Effects of altering pedal cadence on cycling time-trial performance

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Our purpose was to examine the effects of altering cadence on 5-mile (8.045 km) time-trial (TT) performance in well-trained amateur male cyclists. Twelve cyclists (mean [SD] age: 24 [4] y; body mass: 70.9 [5.9] kg; and VO : 4.56 [0.52] L·min ) rode three 5-mile TT. The first was at their freely chosen or preferred cadence (PC); the other two, high cadence (HC; PC + 10.8%) and low cadence (LC; PC - 9.2%), were randomly assigned and completed in a counterbalanced crossover design. Subjects rode their own bicycles, fitted with a power meter, and attached to a windload simulator. Practice sessions were completed 2d prior to each TT. Cadences for PC, LC, and HC were 92 (2), 83 (6), 101 (6) rpm, respectively; they were also significantly different from each other (p < 0.05). LC was 2.5% faster than HC and more economical than HC and PC (66 [3], 69 [2], 71 [4 W·L O · min , respectively) (p < 0.05). LC heart rate and ventilatory efficiency (V /VO -ratio) were lower than PC counterparts, while LC and HC minute ventilation (V ) were less than PC V (p < 0.05). LC may be the optimal cadence for 5 mile TT in well-trained amateur male cyclists because LC was the most economical, was faster than HC, resulted in the greatest proportion of fastest times (58% vs. 25% and 17% for PC and HC, respectively), and elicited less cardiorespiratory strain than PC. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG. 2max 2 E 2 E E -1 -1 -1

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International Journal of Sports Medicine

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