Article

Effect of changing the saddle angle on the incidence of low back pain in recreational bicyclists

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Abstract

According to the literature, 30-70% of cyclists suffer from cervical, dorsal, or lumbar back pain. This study was conducted to evaluate one of the possible causes of low back pain and to suggest a solution by appropriate adjustments to the bicycle. Serial fluoroscopic studies were performed while cyclists sat on different types of bicycle (sports, mountain, and city). Pelvic/spine angles were measured at different seat angles, and the related force vectors analysed. There was a tendency towards hyperextension of the pelvic/spine angle which resulted in an increase in tensile forces at the promontorium. These forces can easily be reduced by appropriate adjustment of the seat angle--that is, by creating an anterior inclining angle. The findings of the biomechanical analysis were then applied to a group of cyclists who were members of a cycling club and who complained of low back pain. After appropriate adjustment of the saddle angle, most of the cyclists (>70%) reported major improvement in the incidence and magnitude of their back pain. The incidence and magnitude of back pain in cyclists can be reduced by appropriate adjustment of the angle of the saddle. It is important that these findings be conveyed to cyclists, bicycle salesmen, trainers, and members of the general public who engage in cycling, in order to decrease the prevalence of back pain.

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... As the cadence increased, the clinical shoulder angle also increased. It can be said that one of the most important consequences of unnatural (clinic) positions is the imbalance in muscle activation of spinal flexors and extensors, which causes may be muscle fatigue [18]. ...
... Previous studies have shown that a reduction in the back curve can improve performance and minimize the risk of injury [19]. In this study by Moshe Salai et al. [18] from the fluoroscopic/biomechanical study of cyclists, it appears that low back pain can be attributed, in part, to the anatomical extension between the pelvis and the spine. This results in tensile forces along the anterior longitudinal ligament of the lumbar spine, which increase as the result of sitting on the saddle and reclining on the handlebar, as has been shown in this work. ...
... This results in tensile forces along the anterior longitudinal ligament of the lumbar spine, which increase as the result of sitting on the saddle and reclining on the handlebar, as has been shown in this work. Based on the fluoroscopic/biomechanical studies of cyclists made by Salai et al., [18] low back pain can be partially attributed to the anatomical extension between the pelvis and spine. As seen in Table 4, there is a significant difference between hip angle and unnatural (clinical) angle degree. ...
Article
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The study aims to determine differences between natural and clinical angle degrees in hips and shoulders, and determination of the correlations between angle degrees and functional threshold power (FTP) in road cycling athletes. The study includes 11 male road cycling athletes aged 14-16 years old. The volunteer’s body weight average was determined as 68.5±14.58, body height average was 175.4±6.98, and body mass index average was 21.8±3.87. Volunteers are active athletes in the “Büyükçekmece Road Cycling Team”. To measure the performance of the cyclist’s clinical hip angle, clinical shoulder angle, hip angle degree, shoulder angle, and functional threshold power (FTP) tests were used. The Kinovea 0.8.15 program was used in the data analysis of the variables in the study. Analyzes were performed using SPSS 26 analysis program. The analyses of the Shapiro Wilks test resulted in the normal distribution of the variables included in the study. Correlations between FTP test parameters and angle degrees, the correlation of a continued variable was calculated with Pearson correlation. A statistically significant correlation between functional threshold power parameters such as distance, power average, total energy, cadence avarege, speed avarege, functional threshold power, and hip angle degree parameter (p<0.05). Similarly, correlations between functional threshold power, parameters such as power average, and back curve resulted to be statistically significant (p<0.05). Also, like a functional threshold power parameter, speed average resulted to be in a significant correlation with the clinical shoulders angle degree. Based on these results, increases in the FTP parameters may affect positively the cyclist’s performance helping to avoid undesirable hip angles, which may lead to back pain. Similarly, power average and back curve degree resulted to be in a correlation. Therefore, the back-curve degree may be increased or decreased by the changes in the power average parameter. In addition, during the high intensity of training and fatigue levels increased, the clinical hip and shoulder angles were also increased.
... Uphill cycling often determines the winners of races like the Tour de France, and recreational cyclists also find hills a special challenge. Based on limited evidence, some scientists [1,2] and cyclists [3,4] report that tilting the saddle nose down improves both performance and comfort when cycling uphill. Here, we investigated if simply tilting the saddle nose down can increase metabolic efficiency during uphill cycling, which would presumably improve performance. ...
... We weighed each subject and calculated the treadmill belt velocity (V b ) needed to attain the target mechanical power output of 3 W kg −1 of body mass (P m ech) using Equation 1. ...
... Another possible benefit of tilting the saddle nose down may be a reduction in cycling-induced discomfort and pathologies related to postural adjustments and saddle pressure. Salai et al. [1] provided evidence that tilting the saddle nose down by 10-15 • reduces lower-back pain and speculated that the tilt decreased forces on lumbar vertebrae by helping riders maintain a more neutral spine. Sequenzia et al. [13] investigated if a variable-geometry saddle prototype, which allowed riders to adjust their nose-down saddle-tilt angle, had neurological benefits. ...
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Riding uphill presents a challenge to competitive and recreational cyclists. Based on only limited evidence, some scientists have reported that tilting the saddle nose down improves uphill-cycling efficiency by as much as 6%. Purpose: Here, we investigated if simply tilting the saddle nose down increases efficiency during uphill cycling, which would presumably improve performance. Methods: Nineteen healthy, recreational cyclists performed multiple 5-min trials of seated cycling at ~3 W kg–1 on a large, custom-built treadmill inclined to 8° under two saddle-tilt angle conditions: parallel to the riding surface and 8° nose down. We measured subjects’ rates of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production using an expired-gas analysis system and then calculated their average metabolic power during the last two min of each 5-min trial. Results: We found that, compared to the parallel-saddle condition, tilting the saddle nose down by 8° improved gross efficiency from 0.205 to 0.208 –– an average increase of 1.4 ± 0.2%, t = 5.9, p < .001, CI95% [0.9, 1.9], ES = 1.3. Conclusion: Our findings are relevant to competitive and recreational cyclists and present an opportunity for innovating new devices and saddle designs that enhance uphill cycling efficiency. The effect of saddle tilt on other slopes and the mechanism behind the efficiency improvement remain to be investigated.
... Cycling is one of the most popular physical activities and up to 25% of transportation activities are made using a bicycle (Bassett, Pucher, Buehler, Thompson, & Crouter, 2008;Salai, Brosh, Blankstein, Oran, & Chechik, 1999;Titze, Merom, Rissel, & Bauman, 2014). Although cycling is usually referred to as a lowimpact sport, several studies report a high prevalence of pain and discomfort at the elbow, shoulder or spinal region (Christiaans & Bremner, 1998;Schwellnus & Derman, 2005;Wilber, Holland, Madison, & Loy, 1995). ...
... Additionally, a more upright cycling posture with an adequately shortened reach distance has been recommended for cyclists with lower back pain (Silberman, Webner, Collina, & Shiple, 2005). In this context, another strategy to reduce lower back pain is proposed by changing the saddle angle from a horizontal to an anterior inclination of up to 15°in order to reduce the lumbar kyphosis (Salai et al., 1999). ...
... In contrast, pelvic motion appeared to be hardly affected by a change in saddle inclination. This is inconsistent with recent findings which demonstrated that an inclined saddle position induced greater anterior pelvic tilt, supposedly decreasing tensile stress at the lumbar spine (Bressel & Larson, 2003; Salai et al., 1999). In the current study, cervical and lumbar kinematics remained almost unchanged, which raises the question of whether one of the investigated setups presents a significant advantage regarding an injury-preventative alignment of the spine. ...
Article
Purpose: Discomfort during cycling can be counteracted by adjusting the seat position. However, the influence of changes in cycling position regarding quantitative biomechanical adaptions of the upper body in recreational cyclists is unclear. This study aims to investigate the effects of saddle position and reach distance on upper body kinematics and muscle activation. Methods: Twelve recreational cyclists were investigated in four different sitting positions on an adjustable cycle trainer. Trunk, pelvis, shoulder, elbow and spinal kinematics as well as lower back and elbow extensor activity were analyzed for combinations of normal and shortened reach distance including horizontal and 10° downward inclined saddle positions. Results: An inclined saddle increased activation of elbow extensors by almost 23 ± 8% (p < .01) while a shortened reach distance resulted in a more posterior pelvic tilt of up to 18 ± 2% (p < .01) and less trunk forward lean of 10 ± 9% (p < .01). Shoulder flexion reduced by up to 23 ± 16% (p < .05) while elbow flexion increased by 15 ± 22% (p < .05) with a shortened reach distance. No differences between configurations were found for spinal kinematics and lower back muscle activity. Conclusions: Changing the reach distance showed considerable biomechanical effects on upper body kinematics of the pelvis and trunk rather than on the spine or on lower back muscle activity. For reach distance, most compensation of postural changes of the upper body occurred by changes of shoulder and elbow angles while elbow extensor activation was only altered by saddle downward inclination.
... At the same time, previous studies have addressed effects of bike fitting on comfort and injury using small samples of cyclists (Priego Quesada et al., 2017;Salai, Brosh, Blankstein, Oran, & Chechik, 1999;Van Hoof, Volkaerts, O'Sullivan, Verschueren, & Dankaerts, 2012). This reliance on small samples is in part due to focusing on very specific types of cyclists in these studies. ...
