G-forces and acceleration

When we discuss G-force we are referring to acceleration rather than an actual force. The term G-force is, strictly speaking, incorrect but commonly used – most likely because we feel acceleration as a force on our bodies and acceleration can be expressed in units of “g”. G-force, or acceleration, is important in analyzing performance because it is a measure of how much the bike is accelerating or decelerating in a given direction. In this section we will discuss both longitudinal acceleration (which includes braking) and lateral (side-to-side) acceleration.

The use of a GPS-based system is imperative if lateral acceleration is to be considered. A non-GPS-based system is incapable of providing lateral acceleration data without some very elaborate and expensive equipment. Lateral acceleration data is of such importance in the analysis that most serious teams now use solely GPS-based equipment. This section covers longitudinal and lateral acceleration in detail, and is almost completely based on the use of a GPS-based system. For more information on parsing and analyzing GPS data, refer to the GPS Data Analysis section.

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