5 years ago

Reliability of the virtual elevation method to evaluate rolling resistance of different mountain bike cross-country tyres

Lucas Schmid, Thomas Steiner, Thomas Maier, Jon Peter Wehrlin, Beat Müller

Although a low rolling resistance is advantageous in mountain bike cross-country racing, no studies have used the virtual elevation method to compare tyres from different manufacturers as used in international competitions so far. The aims of this study were to assess the reliability of this method, to compare the off-road rolling resistance between tyres and to calculate the influence on off-road speed.

Nine 29-in. mountain bike cross-country tyres were tested on a course representing typical ground surface conditions 5 or 6 times. The coefficient of rolling resistance was estimated with the virtual elevation method by 3 investigators and corresponding off-road speeds were calculated.

The virtual elevation method was highly reliable (typical error = 0.0006, 2.8%; limits of agreement <0.0005, r ≥ 0.98). The mean coefficient of rolling resistance was 0.0219 and differed from 0.0205 to 0.0237 (P < 0.001) between tyres. The calculated differences in off-road speed amounted to 2.9–3.2% (0% slope) and 2.3–2.4% (10% slope) between the slowest and the fastest tyre.

The reliability of the method and the differences in rolling resistance between the tyres illustrate the value of testing tyres for important competitions on a representative ground surface using the virtual elevation method.

Publisher URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02640414.2017.1287935

DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2017.1287935

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