Cycling Research

The cycling research project was implemented to integrate scientific data with practical application for the competitive and recreational cyclist. This research agenda focused on identifying physiological and biomechanical deficits in cyclists while developing methods to improve upon these deficits. Implementation of training programs were designed based on scientific data to help the cyclist enhance performance. Laboratory testing was developed to better simulate actual riding by testing subjects while riding on treadmills and under various degrees of fatigue.

Effects of a Core Strengthening Program on Cycling Mechanics and Pedaling Efficiency

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of an 8 week core strengthening training program designed to improve cycling mechanics and pedaling efficiency in competitive cyclists. Thirty competitive cyclists will be randomized to either an intervention (core training) or control group and undergo 8 weeks of training. Testing consisted of riding on a treadmill at a speed of 16 mph with the incline increasing 1% every three minutes until exhaustion as indicated by the subject. Outcome measures included joint kinematics and pedaling efficiency and will be recorded during the last thirty seconds of each three minute phase as well as strength testing of the torso. The cycling mechanics and pedaling efficiency tests and strength tests took place at time 0-weeks and 8-weeks. Our overall hypothesis was that competitive cyclists who perform the core training protocol will improve their cycling mechanics, be more resistant tocore fatigue, and improve pedaling efficiency as compared to the control group.

Effects of a Cycling Training Program on Pedaling Efficiency

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of an 8-week roller training program designed to improve pedaling efficiency in competitive cyclists. Thirty competitive cyclists were randomized to either an intervention (roller training) or control group and underwent 8 weeks of training. Testing consisted of riding on a treadmill at a speed of 16 mph with the incline increasing 1% every three minutes until exhaustion as indicated by the subject. Outcome measures included joint kinematics and pedaling efficiency and will be recorded during the last thirty seconds of each three minute phase throughout the test. The pedaling efficiency tests took place at time 0-weeks and 8-weeks. Our overall hypothesis was that competitive cyclists who perform training on the rollers will improve their pedaling efficiency as compared to the control group.

Injury Prevention in Recreational Cyclists

The primary purpose of this study was to compare the physical characteristics of healthy recreational cyclists to those of cyclists who experience knee or back pain. Flexibility of the quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and low back and pedaling characteristics were compared between the three groups. The secondary purpose was to compare the bike fitting characteristics of healthy recreational cyclists and injured cyclists to the recommended guidelines. Fitting characteristics will include positioning of saddle height, fore/aft saddle position, pedal crank length, handlebar height, handlebar width, and frame size.