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Laboratory versus Outdoor Cycling Conditions: Differences in Pedaling Biomechanics

William Bertucci, Frederic Grappe, and Alain Groslambert

The aim of our study was to compare crank torque profile and perceived exertion between the Monark ergometer (818 E) and two outdoor cycling conditions: level ground and uphill road cycling. Seven male cyclists performed seven tests in seated position at different pedaling cadences: (a) in the laboratory at 60, 80, and 100 rpm; (b) on level terrain at 80 and 100 rpm; and (c) on uphill terrain (9.25% grade) at 60 and 80 rpm. The cyclists exercised for 1 min at their maximal aerobic power. The Monark ergometer and the bicycle were equipped with the SRM Training System (Schoberer, Germany) for the measurement of power output (W), torque (N⋅m), pedaling cadence (rpm), and cycling velocity (km⋅h−1). The most important findings of this study indicate that at maximal aerobic power the crank torque profiles in the Monark ergometer (818 E) were significantly different (especially on dead points of the crank cycle) and generate a higher perceived exertion compared with road cycling conditions.