... Ensuring a comfortable body posture is an important aspect of cycling (Ayachi et al., 2014;Priego Quesada et al., 2017). However, pain and injury may impair participation and performance (Callaghan, 2005;Salai et al., 1999). Bike fitting may help to improve comfort, reduce pain, and subsequently, reduce injury risk, particularly as related to overuse injury (Bini, 2016;Priego Quesada et al., 2017). ...
... Again, effect estimates were similar regardless of whether bike fitting was done by the respondents or a professional service. The adjustment of the saddle angle (Salai et al., 1999) (Burke & Pruitt, 2003;Ferrer-Roca, Roig, Galilea, & García-López, 2012;Peveler, Pounders, & Bishop, 2007) was considered the most uncomfortable posture and resulted in higher fatigue and pain in the anterior thigh and knee. Our findings highlight the need for bike fitting to ensure that cyclists are positioned in the correct and recommended manner to ensure comfort and reduce the risk of pain during cycling. ...
Article
Full-text available
Although bike fitting is recommended to help reduce injury risk, little empirical evidence exists to indicate an association between bike fitting and injury incidence. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of bike fitting on self-reported injury, comfort, and pain while cycling from a worldwide survey of cyclists. A total of 849 cyclists completed an online questionnaire between February and October 2016. Questionnaire collected data on respondent demographics, cycling profile, bike fitting, comfort and pain while cycling, and injury history. The main predictor variable was bike fitting (yes, by the respondent, i.e. user bike fitting; yes, by a professional service; or no). Covariates included demographic and cycling profile characteristics. Logistic regression models estimated the odds of injury within the last 12 months, reporting a comfortable body posture while cycling, and not reporting pain while cycling. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were reported. User bike fitting was associated with increased odds of reporting a comfortable posture (OR = 2.28, 95%CI: 1.06, 4.68). User (OR = 2.35; 95%CI: 1.48, 3.84) and professional bike fitting (OR = 2.35; 95%CI: 1.42, 3.98) were both associated with increased odds of not reporting pain while cycling. No associations were found between bike fitting and injury within the last 12 months. In conclusion, we found an association between bike fitting and reported comfort and pain while cycling. We recommend integrating bike fitting into cycling maintenance. However, further studies with longer follow-up are necessary to determine the presence of an association between bike fitting and injury.
... Lower back pain is one of the most prevalent injuries in cycling (Bini & Alencar, 2014;Dettori & Norvell, 2006;Fonda et al., 2011), and it can be a reason for giving up cycling (Salai, Brosh, Blankstein, Oran, & Chechik, 1999). For this reason, the study of the effect of trunk flexion on back pain is an area where further research is required. ...
... This interaction between the pelvis and the spine depends in part on the hip extensor muscles such as gluteus maximus and biceps femoris, whose muscle length-tension relationship is strongly influenced by changes in the hip flexion angle during exercise (Jobson, Nevill, George, Jeukendrup, & Passfield, 2008;Too, 1990). Studies where the saddle angle is modified (Fonda et al., 2011;Salai et al., 1999) concur, therefore, with the mechanism explained. Salai and colleagues (1999) observed that saddle angle strongly affects the lumbo-pelvic region. ...
... Salai and colleagues (1999) observed that saddle angle strongly affects the lumbo-pelvic region. High saddle angle increases the tensile forces along the anterior longitudinal ligament of the lumbar spine and can be an important cause of back pain (Salai et al., 1999). In agreement with these studies, Fonda et al. (2011) observed that uphill cycling modified the timing and intensity of neuromuscular activation of the hip muscles and suggested that moving the saddle forward and changing its angle could counteract this effect. ...
Article
The aim of this study was to assess the influence of different bike positions on the perception of fatigue, pain and comfort. Twenty cyclists underwent three tests that involved cycling for 45 min at their individual 50% peak aerobic power output while adopting different positions on the bike. Participants performed the cycling tests adopting three positions defined by two parameters (knee flexion angle [20°, 30°, 40°] and trunk flexion angle [35°, 45°, 55°]) in random order. Angles were measured using a 2D motion analysis system during cycling and applying Fonda's correction factor. Perceptions of comfort, fatigue and pain were reported before the end of each test. The combination of 40° knee flexion and 35° trunk flexion was perceived as the most uncomfortable position. Moreover, greater knee flexion had a negative effect on trunk comfort, accompanied by greater levels of fatigue and pain perception in the anterior part of the thigh and knee. In conclusion, cyclists perceived the most comfortable position to be when the saddle height was within the recommended knee angle (30° calculated from the offset position or 40 ± 4.0° of absolute value). Upright trunk was found to be the most comfortable position for recreational cyclists, where aerodynamics is not so important. Cyclists' bike perceptions should be taken into account when it comes to choosing the most beneficial position, since this can play a role in injury prevention and enhance cycling performance.
... Similarly, cyclists with existing low back pain showed a greater lumbar flexion than age-matched subjects [156]. This finding enforces that position of the pelvis is critical to lumbar angle during pedaling and to low back pain related to bicycle riding [162]. ...
... The greater the forward lean, the larger effects were observed in lumbar pelvis, with more flexion when cyclists opted for pedaling at the aerobars [167]. Greater tilt for the anterior section of the saddle was also found to increase lumbar extension, therefore replicating more closely lumbar angles expected during upright standing [162]. The increase in tilt for the anterior section of the saddle was indeed effective in reducing low back pain potentially because of better force direction from the lumbar vertebras to the sacrum. ...
... For now, only saddle inclination angle has been experimentally shown effective in reducing low back pain. Reduction in saddle anterior portion in relation to the posterior portion has been shown to reduce low back pain in 72 % of cyclists [162]. The reason for the effectiveness in changing saddle angle is linked to reduction in lumbar flexion and potentially to lesser load applied to sacrum promontorium. ...
Chapter
Improving the interaction between cyclists and their bicycles is a key issue to enhance performance. The reason for that is linked to the optimal use of force applied from cyclists at the pedals, handlebars and saddle in order to improve bicycle speed at the minimum possible energy cost.
... Similarly, cyclists with existing low back pain showed a greater lumbar flexion than age-matched subjects [156]. This finding enforces that position of the pelvis is critical to lumbar angle during pedaling and to low back pain related to bicycle riding [162]. ...
... The greater the forward lean, the larger effects were observed in lumbar pelvis, with more flexion when cyclists opted for pedaling at the aerobars [167]. Greater tilt for the anterior section of the saddle was also found to increase lumbar extension, therefore replicating more closely lumbar angles expected during upright standing [162]. The increase in tilt for the anterior section of the saddle was indeed effective in reducing low back pain potentially because of better force direction from the lumbar vertebras to the sacrum. ...
... For now, only saddle inclination angle has been experimentally shown effective in reducing low back pain. Reduction in saddle anterior portion in relation to the posterior portion has been shown to reduce low back pain in 72 % of cyclists [162]. The reason for the effectiveness in changing saddle angle is linked to reduction in lumbar flexion and potentially to lesser load applied to sacrum promontorium. ...
Chapter
Motion analysis involves detecting the position of joints and segments in a global coordinate system, which enables the assessment of translations and rotations. Exclusive analysis of motion does not take into account forces acting on the body and interactions to varying systems (e.g., bicycle components). In biomechanics, the most common approach for motion analysis is by filming subjects performing a given motion and tracking segments and joints throughout various frames. For that purpose, reference markers are attached to the skin at anatomical sites related to joint coordinate systems. Tracking these markers throughout motion is important to assess changes in segment and joint motion during a given task.
... Similarly, cyclists with existing low back pain showed a greater lumbar flexion than age-matched subjects [156]. This finding enforces that position of the pelvis is critical to lumbar angle during pedaling and to low back pain related to bicycle riding [162]. ...
... The greater the forward lean, the larger effects were observed in lumbar pelvis, with more flexion when cyclists opted for pedaling at the aerobars [167]. Greater tilt for the anterior section of the saddle was also found to increase lumbar extension, therefore replicating more closely lumbar angles expected during upright standing [162]. The increase in tilt for the anterior section of the saddle was indeed effective in reducing low back pain potentially because of better force direction from the lumbar vertebras to the sacrum. ...
... For now, only saddle inclination angle has been experimentally shown effective in reducing low back pain. Reduction in saddle anterior portion in relation to the posterior portion has been shown to reduce low back pain in 72 % of cyclists [162]. The reason for the effectiveness in changing saddle angle is linked to reduction in lumbar flexion and potentially to lesser load applied to sacrum promontorium. ...
Chapter
In this chapter we present some of the upcoming technology which is initially used in cycling and in other research fields. This technology, in our perspective, may provide novel information that could help cyclists and coaches to improve training methods and assessment of cyclists. In this chapter some of this technology is discussed considering the potential contribution to cycling performance and injury prevention. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland. All rights are reserved.
... saddle height (Nordeen-Snyder 1977), seat-tube angle (Price and Donne 1997), and handlebar position (Gnehm et al. 1997)) on cycling efficiency, few have focused on uphill cycling. Intriguingly, some scientists (Salai et al., 1999;Fonda and Sarabon 2012) and cyclists (PedalChile 2020; PinkBike 2019) have reported that there is one parameter which may improve both performance and comfort when cycling uphill-tilting the saddle nose down. Here, we investigated if simply tilting the saddle nose down can increase metabolic efficiency during uphill cycling, which would presumably improve performance. ...
... Another possible benefit of tilting the saddle nose down may be a reduction in cycling-induced discomfort and pathologies related to postural adjustments and saddle pressure. Salai et al. (1999) provided evidence that tilting the saddle nose down by 10° to 15° reduces lower-back pain and speculated that the tilt decreased forces on lumbar vertebrae by helping riders maintain a more neutral spine. Sequenzia et al. (2016) investigated if a variable-geometry saddle prototype, which allowed riders to adjust their nose-down saddle-tilt angle, had neurological benefits. ...
