State-of-the-art biomechanical laboratories provide a range of tools that allow precise measurements of kinematic, kinetic, motor and physiologic characteristics. Force sensors, motion capture devices and electromyographic recording measure the forces exerted at the pedal, saddle, and handlebar and the joint torques created by muscle activity. These techniques make it possible to obtain a detailed biomechanical analysis of cycling movements. However, despite the reasonable accuracy of such measures, cycling performance remains difficult to fully explain. There is an increasing demand by professionals and amateurs for various biomechanical assessment services. Most of the difficulties in understanding the link between biomechanics and performance arise because of the constraints imposed by the bicycle, human physiology and musculo-skeletal system. Recent studies have also pointed out the importance of evaluating not only output parameters, such as power output, but also intrinsic factors, such as the cyclist coordination. In this narrative review, we present various techniques allowing the assessment of a cyclist at a biomechanical level, together with elements of interpretation, and we show that it is not easy to determine whether a certain technique is optimal or not.
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