Bicycle tours: Modeling the perceived exertion of a daily path

Katherine Carl, Susan A. Brown, Moshe Dror, Alexandra Durcikova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The desire to promote healthier and more environmentally conscious methods of commuting has generated increased interest in professional and recreational bicycling in recent years. One of the most important factors cyclists consider when riding is the amount of exertion they will perceive on a given path. In this paper, we build and test a model of the perceived exertion of different categories of cyclists on a daily path within a long bicycle tour. We first propose an additive formula for calculating the perceived exertion of cyclists on component parts of a tour and then present the results of a survey designed to verify the accuracy of the model. Distance, elevation gain, average percent grade, maximum percent grade, and cyclists ' level of expertise are shown to be significant predictors of perceived exertion (p 0.005). Repeated measures analysis indicated that 109 of the 120 perceived exertion levels produced by our model fit the reported perceived exertion levels of the 242 avid cyclists who participated in the validation survey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-216
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Cycling
  • Exertion
  • RPE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Decision Sciences (miscellaneous)


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