#2000: SparseSpars

Today’s invention is an adaptation of one submitted to my Inventors’ Inbox column written with Mark Sheahan.

Imagine a lean back-type bicycle in which the triangle formed by the frame tubes between steering head, seat and pedal axle (dashed) could be replaced by three tubes with a shorter total length (shown in red).

It turns out that there is some mathematics which allows this total length to be minimised (although the tubes themselves might have to be a bit wider).

(I tried to use this technique in laying down a garden path, but was overruled on aesthetic grounds).