The purpose of this field study was to compare the physiological responses of riding a tandem bicycle (TB) to riding a single bicycle (SB). Nine pairs of experienced, recreational tandem cyclists rode a TB or their SB in a random order, crossover design. Cyclists rode for 5 min at each velocity of 19, 23, 26, 29 kph (12, 14, 16, 18 mph) on a flat, paved surface. Environmental conditions were similar between trials. Heart rate (HR), RPE, and lactic acid (LA) were collected after each interval. Results: Statistical analyses revealed that riding a TB resulted in statistically lower HR, RPE, and LA mean values than when riding a SB. Mean (± SD) HR, RPE, and LA for TB and SB were 126 (20.7) bpm, 10.1 (1.7), and 1.46 (1.0) mM/l vs. 142 (20.1) bpm, 11.3 (2.6), and 2.36 (1.7) mM/l, respectively. No statistical differences were observed between the captain (front position) and the stoker (rear position) when both were cycling together on a TB. When cycling separately on a SB, however, captains exhibited statistically lower HR, RPE, and LA values compared to stokers. Conclusions: 1) At the same velocities, cycling on a TB results in lower energy expenditure patterns than on a SB, 2) at similar energy expenditures, cyclists were able to ride from 3 to 4 mph faster on a TB than on a SB, and 3) even though a tandem pair may be mismatched physically, as observed by SB results, each rider can still attain the benefits of exercise when cycling as a pair on a TB.
Burley Design Cooperative funded this study.
American College of Sports Medicine; 46th Annual Meeting; Washington State; Convention & Trade Center; June 2-5, 1999
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E-35 POSTER TRAINING III