Determining the feasibility of measuring outdoor road cycling kinematics using inertial motion capture technology

Cockcroft J. ; Scheffer C. (2011)

Conference Paper

Unlike traditional optical systems, inertial motion capture systems (IMSs) can measure human kinematics outdoors as well as in a laboratory. However, these systems are sensitive to magnetic interference. This study evaluated an IMS for use in sports performance analysis, using road cycling as a case study. The objective was to establish the feasibility of obtaining accurate outdoor kinematic data on competition-level road bicycles. Ten male cyclists were recorded on their own bicycle on a stretch of road wearing the IMS. Results revealed unacceptable magnetic interference to the IMS near the pedal and handlebar interfaces. Therefore, accurate full-body cycling kinematics is not currently feasible on most competition-level road bicycles. However, lower limb flexion measurements are possible using the IMS's kinematic coupling algorithm which obtained RMS errors of less than 3.5° for all joints in a benchmark test with an optical system regarded as gold-standard.

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