Rolling Friction: 15 Important Factors Related To It

Rolling friction examples illustrate how easy it is to move an object by simply putting an object on wheels instead of pushing it. Some of the basic rolling friction examples around us are listed below:

Read more about 18 List of Sliding Friction Examples.

Trolley Bag

One of the common rolling friction examples found at our home is the wheels of the trolley bag. Instead of pushing or lifting the heavy bag, we apply muscular force on it by pulling the bag so that the heavy bag can easily roll over the floor. In reaction, the rolling activity causes the rolling friction between the wheels and floor surfaces, which prevents excess of the bag’s rolling motion.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Wheels of Trolley Bag (credit: shutterstock)

Read More about an Inclined Plane that makes any work easier.

Ball Bearing

Ball Bearing is advanced examples of rolling friction which found in many objects around us like blenders, skateboards, bicycles, etc. Because of the rounding shape, the bearing supports the heavy load at much lower rolling friction for smooth rotation.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Ball Bearing in Bicycle Wheel (credit: shutterstock)

Pen with a Blunt Cap

Do you know what is the use of the pen cap more than protecting its nib?
Have you noticed that when we kept the pen without a cap on the inclined table, it will roll over and fall? Therefore, a cap is attached to the pen is one of the rolling friction examples as it provide rolling friction that stops its rolling.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Blunt Cap of Pen (credit: shutterstock)

Duckpin Ball

A duckpin ball has larger and heavier than any other sports ball. Therefore, it provides less rolling friction compared to other balls due to its size and weight.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Duckpin Ball (credit: shutterstock)

Sports Ball

The sports ball like football and cricket ball is one shows what factors are responsible for causing the rolling friction.
Have you noticed that both balls will move more slowly in the grassy field compared to the concrete field? The grass field offers greater rolling friction than the concrete field to both balls. That is the reason most of the sports are played on a grass field.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Sports Balls in Grass Field (credit: shutterstock)


The rolling friction is proportional to an object’s mass. Since the four wheels of the skateboard also support the weight of the human rider, it creates greater rolling friction while riding on the road which prevent the rider from falling.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Wheels of Skateboard (credit: shutterstock)

Roller Skates

Like skateboards, the roller skates and inline skates are also the rolling friction examples; but due to the size, shapes, rider’s weight distribution and its wheels alignment, a rider experienced different degree of friction on each of them. Compared to inline skates, the roller skates provide greater rolling friction as it have a greater surface contact area with the road due to its wheels alignment.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Inline Skates Vs Roller Skates (credit: pickmyscooter)


It is an adventuresome sport that gives us an exciting experience due to the rolling friction of the big ball on the surface. Suppose if the ball has no rolling friction, then it would be rolled infinitely.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Zorbing Ball (credit: shutterstock)

Winter Sports

The rolling friction of an object on an ice surface allow us to play various sports games during the winter season. The winter sports that illustrate rolling friction examples includes recreational sports like sledding or skiing to elite-caliber sports like hockey, figure skating, curling, speed skating, etc.
These winter sports are based on the friction heat generated due to the object’s surface that comes in contact with the ice surface. Due to such frictional heat, the ice surface momentarily melted and then refroze as the object rolled across its surface, which led to humans’ enjoyment of such outdoor sports during the winter.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Winter Sports (credit: shutterstock)

Wheels of Vehicles

Have you imagined any vehicles with square or rectangular wheels? It would require maximum frictional force to overcome the friction between surfaces of its tires and road.
Since the rolling frictional force is lesser in magnitude than the other two types of frictional forces, the circular-shaped vehicle’s wheels provide rolling friction on the tar road’s surface that avoids major accidents. Hence, the wheels of any vehicles are major rolling friction examples we see our day-to-day life.
The rubber material is preferred on the wheels as it offers excellent grip while rolling on the surface. Also, to reduce the rolling friction, the surface of the road is made up of concrete.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Wheels of Car (credit: shutterstock)

Read more about Frictional Forces.

