Is drafting cheating?


Active Member
I was just wondering is it polite to draft, or should I take my turn, rather than waiting till I'm rested and the sprinting off and leaving them to their own devices.
If you are taking your turn at the front its not cheating its efficiency IMO but sprinting off when you've recovered is not fair and not very polite.


Cycle Camera TV
South Croydon
I drafted someone briefly the other day. He was traveling at an ok speed. I went to take my turn. Passed him and then dropped my speed back to what he was doing and he started slowing down. So even if you try to be polite, they might not take you up on it.

I don't really mind people drafting safely it's when they get too close or start overlapping wheels, that's usually when I back off and get away


A Human Being
The polite thing to do is share the load, assuming they are going at a compatible speed and it is not dangerous.

There aren't enough cyclists on Swindon's roads for me to have to worry about drafting, I would have to spend more time on the pavements.
I draft where I can and I've been drafted at times. You've no idea how long you and the rider you're drafting are going to share the same road. As soon as you take the lead they may turn off for home. At 6'5" I pick up a lot of draftees, but I don't expect any of them to ever take the lead 'cos they don't know where I'm going. I do though start to ride in pack mode, pointing out road debris and giving braking signals.


Dog on a bike
I was just wondering is it polite to draft, or should I take my turn, rather than waiting till I'm rested and the sprinting off and leaving them to their own devices.

So long as you take your turn it's ok. I find it very rude to draft behind me until you're rested and then try to sprint off. If you sprint off by way of jumping a red light (which has happened in the past) I will chase you down and give you a very stern talking to. :angry:

Edit: just noticed the previous post. I wouldn't draft behind me because I don't give braking signals or point out road debris (to the regular Sunday riders, sorry it's been years since I was in a group ride so it's taking me a while to get back in the habit)


Married to Night Train
Salford, UK
Cheating? That implies rules, and winning. I just ride to and from work, it's not a race.

I did tuck in behind a big lad the other day, into a headwind, he powered past and then couldn't or didn't want to maintain his overtaking speed - and I couldn't get up the speed to get in front again. I don't suppose he cared, he probably has no idea about drafting, he was in jeans and a work hivis vest and riding an MTB.

I did tuck in behind someone on the Big G sportive last week, going up Nunburnholme hill. But I was doing 3mph, and he was a rambler.


Rider of Seolferwulf
South London
You're welcome to try to draft me. ;)
I just carry on my way..*

If I am faster than someone, I overtake. If I am slower, they overtake. If I am only marginally quicker, I may well draft instead as I'm not all that fit for maintaining speed constantly so better I draft than try to take the lead and fail, getting in the way.

If someone drafts me, so what? It doesn't make it harder work for me!

*unless you are obviously doing a 2.5 mile trip in £200 worth of top-notch cycling clobber, then you are a poser and as such you are there to be made look silly ;)


Über Member
East Sussex
Oh and drafting is only cheating in Time Trials.

It is also forbidden in triathlons to.

Drafting for me depends on the circumstances. If I am pootiling along at my own pace I don't bother. If I want to make a bit of progress however, I will use it to my advantage. Having said that, I rarely see any cyclist that have the pace.


Senior Member
The polite thing to do is to share, but...

Make sure you're up to it. Don't slow the other guy down just because you want to have your turn in front.

Don't expect to be thanked. Some people don't like drafting.

Don't forget to signal out any obstacles - don't just swerve at the last minute to let them hit the dog poo / broken glass / car door


Active Member
it's not a race.

Hmmm... struggling with this concept...
In my mind all commuting is a race...

Leave house as late as possible.
Arrive on platform as train pulls in.
Walk down train and stand with nose against door that opens nearest the exit from the platform
Walk quickly (no running that's cheating)...
Walk up the left of the escalator, grunt at anyone standing there...
Pick gate with shortest queue, tut loudly at anyone that causes a delay...
Walk quickly to office
Only take the lift if it's faster
Sit down at desk note time...
Feel disappointed it's exactly the same time as yesterday...

I seem to have taken this philosphy into my cycling...
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