferença, vcs estão estudando algo q a maioria das pessoas pensavam totalmente ao contrário q era devido ao efeito giroscópio mas tem muito mais q isso
jimmy joe
jimmy joe 8 ヶ月 前
I rode a bike like this as child. My dad modified it for me. And had it set so I could undo it on my own if needed. Watched one of my brothers face plant trying to ride my bike.
Hel1Catt 8 ヶ月 前
As a experienced mountain biker, I just lean in the direction I want to go avoiding having to counter-steer
Rick Cavallaro
Rick Cavallaro 8 ヶ月 前
There are literally thousands of people making exactly that claim in these comments. I'm offering a $10K bet that they can't. So far - no takers.
Talon Greenlee
Talon Greenlee 10 ヶ月 前
This is a rookie problem. It would be easier to steer if you were going faster. If you can lean without steering, you can maintain balance, but that only works if you have rotational inertia in the wheels and if you’re skilled enough to pull it off reliably.
NeverEverFaceTheDark 10 ヶ月 前
i actually remember learning to countersteer as a kid i.e. i remember not knowing how to and falling over. it's the essential trick to keeping your balance on the bike.
Om Dahake
Om Dahake 年 前
Just knowing that scientist are still researching how cycles work just surprises me that how much physics just a simple object carries
Raleford 年 前
I think it also demonstrates just how complex physics is as a field. We don't even know everything about the things we know.
liam g
liam g 年 前
Check my about page link get a life dude nobody is doing that
Manuel Buitenhuis
I also think a bicycle is far from a simple object
🇺🇦 bettercalldelta
It actually fascinates me how many things we do automatically, not consciously
As someone who can ride their bike two-tires on a round rail, I could totally turn this bike and continue riding.
Gopher Manlet
Gopher Manlet 20 日 前
as a motorcyclist, this is something that feels like everyone knows / should know already
Alain-Daniel Tankwa
Alain-Daniel Tankwa 7 ヶ月 前
Extreme balancing techniques Indeed. I'm quite impressed we know this intuitively
noel rossbridge
noel rossbridge 10 ヶ月 前
Dustin from "Smarter Everyday" built a bike that handlebars turned forks opposite direction. He couldn't ride it but only took his kid, who recently learnt to ride a bike, about 10 minutes to adapt.
Steve Zelaznik
Steve Zelaznik 3 ヶ月 前
An intuitive sense is to try to steer with one hand on the handle bars. If you turn right, you’re realize that you’re PUSHING on the right handlebar. Try turning right by pulling on the right handlebar. It only works at really slow speeds. I had to find this out for myself after I took a class to get my motorcycle license.
Onward and Upward
I've been struggling for years explaining countersteering to people, many people would respond with disbelief because they'd been riding bikes for years and couldn't get their heads round countersteering. Even my Dad looked at me like I was talking nonsense. Thanks for this video now I can send it to him and he might actually believe me.
Myrdhin Müller
In that case, an even better example is the video: "consequences of not understanding counter-steering on a motorcycle". At first it's tough to watch, but they explain the rider is okay. It's very educational.
Colin Ubeh
Colin Ubeh 年 前
I have no idea that I have been doing it every time I ride a bike until I watched this video.
Mohammad Samaeili
Kzitold 年 前
Having not learned to bike until my 20's, I was aware of countersteering. Wasn't aware it was for balance. I just thought it was to make turns not so sharp. Like, get far right to begin the left turn sooner. My countersteering may be more pronounced though.
Tristan DizZo
The only thing I nitpick is why in the world people in small cars countersteer all the way into my lane before making their turn 🫠
Connor Grynol
Connor Grynol 10 ヶ月 前
The first time you fell I understood the problem. I imagine you could still turn right if you did it gradually but you couldn’t do a sharp turn.
OperationSauce 3 ヶ月 前
you can really feel this hard when you drift off to one side of the path/road a bit to much and your hanging right on the edge unable to get back to the centre because you need to swing out a bit.
Alexander Bouwland
Alexander Bouwland 10 ヶ月 前
Recently i've been trying to lean into a turn more instead of turning the handles. at that point im like one of those motorcycle riders who's bodies are turned kind of diagonally in the turn. Then i just lean the other way to counter balance it. This doesn't always work for a hard turn unless you have a lot of room for it.
