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JOURNAL ARTICLE

A method for biomechanical analysis of bicycle pedalling

M L Hull, M Jorge
Journal of Biomechanics 1985, 18 (9): 631-44
4077861
This paper reports a new method, which enables a detailed biomechanical analysis of the lower limb during bicycling. The method consists of simultaneously measuring both the normal and tangential pedal forces, the EMGs of eight leg muscles, and the crank arm and pedal angles. Data were recorded for three male subjects of similar anthropometric characteristics. Subjects rode under different pedalling conditions to explore how both pedal forces and pedalling rates affect the biomechanics of the pedalling process. By modelling the leg-bicycle as a five bar linkage and driving the linkage with the measured force and kinematic data, the joint moment histories due to pedal forces only (i.e. no motion) and motion only (i.e. no pedal forces) were generated. Total moments were produced by superimposing the two moment histories. The separate moment histories, together with the pedal forces and EMG results, enable a detailed biomechanical analysis of bicycle pedalling. Inasmuch as the results are similar for all three subjects, the analysis for one subject is discussed fully. One unique insight gained via this new method is the functional role that individual leg muscles play in the pedalling process.

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