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Purpose:

To determine the reliability of a 30-s sprint cycle test on the Wattbike cycle ergometer.

Methods:

Over 3 consecutive weeks, 11 highly trained cyclists (mean ± SD; age 31 ± 6 y, mass 74.6 ± 10.6 kg, height 180.5 ± 8.1cm) completed four 30-s maximal sprints on a Wattbike ergometer after a standardized warmup. The sprint test implemented a “rolling start” that consisted of a 60-s preload (at an intensity of 4.5 W/kg) before the 30-s maximal sprint. Variables determined across the duration of the sprint were peak power (Wpeak), mean power (Wmean), W/kg, mean cadence (rpm), maximum heart rate (n = 10), and postexercise blood lactate.

Results:

The average intraclass correlation coefficients between trials (2v1, 3v2, 4v3, 4v1) were Wpeak .97 (90%CI .94–.99), Wmean .99 (90%CI .97–1.00), W/kg .96 (90%CI .91–.98), mean cadence .96 (90%CI .92–.99), maximum heart rate .99 (90%CI .97–.99), and postexercise blood lactate .94 (90%CI .87–.98). The average typical error of measurement (expressed as a CV% and absolute value between trials—2v1, 3v2, 4v3, 4v1) was Wpeak 4.9%, 52.7 W; Wmean 2.4%, 19.2 W; W/kg 2.3%, 0.18 W/kg; mean cadence 1.4%, 1.6 rpm; maximum heart rate 0.9%, 1.6 beats/min; and postexercise blood lactate 4.6%, 0.48 mmol/L.

Conclusion:

A 30-s sprint test on the Wattbike cycle ergometer is highly reproducible in trained cyclists.

Driller and Argus are with Performance Recovery, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, ACT, Australia. Shing is with the School of Human Life Sciences, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS, Australia.