Int J Sports Med 2008; 29(10): 817-822
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1038374
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effects of Pedal Type and Pull-Up Action during Cycling

G. Mornieux1 , B. Stapelfeldt1 , A. Gollhofer1 , A. Belli2
  • 1Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft, Universität Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • 2Equipe PPEH, Département STAPS, Université de Saint Etienne, Saint Etienne, France
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision December 19, 2007

Publication Date:
17 April 2008 (eFirst)


The aim of this study was to determine the influence of different shoe-pedal interfaces and of an active pulling-up action during the upstroke phase on the pedalling technique. Eight elite cyclists (C) and seven non-cyclists (NC) performed three different bouts at 90 rev · min−1 and 60 % of their maximal aerobic power. They pedalled with single pedals (PED), with clipless pedals (CLIP) and with a pedal force feedback (CLIPFBACK) where subjects were asked to pull up on the pedal during the upstroke. There was no significant difference for pedalling effectiveness, net mechanical efficiency (NE) and muscular activity between PED and CLIP. When compared to CLIP, CLIPFBACK resulted in a significant increase in pedalling effectiveness during upstroke (86 % for C and 57 % NC, respectively), as well as higher biceps femoris and tibialis anterior muscle activity (p < 0.001). However, NE was significantly reduced (p < 0.008) with 9 % and 3.3 % reduction for C and NC, respectively. Consequently, shoe-pedal interface (PED vs. CLIP) did not significantly influence cycling technique during submaximal exercise. However, an active pulling-up action on the pedal during upstroke increased the pedalling effectiveness, while reducing net mechanical efficiency.