• 03-11-2009
    wh4t
    The effect of cycling shoes on economy
    I'm currently writing a bachelor paper on the effects of cycling shoes on economy in inexperienced riders and I would like some feedback and/or tips.

    The question I'm asking and answering is: What effect does cycling shoes have on work economy in inexperienced riders?

    My plan is to measure watt output when riding on the lactate threshold, both with and without cycling shoes. I'm thinking 30 minutes of riding is sufficient, but feel free to tell me otherwise.

    To find their lactate threshold I'm going to do a v02-max test while regularly analyzing their blood to measure its PH value. I'm choosing to not use a heart monitor to avoid having to explain factors that can affect the heart rate.

    Does it sound like something worth testing and writing about?
  • 03-11-2009
    ~ScaryFast~
    That is a very interesting thought for a study.

    What do you expect to find? More power output with cycling shoes?

    Are you going to have everyone wear the same shoes? There would probably be less opportunity for confounding if everyone wore the same model of bike shoes, as well as the control shoe (running shoes?).

    Might have to enlist the help of a shoe company in order to afford this. However, then you would need to declare that in your paper, and it could be a conflict of interest.

    Maybe you could try clipless pedals vs. flat pedals. I say this because I would expect a bigger power difference than comparing bike shoes vs. running shoes. In order to detect a small difference, you would need more test subjects in order to find a difference that is significant.

    good luck
  • 03-11-2009
    wh4t
    I expect to see a better economy with cycling shoes, although I'm not sure how much considering the fact that the riders have virtually no technique. One of the major advantages with the use of cycling shoes is the ability to apply perpendicular force to the pedal, but these riders don't know that. If the tests show that the economy doesn't improve - or just improves slightly - then I will highlight the importance of the correct pedal stroke.

    I'm going to use the same shoes for every test subject. Shimano M225 and Asics Gel Kayano. I'm using egg beaters and big downhill pedals for each test.
  • 03-11-2009
    eggraid101
    Maybe try to use the same pedals for each shoe, so the shoes are the only things that change. Are there some pedals you can use that would accommodate both types of pedals, like the Mallet? You only want to have one variable that changes.
  • 03-11-2009
    ibexbiker
    A friend of mine did a similar study (clipless vs. flats) in college, but with experienced (expert level) riders. I don't remember all of the specifics as it was 13 years ago but do remember her study showed better economy with clipless and also more power output.
  • 03-11-2009
    wh4t
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eggraid101
    Maybe try to use the same pedals for each shoe, so the shoes are the only things that change. Are there some pedals you can use that would accommodate both types of pedals, like the Mallet? You only want to have one variable that changes.

    That's a very good tip, actually. Thanks!

    ibexbiker: Is it possible to get a copy of that study, if you don't mind me asking?
  • 03-11-2009
    Raineman
    I think the variability in people will produce the biggest variances. Use the same shoes with a mechanical device for pedaling.
  • 03-11-2009
    ibexbiker
    wh4t:
    Hey, sorry but I don't have a copy of the study. The friend and I have lost contact over the years. You could check any resources online to see if she is still at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado I believe. (correct me if I'm wrong about the location) Her name was Jeanne Higgins, class of 96'. The professor that we had was Dr. Suzanne Beaudet at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. I don't know if she is still there but she may still have copies, she saved everything. This probably does little to help you but if you are a good detective you could possibly find one of them. I would check with Beaudet first. Just go to thier website and see if she is listed under staff.