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An Investigation of efficiency within Cycling

Hopker, James G. (2009) An Investigation of efficiency within Cycling. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94425) (KAR id:94425)


The effect of training on metabolic efficiency in cycling is an under researched area. Previous studies have not found significant differences in cycling efficiency between trained cyclists and untrained participants which has largely limited further research in this area. However upon closer examination of the literature problematic methods are apparent. The main aim of this thesis was to investigate the effects of training upon metabolic efficiency in cycling. Before this could be done, it was necessary to establish a testing protocol capable of producing reliable data for use in the calculation of metabolic efficiency. This enabled the calculation of an appropriate sample size to have a chance of detecting significant differences between groups of trained and recreational cyclists. Statistically significant differences were consequently found between these two populations. Training studies were therefore needed to establish whether cycling efficiency was affected by training and if so what type.

The results of the subsequent training studies showed firstly, that alterations in training volume and intensity did result in changes in the metabolic efficiency of cycling. Secondly, using an intervention study the metabolic efficiency of cycling was specifically increased as a result of the addition of high intensity training. Training volume was shown to have little effect on metabolic efficiency. This thesis is the first to demonstrate that metabolic efficiency is directly influenced by training over a cycling season and is significantly increased as a result of high intensity training.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94425
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure > Sports sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2023 10:22 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2023 14:02 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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