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Gross efficiency during flat and uphill cycling in field conditions.

Abstract

PURPOSE

While a number of studies have investigated gross efficiency (GE) in laboratory conditions, few studies have analyzed it in field conditions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the effect of gradient and cadence on GE in field conditions.

METHODS

Thirteen trained cyclists (mean ± SD age 23.3 ± 4.1 y, stature 177.0 ± 5.5 cm, body mass 69.0 ± 7.2 kg, maximal oxygen uptake [VO2max] 68.4 ± 5.1 mL · min-1 ·kg-1) completed an incremental graded exercise test to determine ventilatory threshold (VT) and 4 field trials of 6 min duration at 90% of VT on flat (1.1%) and uphill terrain (5.1%) with 2 different cadences (60 and 90 rpm). VO2 was measured with a portable gas analyzer and power output was controlled with a mobile power crank that was mounted on a 26-in mountain bike.

RESULTS

GE was significantly affected by cadence (20.6% ± 1.7% vs 18.1% ± 1.3% at 60 and 90 rpm, respectively; P < .001) and terrain (20.0% ± 1.5% vs 18.7% ± 1.7% at flat and uphill cycling, respectively; P = .029). The end-exercise VO2 was 2536 ± 352 and 2594 ± 329 mL/min for flat and uphill cycling, respectively (P = .489). There was a significant difference in end-exercise VO2 between 60 (2352 ± 193 mL/min) and 90 rpm (2778 ± 431 mL/min) (P < .001).

CONCLUSION

These findings support previous laboratory-based studies demonstrating reductions in GE with increasing cadence and gradient that might be attributed to changes in muscle-activity pattern.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Applied Sciences, Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

    , , , ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Adult
    Athletic Performance
    Bicycling
    Efficiency
    Exercise Test
    Heart Rate
    Humans
    Lactic Acid
    Male
    Muscle, Skeletal
    Oxygen Consumption
    Respiration
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    25611890