Sports science community conducts studies to validate the performance of advanced cycle ergometers used in Wingate, VO2 Max, and other tests
New advances in computerized and electromagnetic bicycle ergometers are increasing the accuracy and measurement of sports science testing.
Cycle ergometers have been proven to influence sports science test results, so the equipment continues to undergo intense scrutiny. Numerous studies have been conducted to compare ergometer types, as well as competitive brands, to determine which will ensure testing accuracy and reliability.
Researchers are often frustrated by erratic results from mechanically-braked ergometers that make it difficult to produce reliable and repeatable data required for independent verification.
Fortunately, many of these limitations are being addressed with the adoption of electromagnetically controlled options that provide more sophisticated control and increased resistance at often imperceptible levels. In addition, data is measured in real-time, recording even minute changes in performance. This often results in higher peak power measurements than older bicycle ergometers that record data in 5 second averages.
The Velotron has been used hundreds of peer-reviewed studies because the electromagnetically controlled cycle ergometer from Seattle-based RacerMate incorporates advanced software and electronic components to simulate any riding environment. It can be set up to perform all types of anaerobic tests, storing and transmitting data instantly.
Velotron’s lab verified accuracy (± 1.5%) and repeatability (± 0.2%) at a power range from 5 watts to 2,400 watts, as well as its low cost within the market, have made it the leading ergometer utilized for sports science research.
In addition to this, one of the drawbacks of less sophisticated cycle models is that after frequent use, the base calibration can deviate from the manufacturer’s settings. Calibration on models such as the Velotron use software embedded in the overall operating program that can easily check calibration to guarantee data repeatability over days, months, and even decades.