Cyclist Assessments

Lactate profiling and aerobic capacity assessment package for road cyclists.

Cyclist Assessments

Cyclist Assessments


At Ulster we have some of the best sporting facilities and expertise in the UK and Ireland. We pride ourselves in always being one step ahead of our competitors and our services could help you to stay ahead of the competition.

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Pricing

The comprehensive support package is now available for £120 per person for tests delievered during the hours of 9am-4pm Monday to Friday and £140 for tests delivered in the evenings or at weekends.

Discounts may be negotiated for clubs wishing to send groups of five or more.

The tests will take approximately one and half hours to administer. All testing is conducted by competent staff members in a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences accredited laboratory.

The Ulster Laboratory houses some of the most sophisticated testing equipment in Ireland including a SRM cycle ergometer and a H.P Cosmos treadmill with safety harness.

Individuals must abstain from any training for at least two days prior to testing and should arrive motivated, well hydrated and free from illness or injury.

For further information or bookings contact:

Mark Kirkpatrick on Tel: +44 (0)28 9036 6431 Email: sm.kirkpatrick@ulster.ac.uk



The Package

Our expert staff have developed detailed physiological profiling services that can help road cyclists soar to new heights in their performance.

The assessment package includes the following tests:

Anthropometric Measurements

These include height, body mass and body composition analysis (body fat levels). Body composition is analysed using skin-fold callipers and requires pinching body fat tissue at eight sites of the body to give an indication of body fat levels and how these compare to normative data.

Why is this important?

High levels of body fat and muscle mass can negatively impact cycling performance as the heavier weight must be carried over the distance of the race and up any hill climbs. Keeping track of these levels will enable you to ensure you are within recommended ranges for cycling.


Hydration Status

Athletes' hydration status is measured by analysing the concentration of a urine sample using a micro osmometer.

Why is this important?

As little as 2% dehydration can negatively impact upon cycling performance. Tracking hydration levels will allow you to establish if you are consuming sufficient fluids.


Resting Blood Analysis

A small sample of blood is collected via a finger prick and analysed for haemoglobin content and haematocrit levels.

Why is this important?

Cyclists require haemoglobin molecules to carry oxygen to the working muscles. The haematocrit reading represents the percentage of formed elements in the blood (mainly red blood cells) and it is important that these fall within a healthy range. If either haemoglobin or haematocrit levels are low an athlete may require an intervention to be actioned by a G.P.


Single Leg Strength Test

Maximal strength levels and the balance between the right and left leg will be assessed using a dynamometer.

Why is this important?

Cyclists require good levels of leg strength as this can impact upon their strength/power to weight ratio, which can influence performance in sprint finishes and hill climbs. Additionally, cyclists may often have a strength imbalance between the legs which can contribute towards decreased performance or injury. Measuring single leg strength will establish if a strength & conditioning intervention is required to manage the imbalance or simply to make the individual stronger.


Double Leg Power Assessment (Squat Jump)

Double leg power will be assessed via a squat jump using an electronic jump mat.

Why is this important?

Having superior levels of leg power is important for a cyclist, especially when the race tempo increases. Tracking levels can provide information on the success or failings of a strength & conditioning programme and the whole training programme in general.


Single Leg Hamstring Flexibility

Single leg hamstring flexibility will be assessed with an active straight leg raise test and a knee extension test

Why is this important?

Cyclists will typically suffer from a lack of flexibility in the hamstring muscle group. This is caused by extended periods of cycling that forces the hamstrings to shorten and loose flexibility. A lack of hamstring flexibility can affect positioning and power production on the bike, any long term problems could result in low back pain or injury. Tracking levels will allow cyclists to establish if they require soft tissue interventions (stretching or massage) to ensure healthy functioning of this very important muscle group.


Lactate Profile Assessment

Athletes will be put through a progressive exercise test to establish how their body responds to different exercise intensities. The response to exercise is measured by tracking the heart rate and blood lactate response to different power outputs on a SRM cycle ergometer. Blood lactate is obtained via a capillary blood samples – this will require taking a very small sample of blood from either the tip of a finger or the ear lobe.

Why is this important?

This information will be used to structure heart rate training zones for 3-4 months. They will range in intensity and be specific to individual fitness levels. This procedure establishes individualised heart rate training zones for each athlete to train at, removing the guess work from training. This process will also establish your particular lactate thresholds and give sub maximal exercise markers that are very important to distance cycling performance. This is the ‘gold-standard’ approach to establishing training zones and is superior to estimating ‘age-predicted’ zones.


Aerobic Capacity (VO2max)

This involves connecting the cyclist to a gas analysis system that will calculate how much oxygen the body can extract and use during exercise.

Why is this important?

The higher these levels are the more an athlete is suited to endurance exercise. Cyclists with higher values are more suited to long distance cycling, whilst those with lower values will be more suited to shorter time trial events. Tracking levels will allow cyclists to evaluate the effectiveness of their training. This part of the test requires individuals to push themselves to the point of fatigue and we only conduct this element with fit and healthy individuals.


Recovery Training Session

After all your hard efforts relax in our recovery suite and soothe away your aches and pains.

Why is this important?

The recovery suite contains a steam room, ice cold plunge pool and warm Jacuzzi. Alternating between these treatments will accelerate recovery.


The Follow-up Report

The report will detail all of our findings and help you towards new-found levels of performance.




Cyclist Assessments