Ian's Cycling

Interesting research from the cycling science literature


Aerodynamic drag in cycling team time trials Blocken et al., 2018

Technology has always been an integral part of cycling. Obviously, bicycles are themselves technology, and also rely on technology (i.e. good quality road surfaces) to be a practical means of transportation. Cycling has also taken its fair share of the spoils obtained from the increase in the rate of technological development of recent years; innovations such as carbon fibre, power meters, and GPS computers (amongst many others) have transformed cycling at every level.

Technological innovations are also helping push forward our knowledge of the physics of cycling, and a great deal of this progress has come from the study of aerodynamics. Field tests and wind tunnels were a starting point, subsequently complemented by computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which utilizes modern information-processing capabilities to simulate highly complex physical situations in a much more comprehensive way than the relatively two-dimensional analysis possible in a wind tunnel.

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Interesting research from the cycling science literature


The 4000-m team pursuit cycling world record: theoretical and practical aspects Schumacher and Mueller, 2002

This is an extremely interesting research article, not least because it gives a detailed description of the training practices of world-class athletes. Such information is generally hard to come by, so when I find some I give it my close attention!

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Interesting research from the cycling science literature


Effects of saddle height on economy and anaerobic power in well-trained cyclists Peveler and Green, 2011

Bike fit is a crucial aspect of cycling, both for maximizing performance and minimizing the risks of injury. And probably the most important single component of bike fit is saddle height. There are various methods used for determining optimum height, including the heel, LeMond, and 109% inseam methods. However, the most direct method is to measure a precise knee flexion angle at the maximum extent of the pedal stroke. The current experiment complemented previous ones in determining the optimal knee angle for performance.

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Interesting research from the cycling science literature


Anthropometric comparison of cyclists from different events Foley, Bird and White, 1989

Whether you're a serious cyclist, a novice or simply prefer watching others do the suffering, you're probably aware that, although clearly an endurance sport, different types of cycling suit different types of rider. Even the casual fan knows that there are climbers, sprinters and time trialists.

Obviously, there are certain essential characteristics that are shared by all strong riders and there is a large overlap between the categories, but nevertheless there are specific physical traits that predispose a rider to excel in one discipline relative to the others. Some of these traits are based on unchangeable skeletal features.

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