Does wheel hugging/drafting/tailing really help speed etc?

Gpfanuk
Gpfanuk Posts: 142
edited March 2013 in Road beginners
I am about to enter my first Sportive next Sunday, the Wiggle Cheshire Cat (62 mile version). I have read and watched a lot of racing since the turn of this year, and just wanted to know if half wheeling etc makes that much of a difference to your speed and effort required, or is it just something that the Pro-Peleton really benefit from? Will I be expected to take a turn at the front of any group I encountrer during my ride given the allegedly non-competitive nature of a sportive? :?
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Comments

  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    Yes, hugely, you'll notice a benefit sucking the wheel of 1 rider, a proper rotating group [chain gang] can really scream along with little effort. Although probably unlikely to happen on a sportive..
  • Phil_D
    Phil_D Posts: 467
    When cycling, 80% of your effort is spent pushing the air out of the way. If someone else is doing it for you, cycling is a lot easier.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    A sportive is competative, even if only with yourself ;-)
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Gpfanuk wrote:
    I am about to enter my first Sportive next Sunday, the Wiggle Cheshire Cat (62 mile version). I have read and watched a lot of racing since the turn of this year, and just wanted to know if half wheeling etc makes that much of a difference to your speed and effort required, or is it just something that the Pro-Peleton really benefit from? Will I be expected to take a turn at the front of any group I encountrer during my ride given the allegedly non-competitive nature of a sportive? :?
    Don't half wheel (overlapping wheels with the bike in front) - you're more likely to cause a crash as they move out for a pothole ...

    But yes - drafting does make a difference - and why not have a go on the front - even if it's just a brief turn.
    My brother towed me around for most of my first sportive - around 60-70 miles he was knackered so I took a(nother) turn - gave him a chance to recover - I was still knackered though! :o
  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Yes being behind someone will help speed/effort required.

    Half wheeling is where you are behind and off to the side of the rider in front & overlap your front wheel with their rear wheel. Would suggest that if your not experienced in pack riding & don't know the other rider to avoid doing this as either you or the other ride might make a move and end up with wheels touching and the possibility of a crash occurring.

    As for taking your turn, you should if you can & feel up to it skill wise (coming through and past and sitting on the front at an appropriate speed). However if you can only just hold the group and don't have enough in the tank to do a turn then as long as your let others know they should be fine with it.

    If your coming up to a group as a point of courtesy let the rider(s) know you are there, a simple "hello" or "on your wheel" will do but I like to have a chat with the riders and just ask if their OK if you tag onto their group if your intending to ride some distance with them.

    Enjoy the ride I'm sure you'll have a good day.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    This^ and also when it comes your turn on the front (it's rude not to) don't stop pedalling when you get tired. Let someone overtake you and in turn someone will overtake them. Stopping pedalling and slowing down on the front can cause accidents behind you.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    This^ and also when it comes your turn on the front (it's rude not to) don't stop pedalling when you get tired. Let someone overtake you and in turn someone will overtake them. Stopping pedalling and slowing down on the front can cause accidents behind you.
    Well - slowing down can't always be helped ... but probably best to communicate it to the group ...
    Try not to wack on the brakes when you've got someone behind you - or if you have to then shout that you're stopping ...

    If you do tail someone, don't just stare at their wheel - look ahead and see what's coming up. It's all about smooth, consistent riding ...
  • TOM14S
    TOM14S Posts: 100
    Suck it and see! :lol:
  • I thought half wheeling was this...
    A disparaging term used by cyclists to describe the rider who, by habit, intent or simple testosterone poisoning, rides ahead of his riding partners by a half bike-length or less, regardless of pace. In the pursuit of camaraderie and convivial side-by-side riding, this results in the group’s pace increasing each time the riding companions pull alongside, only to have the half-wheeler move foot or two ahead again, even at the faster speed.

    http://groupride.com/tag/half-wheeling/
  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    I thought half wheeling was this...
    A disparaging term used by cyclists to describe the rider who, by habit, intent or simple testosterone poisoning, rides ahead of his riding partners by a half bike-length or less, regardless of pace. In the pursuit of camaraderie and convivial side-by-side riding, this results in the group’s pace increasing each time the riding companions pull alongside, only to have the half-wheeler move foot or two ahead again, even at the faster speed.

    http://groupride.com/tag/half-wheeling/

    Can be taken either way depends on context, a half wheeler does exactly as per your description, however can also be described as your position in a bunch when riding i.e. your half wheeling someone in front of you.

    It terms of what the OP was questioning "just wanted to know if half wheeling etc makes that much of a difference to your speed and effort required" I worked on the basis that he meant drafting behind and in a half wheel lapped over position.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • If you want to see what's possible whilst drafting on a bike, watch the movie "Breaking Away" (the scene with the Cinzano truck) 8)
  • thefd
    thefd Posts: 1,021
    I thought half wheeling was this...
    A disparaging term used by cyclists to describe the rider who, by habit, intent or simple testosterone poisoning, rides ahead of his riding partners by a half bike-length or less, regardless of pace. In the pursuit of camaraderie and convivial side-by-side riding, this results in the group’s pace increasing each time the riding companions pull alongside, only to have the half-wheeler move foot or two ahead again, even at the faster speed.

    http://groupride.com/tag/half-wheeling/
    I've always taken half wheeling to mean this!!
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  • blackhands
    blackhands Posts: 950
    TheFD wrote:
    I thought half wheeling was this...
    A disparaging term used by cyclists to describe the rider who, by habit, intent or simple testosterone poisoning, rides ahead of his riding partners by a half bike-length or less, regardless of pace. In the pursuit of camaraderie and convivial side-by-side riding, this results in the group’s pace increasing each time the riding companions pull alongside, only to have the half-wheeler move foot or two ahead again, even at the faster speed.

    http://groupride.com/tag/half-wheeling/
    I've always taken half wheeling to mean this!!

    I agree and I've been a club cyclist for 57 years. Of course you can be Humpty Dumpty and say it means whatever you want it to mean.