Article
Full-text available
Riding uphill presents a challenge to competitive and recreational cyclists. Based on only limited evidence, some scientists have reported that tilting the saddle nose down improves uphill-cycling efficiency by as much as 6%. Purpose: here, we investigated if simply tilting the saddle nose down increases efficiency during uphill cycling, which would presumably improve performance. Methods: nineteen healthy, recreational cyclists performed multiple 5 min trials of seated cycling at ~ 3 W kg-1 on a large, custom-built treadmill inclined to 8° under two saddle-tilt angle conditions: parallel to the riding surface and 8° nose down. We measured subjects' rates of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production using an expired-gas analysis system and then calculated their average metabolic power during the last two min of each 5 min trial. Results: we found that, compared to the parallel-saddle condition, tilting the saddle nose down by 8° improved gross efficiency from 0.205 to 0.208-an average increase of 1.4% ± 0.2%, t = 5.9, p < 0.001, CI95% [0.9 to 1.9], dz = 1.3. Conclusion: our findings are relevant to competitive and recreational cyclists and present an opportunity for innovating new devices and saddle designs that enhance uphill-cycling efficiency. The effect of saddle tilt on other slopes and the mechanism behind the efficiency improvement remain to be investigated.
... Two trials 28 29 investigated biomechanical modifications in athletes (n=77), including unstable sandals 28 or equipment modifications. 29 Outcome measures included pain 28 29 and balance. 28 An 'unstable shoe' intervention in golfers reduced LBP in a laboratory test to 21.97 mm on a 100 mm continuous VAS compared with 37.83 mm in those not wearing the shoe (perceived LBP between groups t=−2.02, ...
... 28 Recreational cyclists with LBP while cycling adjusted their bike seats to achieve anterior angles of inclination of 10 or 15 degrees. 29 At 6-month follow-up, 72% reported they had no LBP, and 20% reported a 'major reduction' in pain. The authors did not report separate groups' results, only that there were no between-group differences. ...
Article
Objective To summarise the evidence for non-pharmacological management of low back pain (LBP) in athletes, a common problem in sport that can negatively impact performance and contribute to early retirement. Data sources Five databases (EMBASE, Medline, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus) were searched from inception to September 2020. The main outcomes of interest were pain, disability and return to sport (RTS). Results Among 1629 references, 14 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving 541 athletes were included. The trials had biases across multiple domains including performance, attrition and reporting. Treatments included exercise, biomechanical modifications and manual therapy. There were no trials evaluating the efficacy of surgery or injections. Exercise was the most frequently investigated treatment; no RTS data were reported for any exercise intervention. There was a reduction in pain and disability reported after all treatments. Conclusions While several treatments for LBP in athletes improved pain and function, it was unclear what the most effective treatments were, and for whom. Exercise approaches generally reduced pain and improved function in athletes with LBP, but the effect on RTS is unknown. No conclusions regarding the value of manual therapy (massage, spinal manipulation) or biomechanical modifications alone could be drawn because of insufficient evidence. High-quality RCTs are urgently needed to determine the effect of commonly used interventions in treating LBP in athletes.
... 42 Since function of the peri-articular muscles is considered an aetiologic factor in hip disorders, 10 Clinical assessment of muscle function during a dynamic activity such as cycling relies on observatory and palpatory skills. With respect to bike fitting, factors that have been shown to influence the posture of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex and thus may have an influence on muscle activation include saddle design, 43 saddle tilt, 44 saddle height 45 and a lower torso position such as riding in the drops (hands in the lowest curved section of the handlebar). 46 the hip and knee, the gluteus maximus and vastii, are co-activated from the top of the pedal stroke to approximately 100-130° and are considered to act as primary power producers. ...
... The angle of tilt relative to the ground of the saddle can significantly influence spinal posture and perineal comfort. 44 The saddle is mounted to the bike with no tilt initially, although once the fit is hip flexion is required if a longer crank length is selected, or if the handlebar is lowered or moved further away relative to the selected saddle position. Handlebars that are too low or too far away from the saddle may exceed the hip flexion range or the reach of the cyclist, resulting in a range of possible adaptive movements or postural changes to reach the bars. ...
Article
Hip pathology is common amongst athletes and the general population. The mechanics of cycling have the potential to exacerbate symptomatic hip pathology and progress articular pathology in patients with morphologic risk factors such as femoroacetabular impingement. A professional fit of the bicycle to the individual which aims to optimize hip joint function can allow patients with hip pathology to exercise in comfort when alternative high impact exercise such as running may not be possible. Conversely improper fit of the bicycle can lead to hip symptoms in otherwise healthy individuals who present with risk factors for hip pain. Accordingly a bike fit can form part of the overall management strategy in a cyclist with hip symptoms. The purpose of this clinical commentary is to discuss hip pathomechanics with respect to cycling, bicycle fitting methodology and the options available to a physical therapist to optimize hip mechanics during the pedaling action.
... Overall, off road cyclists have a 40 % lower incidence of head, facial dental injuries than on road bicyclists, primarily the result of being separated from vehicular traffic and more frequent helmet use 28 . Overuse injuries may occur in bicycle riders who regularly ride their bicycle, especially those involved in competitive racing and commercial bicycling. ...
... 29 Neck aches and backaches are also common complaints resulting from the cyclists, upper body position with hyperextension of the neck and flexion of the back. 28 Enforcement of laws on traffic violations committed by bicyclists is a necessary ingredient in improving bicyclists' safety. It would also be helpful to target behaviour that is threatening to pedestrians such as weaving through a crosswalk (on a red signal) and riding on a sidewalk. ...
... Overall, off road cyclists have a 40 % lower incidence of head, facial dental injuries than on road bicyclists, primarily the result of being separated from vehicular traffic and more frequent helmet use 28 . Overuse injuries may occur in bicycle riders who regularly ride their bicycle, especially those involved in competitive racing and commercial bicycling. ...
... 29 Neck aches and backaches are also common complaints resulting from the cyclists, upper body position with hyperextension of the neck and flexion of the back. 28 Enforcement of laws on traffic violations committed by bicyclists is a necessary ingredient in improving bicyclists' safety. It would also be helpful to target behaviour that is threatening to pedestrians such as weaving through a crosswalk (on a red signal) and riding on a sidewalk. ...
... However, data available in the literature portray an overall negative spinal impact of cycling. The incidence and prevalence of spinal pain is reported to be higher in road cyclists, with studies reporting that approximately half of cyclists had low back pain (5,6). Despite this, there is limited data on the point prevalence of back pain in cyclists, with a narrative review of the literature estimating this to be 10-60% in cyclists (7). ...
... Cycling has been incriminated as a causative factor for back pain in triathletes (9). Some investigators pointed to the sustained flexed posture at the lumbar spine during road cycling as the reason for the adverse spinal effects on cycling (5,10). Other investigators have commented that fatigue of the trunk extensors, shifting of load onto passive spinal structures with viscoelastic creep during sustained trunk flexion, nutrient flow restriction to the intervertebral discs and/or overactivity of trunk extensors may damage the cyclist"s spine (11). ...
Article
Purpose: Cycling is widely practiced as a mode of transportation, a leisurely pursuit and a competitive sport. Approximately half of cyclists experience low back pain. Yet, there has been limited study of spine tissue adaptations due to cycling. Methods: To investigate potential risk factors for spinal pain, we compared 18 high-volume cyclists (>150 km per week for ≥5 years) to 18 height-matched non-sporting referents. Participants had no history of spinal pathology. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to quantify intervertebral disc (IVD) morphology and hydration; and psoas, erector spinae, quadratus lumborum and multifidus muscle size and fat content. Endurance of trunk muscles (flexors and extensors) were measured and physical activity levels assessed objectively using accelerometry. Results: Cyclists IVD showed prolonged T2-time (+10.0(17.3)%; p=0.021), implying better IVD hydration and glycosaminoglycan content, compared to referents. Lower thoracic and upper lumbar IVD T2 time were longer in cyclists (p≤0.029) but not at the lower lumbar spine. T2-time differences were larger in the nucleus pulposus compared to the annulus fibrosus. Cyclists showed larger psoas muscles with less fat content compared to referents. Cyclists also exhibited longer isometric trunk endurance times (p≤0.036) and higher physical activity levels (osteogenic index, p=0.038).CONCLUSION Despite previous studies reporting higher than average prevalence of back pain in cyclists, the high-volume road cyclists in our cohort showed no anatomical or functional deficiency in spinal structures. In contrast, we found evidence for beneficial adaptations to the intervertebral discs and psoas muscles in high-volume cyclists compared to referents. These data support the notion that cycling is not detrimental to the spine; rather, in contrast, may be associated with beneficial changes at the spine.
... This interaction between the pelvis and the spine depends in part on the hip extensor muscles such as gluteus maximus and biceps femoris, whose muscle length-tension relationship is strongly influenced by changes in the hip flexion angle during exercise 123,215 . Studies where the saddle angle is modified 85,189 concur, therefore, with the mechanism explained. ...
... Salai and colleagues 189 observed that saddle angle strongly affects the lumbopelvic region. High saddle angle increases the tensile forces along the anterior longitudinal ligament of the lumbar spine and can be an important cause of back pain 189 . In agreement with these studies, Fonda et al. 85 observed that uphill cycling modified the timing and intensity of neuromuscular activation of the hip muscles and suggested that moving the saddle forward and changing its angle could counteract this effect. ...
