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Competitive Cyclists’ Freely Chosen Cadence Is History Dependent

DOI: 10.4236/ape.2022.123020, PP. 255-270

Keywords: Bicycling, Exercise, Pedal Rate, Preferred Pedalling Frequency, Rhythmic Movement, Sports

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Background:Not much is known about history dependence of freely chosen cadence in competitive cyclists. Objective: It was investigated whether initial cycling at relatively low and high preset target cadences affected a subsequent freely chosen cadence at the end of the same bout of submaximal ergometer cycling. Methods:Nineteen?male competitive cyclists performed a single test session consisting of three separate bouts at 180 W. In one bout, cycling at 60?rpm was followed by cycling at freely chosen cadence. In another bout, cycling?at 110 rpm was followed by cycling at freely chosen cadence. In yet another bout (considered reference), the cadence was freely chosen, throughout. Motor rhythm output (cadence), biomechanical (including tangential pedal force),?and physiological (heart rate) responses were measured. Results: Increased cadence resulted in increased internal power and decreased maximal tangential pedal force, and vice versa. This was in accordance with existing knowledge. Initial cycling at 60 and 110 rpm caused the subsequent freely chosen cadence to be about 6 rpm lower and higher (p < 0.01), respectively, than the freely chosen cadence (91.2 ± 9.9 rpm) at the end of the reference bout. These?differences in cadence were accompanied by differences in heart rate and pedal?force (p < 0.05). Conclusions: For competitive cyclists, the freely chosen cadence at the end of a submaximal bout of cycling depends on the preset target cadence applied initially.


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