Page:The Cycle Industry (1921).djvu/95

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CHAPTER XIII

THE WEIGHT QUESTION

There is no subject in connection with cycle making that has been more discussed among riders and makers than the all important weight question. It is obvious, without much explanation, that where human power alone is employed for propulsion the weight of a bicycle is vital. It must not, however, be imagined that the lightest bicycle is the easiest to propel in all cases without other consideration. A bicycle frame may be so light that instead of resisting the torsional and other strains imposed on it by the rider it will "whip" and so cause power to be lost between the bottom bracket and the rear hub by setting up friction in the transmission.

Hubs and bearings that are too small cause undue friction by binding and so fail to roll easily. There is also the danger of making parts so light that they are prone to breakage.

There has been a great tendency during the past few years to make bicycles unnecessarily heavy. This is accounted for in various ways, the explanation being somewhat difficult to arrive at.

The chief reason is that makers with a reputation at stake like to be on the safe side, and they argue that it is unwise to send out light machines for indiscriminate use. All riders do not treat a bicycle in the same manner, and where A would use a feather-weight for years without meeting with breakage or other serious trouble, B would smash or otherwise damage an ultra light machine in the first few hundred miles.

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