Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2022) 21, 49 - 57   DOI:

Research article
The Effects of Visual Feedback on Performance in Heart Rate- and Power-Based-Tasks during a Constant Load Cycling Test
Martin Dobiasch1, , Björn Krenn2, Robert P. Lamberts3, Arnold Baca1
Author Information
1 Centre for Sport Science and University Sports, Department of Biomechanics, Kinesiology and Computer Science in Sport, University of Vienna, Austria
2 Centre for Sport Science and University Sports, Department of Sociology of Sport and Sport Psychology, University of Vienna, Austria
3 Division of Biokinetics, Department of Sport Science Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Martin Dobiasch
✉ University of Vienna, Auf der Schmelz 6a, 1150 Vienna, Austria.
Publish Date
Received: 24-03-2021
Accepted: 22-11-2021
Published (online): 15-02-2021
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Performance feedback can be essential for cyclists to help with pacing their efforts during competitions and also during standardized performance tests. However, the choice of feedback options on modern bike computers is limited. Moreover, little research on the effectiveness of the currently used feedback methods is available. In this study, two novel feedback variants using a bar or a tacho to visualize targets and deviation from targets were compared to a classic design using only numbers. Participants (6 female and 25 male trained to well-trained athletes) completed a protocol consisting of three heart rate-based tasks and one power-based task. The displays were compared with respect to their ability to guide athletes during their trials. Results showed lower root mean square error (RMSE) of the novel variants, but no significant effect of feedback variant on RMSE was found for both tasks (p > 0.05). However, when comparing the feedback variants on a person to person basis, significant differences were found for all investigated scenarios (p < 0.001). This leads to the conclusion that novel feedback variants can improve athletes’ ability to follow heart rate-based and power-based protocols, but even better results might be achieved by individualizing the feedback.

Key words: Feedback, cycling, power, heart rate, accuracy, PEGASOS

           Key Points
  • Novel visual feedback variants, – different from traditional number-based displays – might increase accuracy in testing, i.e. help athletes to reduce deviations from assigned targets (heart rate or power).
  • Individual differences between athletes exist with regard to the best feed-back variant.
  • Best results could be achieved by providing athletes with individualized feedback.
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