Does saddle height influence knee frontal-plane biomechanics during stationary cycling?

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Cycling is a common modality for rehabilitation and exercise. However, there is a lack of information in the literature on the effects of saddle height adjustments on internal peak knee abduction moment, which is an important loading variable for the medial compartment of tibiofemoral joint for patients with knee osteoarthritis. The purpose of this study was to examine effects of saddle height on frontal-plane biomechanics of the knee during cycling.Fourteen recreational cyclists (age: 57.1 ± 6.37 years) performed 2-min bouts of cycling at three saddle heights of 40°, 30° and 20° knee extension angle at bottom crank position, at two workrates of 80 and 120 W. Three-dimensional kinematic, kinetic, and electromyography data were collected and analyzed using a 3 × 2 (height × workrate) analysis of variance (ANOVA).There were no changes in internal knee abduction moment across saddle heights. Increases in saddle height from 40° to both 30° and 20° reduced the knee extension moment (d = 0.3 and 0.4, respectively, P = 0.012). Increases in workrate increased both knee abduction and extension moments (η2p = 0.75 and 0.88, respectively, P 

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Authors: Erik Hummer, Tanner Thorsen, Songning Zhang