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Determining optimal cadence for an individual road cyclist from field data

Reed, RJ, Scarf, PA, Jobson, SA and Passfield, L 2016, 'Determining optimal cadence for an individual road cyclist from field data' , European Journal of Sport Science , pp. 1-9.

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Abstract

The cadence that maximises power output developed at the crank by an individual cyclist is conventionally determined using a laboratory test. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (i) to show that such a cadence, which we call the optimal cadence, can be determined using power output, heart-rate, and cadence measured in the field and (ii) to describe methodology to do so. For an individual cyclist’s sessions, power output is related to cadence and the elicited heart-rate using a non-linear regression model. Optimal cadences are found for two riders (83 and 70 revolutions per minute, respectively); these cadences are similar to the riders’ preferred cadences (82–92 rpm and 65–75 rpm). Power output reduces by approximately 6% for cadences 20 rpm above or below optimum. Our methodology can be used by a rider to determine an optimal cadence without laboratory testing intervention: the rider will need to collect power output, heart-rate, and cadence measurements from training and racing sessions over an extended period (>6 months); ride at a range of cadences within those sessions; and calculate his/ her optimal cadence using the methodology described or a software tool that implements it.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Business and Management Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: European Journal of Sport Science
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1746-1391
Related URLs:
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Depositing User: WM Taylor
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2016 11:08
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2016 10:11
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/38026

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