This short film is sure to get your wheels spinning as the sports engineer Steve Haake takes you on a tour de science of professional cycling. Haake breaks cycling down into its physical principles as he talks about how road and track bikes have been optimized in different ways to offer speed and control. Haake – a physicist-turned-engineer – showcases a bike that has been specially designed to cut through the air with minimal resistance.

You can also watch the two other films in this series on the physics and technology of professional sport, which focus on running and swimming. And for a limited period you can download a free copy of the July issue of Physics World, a special edition that looks at the physics of sport. It includes features on the physical principles underpinning athletics, and the roles technology plays in enabling and enhancing sporting performance.