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.
- cycle ergometry
- tension measurement
- low-intensity power
Gordon, R. S., Franklin, K. L., Baker, J. S., & Davies, B. (2006). Determination of aerobic work and power on a rope-braked cycle ergometer by direct measurement. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 31(4), 392-397. https://doi.org/10.1139/h06-011