Influence of Cadence on Optimal Pacing Strategies


In the Powerbike project we develop methods for data acquisition, analysis, modelling, optimisation and visualisation of performance parameters in endurance sports with emphasis on competitive cycling. Currently, one of our main research topics is the optimization of pacing strategies based on mathematical models for the cycling dynamics and the riders physiological parameters. In the starting phase and in very slow/fast segments the cadence will have an influence on these strategies due to the limited gear ratio. Therefore the restrictions due to cadence should be included in our optimization framework.


  1. Get familiar with the mathematical descriptions of cycling dynamics and fatigue
  2. Literature research on how cadence influences power output.
  3. Investigate the influence of cadence on existing strategies (are they valid?)

For extension towards a thesis:

  1. Determine and analyze optimized strategies that take cadence into account


Coding is done in MATLAB, basic mathematical knowledge required.


Wolf, S., Bertschinger, R., Saupe, D., Road cycling climbs made speedier by personalized pacing strategies, Proceedings of the 4th International Congress on Sport Sciences Research and Technology Support (icSPORTS 2016), Vol. 1, pp. 109-114, 2016, SCITEPRESS Digital Library.

Gardner, A. S., Martin, J. C., Martin, D. T., Barras, M., & Jenkins, D. G. (2007). Maximal torque-and power-pedaling rate relationships for elite sprint cyclists in laboratory and field tests. European journal of applied physiology, 101(3), 287-292.


Stefan Wolf