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Speed. It's nice to be able to drive the wheel faster than the rpm's your legs can produce on the front gears.

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Q: Why could it be useful for the mechanical advantage of a bicycle to be less than 1?
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Does MA stand for Mechanical Advantage?

It could, or Master of Arts.

What is the difference between actual machanical advantage and ideal machanical advantage?

Ideal mechanical advantage is what could be obtained without the effects of gravity and friction lowering the efficiency of the machine. The actual mechanical advantage is what can actually be obtained by the machine.

What is meant by the term mechanical advantage?

A lever is a very useful tool that lets us exchange weight for distance. For example (theoretically) if you had to move a 200 pound sack into a car, but couldn't lift it, you could divide it into 8 parts, each being 25 pounds, and move each one individually into the car. It would be easy, however it would take more distance (lifting into the car 8 times instead of 1)

What is the equation for mechanical advantage?

Mechanical Advantage: F(out)/ F(in) Actual Mechanical Advantage is the ratio of Force outputed to Force inputed. (AMA=Fo/Fi) Similarly, IMA (Ideal Mechanical Advantage) = di/do

Is it true a simple machine is one that always gives a mechanical advantage of 2?

No. A simple machine such as a lever could quite easily give a mechanical advantage of 10, 100 or more, or could even be less than 1.

How can you increase mechanical advantage of a gear system?

A mechanical advantage occurs when a tool such as a hammer is used that increases the amount of force being applied without increasing the effort of the person using the tool. To increase mechanical advantage, you could use a bigger hammer to increase output force.

Why will decreasing the radius of the axle improve the mechanical advantage of a wheel and axle?

it's a mechanical advantage of 1 (meaning no mechanical advantage). This is because no matter how much easier it is to spin a the wheel rather than the axle, its a longer distance of effort force and vice versa. * * * * * True, but that is not what mechanical advantage is! Mechanical advantage IS the trade off between the force required and the distance travelled. You can find the ideal mechanical advantage of a wheel and axle by dividing the radius of the wheel by the radius of the axle. * * * * * Better. But I think it could be either of the two reciprocal ratios of the radii, depending on whether the wheel/axle is being used in a 2nd class or 3rd class lever configuration ... i.e., are you cranking the wheel in order to turn the axle, as in a winch, or spinning the axle in order to turn the wheel, as in a motor-vehicle ?

What happens to the mechanical advantage of a machine if friction is reduced through the use of oil or some other means?

Wear and tear of moving parts would be reduced. Less energy would be needed to run the machine, as there would be less friction to be overcome. A well lubricated machine is more efficient than a neglected machine with unoiled parts.

Can you determine the mass of an object greater than the maximum mass that you use in the spiral spring?

You could use two or more spiral springs to share the weight. You could use a pulley system with a big mechanical advantage and use the spiral spring to measure the reduced load. Or you could use a lever with a big mechanical advantage in a similar way.

How do you calculate the ideal mechanical advantage of a lever?

It's 1. IMA = Distance in / Distance out. A single pulley doesn't do anything toward mechanical advantage, it changes the direction of the force. Not always. A single-axeled pulley (the typical pulley) has an IMA of 1, having one axel. If there was a second axel, then the IMA would = 2, so on and so forth. The easy way to do it is IMA = # of axels.

What could be done to increase the mechanical advantage of an inclined plane?

It decreasesThe greater the angle, the steeper the inclination, the less effective it is. The greater the horizontal distance traveled for every unit length of height gained, the greater the mechanical advantage. GO Michael cooper repersentin Monticello

Which is not a way that machines provide a mechanical advantage?

If you want me to pick the correct answer from a list of multiple choices for you, I'd appreciate it if you could give me a peek at the list for a few seconds.