Document Detail

The physiology of mountain biking.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17190536     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Mountain biking is a popular outdoor recreational activity and an Olympic sport. Cross-country circuit races have a winning time of approximately equal 120 minutes and are performed at an average heart rate close to 90% of the maximum, corresponding to 84% of maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max). More than 80% of race time is spent above the lactate threshold. This very high exercise intensity is related to the fast starting phase of the race; the several climbs, forcing off-road cyclists to expend most of their effort going against gravity; greater rolling resistance; and the isometric contractions of arm and leg muscles necessary for bike handling and stabilisation. Because of the high power output (up to 500W) required during steep climbing and at the start of the race, anaerobic energy metabolism is also likely to be a factor of off-road cycling and deserves further investigation. Mountain bikers' physiological characteristics indicate that aerobic power (VO2max >70 mL/kg/min) and the ability to sustain high work rates for prolonged periods of time are prerequisites for competing at a high level in off-road cycling events. The anthropometric characteristics of mountain bikers are similar to climbers and all-terrain road cyclists. Various parameters of aerobic fitness are correlated to cross-country performance, suggesting that these tests are valid for the physiological assessment of competitive mountain bikers, especially when normalised to body mass. Factors other than aerobic power and capacity might influence off-road cycling performance and require further investigation. These include off-road cycling economy, anaerobic power and capacity, technical ability and pre-exercise nutritional strategies.
Franco M Impellizzeri; Samuele M Marcora
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)     Volume:  37     ISSN:  0112-1642     ISO Abbreviation:  Sports Med     Publication Date:  2007  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-12-27     Completed Date:  2007-04-16     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8412297     Medline TA:  Sports Med     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  59-71     Citation Subset:  IM    
Human Performance Laboratory, MAPEI Sport Research Center, Castellanza (VA), Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Bicycling / physiology*
Physical Exertion / physiology*
Physical Fitness / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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