Force-Velocity Relationship in Cycling Revisited: Benefit of Two-Dimensional Pedal Forces Analysis

Dorel, Sylvain, Couturier, Antoine, Lacour, Jean-Rene, Vandewalle, Henry, Hautier, Christophe and Hug, Francois (2010) Force-Velocity Relationship in Cycling Revisited: Benefit of Two-Dimensional Pedal Forces Analysis. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42 6: 1174-1183. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c91f35

Author Dorel, Sylvain
Couturier, Antoine
Lacour, Jean-Rene
Vandewalle, Henry
Hautier, Christophe
Hug, Francois
Title Force-Velocity Relationship in Cycling Revisited: Benefit of Two-Dimensional Pedal Forces Analysis
Journal name Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0195-9131
Publication date 2010-06-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c91f35
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 42
Issue 6
Start page 1174
End page 1183
Total pages 10
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
Language eng
Formatted abstract
PURPOSE: Maximal cycling exercise has been widely used to describe the power-velocity characteristics of lower-limb extensor muscles. This study investigated the contribution of each functional sector (i.e., extension, flexion, and transitions sectors) on the total force produced over a complete pedaling cycle. We also examined the ratio of effective force to the total pedal force, termed index of mechanical effectiveness (IE), in explaining differences in power between subjects.

METHODS: Two-dimensional pedal forces and crank angles were measured during a cycling force-velocity test performed by 14 active men. Mean values of forces, power output, and IE over four functional angular sectors were assessed: top = 330°-30°, downstroke = 30°-150°, bottom = 150°-210°, and upstroke = 210°-330°.

RESULTS: Linear and quadratic force-velocity and power-velocity relationships were obtained for downstroke and upstroke. Maximal power output (Pmax) generated over these two sectors represented, respectively, 73.6% ± 2.6% and 10.3% ± 1.8% of Pmax assessed over the entire cycle. In the whole group, Pmax over the complete cycle was significantly related to Pmax during the downstroke and upstroke. IE significantly decreased with pedaling rate, especially in bottom and upstroke. There were significant relationships between power output and IE for top and upstroke when the pedaling rate was below or around the optimal value and in all the sectors at very high cadences.

CONCLUSIONS: Although data from force-velocity test primarily characterize the muscular function involved in the downstroke phase, they also reflect the flexor muscles' ability to actively pull on the pedal during the upstroke. IE influences the power output in the upstroke phase and near the top dead center, and IE accounts for differences in power between subjects at high pedaling rates.
Keyword Maximal Power Output
Index of Effectiveness
Cycling Biomechanics
Muscular Function
Sprint Cycling
Power Output
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 27 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 28 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Thu, 29 Aug 2013, 02:39:15 EST by Francois Hug on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences