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Sensors 2014, 14(12), 22921-22939;

A New Crank Arm-Based Load Cell for the 3D Analysis of the Force Applied by a Cyclist

Electrical Engineering, Instrumentation Laboratory, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Avenue Osvaldo Aranha 103, Porto Alegre 90035-190, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2014 / Revised: 15 November 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 3 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4518 KB, uploaded 3 December 2014]


This report describes a new crank arm-based force platform designed to evaluate the three-dimensional force applied to the pedals by cyclists in real conditions. The force platform was designed to be fitted on a conventional competition bicycle crankset while data is transmitted wirelessly through a BluetoothTM module and also stored on a SD card. A 3D solid model is created in the SolidWorks (Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp.) to analyze the static and dynamic characteristics of the crank arm by using the finite elements technique. Each crankset arm is used as a load cell based on strain gauges configured as three Wheatstone bridges. The signals are conditioned on a printed circuit board attached directly to the structure. The load cell showed a maximum nonlinearity error between 0.36% and 0.61% and a maximum uncertainty of 2.3% referred to the sensitivity of each channel. A roller trainer equipped with an optical encoder was also developed, allowing the measurement of the wheel’s instantaneous velocity. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomechanics instrumentation; load cell; cycling; Bluetooth biomechanics instrumentation; load cell; cycling; Bluetooth
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Balbinot, A.; Milani, C.; Nascimento, J.S.B. A New Crank Arm-Based Load Cell for the 3D Analysis of the Force Applied by a Cyclist. Sensors 2014, 14, 22921-22939.

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