Clipless Pedals_ Their Effect on Downhill Mountain Bike Racing

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					               Clipless Pedals: Their Effect on Downhill Mountain Bike Racing

                                       Jack Galloway - Abstract

There is much debate as to whether clipless pedals are an advantage in downhill mountain biking. The purpose
of this study, was to determine whether the results of Wingate tests are different if they are obtained using
clipless pedals as opposed to flat and then relate this data to run time in downhill mountain biking. A group of
9 male students, all experienced cyclists, performed two 30s Wingate tests, separated by one week. One test
using clipless pedals the other using flat pedals, in a randomised order. Each test was performed on a friction-
loaded ergometer (resistance: 6.5%, starting from stationary). Power was computed using a commercially
available software/hardware package that accounted for both the load on the flywheel, and the flywheel and
crank system acceleration. PPO [mean ± SD][827.80 ± 98.96 W, 784.64 ± 86.58 W], RPP [10.36 ± 0.91 W·kg-1,
9.81 ± 0.58W·kg-1] and LBM [11.81 ± 0.86 W·kg-1, 11.19 ± 0.61 W·kg-1] were all significantly higher in the
clipless pedal compared to the flat pedal condition P<0.05. APO [623.20 ± 51.43 W, 601.35 ± 59.74 W] was
near significant P=0.051. MPO [483.67 ± 45.27 W, 468.11 ± 47.51 W] and FI [42.75 ± 10.23 %, 39.80 ± 6.67 %]
were not significant. Time taken to reach PPO was 8.7% less in the clipless pedal condition [7.2 ± 1.98 s, 7.8 ±
1.17 s], this was insignificant. Since greater power output and acceleration was achieved when the subjects
were using clipless pedals, one can speculate that using clipless pedals in downhill mountain bike races could
be a significant advantage.

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