Cycle Ergometers for Fitness Testing
There is a range of fitness tests using cycling as the primary exercise mode. Many of these cycling fitness tests utilize a cycle ergometer. A cycle ergometer is usually a stationary pedaling apparatus that measures power while a cyclist pushes against a resistance. There are several types of cycling ergometers available, often defined by the mode of resistance, which are listed below.
note: we do not sell cycle ergometers, the information here is to describe the different cycle ergometers available, the different features and functions, to help you chose the best cycle ergometer for your situation. (here's a link to buy cycle ergometers and exercise bikes)
Cycle Ergometer Features
- Adjust seat height and handlebar height
- Adjust resistance
- Measure pedal rate
- Measure power output
- Monark - The Monark cycle ergometer is the most widely used ergometer in sport science research. The Monark bikes use a friction-braked ergometer. The frictional force is generated by a belt sliding against a rotating fly-wheel, which is balanced and measured by a hanging weight. The resistance, and therefore the power output required, changes with changes in pedaling speed and belt weight.
- Lode - The pedaling resistance is provided by electromagnetic braking, which enables the work rate to be set to a constant value independent of pedaling speed.
- Repco - On Repco ergometers, vanes around a flywheel create air resistance.
- Kingcycle - another ergometer where the pedal resistance is provided by air resistance, though this time through a roller and fan attached to the rear wheel of the cyclist's own bike.
- SRM cranks - Sometimes the participants are able to use their own bicycle with SRM cranks, which allow measurement of power through the drive train in real or simulated competitions or in the laboratory. In the lab the bike can be placed on rollers or a treadmill. This has the advantage of being able to use the correct bike setup for the athlete.
Calibration of Cycle Ergometers
Calibration of ergometers is recommended, so you can make accurate comparisons between athletes tested on different machines. Pedaling rate can easily be assessed by counting the number of revolutions every minute and compare it to the revolutions displayed on the machine. The power measures of the ergometers are not so easily checked. Calibrating cycle ergometers may require a dynamic calibration with a special rig.
Fitness Tests Using Cycle Ergometers
- Cycling Maximal Oxygen Consumption Test (VO2max) — a maximal exercise test to measure VO2max while riding a cycle ergometer.
- Astrand-Rhyming Bicycle Ergometer Test — a submaximal aerobic fitness test on a cycle ergometer.
- YMCA Cycle ergometer submaximal test
- PWC170 Test — a submaximal aerobic fitness test on a cycle ergometer
- Tri-level aerobic test and 10- & 30-second cycle test
- Wingate Cycle Test — a cycle test of anaerobic leg power, conducted over 30 seconds.
- 5km cycle ergometer test — 5000m in the shortest possible time
- Paton CD, Hopkins WG., (2001) Tests of cycling performance. Sports Med. 2001;31(7):489-96.
- Cycle ergometers to buy
- List of cycling fitness tests
- Fitness testing for cyclists
- Anthropometry for cycling
- About the sport of cycling
- List of Testing Equipment
- Treadmill Ergometers for Fitness Testing
- Sport specific fitness tests