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