... 2012Para a FM, verificou-se diferença tanto para os valores médios (p<0,01) quanto para os valores máximos (p<0,01) entre as quatro posturas. Do mesmo modo, foi evidenciado que para a FA também existe diferença tanto para os valores médios (p<0,01) quanto para os valores máximos (p<0,01) entre as quatro posturas (Figura 7).DULHUNTY, 2002;ADAMS;DOLAN, 2005) e do ciclismo (KOLEHMAINEM; HARMS-RINGDAHL; LANSHAMMARVEY MESTDAGH, 1998;SALAI et al, 1999;SILBERMAN et al, 2005;DIEFENTHAELER et al, 2007;SANTANA et al, 2008;LUCAS et al, 2000SALAI et al, 1999;SILBERMAN et al, 2005;ALENCAR et al, 2011). Sendo assim, entendese que os conhecimentos gerados neste estudo devam ser compartilhados com os fabricantes deste tipo de equipamentos, que por sua vez ...
... 2012Para a FM, verificou-se diferença tanto para os valores médios (p<0,01) quanto para os valores máximos (p<0,01) entre as quatro posturas. Do mesmo modo, foi evidenciado que para a FA também existe diferença tanto para os valores médios (p<0,01) quanto para os valores máximos (p<0,01) entre as quatro posturas (Figura 7).DULHUNTY, 2002;ADAMS;DOLAN, 2005) e do ciclismo (KOLEHMAINEM; HARMS-RINGDAHL; LANSHAMMARVEY MESTDAGH, 1998;SALAI et al, 1999;SILBERMAN et al, 2005;DIEFENTHAELER et al, 2007;SANTANA et al, 2008;LUCAS et al, 2000SALAI et al, 1999;SILBERMAN et al, 2005;ALENCAR et al, 2011). Sendo assim, entendese que os conhecimentos gerados neste estudo devam ser compartilhados com os fabricantes deste tipo de equipamentos, que por sua vez ...
Article
Full-text available
O objetivo deste estudo foi verificar a influência do posicionamento do indivíduo na bicicleta, durante a pedalada, sobre a sobrecarga mecânica na coluna cervical. Foram avaliados nove indivíduos durante teste em uma bicicleta de competição acoplada a um ciclossimulador. O protocolo consistiu em pedalar em quatro posturas (ereta, descanso, intermediária e ataque), com filmagem simultânea no plano sagital. As imagens foram digitalizadas no software DVideow e possibilitaram o cálculo das variáveis cinemáticas, as quais foram inseridas no modelo biomecânico, permitindo o cálculo da força muscular (FM) e da força articular (FA). Os resultados demonstraram que quando os indivíduos modificaram sua postura de ereta para descanso, de descanso para intermediária e de intermediária para ataque, os valores médios e máximos das FM e FA aumentaram (p
... Cyclists are known to be vulnerable to LBP (Salai et al. 1999;Manninen and Kallinen 1996;Burnett et al. 2004;Srinivasan and Balasubramanian 2007), but the aetiology is not completely understood. Causative factors are thought to be prolonged forward flexion, mechanical creep and generation of high mechanical loads while being in a flexed position; altered motion control and kinematics of the lower lumbar spine were also proven to be associated with the development of LBP in cyclists. ...
... WBV exposure in these sports is not negligible in comparison with the vibration at the workplace and, consequently, the practice of these sports could be included in questionnaires as a confounding factor. The correlation of vibration values and the results of epidemiological studies on the prevalence of LBP in alpine skiers (Peacock et al. 2005) and cyclists (Salai et al. 1999;Burnett et al. 2004) indicates the totally different effect of vibration in sitting and standing posture and, in general, the paramount effect of posture in the aetiology of back disorders. Under this perspective, a differentiation of the ISO 2631 weighting curves for sitting and standing postures would be desirable. ...
Chapter
This chapter describes the response of the human body to vibration in the practice of extreme sports. Recent literature studies evidenced that the whole-body vibration exposure in kitesurfing, snowboarding and skis is much larger than the limits of the current EU legislation. Nevertheless, the number of studies focused on the degenerative pathologies of the musculoskeletal system in sports is still limited and does not evidence a strong prevalence of back pathologies. After summarizing the vibration exposure in kitesurfing, alpine skiing and snowboarding, the vibration transmissibility along the human body in postures typical of these disciplines is analysed. Results outline that the postures assumed in the extreme sports limits the vibration reaching the back, but increases the mechanical stress on the lower extremities, as testified by the most common injuries in these sports.
... Furthermore, in endurance sports such as cycling, better results are shown when this technique is associated with a correction of the sport specific technical movement as shown by Salai et al., which identified how correcting a wrong posture on the bicycle is related to an improvement in the painful symptom in nonprofessional cyclists suffering from CLBP. 45 The goal of this study was to evaluate if the modification of the weight distribution and sitting posture of the athlete in the saddle, associated with a Back School treatment, could give better short term results than the Back School treatment alone in cyclists affected by non-specific chronic low back pain, objectify-larità e il sempre maggior numero di praticanti di questo sport 39 ing and analyzing the results obtained through the use of scientifically validated scales. The "Geobiomized ® " saddle cover which was used, and which the authors believe is simple to use and particularly accurate, has shown in all cases an abnormal posture in the saddle by the athletes examined which also resulted in a variation of the measured joint angles. ...
... Inoltre, negli sport di durata come il ciclismo, sono riportati risultati migliori quando questa tecnica viene associata ad una correzione del gesto tecnico sport specifico come dimostrato da Salai et al., che hanno evidenziato come la modificazione di una posizione errata sulla bicicletta sia correlata ad un miglioramento della sintomatologia dolorosa in ciclisti non professionisti affetti da CLBP45 .Obiettivo di questo studio è stato quello di valutare se la modificazione della distribuzione del peso e dell'appoggio dell'atleta sulla sella, associa-POGLIACOMI CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN IN HIGH LEVEL CYCLISTS ...
Article
BACKGROUND: Cyclists are constantly subjected to repeated stress at the level of the lumbar spine. In these athletes a significant functional overload of the spine is consequent to the maintenance of prolonged fixed positions and of the mechanical stresses due to vibration on the bicycle, thus determining the loss of its physiological curve. The high incidence of low back pain in cycling leads us to consider prevention as the primary approach and management of these symptoms. The purpose of this study was to compare two treatments in cyclists suffering from chronic low back pain. METHODS: Twenty-two cyclists who cover more than 20,000 km/year were divided into two groups depending on the treatment performed. The first (group A) was subjected to Back School therapy, associated with changes of position on the saddle after its evaluation which was carried out with the seat cover "Geobiomized®". The second (Group B) underwent only to Back School. Each athlete was evaluated before treatment (T0) and after its completion (T1) using the following rating scales: Numeric Rating Scale, Oswestry Disability Index and Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire. RESULTS: The analysis of the results showed a significant improvement in both groups at T1 for all rating scales. The inter-group analysis showed better results in group A for the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire that is characterized by a higher specificity for high-level athletes. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic low back pain may negatively influence sports performance. In cycling a correct position on the bicycle and the consequent improvement of the specific technical gesture are certainly useful in order to treat and prevent this debilitating symptomatology. This study shows that correction of the position on the saddle following specific analysis, associated with validated rehabilitative treatments might result in a reduction of lumbar pain and improvement of specific performance.
... 22,24 Of these risk factors, bike fit shows the strongest relationship with LBP in cyclists. 13,17,22,31 A 10° to 15° change in anterior tilt of the saddle eliminated LBP in 29 of 40 cyclists and decreased pain in 8 others. 31 However, the impact of bike fit on overuse LBP in cyclists in relation to the other risk factors is unclear. ...
... 13,17,22,31 A 10° to 15° change in anterior tilt of the saddle eliminated LBP in 29 of 40 cyclists and decreased pain in 8 others. 31 However, the impact of bike fit on overuse LBP in cyclists in relation to the other risk factors is unclear. Thus, the aim of this systematic review is to determine whether relationships exist between body positioning, spinal kinematics, and spinal muscle activity in cyclists with nontraumatic LBP and how bike fit affects these factors. ...
Article
Context: Low back pain is reported by more than half of cyclists. The pathomechanics and association of risk factors of lumbar spine overuse injuries in cycling are not clearly understood. Objective: To determine whether relationships exist between body positioning, spinal kinematics, and muscle activity in active cyclists with nontraumatic low back pain. Data sources: In August of 2015 and April of 2016, a comprehensive search of the PubMed, CINAHL, Ovid MEDLINE, and Scopus databases was performed independently by 5 reviewers. Study selection: Included articles consisted of biomechanical studies examining factors relating to low back pain in cyclists as agreed upon by group consensus. Study design: Systematic review. Level of evidence: Level 4. Data extraction: Five reviewers appraised by consensus each article using the Downs and Black checklist. Results: Eight studies met criteria for this review. There is evidence that cyclists with lower handlebar heights displayed increased lumbosacral flexion angles during cycling. Core muscle activation imbalances, back extensor endurance deficits, and increased lumbar flexion while cycling were found to be present in cyclists with low back pain. Conclusion: Spinal and core muscle activation imbalances in a prolonged flexed posture associated with cycling may lead to maladaptive spinal kinematics and increased spinal stresses contributing to overuse low back pain.
