Sports Engineering

, Volume 14, Issue 2–4, pp 95–110 | Cite as

Validation of a model and a simulator for road cycling on real tracks

  • Thorsten Dahmen
  • Roman Byshko
  • Dietmar SaupeEmail author
  • Martin Röder
  • Stephan Mantler
Original Article


In this study, methods for data acquisition, analysis, modelling, and simulation of performance parameters in road cycling on real tracks were developed and evaluated. A simulator was designed to facilitate the measurement in a laboratory environment. The simulation included real height profiles and a video playback that was synchronised with the cyclist’s current virtual position on the track, and online visualisation of course and performance parameters. Field data obtained on mountain tracks in this study were compared with the state-of-the-art mathematical model for road cycling power, established by Martin et al. (J Appl Biomech 14: 276–291, 1998), which accounts for the gradient force, air resistance, rolling resistance, frictional losses in wheel bearings and inertia. The model described the performance parameters accurately with correlation coefficients of 0.96–0.99 and signal-to-noise ratios of 19.7–23.9 dB. It was shown that the mathematical model could be implemented on an ergometer for simulating rides on real courses, providing similar quality measures when comparing field and simulator measurements.


Road cycling Performance parameters Mathematical model Simulation Model validation Height profiles 



We thank Dr. Dietmar Lüchtenberg of the Department of Sport Science of the University of Konstanz and the anonymous reviewer for discussions and support. A part of this work was carried out while the third author was a Visiting Research Fellow at RSISE, Australian National University, Canberra, whose support is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© International Sports Engineering Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thorsten Dahmen
    • 1
  • Roman Byshko
    • 1
  • Dietmar Saupe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin Röder
    • 2
  • Stephan Mantler
    • 3
  1. 1.University of KonstanzKonstanzGermany
  2. 2.Hyperstone GmbHKonstanzGermany
  3. 3.VRVis Centre for Virtual Reality and Visualisation ResearchViennaAustria

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