Objectives The aim of this study was to examine the effect of speed on mechanical energy fluctuations and propulsion mechanics in the double-poling (DP) technique of cross-country skiing. Methods Kinematics and dynamics were acquired while fourteen male skiers performed roller-skiing DP on a treadmill at increasing speeds (15, 21 and 27 kmâh.sup.-1). Kinetic (E.sub.kin ), potential (E.sub.pot ), and total (E.sub.body) body mechanical energy and pole power (P.sub.pole) were calculated. Inverse dynamics was used to calculate arm power (P.sub.arm). Trunk+leg power (P.sub.T+L) was estimated, as was the power associated with body movements perpendicular to goal-direction (E.body[up tack]). Results E.sub.kin and E.sub.pot fluctuated out-of-phase throughout the cycle, at first sight indicating that pendulum-like behaviour occurs partly in DP. However, during the swing phase, the increase in E.sub.pot (body heightening) was mainly driven by positive P.sub.T+L, while the decrease in E.sub.kin was lost to rolling friction, and during the poling phase, considerable positive P.sub.arm generation occurs. Thus, possible exchange between E.sub.kin and E.sub.pot seem not to occur as directly and passively as in classic pendulum locomotion (walking). During the poling phase, E.body[up tack]fluctuated out-of-phase with P.sub.pole, indicating a transfer of body energy to P.sub.pole . In this way, power generated by trunk+leg mainly during the swing phase (body heightening) can be used in the poling phase as pole power. At all speeds, negative P.sub.T+L occurred during the poling phase, suggesting energy absorption of body energy not transferred to pole power. Thus, DP seem to resemble bouncing ball-like behaviour more than pendulum at faster speeds. Over the cycle, P.sub.arm contribution to P.sub.pole (external power) was 63% at 15 kmâh.sup.-1 and 66% at 21 and 27 kmâh.sup.-1, with the remainder being P.sub.T+L contribution. Conclusions When speed increases in level DP, both power production and absorption by trunk+leg actions increase considerably. This enhanced involvement of the legs at faster speeds is likely a prerequisite for effective generation of pole power at high speeds with very short poling times. However, the relative trunk+leg power contribution did not increase at the speeds studied here.