Reliability of a combined 3-min constant load and performance cycling test

M. Doherty, J. Balmer, R.C.R. Davison, L. Robinson, P.M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Most fitness assessments either use a constant load to exhaustion (exercise capacity test) or an “all-out” effort (performance test). The purpose of this study was to determine the reliability of a high-intensity assessment that combined a constant load element with a performance test. Ten moderately trained male cyclists completed a ramp test to voluntary exhaustion in order to measure maximum minute power output (mean ± s, 349.3 w ± 55.0 w). On two other occasions subjects cycled at a constant load at maximum minute power output for 2-min immediately followed by a 1-min performance test. All tests were conducted on the subjects’ own bicycles using a Kingcycle™ test rig. Power output was measured each second using SRM™ Power Cranks. The data were analysed by measuring the reliability of each 30 s of the 3-min test together with the peak power and the peak cadence achieved in the performance element of the test. There was no systematic bias in the data from trial 1 to trial 2 for any of the 6, 30 s blocks of the test, the peak power (mean, 95 % CI, 413.8 w, 357.8 - 469.7 w and 403.8 w, 339.9 - 467.6 w, trial 1 and trial 2, respectively) or peak cadence (95.0 rev × min-1, 89.5 - 100.5 rev × min-1 and 95.1 rev × min-1, 90.0 - 100.1 rev × min-1, trial 1 and trial 2, respectively). Mean (± s) total distance over the 3-min was 2.23 ± 0.23 km and 2.26 ± 0.26 km for trial 1 and trial 2 respectively (p > 0.05). The coefficients of variation ranged from 0.9 - 5.4 % and the intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from 0.96 - 0.99. It is concluded that in moderately trained subjects, the 3-min combination test provides reliable data and could therefore be used for short-term, high-intensity cycling intervention studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-371
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • reproducibility
  • fitness assessment
  • preload test
  • SRM power cranks
  • Kingcycle ergometer


Dive into the research topics of 'Reliability of a combined 3-min constant load and performance cycling test'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this