Neuromuscular, metabolic, and kinetic adaptations for skilled pedaling performance in cyclists

Institute of Natural Sciences, Nagoya City University, Nagoya, Japan.
Medicine &amp Science in Sports &amp Exercise (Impact Factor: 3.98). 03/1998; 30(3):442-9. DOI: 10.1097/00005768-199803000-00016
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to clarify the reason for the difference in the preferred cadence between cyclists and noncyclists.
Male cyclists and noncyclists were evaluated in terms of pedal force, neuromuscular activity for lower extremities, and oxygen consumption among the cadence manipulation (45, 60, 75, 90, and 105 rpm) during pedaling at 150 and 200 W. Noncyclists having the same levels of aerobic and anaerobic capacity as cyclists were chosen from athletes of different sports to avoid any confounding effect from similar kinetic properties of cyclists for lower extremities (i.e., high speed contraction and high repetitions in prolonged exercise) on both pedaling performance and preferred cadence.
The peak pedal force significantly decreased with increasing of cadence in both groups, and the value for noncyclists was significantly higher than that for cyclists at each cadence despite the same power output. The normalized iEMG for vastus lateralis and vastus medialis muscles increased in noncyclists with rising cadence; however, cyclists did not show such a significant increase of the normalized iEMG for the muscles. On the other hand, the normalized iEMG for biceps femoris muscle showed a significant increase in cyclists while there was no increase for noncyclists. Oxygen consumption for cyclists was significantly lower than that for noncyclists at 105 rpm for 150 W work and at 75, 90, and 105 rpm for 200 W work.
We conclude that cyclists have a certain pedaling skill regarding the positive utilization for knee flexors up to the higher cadences, which would contribute to a decrease in peak pedal force and which would alleviate muscle activity for the knee extensors. We speculated that pedaling skills that decrease muscle stress influence the preferred cadence selection, contributing to recruitment of ST muscle fibers with fatigue resistance and high mechanical efficiency despite increased oxygen consumption caused by increased repetitions of leg movements.

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    • "Takaishi et al. calculated peak pedal force for various cycling cadences in both competitive and noncompetitive cyclists and determined that non-competitive cyclists preferred a lower cadence (70 RPM) than competitive cyclists (80– 90 RPM) for a moderate rate of work intensity (150 W) [11]. "
    02/2015; 3(1):894-904. DOI:10.16965/ijpr.2015.105
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    • "These discordant results could be partly explained by differences in the methodological aspects adopted in the studies, including the exercise test performed, pedalling frequency, cycling position, the possibility to use the cyclist's own bicycle, etc. The above factors have been shown to have a tremendous impact on cycling performance (Córdova et al., 2004; Majerczak et al., 2008; Takaishi et al., 1998; Passfield and Doust, 2000; Patterson and Moreno, 1990). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to compare the physiological responses of cyclists using round (C-ring) or oval (Q-ring) chainrings during an incremental test until exhaustion. Following a randomized design, fourteen male elite cyclists [age (mean ± SD): 21.1 ± 2.1 yr; VO2max: 78.5 ± 5.3 mL·kg-1·min-1] performed two incremental maximal tests separated by 48 h (one with Crings, the other with Q-rings). Starting at 100 W, the workload was increased by 25 W every 3 min until volitional exhaustion. Maximal heart rate, power output and oxygen consumption were compared. Blood lactate was monitored throughout the test. After the incremental test, 4 intermittent 20-s maximal sprints with a 60-s recovery period in between were performed. Maximal isometric voluntary contractions were performed at rest and immediately after each 20-s maximal sprint, and the force and EMG RMS amplitude were recorded from the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis muscles. For the incremental exercise test, no significant differences were found in the maximal power output (p = 0.12), oxygen consumption (p = 0.39), and heart rate (p = 0.32) between Q-rings and C-rings. Throughout the incremental test, lactate levels were comparable when using both the C-rings and Q-rings (p = 0.47). During the short sprints, power output was 2.5-6.5% greater for Q-rings than for C-rings (p = 0.22). The decline in EMG RMS amplitude observed during the incremental tests was comparable for Q-rings and C-rings (0.42). These findings indicate that the oval chainring design, presented here as "Q-rings", did not significantly influence the physiological response to an incremental exercise test as compared to a conventional chainring.
    Journal of sports science & medicine 05/2014; 13(2):410-416. · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    • "pedaling with higher force effectiveness). Physiological adaptation of highly trained cyclists (Coyle et al. 1991) may support the hypothesis that cyclists are more efficient recruiting the quadriceps muscle group during a cycling task compared to non-cyclists (Takaishi et al. 1998). When improving pulling upward forces during the recovery phase, cyclists recruited " less efficient " muscles, which resulted in a reduced economy/efficiency (Edwards et al. 2009; Korff et al. 2007; Mornieux et al. 2008). "
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