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Marco Arkesteijn, Simon Jobson, James Hopker and Louis Passfield

Background:

Previous research has shown that cycling in a standing position reduces cycling economy compared with seated cycling. It is unknown whether the cycling intensity moderates the reduction in cycling economy while standing.

Purpose:

The aim was to determine whether the negative effect of standing on cycling economy would be decreased at a higher intensity.

Methods:

Ten cyclists cycled in 8 different conditions. Each condition was either at an intensity of 50% or 70% of maximal aerobic power at a gradient of 4% or 8% and in the seated or standing cycling position. Cycling economy and muscle activation level of 8 leg muscles were recorded.

Results:

There was an interaction between cycling intensity and position for cycling economy (P = .03), the overall activation of the leg muscles (P = .02), and the activation of the lower leg muscles (P = .05). The interaction showed decreased cycling economy when standing compared with seated cycling, but the difference was reduced at higher intensity. The overall activation of the leg muscles and the lower leg muscles, respectively, increased and decreased, but the differences between standing and seated cycling were reduced at higher intensity.

Conclusions:

Cycling economy was lower during standing cycling than seated cycling, but the difference in economy diminishes when cycling intensity increases. Activation of the lower leg muscles did not explain the lower cycling economy while standing. The increased overall activation, therefore, suggests that increased activation of the upper leg muscles explains part of the lower cycling economy while standing.

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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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Kris Beattie, Brian P. Carson, Mark Lyons and Ian C. Kenny

Cycling economy (CE), power output at maximal oxygen uptake (WV̇O2max), and anaerobic function (ie, sprinting ability) are considered the best physiological performance indicators in elite road cyclists. In addition to cardiovascular function, these physiological indicators are partly dictated by neuromuscular factors. One technique to improve neuromuscular function in athletes is through strength training. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a 20-wk maximal- and explosive-strength-training intervention on strength (maximal strength, explosive strength, and bike-specific explosive strength), WV̇O2max, CE, and body composition (body mass, fat and lean mass) in cyclists. Fifteen competitive road cyclists were divided into an intervention group (endurance training and strength training: n = 6; age, 38.0 ± 10.2 y; weight, 69.1 ± 3.6 kg; height, 1.77 ± 0.04 m) and a control group (endurance training only: n = 9; age, 34.8 ± 8.5 y; weight, 72.5 ± 7.2 kg; height, 1.78 ± 0.05 m). The intervention group strength-trained for 20 wk. Each participant completed 3 assessments: physiology (CE, WV̇O2max, power at 2 and 4 mmol/L blood lactate), strength (isometric midthigh pull, squat-jump height, and 6-s bike-sprint peak power), and body composition (body mass, fat mass, overall leanness, and leg leanness). The results showed significant between- and within-group changes in the intervention group for maximal strength, bike-specific explosive strength, absolute WV̇O2max, body mass, overall leanness, and leg leanness at wk 20 (P < .05). The control group showed no significant within-group changes in measures of strength, physiology, or body composition. This study demonstrates that 20 wk of strength training can significantly improve maximal strength, bike-specific explosive strength, and absolute WV̇O2max in competitive road cyclists.

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Arthur H. Bossi, Wouter P. Timmerman and James G. Hopker

-based studies rather than EE or metabolic rates to express cycling economy. GE takes into account power output, producing a more sensitive measure particularly when researchers adopt relative exercise intensities. Assessing the variability of GE across repeated measures is important to clarify the precision

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Joseph A. McQuillan, Deborah K. Dulson, Paul B. Laursen and Andrew E. Kilding

Purpose:

To determine the effect of dietary nitrate (NO3 ) supplementation on physiology and performance in well-trained cyclists after 6–8 d of NO3 supplementation.

Methods:

Eight competitive male cyclists (mean ± SD age 26 ± 8 y, body mass 76.7 ± 6.9 kg, VO2peak 63 ± 4 mL · kg–1 · min–1) participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover-design study in which participants ingested 70 mL of beetroot juice containing ~4 mmol NO3 (NIT) or a NO3 -depleted placebo (PLA), each for 8 d. Replicating pretreatment measures, participants undertook an incremental ramp assessment to determine VO2peak and first (VT1) and second (VT2) ventilatory thresholds on d 6 (NIT6 and PLA6), moderate-intensity cycling economy on d 7 (NIT7 and PLA7), and a 4-km time trial (TT) on d 8 (NIT8 and PLA8).

Results:

Relative to PLA, 6 d of NIT supplementation produced unclear effects for VO2peak (mean ± 95% confidence limit: 1.8% ± 5.5%) and VT1 (3.7% ± 12.3%) and trivial effects for both VT2 (–1.0% ± 3.0%) and exercise economy on d 7 (–1.0% ± 1.6%). However, effects for TT performance time (–0.7% ± 0.9%) and power (2.4% ± 2.5%) on d 8 were likely beneficial.

Conclusions:

Despite mostly unclear outcomes for standard physiological determinants of performance, 8 d of NO3 supplementation resulted in likely beneficial improvements to 4-km TT performance in well-trained male endurance cyclists.

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Jeffrey E. Herrick, Judith A. Flohr, Davis L. Wenos and Michael J. Saunders

Purpose:

This study compared the metabolic and performance effects of riding front-only suspension (FS) and front-and-rear suspension (FRS) mountain bicycles on an off-road course that simulated competitive cross-country race conditions (>105 min in duration, with ∼70% of time spent riding uphill).

Methods:

Seven competitive mountain bikers (73.8 ± 7.6 kg; 61.0 ± 4.3 mL·kg–1·min–1) completed two randomized FS and FRS trials. Bikes were similar, excluding rear wheel suspension on the FRS, which increased bike weight by ∼2 kg. Each trial consisted of four laps of rugged 8 km trail with 154 m of elevation gain per lap. The first three laps were performed at ∼70% of VO2max; VO2, HR, and RPE were collected during the first and third laps. The final lap was performed as a maximal time-trial effort.

Results:

During the first and third laps, VO2, HR, and RPE were similar between FS and FRS. However, FS was significantly faster than FRS during the ascending segment of the course (17.6 ± 2.9 vs 18.9 ± 3.4 min, P = .035), despite similar VO2 (P = .651). Although not statistically significant, FRS tended to be faster than FS during the descending portion of the course (8.1 ± 2.0 vs 9.1 ± 2.1, P = .067) at similar VO2. Performance during the final time-trial lap was significantly faster for FS than FRS (24.9 ± 3.9 min, 27.5 ± 4.9 min, P = .008).

Conclusion:

FS was faster than FRS over a course that simulated competitive cross-country race conditions. The faster times were likely the result of improved cycling economy during ascending, which were at least partially influenced by the lighter weight of the FS.

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Bent R. Rønnestad and Joar Hansen

.2165/00007256-200636020-00003 16464121 13. Vikmoen O , Ellefsen S , Trøen Ø , et al . Strength training improves cycling performance, fractional utilization of VO 2 max and cycling economy in female cyclists . Scand J Med Sci Sports . 2016 ; 26 : 384 – 396 . PubMed doi:10.1111/sms.12468 10.1111/sms.12468 25892654

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Ana B. Peinado, Nuria Romero-Parra, Miguel A. Rojo-Tirado, Rocío Cupeiro, Javier Butragueño, Eliane A. Castro, Francisco J. Calderón and Pedro J. Benito

competition. 1 Field-based uphill trials have been used to determine differences between laboratory and outdoor conditions. Additionally, differences between level ground and uphill terrain have been investigated. 6 – 8 These previous studies focused on gross efficiency, cycling economy, cadence, and seated

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Danny Lum and Tiago M. Barbosa

 al . Maximal strength training improves cycling economy in competitive cyclists . J Strength Cond Res . 2010 ; 24 : 2157 – 2165 . PubMed ID: 19855311 doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181aeb16a 19855311 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181aeb16a 13. Aagaard P , Andersen JL . Effects of strength training on endurance capacity

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Jan-Michael Johansen, Sondre Eriksen, Arnstein Sunde, Øystein B. Slettemeås, Jan Helgerud and Øyvind Støren

Sports Exerc . 2008 ; 40 ( 6 ): 1087 – 1092 . doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318168da2f 18460997 20. Sunde A , Støren Ø , Bjerkaas M , Larsen MH , Hoff J , Helgerud J . Maximal strength training improves cycling economy in competitive cyclists. J Strength Cond Res . 2010 ; 24 ( 8 ): 2157