The Impact of 10 weeks of Independent Cycle Crank
Robert M. Otto, FACSM, Laura Walsh, Jessica Marra, Christopher
Kushner, Alicia Diaz, Carolyn Richardson, John W. Wygand.
Adelphi University, Garden City, NY.
(No relationships reported)
Improvements in cycle performance may be a result of enhanced efficiency and/or a greater
power output. Cyclists strive to achieve both by over-distance training, high intensity
training, and specific cycle drills. Special products that claim to improve performance
by offering improved aerodynamics, reduced total cycle mass, better force transfer to the
crank, or providing biomechanical feedback rely on a paucity of research.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of ten weeks of using independent cycle cranks
(ICC) on cycling performance as measured by oxygen efficiency (OxE), time trial
performance (TT), and body composition (BC).
METHODS: After a medical/health screening, thirty triathletes (16 male, 14 female)
(age 43.2 [range 25-54 yr], ht 176 [range 160-188 cm], and body mass 73.3 [range
54.3-97.7.5 kg]), participated in familiarization trials including DEXA scan, electronic
cycle ergometer based steady state OxE trial and a time trial. Identical testing was
performed during the familiarization trial, pre-test (within one week) and the posttest
(ten weeks later). After the pre-test trial, subjects were randomly assigned to one
of three groups (C = control, 90 = 90 min/wk and 180 = min/wk). For ten weeks all
subjects exercised (swim, cycle, run) a minimum of eight hours per week. All groups
cycled a minimum of three hours/week with C in fixed cranks, 90 for 90 min fixed and
90 min ICC, and 180 for 180 min ICC.
RESULTS: Statistical analysis by ANOVA (P<.05) reveals no significant difference among or
CONCLUSION: The use of independent cycle crank arms for a maximum of 30 hours
within ten weeks, requires the user to apply force independent of crank position, but
does not result in quantifiable changes in cycle efficiency or performance