... Overuse injuries like low back pain (LBP) are mostly mild but can become chronic and can lead to functional impairment requiring medical attention (Clarsen et al., 2010). The prevalence of LBP among cyclists ranges between 31 and 60% (Mellion, 1991;Wilber et al., 1995;Callaghan and Jarvis, 1996;Salai et al., 1999;Clarsen et al., 2010). ...
... A long arm goniometer (Gymna, Belgium) was used to measure the saddle angle of each subject's personal race bike (Salai et al., 1999). Saddle design was documented descriptively. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To examine lumbar postural control during cycling and it's relation with low back pain (LBP). Material and methods: Eight cyclists with non-specific chronic LBP (NS-CLBP) and a Flexion Pattern (FP) and nine asymptomatic cyclists participated in a two hour outdoor cycling task. Spinal kinematics (expressed as a percentage of the total lumbo-pelvic flexion) were measured with a wireless remote monitoring system (BodyGuard). Levels of pain were measured at start, every 15 minutes during and at 0.5, 1, 2 en 24 hours after cycling using a numerical pain rating scale (0-10). The average lumbo-pelvic posture, the posture per 12 intervals of 10 minutes and the postural variation of this posture were analysed and compared between the 2 groups. Results: NS-CLBP (FP) subjects were significantly more flexed at the lower lumbar spine during cycling compared to healthy controls (p=0.018), and reported a significant increase in pain during cycling (p<0.001). Conclusion: In a specific subgroup of cyclists with NS-CLBP (FP) the inherent underlying maladaptive motor control pattern (FP) results in a more flexed lumbo-pelvic posture during cycling that is related to a significant increase in pain.
... Plus, the saddle angle was measured with an inclinometer (Precision: ±0.1°; Johnson, digital angle locator, model 40-6067, Mequon, WI, USA). The cycling fit including saddle angle may have an impact on LBP (Salai et al., 1999). ...
Article
This study was designed to identify neuromuscular adaptations of low back pain (LBP) cyclists , and the impact of a cycling effort on spinal shrinkage. Forty-eight trained cyclists rode their road bike on a smart trainer for 1-hour. Surface electromyography (EMG) recorded muscle activity of the lumbar erector spinae (LES), 3D motion analysis system recorded kinematic of the trunk, and stadiometry measured spinal height. Statistical comparisons were made using repeated measure ANOVAs. The LBP group presented increase in pain levels throughout the effort (p < 0.001). A significant group difference was only observed for the thoracic angle (p = 0.03), which was less flexed for LBP. The one-hour cycling effort (time effect) significantly increased the trunk flexion (p < 0.001) and thoracic flexion (p < 0.001) for both groups. Significant lower LES activation (35% less) was observed at the end of the effort as well as a decrease in spinal height (p = 0.01) for both groups. Neuromuscular adaptations to cycling effort is identified by a decrease in LES EMG amplitude and an increase flexion of the trunk. Adaptation to pain is seen by an increase in thoracic flexion. Despite these adaptations, LBP cyclists could not ride their bike pain-free.
... Even with the potential influence of bicycle component configuration on overuse injuries (Holmes et al., 1994;Mellion, 1991), only saddle tilt has been experimentally linked to low back pain (Salai et al., 1999). Dahlquist et al. (2015) prospectively observed that 51% of those reporting an injury had been professionally bike fitted which was significantly more than those who did not report an injury (23%; p = 0.04). ...
Article
This study compared the presence of pain in recreational and competitive road cyclists and body position on the bicycle between cyclists with and without pain. Seventy-one cyclists completed a survey reporting existing cycling-related sites of pain and comfort. Static sagittal and frontal plane images were taken to analyse body position on the bicycle. Participants were separated into recreational and competitive road cycling groups, and further into cyclists reporting pain in the upper body, low back, buttocks/hips and knees for comparison with cyclists without pain. A logistic regression model investigated possible predictors of pain whilst cycling. Pain was present in 67% of recreational and 70% of competitive cyclists whilst comfort was reported by 81% of recreational and 75% of competitive cyclists. Trivial to moderate non-significant differences were observed for body position on the bicycle between cyclists with and without pain, and between cyclists with and without pain in the upper body, low back, buttocks/hips and knees. The predictive logistic model was not significant (p = 0.07) with a model fit predicted by McFadden R² of 0.07. Given most cyclists reported both pain and comfort, comfort is probably not a good predictor of overuse injury risk.
... 9,15 About 30-70% of all cyclists have back pain in various areas of the spine, many in the lower back, which can lead to faster fatigue and loss of performance compared with healthy counterparts. 16 Furthermore, a powerful back extensor as well as strong abdominal muscles build a stable trunk, which improves the transmission of force between the upper and lower body, has a preventive effect in terms of avoiding injuries and back pain, and has a positive influence on posture parameters. 1,17 Body posture in general is based on the muscle interaction of agonist and antagonist. ...
Article
Full-text available
A 17-year-old male road cyclist with unspecific back pain and postural deficiency regarding the depth of the lumbar lordosis (flèche lombaire [fl]) and the upper body tilt (forward trunk tilt [tt]) absolved an 8-week whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) training to improve performance parameters and health issues. During WB-EMS, muscle groups all over the body are stimulated via external electrodes, thus creating an intensive training stimulus due to the electrically induced involuntary muscle contraction. The athlete's posture (fl 2.2%, tt 64.3%) and back pain (54%) improved, and trunk strength increased (extension 15.5%, flexion 29.2%). This is the first WB-EMS study of a minor cyclist, suggesting positive effects of WB-EMS as a time-saving strength training method on health and strength parameters. _______________________________________________________________________________ Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1123/ijatt.2020-0016., © Human Kinetics, Inc.
... Outra atividade aeróbica importante para a saúde é o ciclismo, classificado como uma atividade com grande número de adeptos, nos últimos anos [9][10][11] e cuja prática regular pode promover diversos benefícios para seus praticantes como uma maior proteção dos tendões e cápsulas articulares, prevenção e controle da pressão arterial, fortalecimento da musculatura de membros inferiores, além da promoção de um melhor bem-estar psicológico com melhoria da saúde e qualidade de vida [12]. ...
Article
Full-text available
O objetivo do presente estudo buscou comparar a potência muscular de membros inferiores de ciclistas e de corredores de rua a partir dos testes Squat Jump (SJ) e Counter Movement Jump (CMJ) com um aplicativo para iphone e do Sargent Jump Test (SJT). A amostra foi composta por 10 ciclistas e 10 corredores de rua, do sexo masculino, pertencentes a grupos não organizados. Os resultados demonstraram diferença significativa na potência de membros inferiores de corredores (SJ- 1160W, CMJ- 1257,7W e SJT- 1552,4 kgm/s) em relação aos ciclistas (SJ- 1103W, CMJ- 1133,3W e SJT- 1558,1 kgm/s) no CMJ (p=0,01). Concluiu-se que os corredores de rua obtiveram um melhor desempenho em relação a variável potência de membros inferiores nos testes SJ e CMJ, já no SJT houve uma vantagem não significativa para os ciclistas.Palavras-chave: força muscular, bicicletas para terra, corrida, aptidão física.
... Une étude israélienne de 1999 montre qu'un réglage approprié de l'angle de la selle permet de diminuer l'incidence et l'intensité des douleurs dorsales chez le cycliste. Il suffirait d'incliner la selle de 10° à 15° vers l'avant pour prévenir l'apparition de diverses rachialgies en diminuant le creux lombaire c'est à dire en en diminuant l'hyper extension entre le rachis et le bassin (SALAI et COLL, 1999) L'inclinaison du guidon rentre également en jeu en permettant de relaxer les lombaires. ...
Thesis
La prévalence des troubles musculo-squelettiques est importante dans la population de chirurgiens dentistes et sont d'ailleurs en constante augmentation depuis une vingtaine d'années. Ces troubles touchent une grande partie de notre profession et peuvent aller de la simple gêne jusqu'à des pathologies sévères empêchant la pratique professionnelle au fauteuil. Nous allons donc étudier l'influence de la pratique sportive dans la prévention et le traitement de ces maux. Nous traiterons cette problématique en analysant plusieurs disciplines, certaines plus communes allant de la natation au handball, certaines plus récentes comme la marche nordique ou le Pilates. Le but est de cibler les articulations, les groupes musculaires mis en jeu par ces disciplines et de déterminer leurs impacts positifs ou négatifs sur les régions soumises aux troubles musculo-squelettiques. Pour chaque discipline nous parlerons des différentes aides à la bonne pratique et de ce qu'il en est de la couverture des assurances. Pour conclure, nous verrons aussi comment le sport peut aider les chirurgiens dentistes dans leur activité quotidienne en élaborant un guide d'exercices variés destinés à soulager les tensions accumulées dans une journée de travail.
... La plupart des études s'intéressant aux TMS en cyclisme émet des hypothèses sur le lien entre un mauvais ajustement du positionnement du cycliste sur son vélo et la survenue de la douleur (Asplund and St Pierre, 2004;Dannenberg et al., 1996;Mellion, 2012;Salai et al., 1999). ...
... These altered postures in relation to an upright position have been theoretically associated with the large rates of low back pain in cyclists (Srinivasan and Balasubramanian 2007;Burnett et al. 2004). However, only one study showed that reducing lumbar kyphosis during cycling can diminish low back pain (Salai et al. 1999). ...
