Int J Sports Med 1985; 06(3): 163-168
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1025832
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Effects of Pedal Frequency on V̇O2 and Work Output at Lactate Threshold (LT), Fixed Blood Lactate Concentrations of 2mM and 4mM, and max in Competitive Cyclists

M. Buchanan1 , A. Weltman2
  • 1Human Performance Laboratory University of Colorado Boulder
  • 2Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Memorial Gymnasium, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


To determine the effects of differing pedal frequencies on V̇O2 and work output values at the lactate threshold (LT), fixed blood lactate concentrations of 2mM and 4mM (2 mM, 4mM), and at max, nine male competitive road racing cyclists (USCF category I or II) completed three V̇O2max tests; on a Monark bicycle ergometer, at pedal frequencies of 60, 90, and 120rpm. Each stage was 3 min in duration, starting at 0 kgm/min with subsequent stages increased by either 180 kgm/min (60 and 120 rpm) or 178 kgm/min (90 rpm). Blood samples were taken during the last 30 s of each stage. V̇O2 and work output at LT, 2 mM, and 4mM were determined from individual blood lactate-work rate and V̇O2-work rate relationships. V̇O2max and maximal work output were chosen as the peak values observed during the V̇O2max tests. Results indicated that work output at LT, 2mM, and 4mM was affected by choice of pedal frequency (1278, 1140, 999 kgm/min at LT; 1533, 1450, 1182 kgm/min at 2 mM; 1780,1703,1487 kgm/min at 4mM; for 60, 90, and 120 rpm, respectively, P < 0.05). Max work output at 60 and 90 rpm was significantly greater P < 0.05) than at 120 rpm (2035, 2053, 1879 kgm/min for 60, 90, and 120 rpm, respectively). V̇O2 values at LT, 2mM, and 4mM and max were also affected by pedal rate (41.31, 37.20, 39.99 ml/kg·min-1 for V̇O2 at LT; 49.70, 45.44, 44.82 ml/kg·min-1 for V̇O2 at 2mM; 56.79, 51.51, 52.13 ml/kg·min-1 for V̇O2 at 4mM; 65.06, 61.28, 61.73 ml/kg·min-1 for V̇O2max with 60, 90, and 120 rpm, respectively, P < 0.05). It was concluded that, in competitive cyclists, use of 60rpm may besuperior to 90 or 120 rpm for laboratory assessment of V̇O2 values at LT, 2mM, 4 mM, and max; and for work output values at LT, 2mM, and 4mM.