To peloton or not to peloton?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by RichardWHardwick, 15 Aug 2012.

  1. RichardWHardwick

    RichardWHardwick Senior Member

    Hello people,

    Went out for a thirty something miler on Sunday night with two others and one of them said...
    "I've been watching the Tour De France and I reckon we should ride as a team. Stick closer together. Take it in turns to be in front and when the person at the front is tired the one at the back can come round and take over, help us pick the pace up"
    The other person and I looked at each other and thought 'yeah, right, maybe if we were as fit as you'.

    We gave it a go at times, though when Sean and I went to the front it was usually to slow the faster one down rather than pick the pace up. Still, we had a good ride, but the question remains...

    Is cycling in a peloton a worthwhile thing to do? Does it work if you are only going on average 13 - 15 mph on hybrids? And how close do we need to be to each other - very close?

    Tried it again this morning - stuck close to others - though we only did 16 miles.

    We're doing Coast and Castles over three days in mid-september and hoping the wind won't be too bad...

    Any thoughts?
  2. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    I wouldn't normally bother at those speeds because the difference it makes is minimal so I'd rather look around at the scenery rather than stare at someone's back wheel. Note though - if you are riding into a stiff headwind then getting some shelter behind your mates can make a big difference even if you are not riding that quickly.
  3. phil_hg_uk

    phil_hg_uk I am not a member, I am a free man !!!!!!

    I can confirm Colinj makes a great wind shelter :giggle:
    Fubar, LosingFocus and MissTillyFlop like this.
  4. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    What ColinJ said, it depends on your aims. Cycling close together demands concentration. Do you get pleasure from increasing your average speed or from being out in the fresh air observing the passing scene?
    The choice is yours:thumbsup:.
  5. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    What you are referring to is a chain gang.
  6. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Chandler's Ford
    Keep practising. Focus on maintaining an even pace. Fitter riders takes longer turns at the front. Less fit rider maintains the pace even if only for a very short turn then drops back.
    When you have this perfected you should notice an overal increase in pace, not by much as drafting effect isnt huge at this sort of speed, but as you get quicker it will get more noticeable.
  7. youngoldbloke

    youngoldbloke The older I get, the faster I used to be ...

    To be pedantic - you cycle in a pelaton, in a paceline, drafting, or slipstreaming - and yes it does help, but you do need to be quite close to the wheel in front. This requires practice, and there are obvious dangers if cycling with less experienced riders. Helpful article re groupcycling here.
  8. The Central Scrutinizer

    The Central Scrutinizer Veteran

    Or the other choice:Being very close to the Tarmac:biggrin:
  9. Ian H

    Ian H Guru

    East Devon
    A few points:-
    Don't stare at the wheel in front, look ahead.
    Traffic allowing, the front rider comes off by moving out and easing off slightly. The line comes through on the inside maintaining pace (not increasing it).
    Ride smoothly; allow the gap to vary rather than changing your pace constantly.
    Never overlap on the inside.
  10. Cyclist33

    Cyclist33 Guest

    To be pedantic, it's peloton.
    TonyEnjoyD and The Gamble like this.
  11. youngoldbloke

    youngoldbloke The older I get, the faster I used to be ...

  12. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    Except when I am suffering from wind! :whistle:
  13. OP

    RichardWHardwick Senior Member

    To be honest, that's all useful and interesting, thank you. I think Alex likes the idea of us being a team and thinks riding closer together brings that out more. My thoughts are (after reading all this), is if there's a big fark off wind, then we should get organised. But otherwise I'll still struggle to keep up with him - except on the very rare occasions when he's more knackered than I am, and then I'll rub his face in it by leaving him behind.
  14. TonyEnjoyD

    TonyEnjoyD Veteran

    Good luck and Enjoy the ride
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