Accuracy in measurement of elevation gain in road cycling

Paolo Menaspa, Eric Haakonssen, Avish Sharma, Brad Clark

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    21 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Purpose. Accurate measures of elevation gain are important for monitoring energy expenditure and physical load. The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of barometric devices used for measuring elevation gain.

    Methods. Observational validation study. Twenty-eight barometric altimeter devices (SRM and Garmin) were used to measure total elevation gain during cycling over three different climbs (length range: 3.2-18.4 km), giving a total of 216 climbs. An online mapping tool (http://www.freemaptools.com/elevation-finder.htm) was used to calculate the criterion measure of total elevation gain. Data were categorised into two weather conditions: dry and wet.

    Results. The standard errors of the estimate for total elevation gain measured by SRM and Garmin devices were 1.5% and 1.9%, respectively. In dry conditions, SRM devices underestimated the total elevation gain by an on average by of ~5% while the Garmin devices underestimated it by ~2%. In wet weather conditions the bias worsened to -25%.

    Conclusions. Measurements of total elevation gain recorded with devices of differed brands were similarly accurate in dry weather conditions. Wet weather conditions significantly decreased the accuracy of total elevation gain measurements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10-12
    Number of pages3
    JournalJournal of Science and Cycling
    Volume5
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Accuracy in measurement of elevation gain in road cycling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this