Stationary roller versus velodrome for maximal cycling test: A comparison

João Brito, Luis Lopes, Ana Conceição, Aldo M. Costa, Hugo Louro

Abstract

The present study aimed to compare the acute cardio-respiratory responses of elite cyclists to a maximal progressive exercise carried out in two different conditions: in a laboratory (using a braked roller) and in an uncovered velodrome. In both testing conditions, ten elite male cyclists (age, 22.3 ± 3.9 years) performed a maximal discontinuous progressive test of 6 minutes per level with 150 W of initial load and increasing 50 W at each level until exhaustion. The heart rate and the ventilation parameters were measured breath-by-breath using a portable metabolic cart gas analysis system with telemetry data transmission. In the first 4 levels of effort, no significant differences were found between the two test conditions regarding VO2, (p=0.193), heart rate (p=0.973) and pedaling cadence (p=0.116). Comparing the maximum values achieved by each athlete in both exercise conditions, significant differences were found for heart rate (p=0.008) and pedaling cadence (p=0.005) but not for VO2max and peak power. Each variable showed a strong correlation between both assessements (VO2, r=0.984, p=0,000; heart rate, r=0.944, p=0.005; pedaling cadence, r=0.900, p=0.014). The amount of variability explained by the linear regression model for both cardio-respiratory parameters also showed a good fit value close to one (VO2max,r2=0.968; heart rate, r2=0.892). Our results suggest that identical cycling protocols conducted in different testing conditions with the same bike leads to equivalent performance but significantly different pedaling cadence and heart rate responses.


Keywords

Cycling; Oxygen consumption; Heart rate; Power output; Cadence

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2014.91.02