The Effects of Bicycle Geometry on Sprint Triathlon Cycling and Running Performance.
Keywords:Triathlon, Economy, Cycling, Running, Geometry.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect different bicycle seat tube angles (STA) have on subsequent sprint triathlon cycling and running performance. Ten trained male triathletes (34.8 ± 10.9 years), completed two 20 km time trials on a cycle ergometer, one with an STA of 73° and one with a STA of 81°. This was followed immediately by a 5 km treadmill run. Both were completed as fast as possible. Run time (mm:ss), velocity (m.s-1), heart rate (Beats.min-1), oxygen consumption (ml.kg.min-1), rate of perceived exertion (RPE), power output (W), cadence (Revs.min-1), cycling velocity and stride length (SL) and stride frequency (SF) were recorded. 5 km run time improved significantly following cycling with the 81° STA compared to 73° STA (27:10 ± 3:09 vs. 27:59 ± 3:18 min respectively; p=.006), along with running velocity (3.13 ± 0.37 vs. 3.04 ± 0.37 m.s-1 for 81° and 73° respectively; p=.007). Stride length also increased significantly following the cycle time trial with the 81° STA (2.20 ± 0.26 vs. 2.12 ± 0.27 m for 81° and 73° respectively; p=.007). There were no other significant differences found. These results suggest that cycling on a bicycle with a steeper STA improves subsequent running performance during a simulated sprint triathlon, possibly due to increased running economy.
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