The Biomechanics of Cycling for Bike-Geeks - Going from Zero to Hero with a Turn of a Hex Key

Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 11:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
SKiles 269
Georgia Tech, School of Applied Physiology
Cycling represents an integration of man and machine.  Optimizing this integration through changes in rider position or bicycle component selection may enhance performance of the total bicycle/rider system.  Increasing bicycle/rider performance via mathematical modeling was accomplished during the US Olympic Superbike program in preparation for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.   The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview on the science of cycling with an emphasis on biomechanics using the track pursuit as an example. The presentation will discuss integration and interaction between the bicycle and human physiological systems, how performance may be measured in a laboratory as well as factors affecting performance with an emphasis on biomechanics.  Then reviewing how people pedal a bicycle with attention focused on forces at the pedal and the effect of position variables on performance.  Concluding with how scientists working on the US Olympic Superbike program incorporated biomechanics and aerodynamic test data into a mathematical model to optimize team pursuit performance during the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.