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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.

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Sébastien Duc, Vincent Villerius, William Bertucci and Frédéric Grappe

Purpose:

The Ergomo®Pro (EP) is a power meter that measures power output (PO) during outdoor and indoor cycling via 2 optoelectronic sensors located in the bottom bracket axis. The aim of this study was to determine the validity and the reproducibility of the EP compared with the SRM crank set and Powertap hub (PT).

Method:

The validity of the EP was tested in the laboratory during 8 submaximal incremental tests (PO: 100 to 400 W), eight 30-min submaximal constant-power tests (PO = 180 W), and 8 sprint tests (PO > 750 W) and in the field during 8 training sessions (time: 181 ± 73 min; PO: ~140 to 150 W). The reproducibility was assessed by calculating the coefficient of PO variation (CV) during the submaximal incremental and constant tests.

Results:

The EP provided a significantly higher PO than the SRM and PT during the submaximal incremental test: The mean PO differences were +6.3% ± 2.5% and +11.1% ± 2.1%, respectively. The difference was greater during field training sessions (+12.0% ± 5.7% and +16.5% ± 5.9%) but lower during sprint tests (+1.6% ± 2.5% and +3.2% ± 2.7%). The reproducibility of the EP is lower than those of the SRM and PT (CV = 4.1% ± 1.8%, 1.9% ± 0.4%, and 2.1% ± 0.8%, respectively).

Conclusions:

The EP power meter appears less valid and reliable than the SRM and PT systems.

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William M. Bertucci, Andrew C. Betik, Sebastien Duc and Frederic Grappe

This study was designed to examine the biomechanical and physiological responses between cycling on the Axiom stationary ergometer (Axiom, Elite, Fontaniva, Italy) vs. field conditions for both uphill and level ground cycling. Nine cyclists performed cycling bouts in the laboratory on an Axiom stationary ergometer and on their personal road bikes in actual road cycling conditions in the field with three pedaling cadences during uphill and level cycling. Gross efficiency and cycling economy were lower (–10%) for the Axiom stationary ergometer compared with the field. The preferred pedaling cadence was higher for the Axiom stationary ergometer conditions compared with the field conditions only for uphill cycling. Our data suggests that simulated cycling using the Axiom stationary ergometer differs from actual cycling in the field. These results should be taken into account notably for improving the precision of the model of cycling performance, and when it is necessary to compare two cycling test conditions (field/laboratory, using different ergometers).

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Fabien D. Legrand, William M. Bertucci and Joanne Hudson

A crossover experiment was performed to determine whether age and sex, or their interaction, affect the impact of acute aerobic exercise on vigor-activity (VA). We also tested whether changes in VA mediated exercise effects on performance on various cognitive tasks. Sixty-eight physically inactive volunteers participated in exercise and TV-watching control conditions. They completed the VA subscale of the Profile of Mood States immediately before and 2 min after the intervention in each condition. They also performed the Trail Making Test 3 min after the intervention in each condition. Statistical analyses produced a condition × age × sex interaction characterized by a higher mean VA gain value in the exercise condition (compared with the VA gain value in the TV-watching condition) for young female participants only. In addition, the mediational analyses revealed that changes in VA fully mediated the effects of exercise on TMT-Part A performance.

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Anthony Bouillod, Julien Pinot, Georges Soto-Romero, William Bertucci and Frederic Grappe

A large number of power meters have been produced on the market for nearly 20 y according to user requirements.

Purpose:

To determine the validity, sensitivity, reproducibility, and robustness of the PowerTap (PWT), Stages (STG), and Garmin Vector (VCT) power meters in comparison with the SRM device.

Methods:

A national-level male competitive cyclist completed 3 laboratory cycling tests: a submaximal incremental test, a submaximal 30-min continuous test, and a sprint test. Two additional tests were performed, the first on vibration exposures in the laboratory and the second in the field.

Results:

The VCT provided a significantly lower 5-s power output (PO) during the sprint test with a low gear ratio than the SRM did (–36.9%). The STG PO was significantly lower than the SRM PO in the heavy-exercise-intensity zone (zone 2, –5.1%) and the low part of the severe-intensity zone (zone 3, –4.9%). The VCT PO was significantly lower than the SRM PO only in zone 2 (–4.5%). The STG PO was significantly lower in standing position than in the seated position (–4.4%). The reproducibility of the PWT, STG, and VCT was similar to that of the SRM system. The STG and VCT PO were significantly decreased from a vibration frequency of 48 Hz and 52 Hz, respectively.

Conclusions:

The PWT, STG, and VCT systems appear to be reproducible, but the validity, sensitivity, and robustness of the STG and VCT systems should be treated with some caution according to the conditions of measurement.