Effect of pedal stance width manipulation via pedal spacers on lower limb frontal plane kinematics during cycling
Keywords:knee adduction, bicycle fit, Q-factor, pedaling
Anecdotal evidence suggests that frontal plane kinematics of the lower extremity are an important aspect of bicycle fit, however, frontal plane adjustments are often overlooked during common fitting procedures. The purpose of this study was to manipulate pedal stance width via pedal spacers to determine their influence on frontal plane kinematics of the hip, knee, and ankle during cycling. Twenty-four young healthy recreational cyclists (12 female) completed five minutes of pedaling at their preferred cadence and power output under three stance widths conditions: no spacer, 20 mm spacer, and 30 mm spacer. For each subject, the pedaling cadence and power output were kept identical for all experimental conditions. Lower extremity marker position data were captured at 250 Hz for the last two minutes of each condition. Sixty consecutive crank cycles were analyzed to identify peak and minimum hip, knee, and ankle angles in the frontal plane. With an increase in pedal stance width, hip and knee peak abduction angles increased and peak adduction angles decreased (p<0.001). Peak and minimum ankle angles were not affected by the stance width conditions (p>0.05). Pedal spacers are an effective way of manipulating pedal stance width and frontal plane kinematics of the hip and knee.
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