Dear BIOMCH-L subscribers!

Thank you for the many replies to my query.

There were not many articles or books mentioned twice, so I guess the
final list is quite a representative cross section for this field.

As the list is rather long I will just mention a few papers at the end
of my posting, please feel free to contact me
( for the complete list in

I even got some detailed hints how to position riders and will cite Todd
Carver ( and Erik Moen (
here (special thanks!):


>1. knee flex/ext: 28 - 35 degrees of knee flexion with 10 - 20 degrees of
>plantar flexion at the bottom of the stroke and 100 - 110 degrees of knee
>flexion at the top (captured by Vicon/Peak 6 camera optical system). This
>gives you a range of motion of about 70 degrees at the knee (with the proper
>crank length).
>2. Hip displacement in the vertical plane should be between 4 - 6 cm,
>medial laterally about 1 cm, and fore / aft about 1 - 1.5 cm
>3. Hip angle is dependent upon torso angle. The degree of aggressiveness
>is determined more by flexibility and strength than aerodynamics. Or, I
>should say, I lower riders (torso) as much as possible without reaching the
>limits of their flexibility.
>As far as the aerodynamic parameters, for logistical reasons, we base
>velocity gains and losses on static frontal surface area formulas. We have
>a way of measuring "drag area" on the road, but it would take WAY too long
>for us.
>I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me again.
>Todd Carver


> I have written a section on bike fit in Chris Carmichael's The
> Ultimate Ride. I have based some of my personal research on works by
> Hull, Burke and Broker.
> There is not a lot of hard clinical evidence for recommended seg
> angles. We know that suggested is 25-35deg of knee flex at DBC, but
> that is it.
> We recently did a research survey and found self-fit racers had saddle
> heights lower than recommended.
> Critical pieces TT'ers typically shoot for are knee 30-35deg (with
> ankle/foot in position assumed at 90-100rpm, very important) depending
> on experience and flexibility. Shoulder angle 90-100deg. The next
> piece of importance is hip flexion relative to trunk angle. This is
> an area that should require some research. Help yourself and let me
> know!
> Regards,
> Erik Moen PT, CSCS

And now a few Literature hints:

Martin, J.C. and J.E. Cobb. Aerodynamics of cycling: Effects of body
position. In Jeukendrup, A. High Performance Cycling. Human Kinetics,
Indianapolis IN. 2002

Cobb, J.E. and J.C. Martin. Aerodynamics of cycling: Effects of
equipment. In Jeukendrup, A. High Performance Cycling. Human Kinetics,
Indianapolis 2002

di Prampero PE in 1986 in the Int J Sports Med (7), pp.55-72, its title
is "The energy cost of human locomotion on land and in water"

Burke ER, Ed.; High Tech Cycling , 1996, ISBN:0-87322-535-X

Grappe F, Candau R, Busso T, Rouillon JD. Effect of cycling position on
ventilatory and metabolic variables.
Int J Sports Med. 1998 Jul;19(5):336-41

Gnehm P, Reichenbach S, Altpeter E, Widmer H, Hoppeler H. Influence of
different racing positions on metabolic cost in elite cyclists.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1997 Jun;29(6):818-23.

Kyle CR. Energy and aerodynamics in bicycling.
Clin Sports Med. 1994 Jan;13(1):39-73.

Burke, Edmund R. (Ed.) (1986): Science of Cycling. (S. 123-136) Champaign,
Ill.: Human Kinetics.

Kyle, Chester R. (1995): Bicycle Aerodynamics. In Allan V. Abbott; David
Gordon Wilson: Human-powered vehicles (S. 141-157). Champaign: Human
Kinetics. S. 141-157

McLean BD, Danaher R, Thompson L, Forges A, Coco G; Aerodynamic
characteristics of cycle wheels and racing cyclists, Int Society of
Biomechanics, Congress ISB , 1993, pp. 854-855

Swanton A, Shafat A, Anderson R; Biomechanical & physiological
characterisation of four cycling positions, paper for ISBS Conference
2006 (contact Ross Anderson:

Yoshihuku Y, Herzog W; Optimal design parameters of the bicycle-rider
system for maximal muscle power output, Journal of Biomechanics. 1990
(23), pp 1069-1079

Belluye N ; Biomechanical analysis of cycling positioning , Thesis
University of Bordeaux, 2001

Capelli C, Rosa G, Butti F, Ferretti G, Veicsteinas A; Energy cost and
efficiency of riding aerodymanic bicycles , Eur J Appl Physiol , 1993,
67, 144-149

Stefan Litzenberger
Fachhochschule Technikum Wien
University of Applied Sciences
Sportgerätetechnik / Sports Equipment Technology
Höchstädtplatz 5
A-1200 Vienna
Tel: ++43 1 3334077 - 364
Fax: ++43 1 3334077 - 369