Determination of aerobic work and power on a rope-braked cycle ergometer by direct measurement

Rae S. Gordon, Kathryn L. Franklin, Julien S. Baker, Bruce Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to compare the power and work outputs of a cycle ergometer using the manufacturer’s guidelines, with calculations using direct flywheel velocity and brake torque. A further aim was to compare the values obtained with those supplied by the manufacturer. A group of 10 male participants were asked to pedal a Monark 824E ergometer at a constant cadence of 60 r/min for a period of 3 min against a resistive mass of 3 kg. The flywheel velocity was measured using a tachometer. The brake force was determined by measuring the tension in the rope on either side of the flywheel. The calculated mean power was 147.45 ± 6.5 W compared with the Monark value of 183 ± 3.7 W. The difference between the methods for power estimation was 18% and was statistically significant (p < 0.01). The mean work done by the participants during the 3 min period was found to be 26 460 ± 1145 J compared with the Monark value of 33 067 ± 648 J (p < 0.01). The Monark formulae currently used to determine the power and work done by a participant overestimates the actual values required to overcome the resistance. There findings have far-reaching implications in the physiological assessment of athletic, sedentary, and diseased populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-397
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • cycle ergometry
  • rope-braked
  • tension measurement
  • low-intensity power


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