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Determining optimal cadence for an individual road cyclist from field data

Passfield, Louis (2016) Determining optimal cadence for an individual road cyclist from field data. European Journal of Sport Science, 16 (8). pp. 903-911. ISSN 1746-1391. E-ISSN 1536-7290. (doi:10.1080/17461391.2016.1146336) (KAR id:54782)


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
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17461391.2016.1146336
Uncontrolled keywords: modelling; cycling; field data;
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Louis Passfield
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2016 11:54 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 02:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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