Chapter
In this chapter, we intend to present information on the kinematics of cycling for recreational and professional plural. Considering that the kinematics of cycling can be affected by many aspects, we opted to discuss some of the more frequent issues that have been covered in the literature on segmental movements during cycling. We believe this chapter is an introductory reading for undergraduates and graduate students interested in understanding how kinematics can change during cycling and why it is important for training and competition. Although we mention in some sections information about technical details of motion capture systems, our purpose is not to provide a full discussion on how motion capture works. We started the chapter by introducing the importance of assessing kinematics of cyclists. We also included a brief summary with the state of the art in the use of kinematics for cycling assessment. The chapter follows with the discussion of selected topics, including the effects of body position, exercise intensity, pedaling cadence, fatigue, bike fit, and training level on the segmental movements during pedaling. Finally, we discuss some implications of segmental movements on force production and injury risk among cyclists. The chapter is finished with our conclusions and comments on future directions for research in this topic.
...  Cyclist with flexion pattern LBP drive with more flexion of the lower lumbar than the controls. Coaches should consider helping such athletes to reduce the excessive lower lumbar flexion during riding, through biofeedback (42) or by adjusting the saddle angle (43).  Dancers with LBP have poorer lumbopelvic motor control strategies. ...
Article
Full-text available
Low back pain (LBP) is also one of the most common medical conditions in athletes. There is little doubt that patients with LBP use from their body differently than pain free individuals. The purpose of this review was to investigate changes in motor control which may be present in athletes with LBP. The search strategy for this review consisted of an electronic database search of full text in MEDLINE database. 28 studies met the eligibility criteria, most of which were cross-sectional in nature. The studies were analyzed separately according to the specific sports involved. The studies demonstrate that athletes with LBP exhibit a range of MCI in the trunk, lumbopelvic region and lower extremities. However, inconsistencies were apparent between the results. Athletes with LBP demonstrate MCI during functional and non-functional tasks, similar to non-athletes. More studies, especially large prospective studies which control for non-mechanical factors which may also differ among athletes with LBP are required to determine the relationship between LBP and MCI in athletes. KEY WORDS: Low Back Pain, Motor Control, Athletes, Biomechanics, Electromyography, Range of Motion
... Drugo najpogostejše mesto, ki je podvrţeno preobremenitvi, je ledvena hrbtenica. Pogostost variira med 3 in 30 odstotki pri rekreativcih, Salai (25) pa je v raziskavi, zasnovani prav za odkrivanje poškodb v ledveni hrbtenici, ugotovil, da je kar 50 odstotkov kolesarjev trpelo za bolečinami v kriţu po daljši kolesarski turi. O največji pogostosti so poročali Clarsen in sodelavci (11) (46 odstotkov), ki so ugotovili tudi, da ta poškodba med vsemi najpogosteje zahteva medicinsko oskrbo. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Cycling is a rapidly growing activity that people advantageously use for recreation and as a form of transport. The main purpose of this article is to present the most common overuse injuries among professional and recreational cyclists. Methods: The literature review was performed using electronic databases. All available studies published by 2014 were included in the review. Results: Twelve studies matched the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Results indicate that overuse injuries in cyclists are common. From 84 to 87 % of cyclists experienced at least one of overuse injuries in a period longer than one year. The majority (74.5–94.2 %) of these injuries were classified as mild and did not require special medical attention or forced the cessation of activities for a longer period. Overuse injuries among cyclists differ significantly between recreational and professional cyclists in terms of injury type and affected body segment. Conclusions: Overuse injuries among cyclists are common. The most common overuse injuries are compression neuropathies, anterior knee pain and low back pain.
... Posisi membungkuk (fleksi) tersebut dapat menimbulkan gaya kompresi yang besar antara discus tulang belakang terutama pada Lumbal 4 dan Lumbal 5 (bergerak kearah anterior), bila terjadi terus menerus dapat menyebabkan nyeri pada area pinggang bawah, akibat dari penekanan sistem saraf di tulang belakang (low back pain). 19 Posisi fleksi dalam jangka waktu yang lama juga dapat mengakibatkan intervertebral stress serta tekanan intradiscal pada lumbar dan toraks pada pengendara. [20][21][22] Selain itu, dengan postur duduk tersebut dapat membuat kelelahan pada otot pinggang. ...
Article
Full-text available
Transportasi merupakan hal yang sangat dibutuhkan dalam menunjang pembangunan nasional. Belum baiknya sistem transportasi massal di Indonesia, membuat masyarakat lebih memilih menggunakan kendaraan pribadi, seperti sepeda motor yang praktis dan ekonomis untuk digunakan. Namun, dalam menggunakan sepeda motor, aspek ergonomi dan kenyamanan bagi pengendara perlu untuk diperhatikan. Desain dan ukuran tempat duduk sepeda motor yang tidak sesuai dengan antropometri duduk statis pengendara dapat menimbulkan kelelahan pada pengendara dan mengakibatkan terjadinya kecelakaan. Tujuan dari penelitian ini adalah untuk mengetahui risiko ergonomi dari ketidaksesuaian antara desain dan ukuran tempat duduk sepeda motor dengan antropometri duduk statis. Untuk menganalisis risiko ergonomi, dilakukan penelitian dengan desain deskriptif analitik pada mahasiswa di sekitar lingkungan kampus Fakultas Kesehatan Masyarakat Universitas Indonesia pada bulan Oktober sampai dengan Desember 2009. Jumlah sampel sebanyak 100 orang responden, dibagi menjadi 50 orang laki-laki dan 50 orang perempuan. Sampel responden dipilih dengan metode cluster random sampling, sedangkan tipe sepeda motor dipilih berdasarkan yang paling banyak digunakan dengan metode simple stratified random sampling. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa terdapat ketidaksesuaian antara ukuran tempat duduk sepeda motor dengan antropometri duduk statis pada mahasiswa. Adanya ketidaksesuaian tersebut dapat mengakibatkan risiko ergonomi pada pengendara dan terjadinya kecelakaan lalu lintas. Ergonomic Risks of Incompatibility of Design and Size of Motorcycle Seat againts Anthropometry among College Students Transportation is something needed most to support national development. Bad mass transportation system in Indonesia, makes people prefer to use private vehicles, such as motorcycle which is practical and economical to use. However, riders need to consider ergonomic and comfortability aspects in using motorcycle. The design and size of motorcycle seat in compatible with the rider’s static seat anthropometry may cause fatigue among riders and lead to accidents. The study aimed to find out ergonomic risks of incompatibility between the design and size of the motorcycle seat with static sitting anthropometry. To analyze the ergonomic risks, this study was conducted using analitical descriptive design among college students at Public Health Faculty Universitas Indonesia on October to December 2009. The total sample was 100 respondents, divided into 50 men and 50 women. The sample of respondents was selected using random cluster sampling method, meanwhile the type of motorcycle was selected based on the most widely used with simple stratified random sampling method. The results showed any incompatibility between the size of motorcycle seat with static sitting anthropometry among collage students. Such incompatibility may cause ergonomic risks among rider and lead to traffic accidents.
... Optimal body position on the bicycle has been suggested to reduce injury risk and improve cycling performance[1,2]. The configuration of bicycle components to the cyclist (bicycle fitting) has been usually conducted using tape measures and plumb bobs[3]with the dimensions of bicycle components related to anthropometric dimensions of the cyclist[4,5]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Configuration of bicycle components to the cyclist (bicycle fitting) commonly uses static poses of the cyclist on the bicycle at the 6 o’clock crank position to represent dynamic cycling positions. However, the validity of this approach and the potential use of the different crank position (e.g. 3 o’clock) have not been fully explored. Therefore, this study compared lower limb joint angles of cyclists in static poses (3 and 6 o’clock) compared to dynamic cycling. Methods: Using a digital camera, right sagittal plane images were taken of thirty cyclists seated on their own bicycles mounted on a stationary trainer with the crank at 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions. Video was then recorded during pedalling at a self-selected gear ratio and pedalling cadence. Sagittal plane hip, knee and ankle angles were digitised. Results: Differences between static and dynamic angles were large at the 6 o’clock crank position with greater mean hip angle (4.9 ±3°), smaller knee angle (8.2 ±5°) and smaller ankle angle (8.2 ±5.3°) for static angles. Differences between static and dynamic angles (<1.4°) were trivial to small for the 3 o’clock crank position. Conclusions: To perform bicycle fitting, joint angles should be measured dynamically or with the cyclist in a static pose at the 3 o’clock crank position.
