Evaluation of accelerometer-derived data in the context of cycling cadence and saddle height changes in triathlon

Stuart A. Evans, Daniel A. James, David Rowlands, James B. Lee

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In the multisport of triathlon cycling is the longest of the three sequential disciplines. Triathlon bicycles differ from road bicycles with steeper seat tube angles with a change to saddle height altering the seat tube angle. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a tri axial accelerometer to determine acceleration magnitudes of the trunk in outdoor cycling in two saddle positions. Interpretation of data was evaluated based on cadence changes whilst triathletes cycled in an aerodynamic position in two saddle positions. The evaluation of accelerometer derived data within a characteristic overground setting suggests a significant reduction in mediolateral acceleration of the trunk, yielding a 25.1% decrease when saddle height was altered alongside reduced rate of perceived exertion (3.9%). Minimal differences were observed in anteroposterior and longitudinal acceleration. Evaluation of sensor data revealed a polynomial expression of the subtle changes between both saddle positions. This study shows that a triaxial accelerometer has capability to continuously measure acceleration magnitude of trunk movements during an in-the-field, varied cadence cycle protocol. Accessible and practical sensor technology could be relevant for postural considerations when exploring saddle position in dynamic settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number871
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


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