On this page we will list (sometimes with a short discussion) a few selected articles or studies either about PowerCranks or those with particular relevance to PowerCranks. Just click on the study title and be taken to the abstract or discussion of it and a link to the actual study, if available.
This study demonstrates a 15% improvement in VO2max and an 11% increase in maximum power after 6 weeks of exclusive PowerCranks training.
This study compared substituting PowerCranks training for some running and compared results and demonstrated an improvement in VO2max and a 1.5 min improvement in a 5km time trial compared to control group who trained the same amount of time running.
3. Effects of short-term training using powercranks on cardiovascular fitness and cycling efficiency
This study demonstrates a 10% improvement in cycling efficiency after 6 weeks on PowerCranks.
Looks at the changes that occur in muscle coordination with 18 hours of PowerCranks training and also what happens if one stops using PowerCranks.
Looks at muscle activation changes associated with PowerCranks use. Get's slightly different results than the study above.
Looks at muscle activation changes associated with PowerCranks first use in non-cyclists. Very interesting in that there is a wide variation probably due to how people pedaled to begin with and the adaption strategy they adopted.
7. Does training with PowerCranks affect economy of motion, cycling efficiency, oxygen uptake and muscle activation patterns in trained cyclists?
A masters thesis that is very interesting. Has some problems but seems to verify the Luttrell study above.
PowerCranks related studies or articles:
The Lance Armstrong study (more correctly, a case report) looking at his progression between winning the world championships and winning his first Tour de France. It is especially interesting when combined with the recent newsletter report coming from Carmichael Training Systems that goes into the training emphasis of Lance during this period in which he was trying to develop a pedaling technique as forced by PowerCranks. (see below)
2. Biomechanical Evaluation of Pedaling Mechanics: (Bonus Lance Training Retrospective) by Carmichael Training Systems
This is an article from the CTS Newsletter (subsequently removed from the internet after Lance was banned from cycling) that discusses pedaling mechanics in general and specifically, the pedaling mechanics of Lance Armstrong. It goes back to a pedal force analysis done by Lance in 1993 and notes: "But despite Lance’s symmetrical pedal stroke, there were areas where he could improve. The scientists noted that at the top and bottom of the pedal stroke, Lance contributed very little force to the pedals. By increasing his push over the top and his pull back through the bottom, they reasoned, Lance could deliver more power with each pedal stroke. Increasing energy delivery to the pedals at both of these phases in the stroke could result in a few more watts of power. Even though the changes would only result in a handful of additional watts with each revolution, Chris and Lance knew those increases could add up to significant performance gains during the course of a long training ride or race." The article explains that this has been a focus of Lance for the subsequent 17 years and that this change is what allows Lance to ride at such high cadences compared to everyone else. This can also explain the efficiency improvement documented by Coyle between 1993 and 2000 in the above "study". We don't know if Lance ever incorporated PowerCranks into his training to help him with this transformation but we do know that what is described is exactly what PowerCranks force the user to learn.
As Greg LeMond actually said, "I spent years learning how to pedal in this way, now people can learn it in months."
An interesting study that is the first that we know of that actually shows that pedaling technique really matters regarding cycling efficiency, with a chance of being wrong less than 1 in 1000. PowerCranks does for you what this study demands to improve cycling efficiency. No wonder Luttrell (see above) showed this change.
4. Single leg cycle training is superior to double leg cycling in improving the oxidative potential and metabolic profile of trained skeletal muscle.
An interesting study that compares counterweighted isolated leg training (resembles PowerCranks requirements) to standard training. The study demonstrated a clear benefit to the single legged training in only 6 sessions.
The most commonly cited study that supposedly "proves" that "just pushing harder" is the way to go and that learning to pedal in the PowerCranks fashion is counter productive. Find out what the study really says and how the study is misrepresented or misunderstood by the "naysayers".
Many "naysayers" say that pedaling style doesn't matter, that the most important thing is to "just push harder". This one study puts such arguments to rest and proves as best as could ever be proved that pedaling style does matter for the purpose of pedaling power. In fact, in its comparisons between right and left legs it actually found that less powerful leg actually pushed harder but lost this advantage because of increased amount of negative force on the upstroke. So much for "just push harder". Replace that old, wrong, mantra with "just unweight, baby". Many thanks to Dr. A. Coggan for pointing us towards this study.
This study looked at optimal cadence in cycling and how it might affect performance since many studies have shown that cyclists tend to freely choose cadences that are above their most efficient cadence. The conclusion: "This study demonstrated that elite cyclists perform best at their most efficient cadence despite the maximal energy turnover rate being larger at a higher cadence." Efficiency is king when it comes to time-trial type efforts. Shows why the efficiency improvements achieved by Armstrong could make him the dominant cyclist of his era and why the efficiency improvements achieved by using PowerCranks, as demonstrated by Luttrell, are so important in explaining, in part, the improvements reported by most users.
This study looked at changes in pedal forces as riders became tired. It was noted that as riders became tired they pulled up less on the backstroke which required them to push harder on the downstroke to maintain the same power.
This study went beyond the study above to see if the result could be expalined by how muscle use changed as cyclists get tired. Even though most people don't completely unweight on the backstroke when cycling (apparently underutilizing these muscles) the hip flexor muscles fatigued more than the "pushers" near exhaustion, making the pushers do more work to maintain power. Demonstrates the need for making sure all the muscles used are trained equally regardless of pedaling technique. The best way to train those hip flexors to be the equal of the "pushers" is to train with PowerCranis.
This study looked at how riders adapted their pedaling style and muscle use going from cruising power to maximum, sprinting, power. It was noted that the backstroke forces and muscles were activated substantially more than the pushing muscles when increasing power. Unfortunately, sprinting is usually reserved for the end of the race where, according to the two studies discussed above, the hip flexor muscles have normally deteriorated the most. Sprinters can prevent that deterioration by training with PowerCranks.
A study that looks at the different factors that affect running economy. While PowerCranks are not specifically mentioned you will find that many of the factors mentioned are directly influenced by PowerCranks training.
While not a study per se, this article is well referenced regarding running economy. Again, you will find much of what is said is influenced by PowerCranks training.
Injury and rehabilitation
A published study trying to look at all the factors associated with hamstring injury. One will find that many of the factors are addressed by training on PowerCranks
2. Preseason strength and flexibility imbalance associated with athletic injuries in female collegiate athletes
Find out how muscle imbalance is one of the major factors leading to injuries in these athletes. Muscle imbalances is one of the major areas addressed by PowerCranks in both rehabilitation and injury prevention programs.
If you have any suggestions as to other studies (or better studies) that should be included here please contact us. firstname.lastname@example.org