... This would in effect direct the knee in a lateral to medial coronal movement across a greater ROM, creating more torsion and potentially more pain. Although this is very unlikely with elite and experienced cyclists, as their set up is likely to be within the acceptable boundaries (Faria et al., 2005a), recreational cyclists may in fact often have a lower set up due to inexperience (Salai et al., 1999). Clinically this is a potential area for future research with PFP and there may in fact be some correlation with the target group tested in this study (biomechanical). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Considering that Patello-Femoral Pain (PFP) is responsible for over 25% of all road cycling related injury and over 65% of injuries in the lower limb, alongside trauma related pain it remains the main injury affecting experienced and elite cyclists and is commonly treated using taping. Taping can broadly be categorised into ̳McConnell‘ and ̳Kinesiology type tape‘ (KTT) as these are seen as recognised clinical approaches in dealing with patella tracking and pain issues. The aim was to collect specific data to inform and develop a study into current taping techniques used in cycling related knee pain. An online questionnaire determined the techniques used by clinicians treating elite and experienced cyclists. Recruitment was through professional networking and the social network TwitterTM. The questionnaire indicated a clear preference for the use of KTT. A specific taping technique was identified for use in a laboratory-based study. Respondents indicated their rationale for using tape, which included pain reduction, neuro-muscular adaptation, placebo and altered biomechanics. A subsequent study then investigated the interventions, KTT, neutral tape and no taping, alongside comparing asymptomatic (n=12) and symptomatic (n=8) cyclists. Each cyclist conducted three separate and randomised intervention tests at three powers (100W,200W,300W) on a static trainer. Kinematic data were collected using a 10-camera Oqus 3 motion analysis system. Reflective markers were placed on the foot, shank, thigh and pelvis using the CAST technique. This study showed significant differences in the knee, ankle and hip kinematics between cyclists with and without knee pain. The knee had increased ROM (coronal) in those with knee pain (p=0.005 or 18% change) whereas in the hip, those with knee pain had less movement (p=0.001 or 26% change). The ankle however had an increase in movement (transverse) in those with knee pain (p=0.034 or 14% change). Significant differences in hip, knee and ankle kinematics on the application of KTT were found, however these had no identifiable pattern that suggested any clinical indication. Interestingly, similar levels of differences were also found with the neutral taping application, which indicated that a specific technique might not be critical. It was also noted that 3 200 watts of power produced the most pain response during testing (33% change) which may have a practical application to future taping related clinical testing. If we are looking to establish a biomechanical change using KTT, ROM may indeed be reduced, however individuals had different patterns of movement, which did not appear to indicate a consistent or predictable effect. This may mean that pain reduction is more likely through a mechanism of neuromuscular adaptation or proprioception. It appears unclear whether a specific technique of application is fundamental to outcome. The hip, knee and ankle variants may aid clinical application when treating cycling related knee pain through screening and testing. This variation in movement may be linked to increased patello-femoral (PF)/tibio-femoral contact areas and PF stress when significant power is applied during cycling. The findings indicated a proximal to distal relationship, which is in line with current evidence and has implications to rehabilitation. Taping reduced pain, however it is likely that this effect is not what the anecdotal rhetoric presumes. If the intent is to use the tape to elicit specific biomechanical changes then this is difficult to substantiate and measure. If the expectations are purely around pain then it is likely that pain will be decreased using KTT, albeit short term. Further work is clearly required in the area of PFP and cycling.
... [15] Some authors have tried to explain how changes in different bicycle components would affect the posture of the cyclist and either cause or decrease low back pain. In this regard, Salai et al. [16] analyzed the effect of changing the seat tilt on the incidence of low back pain in recreational cyclists. The authors found that the incidence and severity of low back pain was significantly reduced with an anterior tilt of the seat between 10°-15°. ...
Chapter
Currently, cycling is a popular sport, in spite of its demanding physical requirements, the interaction with motor vehicles and the need to adopt an unnatural position on the bicycle for better aerodynamics. The analysis of posture in cyclists on the bicycle and their spinal adaptations in different positions has been studied in the field of sports medicine. This chapter describes the results of major research on the position adopted in cycling, the spinal adaptations generated by the systematic practice of this sport, and the variables that influence the posture of cyclists. The studies reviewed suggest that the morphology of the thoracic curve of the cyclist is characterized by a standing hyperkyphotic posture. This condition, however, would be more associated with a lack of postural awareness than with the position on the bicycle because thoracic kyphosis significantly decreases due to the support of the hands on the handlebars. Instead, the lumbar spine modifies its lordosis in the standing position toward a lumbar kyphosis (inversion) on the bicycle, with greater lumbar flexion, as the grip on the handlebars is lower and farther away relative to the seat. This posture, held on the bicycle, has been associated with the ability of the cyclist to adopt greater lumbar flexion in positions of maximum trunk flexion with bent or extended knees compared with subjects who do not practice this sport. It has also been observed that the degree of hamstring extensibility does not influence the position of the spine and pelvis on the bicycle even though it does influence the spinal position in movements of maximum trunk flexion with extended knees. In conclusion, cycling posture is characterized by maintaining better alignment of the thoracic spine on the bicycle than in the standing position. In contrast, the lumbar spine maintains an inverted position, which leads to spinal adaptations in positions of maximum trunk flexion and could possibly cause low back pain as a result. Due to the characteristics and specific posture requirements of this sport, core strengthening exercises and improvements in the body schema of cyclists are recommended.
... Despite previous research investigating the effects of horizontal and vertical displacement of the saddle on physiological, aerodynamic and biomechanical variables, there is relatively little research investigating the influence of saddle angle on such factors. Salai et al. (1999) demonstrated that angling the saddle nose in the range of 10-15° can reduce lower back pain and increase comfort in recreational cyclists but did not link the effect of saddle angle to changes in performance. ...
... Beschwerden bei Radsportler/innen, Schmerzen im unteren Rückenbereich (Marsden & Schwellnus, 2010), durch die unvermeidbare Haltungsanpassung beim Fahren am Berg, intensiviert werden (Salai, Brosh, Blankenstein, Oran & Chechik, 1999 Güllich & Krüger, 2013;Swain, 1994). Körpermasse wird zu einem noch entscheidenderen Leistungsparamter (Swain, 1994 -60 rpm) am effektivsten ist (Böning, Gonen & Maassen, 1984;Coast, Cox & Welch, 1986;Croisant & Boileau, 1984;di Prampero, 2000;Gaesser & Brooks, 1975;Gueli & Shepard, 1976). ...
Thesis
Ziel der Arbeit war es, das EMG-Innervationsverhalten von vier vortriebswirksamen Muskeln der unteren Extremität beim Radfahren in der Ebene sowie bei 10 %, 20 % und 30 % Steigung zu beschreiben und mit einer Fahrt in der Ebene zu vergleichen. In einem zweiten Schritt wurde im Rahmen einer Reliabilitätsuntersuchung geklärt, wie hoch die Schwankungsbreite zwischen zwei identischen Messungen in der Ebene ausfällt. Dreizehn Radfahrer der regionalen und nationalen Leistungsklasse absolvierten einen Test mit fünf verschiedenen Belastungsbedingungen (Ebene, 10 %, 20 %, 30 %, Ebene) und elektromyografischer Messung von vier Muskeln der unteren Extremität (M. rectus femoris = RF, M. vastus lateralis = VL, M. semitendinosus = ST, M. tibialis anterior = TA). Die Untersuchungen wurden bei einer Leistung von 90 % des maximalen Laktat-steady-states sowie bei einer von den Versuchspersonen selbst gewählten über alle Belastungsstufen hinweg konstanten Trittfrequenz durchgeführt. Als wesentliche Ergebnisse zeigten sich signifikante Veränderungen des muskulären Aktivitätslevel bei 10 % Steigung im Vergleich zur Ebene für ST (+16 %) und TA (-10 %). Bei 20 % Steigung (vs. Ebene) reduzierten RF und TA ihre Intensität um 13 % (RF; p ≤ 0,05) und 18 % (TA; p ≤ 0,05). Hinsichtlich ST war ein höheres Aktivitätslevel von 18 % (p ≤ 0,05) messbar. Alle untersuchten Muskeln veränderten ihre Intensität bei 30 % Steigung im Vergleich zur Ebene (RF = -12 % (p ≤ 0,05); VL = -11 % (p ≤ 0,05); ST = +27 % (p ≤ 0,05); TA = -20 % (p ≤ 0,05)). Zusätzlich nimmt die Summenaktivität aller Muskeln mit zunehmender Steigung in der zweiten Hälfte des Tretzyklus ab (10 %: p ≤ 0,05; 20 %: p ≤ 0,05). Der Vergleich zwischen den zwei Belastungen in der Ebene brachte keine nennenswerten EMG-Veränderungen mit sich. Die Ergebnisse offenbaren, dass durch die Neuorientierung des Oberkörpers Veränderungen im EMG-Innervationsverhalten bereits bei moderater Steigung auftreten. Diese Modifikationen sind bei schwerer (20 %) und sehr schwerer Steigung (30 %) am deutlichsten, wobei neben dem M. tibialis anterior die dem Hüftgelenk entspringenden Muskeln (RF und ST) am stärksten von Veränderungen betroffen sind. Bei sehr schwerer Steigung zeigt auch der Knieextensor M. vastus lateralis Anpassungen.
... It has been proven that some people are more and some less susceptible to such pain, which can be caused by unoptimised bicycle settings. This is why Salai, Brosh, Blankstein, Oran, & Chechik (1999) carried out a biomechanical study of forces that operate on the lower back during cycling. They discovered that these forces in the sagittal plane are solely tractial. ...
