Oxygen uptake (VO2) kinetics during moderate constant-workrate (WR) exercise (>lactate-threshold (θL)) are well described as exponential. AboveθL, these kinetics are more complex, consequent to the development of a delayed slow component (VO2sc), whose aetiology remains controversial. To assess the extent of the contribution to the VO2sc from arm muscles involved in postural stability during cycling, six healthy subjects completed an incremental cycle-ergometer test to the tolerable limit for estimation of θL and determination of peak VO2. They then completed two constant-WR tests at 90% of θL and two at 80% of ∆ (difference between θL and VO2peak). Gas exchange variables were derived breath-by-breath. Local oxygenation profiles of the vastus lateralis and biceps brachii muscles were assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy, with maximal voluntary contractions (MVC) of the relevant muscles being performed post-exercise to provide a frame of reference for normalising the exercise-related oxygenation responses across subjects. Above supra-θL, VO2 rose in an exponential-like fashion ("phase 2), with a delayed VO2sc subsequently developing. This was accompanied by an increase in [reduced haemoglobin] relative to baseline (∆[Hb]), which attained 79 ± 13 % (mean, SD) of MVC maximum in vastus lateralis at end-exercise and 52 ± 27 % in biceps brachii. Biceps brachii ∆[Hb] was significantly correlated with VO2 throughout the slow phase. In contrast, for sub- L exercise, VO2 rose exponentially to reach a steady state with a more modest increase in vastus lateralis ∆[Hb] (30 ± 11 %); biceps brachii ∆[Hb] was minimally affected (8 ± 2 %). That the intramuscular O2 desaturation profile in biceps brachii was proportional to that for VO2sc during supra-θL cycle ergometry is consistent with additional stabilizing arm work contributing to the VO2sc.