n International SportMed Journal - Measurement error associated with performance testing in well-trained cyclists : application to the precision of monitoring changes in training status : original research article




Small changes in performance, as low as 1%, are regarded as meaningful in well-trained cyclists. Being able to detect these changes is necessary to fine tune training and optimise performance. The typical error of measurement (TEM) in common performance cycle tests is about 2-3%. It is not known whether this TEM is lower in well-trained cyclists and therefore whether small changes in performance parameters are detectable. In this research, after familiarisation, 17 well-trained cyclists each completed three Peak Power Output (PPO) tests (including VO) and three 40km time trials (40km TT). All tests were performed after a standardised warm-up at the same relative intensity and under a strict testing-protocol. TEM within the PPO-test was 2.2% for VO and 0.9% for PPO, while TEM for the 40km TT was 0.9%. In conclusion, measurement of PPO and 40km TT time, after a standardised warm-up, has sufficient precision in well-trained cyclists to detect small meaningful changes.


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