The purpose of this study was to determine the crank-arm length that would maximize peak, mean and minimum power outputs in a recumbent cycling position. Nineteen male volunteers were each tested with five pedal crank-arm lengths (110, 145, 180,230 and 265 mm) according to a randomized sequence on a free-weight Monark cycle ergometer. The 30-second Wingate Anaerobic Cycling test was performed in a recumbent position (750 seat-tube angle, backrest perpendicular to the ground) against a resistance of 85 g/kg of the subject's body mass (5.0 J/crank rev/kg BM). Curve estimation with regression analysis revealed that the crank-arm lengths to maximize peak power, mean power and minimum power are J24 mm, 175 mm and 215 mm, respectively.
Too, Danny and Williams, Christopher D., "Determination of the Crank-arm Length to Maximize Power Production in Recumbent Cycle Ergometry" (2000). Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education Faculty Publications. 101.
Originally published in Human Power: Technical Journal of the IHPVA.