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Optimum use of slipstream when riding in pairs.....?

MothymanMothyman Posts: 655
edited September 2009 in Road beginners
How long does each rider take the lead position for when alternating as a duo to obtain maximum benefit?
Presumably it depends on when the lead man feels he's had enough..but I wondered if it was, say, 30seconds or a couple of minutes each at the front?

I went with my pal David today and we both coasted when following but I tired after only about 30secs leading - on the flat at about 25mph.

Posts

  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Depends on the terrain, today on a hundred miler I lead most of of the way with colleague taking turn when he could see I was beat. You more or less know when, we did ride side by side alot too.
  • BuglyBugly Posts: 520
    ride about 300 to 500 meters, pull to side back off on pedals and start pedalling again to get within half a wheel of your partner. in the case of a cross wind sit in behind the down wind side the rider in front. DON'T accelerate as you get to the front, remember you are trying to maintain speed. The idea is not to lead out until you are fagged rather to share the workload and have a minute breather before you hit the wind.
  • thanks for the tips.... its the first time I'd really noticed the rest you get when using the bike ahead..... seemed to give, maybe, an extra 20percent....
  • Sorry...as an aside, how far from the back wheel can you ride before you lose the slipstream effect? And is the tow really that noticeable? Ok, I'm pretty new but riding behind somebody else seems just as difficult as riding into the breeze!
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    Sorry...as an aside, how far from the back wheel can you ride before you lose the slipstream effect? And is the tow really that noticeable? Ok, I'm pretty new but riding behind somebody else seems just as difficult as riding into the breeze!

    If you are close enough, it makes a big difference. Road racing, sometimes only a few inches between wheels, but you have to be aware, and be ready to let your wheel overlap if the rider in front slows slightly - best not to put brakes on at every little twitch.
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Sorry...as an aside, how far from the back wheel can you ride before you lose the slipstream effect? And is the tow really that noticeable? Ok, I'm pretty new but riding behind somebody else seems just as difficult as riding into the breeze!

    Even at triathlon legal distances of 5m you get a benefit, just not a huge one.

    At high speeds, on smooth roads, the tow is very noticeable, at lower speeds and when the road is rough, you're still having to work a similar amount to if you were in the front so it's not so noticeable.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • ... it puts paid to my record times around my local 14miler...I often hug mate's back wheel because I didnt want to show off and bomb past him...now we'll take it in turns....
  • Mothyman wrote:
    I went with my pal David today and we both coasted when following but I tired after only about 30secs leading - on the flat at about 25mph.

    It seems to me that you are probably trying to keep a too high speed for your level of fitness.

    alternating every 30 seconds seems to me a bit too frequent. If I were you I would aim for a lower speed (22?) and keep it for a few minutes.
  • If it's two riders and you're riding at a hard effort, forgetting your actual speed, I would say 30 to 40 seconds and then change. Three or four riders and you could bring the turn down to 25 seconds.
    Ride out a bit, do your turn, flick your right elbow to indicate the change, swing in and take your foot off the gas so that the guy behind maintains the line and takes over without having to accelerate.
    If you watch the pros in the Tour de France etc they change every 25 seconds or so. If you really observe how the pros ride when they're in a line during a breakaway you'll learn a lot. Like Fnegroni said, if you notch the speed down a bit, then you could do slightly longer.

    Its all down to how big an effort you're making - the golden rule is come off the front well before you're tired so that you can ride fast but still conserve your energy. Keep the effort smooth and even. :lol:

    http://www.gregarios.co.uk
  • I agree for harder efforts 30 secs is plenty, even less if in a larger group into a wind.
    With cross winds you are better to one side of the rider in front,
  • If it's two riders and you're riding at a hard effort, forgetting your actual speed, I would say 30 to 40 seconds and then change. Three or four riders and you could bring the turn down to 25 seconds.
    Ride out a bit, do your turn, flick your right elbow to indicate the change, swing in and take your foot off the gas so that the guy behind maintains the line and takes over without having to accelerate.
    If you watch the pros in the Tour de France etc they change every 25 seconds or so. If you really observe how the pros ride when they're in a line during a breakaway you'll learn a lot. Like Fnegroni said, if you notch the speed down a bit, then you could do slightly longer.

    Its all down to how big an effort you're making - the golden rule is come off the front well before you're tired so that you can ride fast but still conserve your energy. Keep the effort smooth and even. :lol:

    great advice from all...especially 'ridelikeapro'... your comments make sense. thanks for the tips on keeping the speed steady and dropping back..we'll try it...

    http://www.gregarios.co.uk
  • the 2 guys I ride with just havent got that DONT accelerate part.
    they always seem to try and add a few mph....fecking annoying.
    :evil:
  • mrchrispy wrote:
    the 2 guys I ride with just havent got that DONT accelerate part.
    they always seem to try and add a few mph....fecking annoying.
    :evil:

    ..name and shame them on this forum...
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