Validation of a Mathematical Model for Road Cycling Power

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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This investigation sought to determine if cycling power could be accurately modeled. A mathematical model of cycling power was derived, and values for each model parameter were determined. A bicycle-mounted power measurement system was validated by comparison with a laboratory ergometer. Power was measured during road cycling, and the measured values were compared with the values predicted by the model. The measured values for power were highly correlated (R2 = .97) with, and were not different than, the modeled values. The standard error between the modeled and measured power (2.7 W) was very small. The model was also used to estimate the effects of changes in several model parameters on cycling velocity. Over the range of parameter values evaluated, velocity varied linearly (R2 > .99). The results demonstrated that cycling power can be accurately predicted by a mathematical model.

James C. Martin is with the Motor Control Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712. Douglas L. Milliken is with Milliken Research Associates, Inc., 245 Brompton Road, Williamsville, NY 14221. John E. Cobb is with Bicycle Sports, 288 South Field St., Shreveport, LA 71105. Kevin L. McFadden is with General Motors Vehicle Aerodynamics Laboratory, 6363 E. 12 Mile Rd., Warren, MI 48090. Andrew R. Coggan is with the Metabolism Unit, Shriners Burns Institute, and Department of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77550.