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Chapter
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Chapter
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The increasing participation in the athletic forms of bicycling warrants expanded physician attention to the traumatic and overuse injuries experienced by cyclists. The modern bicycle consists of a frame with various components, including handlebars, brakes, wheels, pedals, and gears, in various configurations for the various modes of cycling. For high performance cycling the proper fit of the bicycle is critical. The most efficient method to provide an accurate fit is the Fitkit, but proper frame selection and adjustment can be made by following simple guidelines for frame size, seat height, fore and aft saddle position, saddle angle, reach and handlebar height. The human body functions most effectively in a narrow range of pedal resistance to effort. Riding at too much pedal resistance is a major cause of overuse problems in cyclists. Overuse injuries are lower using lower gear ratios at a higher cadence. Cycling injuries account for 500 000 visits per year to emergency rooms in the US. Over half the accidents involve motor vehicles, and road surface and mechanical problems with the bicycle are also common causes of accidents. Head injuries are common in cyclists and account for most of the fatal accidents. Despite good evidence of their effectiveness, victims with head injuries have rarely worn helmets. Contusions, sprains and fractures may occur throughout the body, most commonly to the hand, wrist, lower arm, shoulder, ankle and lower leg. The handlebar and seat have been implicated in a wide variety of abdominal and genital injuries. Abrasions, lacerations and bruises of the skin are the most common traumatic injuries. Trauma may be prevented or reduced by proper protective safety equipment and keeping the bike in top mechanical condition. Anticipation of the errors of others and practising and adopting specific riding strategies also help to prevent traumatic injuries. Management of overuse injuries in cycling generally involves mechanical adjustment as well as medical management. Neck and back pain are extremely common in cyclists, occurring in up to 60% of riders. Ulnar neuropathy, characterised by tingling, numbness and weakness in the hands is common in serious cyclists after several days of riding. Managing saddle-related injuries or irritations may also involve adjusting seat height, angle and fore and aft position in addition to changing the saddle. Padding in the saddle and shorts play an important part in saddle problems. Saddle-related problems include chafing, perineal folliculitis and furuncles, subcutaneous perineal nodules, pudendal neuropathy, male impotence, traumatic urethritis and a variety of vulva trauma. Improper fit of the bicycle may also lead to problems such as trochanteric bursitis, iliopsoas tendinitis, and ‘biker’s knee’ (patellofemoral pain syndrome). Foot paraesthesias, metatarsalgia and occasionally Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis have also been reported in cyclists. Cyclists should take proper precautions against sun and heat injuries, especially dehyration. Cyclists may benefit from a variety of protective clothing and equipment, such as helmets, mirrors, eyewear, lights and reflective clothing and footwear.
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Energy expenditure during bicycling on flat terrain depends predominantly on air resistance, which is a function of total frontal area (bicycle and rider), coefficient of drag, and air speed. Body position on the bicycle may affect energy expenditure by altering either frontal area or coefficient of drag. In this study, oxygen uptake (VO2) was measured for each of four body positions in 10 cyclists (8 males, 2 females, 24 +/- 2 yr, 67.7 +/- 3.3 kg, VO2max = 65.8 +/- 1.5 ml.kg-1.min-1) while each bicycled up a 4% incline on a motor-driven treadmill (19.3 km.h-1), thereby eliminating air resistance. Positions studied included: 1) seated, hands on brake hoods, cadence 80 rev.min-1; 2) seated, hands on dropped bar (drops), 80 rev.min-1; 3) standing, hands on brake hoods, 60 rev.min-1; and 4) seated, hands on brake hoods, 60 rev.min-1. Subjects rode their own bicycles, which were equipped with a common set of racing wheels. Energy expenditure, expressed as VO2 per unit combined weight, was not significantly different between drops and hoods positioning (30.2 +/- 0.6 vs 29.9 +/- 0.9 ml.kg-1.min-1) but was significantly greater for standing compared with seated cycling (31.7 +/- 0.4 vs 28.3 +/- 0.7 ml.kg-1.min.-1, P less than 0.01). These results indicate that body posture can affect energy expenditure during uphill bicycling through factors unrelated to air resistance.
Article
The increasing participation in the athletic forms of bicycling warrants expanded physician attention to the traumatic and overuse injuries experienced by cyclists. The modern bicycle consists of a frame with various components, including handlebars, brakes, wheels, pedals, and gears, in various configurations for the various modes of cycling. For high performance cycling the proper fit of the bicycle is critical. The most efficient method to provide an accurate fit is the Fitkit, but proper frame selection and adjustment can be made by following simple guidelines for frame size, seat height, fore and aft saddle position, saddle angle, reach and handlebar height. The human body functions most effectively in a narrow range of pedal resistance to effort. Riding at too much pedal resistance is a major cause of overuse problems in cyclists. Overuse injuries are lower using lower gear ratios at a higher cadence. Cycling injuries account for 500,000 visits per year to emergency rooms in the US. Over half the accidents involve motor vehicles, and road surface and mechanical problems with the bicycle are also common causes of accidents. Head injuries are common in cyclists and account for most of the fatal accidents. Despite good evidence of their effectiveness, victims with head injuries have rarely worn helmets. Contusions, sprains and fractures may occur throughout the body, most commonly to the hand, wrist, lower arm, shoulder, ankle and lower leg. The handlebar and seat have been implicated in a wide variety of abdominal and genital injuries. Abrasions, lacerations and bruises of the skin are the most common traumatic injuries. Trauma may be prevented or reduced by proper protective safety equipment and keeping the bike in top mechanical condition. Anticipation of the errors of others and practising and adopting specific riding strategies also help to prevent traumatic injuries. Management of overuse injuries in cycling generally involves mechanical adjustment as well as medical management. Neck and back pain are extremely common in cyclists, occurring in up to 60% of riders. Ulnar neuropathy, characterised by tingling, numbness and weakness in the hands is common in serious cyclists after several days of riding. Managing saddle-related injuries or irritations may also involve adjusting seat height, angle and fore and aft position in addition to changing the saddle. Padding in the saddle and shorts play an important part in saddle problems. Saddle-related problems include chafing, perineal folliculitis and furuncles, subcutaneous perineal nodules, pudendal neuropathy, male impotence, traumatic urethritis and a variety of vulva trauma.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Article
The purpose of this study was to find the optimal values of design parameters for a bicycle-rider system (crank length, pelvic inclination, seat height, and rate of crank rotation) which maximize the power output from muscles of the human lower limb during bicycling. The human lower limb was modelled as a planar system of five rigid bodies connected by four smooth pin joints and driven by seven functional muscle groups. The muscles were assumed to behave according to an adapted form of Hill's equation. The dependence of the average power on the design parameters was examined. The instantaneous power of each muscle group was studied and simultaneous activity of two seemingly antagonistic muscle groups was analyzed. Average peak power for one full pedal revolution was found to be around 1100 W. The upper body position corresponding to this peak power output was slightly reclined, and the pedalling rate was 155 rpm for a nominal crank length of 170 mm.
Article
All 132 participants in a 500 mile, 8 day bicycle tour were surveyed by questionnaire to characterize the demographics and bicycling experience of the riders, and to determine the frequency and severity of non traumatic injuries they experienced. Riders who devel oped significant symptoms were interviewed and/or examined. Eighty-six percent of ride participants re sponded to the survey. The average age of the riders was 41.4 years (±11.7 years). They rode an average of 95.8 miles per week on a routine basis, but the majority were new to long distance touring. Most were healthy, but 5% had seri ous cardiovascular disease and bicycled as part of a rehabilitation program. The most common nontraumatic injury was buttocks pain (experienced by 32.8% of riders); four had skin ulceration of the buttocks. Knee problems occurred in 20.7% of riders; patellar pain syndromes and lateral knee complaints were the most common knee prob lems. One cyclist withdrew from the tour because of knee pain. Neck-shoulder pain occurred in 20.4% of the riders. Groin numbness and palmar pain or paresthesias each occurred in approximately 10%. Other less common problems were foot and ankle symptoms and sunburn.
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By modifying bicycle equipment, technique, rider position, or other human factors, the energy required to propel a bicycle at a given velocity can be decreased significantly. Although this article will concentrate on competitive cycling, the information pertains to all types of cycling.
Article
Back and neck problems in bicyclists should be managed by a combination of bicycle adjustment or modification, technique change, and medical treatment. The bicycle should be checked for proper fit. Often it is necessary to relieve the rider's extended position by using handlebars with less drop, using a stem with a shorter extension, raising the stem, or moving the seat forward. Changing hand positions on the handlebars frequently, riding with the elbows "unlocked," varying head position, using padded gloves and handlebars, and riding on wider tires all reduce the effects of road shock. Initial medical management includes ice, massage stretching, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen. Definitive treatment is neck and back rehabilitation based on dynamic muscular stabilization. It involves three progressive and overlapping parts: (1) establishing range of motion, (2) finding and stabilizing the neutral position, and (3) adapting the neutral position to exercise.
Traction resistance (R t) was determined by towing two cyclists in fully dropped posture on bicycles with an aerodynamic frame with lenticular wheels (AL), an aerodynamic frame with traditional wheels (AT), or a traditional frame with lenticular wheels (TL) in calm air on a flat wooden track at constant speed (8.6–14.6 m·s−1). Under all experimental conditions, R t increased linearly with the square of air velocity (νa2); r 2 equal to greater than 0.89. The constant k = ΔR t/Δνa2 was about 15% lower for AL and AT (0.157 and 0.155 N·2·m−2) than for TL bicycles (0.184 N·2·−2). These data show firstly, that in terms of mechanical energy savings, the role of lenticular wheels is negligible and, secondly, that for TL bicycles, the value of k was essentially equal to that found by others for bicycles with a traditional frame and traditional wheels (TT). The energy cost of cycling per unit distance (C c, J·m−1) was also measured for AT and TT bicycles from the ratio of the O2 consumption above resting to speed, in the speed range from 4.7 to 11.1 m·s−1. The C c also increased linearly with νa2, as described by: C c = 30.8 + 0.558 νa2 and C c = 29.6 + 0.606 νa2 for AT and TT bicycles. Thus from our study it would seem that AT bicycles are only about 5% more economical than TT at 12.5 m·s− the economy tending to increase slightly with the speed. Assuming a rolling coefficient equal to that observed by others in similar conditions, the mechanical efficiency was about 10% lower for aerodynamic than for conventional bicycles, amounting to about 22% and 25% at a speed of 12.5 m·s−1. From these data it was possible to calculate that the performance improvement when riding aerodynamic bicycles, all other things being equal, ought to be about 3%. This compares favourably with the increase of about 4% observed in world record speeds (over distances from 1 to 20 km) after the adoption of the new bicycles.
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