To download a pdf of this article, visit cenm.ag/bicycles.
References used to create this graphic:
Case, Fiona. “Where the rubber meets the road.” Chemistry World, Sept. 29, 2011.
Exploratorium. “The science of cycling.” Accessed May 12, 2021.
Nicol, Scot. “Metallurgy for cyclists.” Originally published in several issues of VeloNews (1994). Republished on BikeGremlin (Feb. 6, 2021) by Relja Novović.
A collaboration between C&EN and Andy Brunning, author of the popular graphics blog Compound Interest
This story was updated on May 25, 2021, to correct the structure of the example polyester (polyethylene terephthalate). The structure was missing an oxygen.