Pedal stroke analysis is the ultimate tool for learning smooth and efficient pedalling technique, balance leg force and adjust rider position for optimum power. SpinScan on the CompuTrainer uniquely provides a way of assessing optimal biomechanical positioning in terms of heart rate, lactate production and perceived exertion during constant load cycling. CPS IN-MOTION has a proprietary protocol which provides a robust and objective understanding of a cyclists pedalling technique, cadence and force production (versus crank angle) on performance.
Current research is slightly confusing on the efficiency of the range of cadence. Some researchers have suggested that low cadences (60-80rpm) are an (dependent on the power output achieved and ability of the cyclist) efficient use of neuromuscular power albeit with a lower internal metabolic and ventilatory cost. At lower cadences it has been suggested that higher demands are placed on Type II fibres to produce the required force, alleviating force from type I fibres predominant motor units which may act to reduce lactate accumulation for a constant load. Whereas higher cadence (80-100rpm) may relieve the burdeon placed on higher force producing motor units and recruit smaller aerobic Type II fibres which are more fatigue resistant but require a higher lactate turnover (for the same load) greater internal mechanical power cost to calorific energy (ATP) production, oxygen consumption and contraction, as described in this article.
Overall, the preferred pedalling rate (otherwise known as the T-Cadence or self-selected cadence) somewhere between 70-90rpm has been demonstrated to be an effective range in most forms of cycling, depending on the individual, with a bell-shaped distribution of metabolic efficiency and oxygen cost. In fact, the most efficient cadences tend to increase with increasing power outputs. Even so, having the ability to effectively pedal through the entire range at various loads will give any cyclist an advantage in training and racing as demonstrated by this self-confessed non-scientific video by GCN.
Quadrant analysis, power and cadence distribution are also key elements which are determined during the session to provide valuable insight into a cyclists ability for smooth pedalling style and efficient pacing strategies for their discipline and competitive objectives. The assessment for pedal stroke analysis takes 2.5hrs and a full report will be provided with recommendations to improve performance on the road. Athletes should have previously performed either a full LTP or Critical Power assessment with CPS IN-MOTION within the last 3 months. You can read more about SpinScan on the CompuTrainer here.