Question on drafting

novetan

Über Member
2 questions

1) How near must we get to have drafting take effect?
2) How much effort can be cut down (in terms of percentage).
 

Steve H

Large Member
Lots of 'depends' on this one. Depends how fast you are going. Depends on the gradient. Depends on wind speed and direction. Generally speaking if you are within a metre or so you will get some benefit, but the closer you get the more benefit you will get. If you are brave enough to get to about a foot distance you will really get the best benefit (some get even closer than this!). They say it can be anywhere between 20-40% less effort being in the slipstream to being on the front.

Personally, I like to ride fairly close with riders I know to be experienced and smooth. I also offset my position slightly so my front wheel is slightly to one side of the wheel in front. That way if the person in front does slow you miss them and have a bit more time to react.
 

redcard

Veteran
Location
Paisley
If you're talking buses or a flow of traffic, then you can benefit up to about 20 yards.

My normal riding pace is 18-22mph. My sprint is about 26mph. I can easily draught at 26, with very little pedalling action. Only limiter is if I'm not in the big ring.
 

sidevalve

Über Member
Answer to 1 - on a track, as close as you dare the better it gets, on a real road the distance you can stop in.
Answer to 2 - a lot
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
You'll know if you are benefiting from another rider's slipstream when you feel you are in turbulent air. As soon as that air stream past your face and ears is clean, you've lost the benefit. Out on an evening blast around the Ribble Valley with my blasting around buddy, I can feel turbulence from as far away as 20 feet behind if we're going fast. About 1' behind is the ideal position but NEVER cross wheels in case the rider in front swerves.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
1) Generally people will draft each other 1-2 feet apart​
2) Depends where you are in the pace line​
Word of warning, don't just draft anybody. Only draft someone who you trust and who knows you are drafting them, this is a must so that they can ensure not to do anything sudden or unpredictable. Also ensure that you have some communication system (shouting or hand gestures) for obstacles and DO NOT half wheel.​
 

Nearly there

Veteran
Location
Cumbria
Word of warning, don't just draft anybody. Only draft someone who you trust and who knows you are drafting them, this is a must so that they can ensure not to do anything sudden or unpredictable. Also ensure that you have some communication system (shouting or hand gestures) for obstacles and DO NOT half wheel.
A Sky clad rider drafted me for over 3 miles the other day but i didnt know the dude i found it quite annoying really.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
If someone is drafting you and you do not want them there, tell them. Or signal them to come through and wave them them through to do their turn in the wind (only if you trust them or are happy with the risk's that come with drafting a potential incompetent). Or if you have the legs, drop them like a stone!

TBH, I do not generally like random drafters, because I have no idea of their competence and should I for some reason go down or have to make a drastic manouvre, they may make things worse. Similarly I never draft anyone random, simply can not trust that they know the etiquette and may not call out obstacles and may make sudden manouvres.
 
1) Generally people will draft each other 1-2" apart
Is this a Spinal Tap tribute? I assume you mean 1-2'?

I was once drafted on my folder, late at night, on cs3, in the rain, at about 12mph. The guy was so close I couldn't see him over my shoulder or in my mirror. It was very dangerous as people step out all the time so emergency stops are common and with heavy rain, we couldn't communicate. He was a stranger, and I assumed he was waiting to pass me. It was only later I realised he must have been drafting.

I tried to learn drafting for the first time on Sunday. She slowed, I pedalled fast to catch up, got into her draft and stopped pedalling then had to brake, she started pulling, and (accidentally) dropped me. Repeat. It's a skill to learn.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Is this a Spinal Tap tribute? I assume you mean 1-2'?

I was once drafted on my folder, late at night, on cs3, in the rain, at about 12mph. The guy was so close I couldn't see him over my shoulder or in my mirror. It was very dangerous as people step out all the time so emergency stops are common and with heavy rain, we couldn't communicate. He was a stranger, and I assumed he was waiting to pass me. It was only later I realised he must have been drafting.

I tried to learn drafting for the first time on Sunday. She slowed, I pedalled fast to catch up, got into her draft and stopped pedalling then had to brake, she started pulling, and (accidentally) dropped me. Repeat. It's a skill to learn.
Yes
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
I was riding in South Africa one Sunday morning in a place where several big Johannesburg motorbike clubs go out riding and at one point I found myself cruising along in a crowd of about 50 slow-moving massive bikes, it was amazing to be spinning along at 35 - 40 mph with absolutely no effort in a moving pool of hot air that stank of exhaust and hot oil, surrounded by solo riders and couples two-up. Didn't half make me sweat though - it was already around 30 c at that time of morning and there was no breeze to cool me.
 
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