A Comparison of Methodological Approaches to Measuring Cycling Mechanical Efficiency
Matomäki, P., Linnamo, V., & Kyröläinen, H. (2019). A Comparison of Methodological Approaches to Measuring Cycling Mechanical Efficiency. Sports Medicine - Open, 5, 23. doi:10.1186/s40798-019-0196-x
Published inSports Medicine - Open
© The Authors 2019.
Background: Much is known about theoretical bases of different mechanical efficiency indices and effects of physiological and biomechanical factors to them. However, there are only a few studies available about practical bases and interactions between these efficiency indices, which were the aims of the present study. Methods: Fourteen physically active men (n = 12) and women (n = 2) participated in this study. From the incremental test, six different mechanical efficiency indices were calculated for cycling work: gross (GE) and net (NE) efficiencies, two work efficiencies (WE), and economy (T) at 150 W, and in addition delta efficiency (DE) using 3–5 observation points. Results: It was found that the efficiency indices can be divided into three groups by Spearman’s rank correlation: GE, T, and NE in group I; DE and extrapolated WE in group II; and measured WE in group III. Furthermore, group II appeared to have poor reliability due to its dependence on a work-expended energy regression line, which accuracy is poorly measured by confidence interval. Conclusion: As efficiency indices fall naturally into three classes that do not interact with each other, it means that they measure fundamentally different aspects of mechanical efficiency. Based on problems and imprecisions with other efficiency indices, GE, or group I, seems to be the best indicator for mechanical efficiency because of its consistency and unambiguity. Based on this methodological analysis, the baseline subtractions in efficiency indices are not encouraged. ...
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