Date of Award

4-25-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. Edward Heath

Abstract

There has been a vast amount research conducted concerning many different aspects of cycling performance. This is, in part, due to the relative ease with which variables can be isolated and tested. The equipment used for cycling research is generally compact, stationary, and relatively inexpensive, which make cycling a convenient method to test a variety of variables. In a laboratory setting, researchers often utilize cycle rollers, ergometers, and trainers to best simulate road cycling. Rollers allow subjects the familiarity of using their personal bicycles, and the ability to experience typical factors of cycling such as angular and lateral movement. Trainers also allow the familiarity of personal bicycles, but the front wheel is immobilized while the rear wheel is placed on a roller, which restricts the angular and lateral movement of cycling. Cycle ergometers are stationary bikes that give researchers control of specific variables such as resistance, and also tend to be more restrictive than actual bicycles. What these three modes have in common is the perceived ability to accurately imitate the motions involved in road cycling, as well as the characteristics that make them convenient to laboratory testing: they are small which allow them to fit in the smallest of labs, they are stationary which makes it possible to perform several tests on them which include heart rate, blood pressure, VO2 and other metabolic tests, and many more. While these different modes make isolating variables for testing convenient, the extent to which the results transfer to the field, or the external validity, must be considered.

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