Physiological performance determinants of a 22-km handbiking time trial

Gabriela Fischer, Pedro Figueiredo, Luca P. Ardigò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate physiological performance determinants of the partial laps and an overall 22-km handbiking (HB) time trial in athletes with high paraplegia. Methods: Seven Male HB athletes with spinal cord injury (lesion levels thoracic 2-8) performed a laboratory maximal incremental test under cardiorespiratory-mechanical monitoring including respiratory-exchange ratio (RER), oxygen uptake (V·O2), and mechanical power output (PO). Individual first and second ventilatory thresholds (V·O2VT1 and V·O2VT2), V·O2peak, and POpeak were posteriorly identified. Athletes also performed a simulated HB time trial along a 4-lap bike circuit under cardiorespiratory measurement. Overall metabolic cost (C) and %V·O2peak (ratio of V·O2 to V·O2peak) were calculated from race data. Race performance was defined as mean race velocity (v). Results: athletes completed the 22-km HB time trial in 45 ± 6 min, at 29.9 ± 3.6 km/h, with %V·O2peak = 0.86 ± 0.10 and RER = 1.07 ± 0.17. V·O2peak (r = .89, P = .01), POpeak (r = .85, P = .02), V·O2VT1 (r = .96, P = .001), V·O2VT2 (r = .92, P = .003), and C (2nd lap, r = .78; 3rd lap, r = .80; and 4th lap, r = .80) were significantly (P < .05) positively correlated with race performance. Within-subjects correlation coefficient revealed a large and significant (r = .68, P < .001) relationship between %V·O2peak and v. Conclusions: V·O2peak, POpeak, ventilatory thresholds, %V·O2peak, and C appeared to be important physiological performance determinants of HB time trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-971
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Handbike
  • Metabolic cost
  • Paralympic sports
  • Race performance
  • Spinal-cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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