Cycling biomechanics: a literature review

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1991;14(3):106-13. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1991.14.3.106.


Submitted in partial fulfillment for a Master of Science degree at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Health Related Professions, Pittsburgh, PA 1.5213 This review of current literature on cycling biomechanics emphasizes lower extremity muscle actions and joint excursions, seat height, pedal position, pedaling rate, force application, and pedaling symmetry. Guidelines are discussed for optimal seat height, pedal position, and pedaling rate. Force application in the power and recovery phases of cycling and the relationship of force application to pedaling symmetry are discussed. The need for a biomechanical approach to cycling exists since a great deal of the literature is primarily physiologic in nature. The purpose of this review is to make cyclists and their advisors aware of the biomechanics of cycling and guidelines to follow. This approach is also important because cycling is a very common form of exercise prescribed by physical therapists for clinic or home programs. Biomechanical aspects of cycling should be considered by cyclists at any level of participation and by physical therapists in order for goal-oriented, efficient cycling to occur. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1991;14(3):106-113.