n International SportMed Journal - Determining force and power in cycling : a review of methods and instruments for pedal force and crank torque measurements : review article

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



Evaluate existing devices designed to measure pedal force and crank torque during cycling.

MEDLINE, SCOPUS, ISI Web of Knowledge, EBSCO, and GOOGLE SCHOLAR search engines. Commercial systems were searched using GOOGLE search engine.
Original research articles (49), conference proceedings (4), and books and magazines (8) were selected. Studies were selected only when they were full-length articles written in English, Portuguese or Spanish.
Variables of analysis for pedal force/crank torque devices presented in peer-review journals and commercial force/torque devices were the number of force components and moments measured, information on the type of sensor, the type of cleats and the application of each system.
Thirteen references including articles, books and conference proceedings were found presenting technical details of devices designed to measure pedal force and/or crank torque and power output in cycling. Five of these systems enabled outdoor measurements. Commercial devices were mostly designed for measuring crank torque and/or power output.
The measurement of pedal forces and power output during cycling has been mostly accomplished using deformation based sensors (i.e. strain gauges) attached on the pedal surface, on the pedal spindle or on the crank set. Some commercial devices may fulfil the need for pedal force devices applied to field measurements, but there is still a need for studies to assess the validity, accuracy and reliability of these devices.

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