Lordfelgrand 3 ヶ月 前
this makes sense now i always wondered why i could still balance with out holding the steering wheel
Tomas Forslund
Tomas Forslund 9 ヶ月 前
Makig myself aware of the countersteering has improved my curve lines dramatically when driving my motorcycle.
ㄹㅅㄹ 年 前
What's most interesting to me is that humans can do something without even knowing it. I learned to ride a bike as a kid and have never forgotten. I still have a bike now and ride it regularly. If you asked me how to turn, I would've simply said just turn the handle in the direction you want to go. It's incredible that we intuitively counter steer without knowing that we are actually doing that.
Alexis Aguirre
4 levels on competence. The highest is unconscious competence and that’s when we do things without knowing how or why we can do it! Super neat.
Ole Hammersland
In David Eagleman's book Incognito he recounts an experiment where people were asked to close their eyes and "act out" how they would change lanes in a car. Similarily, most people got it all wrong and would have crashed into the curb. They steered left on an imaginary wheel, and then positioned their hands in the original position again. But everybody missed that you actually have to countersteer to the right again for the car to go straight ahead, and not keep swerving left. Very interesting to me.
Literally a Dragon
Noone has to calculate their trajectory to know how hard they need to jump to hop over a pothole. The ability of fleshythings to grasp physics is truly neat when mathematical and biological knowledge of how it works is esoteric to most.
Kimberly 年 前
I struggle to ride a bike and have since I was a kid. I still try to ride periodically and can go awhile but find it stressful. I’m always hyperaware that I need to counter-steer and found that out the hard way as a kid when I turned the handlebars without and took a nasty fall. Actually knowing this makes it harder for me to ride. Lol
Jin Alcantara
It's called mastering a skill and forgetting that you mastered it just like a baby learning to walk it becomes part of you 😎
Walrus 10 ヶ月 前
This is such a great series of insights
David McGill
David McGill 8 ヶ月 前
I have been thinking about this video a lot since I first saw it. I ride mountain bikes and while I am totally aware of often steering in the opposite direction I intend to turn, I am also pretty sure (not 100%) that sometimes I do not. The whole purpose of turning in the opposite direction you intend to turn is to get your center of gravity to the inside of the intended turn. So a lot of times when I intend to turn, I do not turn the handlebars at all at first, but rather I just lean in the direction I want to go. The bike then also leans and then turns in the direction I want to turn without my ever having turned them in the opposite direction. I would love to see you repeat this experiment with an experienced mountain bike rider.
XtreeM FaiL
XtreeM FaiL 8 ヶ月 前
TL🐉 You can't ride bike without countersteering.
David McGill
David McGill 8 ヶ月 前
@XtreeM FaiL Do you ride mountain bikes off road?
XtreeM FaiL
XtreeM FaiL 8 ヶ月 前
@David McGill Yes. Do you know that you can shorten that? Do you ride bikes? Do you see that?
David McGill
David McGill 8 ヶ月 前
@XtreeM FaiL Well like I said, I am not 100% sure, but it sure seems like on some turns, not usually very sharp ones, that I initiate the turn solely by leaning with no counter-steer. Have not tried it on pavement. And in my experience, there are significant differences in how you ride mountain bikes as opposed to road bikes.
XtreeM FaiL
XtreeM FaiL 8 ヶ月 前
@David McGill Bike is a bike. Motorbike, bicycle, kickbike, moped, scooter... Snowbikes have skies instead of wheels... Works just the same. What you think you're doing is not always what you're actually do! Take a few steps. Run if you like. Now. Explain walking! You have 5s.
Ghetto 8 ヶ月 前
As a veteran bicycle rider for 10 years i had experienced all this falls and techniques
Christian Runs NY
Maybe my mind is just melting, but it sounds like with practice, you could gently lean to the right or left and start falling, like the empty bike, then turn into it to catch yourself, and hold the turn like you did on video. It seems like the hardest part is not accidentally needing to turn left a little but before left (or right) locks. So if it is random chances, are it will catch you off guard and you're stuck in the awkward unstable fully upright position. Either way it's interesting and cool!