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Wild ride: get a grip


Investigate the role of friction in performance of bicycle tyres. Test how the type of tread affects grip and speed. Choose tyres best suited to track and weather conditions in a time trial. This learning object is one in a series of four objects.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students investigate the role of friction in performance of bicycle tyres.
  • Students relate tyre grip to friction forces generated between a range of surfaces.
Educational value
  • Illustrates relationships between tyre grip, action and friction forces generated between a range of surfaces.
  • Simulates lab testing procedures and data measurement, including the use of a force transducer.
  • Describes how action, force and friction are generated and can be measured.
  • Allows students to select tyres for different conditions and test their predictions.
  • Provides printable tables for students to record experimental results.
Year level

5; 6; 7; 8

Learning area
  • science
  • Science/Physical sciences
  • Science/Science as a human endeavour
  • Science/Science inquiry skills
  • Science/Science understanding
    • Science/Equipment
    • Science/Everyday life
    • Science/Energy transfer
    • Science/Force
    • Science/Machines - simple
    • Science/Motion
    • Analysis;
    • Application;
    • Comprehension;
    • Knowledge
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Technical implementer
    • Organisation: The University of Western Australia; The Centre for Learning Technology
    • Address: Nedlands WA 6907 Australia
    • URL:
    • Author
    • Organisation: Government of Western Australia; The Department of Education
    • Address: East Perth WA 6004 Australia
    • URL:
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 28 Jan 2014
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL:
    Access profile
    • Generic
    Learning resource type
    • Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.