Measuring and Comparing Descend in Elite Race Cycling with a Perspective on Real-Time Feedback for Improving Individual Performance
Espinosa, Hugo G.
Rowlands, David R.
Thiel, David V.
Descend technique and performance vary among elite racing cyclists and it is not clear what slower riders should do to improve their performance. An observation study was performed of the descending technique of members of a World Tour cycling team and the technique of each member was compared with the fastest descender amongst them. The obtained data gives us guidelines for rider specific feedback in order to improve his performance. The bicycles were equipped with a system that could measure: velocity, cadence, pedal power, position, steer angle, 3D orientation, rotational speeds and linear accelerations of the rear frame and brake force front and rear. From our observation study, the brake point and apex position turned out to be distinctive indicators of a fast cornering technique in a descent for a tight, hairpin corner. These two indicators can be used as feedback for a slower rider to improve his descend performance.