Container Truck Wheels

Do you know why the wheels of the container are larger in shape than the car?
The container truck carries a heavier load bearing down on its wheel. Since it requires greater rolling friction than other small vehicles, its wheels, along with tires, are larger.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Wheels of Container Truck (credit: shutterstock)

Bicycle Wheels

From the concepts of the vehicle’s wheels, we understand that the more the mass of an object, the greater it provides rolling friction.
Therefore, the bicycle wheels and their tires are circular-shaped but thinner than other vehicles to reduce the rolling friction between the surface of its tires and the road.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Wheels of Bicycle (credit: shutterstock)

Bike Wheels

Have you noticed that bike wheels are thicker than cars and bicycles? Such thicker wheels provide a greater surface contact area to create rolling friction against the road, which helps to slow the bike by decreasing its potential velocity. That is why the thicker wheels of the bike provide more rolling friction than other vehicles, but it also consumes more fuels.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Wheels of Bike (credit: shutterstock)

Train Wheels

The train wheels are larger in mass than all other wheels and made up of metal, providing the least rolling friction over a metallic rail track.
But instead of a straight track, it offers greater rolling friction to the train wheel while traveling in a curved track.

Rolling Friction Examples
Rolling Friction Examples
– Train on Curved Track (credit: shutterstock)

So how many sliding friction examples have you encountered in the real world? List it out.

Sliding Friction Vs Rolling Friction

Sliding FrictionRolling Friction
It resulted when any arbitrarily shaped object is sliding on the surface of another object.It resulted when any circular-shaped object is rolling on the surface of another object.
It is a resisting force that opposes the sliding motion between two surfaces.It is a resisting force that opposes the rolling motion between two surfaces.
It is created by the irregularities on the surfaces which are in contact.It is created by the deformation of the surfaces which are in contact.
It is often much larger in magnitude compare to rolling friction.It is often much lesser in magnitude compare to sliding friction.
Since its coefficient is greater than rolling friction, it is harder to push an object by sliding.Since its coefficient is less than rolling friction, it is easier to push an object by rolling.
Example – A rectangular object slides slowly over the surface.Example – A circular-shaped object rolling rapidly over a surface.
Difference between Sliding Friction and Rolling Friction
Sliding Friction Vs Rolling Friction


Can water reduce Rolling friction?

Ans: Water can reduce the rolling friction between two surfaces only if the surfaces are not absorptive.
When water spreads between two surfaces, it reduces their contact area and acts as a barrier by separating them.

Why are the tires with Worn-out Surfaces replaced?

Ans: The tires of the vehicles are made rough to provide a better grip while driving on the road. Due to the worn-out surface, it would skid on the road because of the following reason:

The worn-out tires of the vehicle cannot be able to provide rolling friction between surfaces of the tires and road, which cause major accidents while driving. Therefore, such tires with worn-out surfaces need to be replaced.

What is the cause of rolling friction?

Ans: Like sliding friction, following factors affect the frictional condition at the interface of the rolling surface of the circular shaped object, which is responsible for causing more or less rolling friction:

Why Rolling Friction is less than Sliding Friction?

Ans: The rolling friction between the object and surface is less compared to their sliding fiction.

The frictional force between surfaces depends on its point of contact. The rolling object makes less contact with the surface than the sliding object, which results in less rolling friction than sliding friction.

Manish Naik

Hello, I'm Manish Naik completed my MSc Physics with Solid-State Electronics as a specialization. I have three years of experience in Article Writing on Physics subject. Writing, which aimed to provide accurate information to all readers, from beginners and experts. In my leisure time, I love to spend my time in nature or visiting historical places. I am honoured to be part of LambdaGeeks. Looking forward to connecting you through LinkedIn - Also, for Maharashtra travel guide and heritage conservation articles, visit my website Wandering Maharashtra -

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