A comparison of static and dynamic measures of lower limb joint angles in cycling: application to bicycle fitting
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School of Physical Education of the Army, Center for Physical Training of the Army, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sport Performance Research Institute New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
Online publication date: 2018-04-04
Hum Mov. 2016;17(1):36-42
Configuration of bicycle components to the cyclist (bicycle fitting) commonly uses static poses of the cyclist on the bicycle at the 6 o’clock crank position to represent dynamic cycling positions. However, the validity of this approach and the potential use of the different crank position (e.g. 3 o’clock) have not been fully explored. Therefore, this study compared lower limb joint angles of cyclists in static poses (3 and 6 o’clock) compared to dynamic cycling.

Using a digital camera, right sagittal plane images were taken of thirty cyclists seated on their own bicycles mounted on a stationary trainer with the crank at 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions. Video was then recorded during pedalling at a self-selected gear ratio and pedalling cadence. Sagittal plane hip, knee and ankle angles were digitised.

Differences between static and dynamic angles were large at the 6 o’clock crank position with greater mean hip angle (4.9 ± 3°), smaller knee angle (8.2 ± 5°) and smaller ankle angle (8.2 ± 5.3°) for static angles. Differences between static and dynamic angles (< 1.4°) were trivial to small for the 3 o’clock crank position.

To perform bicycle fitting, joint angles should be measured dynamically or with the cyclist in a static pose at the 3 o’clock crank position.

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