Time Trial observation Part 5: The Importance of Form and Movement in Time Trials

Hello, this is Saita from LEOMO. Now that two months have passed since the National Cycling Championships, I would like to analyze the relationship between power and time from the perspective of MPIs during another time trial race that was held in Japan.

The race consisted of three, 5km loops (totaling 15k) on a flat course.This non-technical course made it possible to continuously pedal throughout the entire race.

Figure 1: Detailed data for the entire race and for each lap

Taking a look at Figure 1, I would like to remove LAP 1 from our comparison and just focus in on LAP 2 and 3 since there was a need to accelerate from a stationary state in LAP 1. The average power was 357 watts for LAP 2 and 366 watts for LAP 3. LAP 3 had an average power that was 9 watts higher, however, despite this fact, the time was 2 seconds slower (the times were 6:24 for LAP 2 and 6:44 for LAP 3).

Taking a closer look into the MPIs we are able to start hypothesizing the reasons for the differences in time.

I will evaluate upper body movement, which is strongly related to air resistance, through the three Torso MPIs-Torso Angle, Torso Rotation, and Torso Rock. 

It is evident that all three MPIs increase from LAP 2 to LAP 3. What does this signify? An increased Torso Angle means that the upper body is more upright, which certainly results in experiencing more wind head. Increases in Torso Rotation and Torso Rock indicate mean that the upper body is moving more. It can be thought that increased upper body motion increases air resistance through adding more motion that goes against the wind.

In this result, the increased power output did not lead to a faster LAP time. Time trialling certainly requires power, but it is clear that the ability to maintain form is also important. Take the TYPE-R out on your next time trial and let us know what you find!

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