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Jpn J Biomechanics Sports Exercise 7(1):2-9 2003

Influences of mountain bike suspension systems on energy supply and performance

ISHII Takumi, UMEMURA Yoshihisa, KITAGAWA Kaoru

Laboratory for Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics, School of Health and Sport Sciences, Chukyo University, Japan

Abstract

Purpose : The purpose of this study was to clarify the effects of three types of mountain bikes upon cyclists' oxygen consumption and changes of blood lactate concentration, with consideration of the test course and bicycle mass. Methods : We tested the same mountain bike with three suspension conditions : without suspension systems (RIG), with a front suspension system (FS) and with front and rear suspension systems (FRS). Five male cyclists participated in the study. First, we investigated the effects of the suspension systems on a motor-driven treadmill through VO2, heart rate and RPE measurements. Next, we conducted time trial tests in the field so that the essential function of suspension systems could be demonstrated. We measured VO2, heart rate, blood lactate concentrations and performance time. Results : There were no significant differences among the suspension conditions in the treadmill tests. In the field bicycling test, VO2 was significantly greater with FRS than with FS. On the other hand, the highest blood lactate concentration was observed with FS. Conclusion : Our off-road tests suggested that the FRS mountain bike attenuated blood lactate accumulations and allowed the participants to exercise more aerobically than the FS bike. FRS might therefore be more suitable for 2-hour long cross-country mountain bike races.

Key Words: OFF-ROAD, BICYCLING CROSS-COUNTRY RACE, LACTATE, OXYGEN CONSUMPTION

Submittted for Publication : June 9, 2002,

Accepted for Publication : December 11, 2002

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