Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Studies, Biophysical Studies



Major Advisor

Eric Dugan


INTRODUCTION: An indoor cycle ergometer allows for competitive and recreational mountain bike cyclists to simulate uphill conditions with precisely controlled and monitored pedaling. While simulating an uphill condition indoors, with or without a climbing block, the cyclist body may not be in the same position as while pedaling outdoors. This possible difference in body position may have training implications. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if there are differences in kinematics and/or muscle activation patterns while pedaling on a level surface compared to an inclined surface while pedaling on a mountain bike on an indoor cycle ergometer. METHODS: A total of 12 healthy (8 male and 4 female) participants (age 36 ± 2 yrs; height 1.72 ± 0.06 m; mass 71 ± 10 kg [mean ± SD]) volunteered to take part in this study. Two conditions were assessed. In the first, the participants pedaled 10 MPH during a flat simulated 10% incline and in the second participants pedaled an actual 10% incline at an average of 360WATTS. Kinematic and electromyography (EMG) data were collected from two trials in each condition, with the mean of ten pedal revolutions analyzed. The following sagittal plane angles were calculated: absolute trunk, relative trunk, pelvis, hip, knee, and ankle. The EMG variables calculated included the duration of EMG activity and the magnitude and timing of the peak activation. The kinematic data were collected using reflective markers placed on the lower limbs and captured with an eight camera MX 20 Vicon motion analysis system. In addition, a total of 5 wireless, BTSFree EMG sensors for surface EMG applications were placed on the right lower limb in order to collect the EMG data. EMG data were collected from the gluteus maximus (GLMA), vastus lateralis (VAL), biceps femoris (long head) (BCFL), gastrocnemius (GAS), and tibialis anterior (TA). STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: In order to test for significant differences across the two cycling conditions, two Repeated Measures MANOVAs were used, one for the kinematic variables and one for the EMG variables. Significance was set at p < 0.05. RESULTS & CONCLUSION: Overall, the results of the current study indicate that there is no significant difference regarding kinematics and muscle activity patterns between the two indoor cycle ergometer conditions. Compared with previous research, data suggests there is no training implications between simulated uphill level pedaling and actual inclined pedaling while using an indoor cycle ergometer. Data from the current study also suggests that the use of a climbing block to raise the front wheel 10 degrees does not significantly alter cycling posture.

Included in

Biomechanics Commons