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Riding in side winds - what's the best tactic?

sozofiasozofia Posts: 9
edited May 2015 in Amateur race
So I have a question that might seem a bit stupid - recently on my rides I've been hit by a lot of wind. I know what to do if it's coming from the front (head down, get on with it) or back (wheee!) but what is the best approach to cycling when you're being hit by gusts of side wind? Does cadence/gear/speed make a difference?


  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,847
    Use another rider for shelter..
  • bob6397bob6397 Posts: 218
    Not really much difference.. ride faster and get off the top of the hill that you are probably on if it is that strong? The worst I have a gust put me a good metre off line - luckily not off the road as I was ready and waiting for it but not too fun at 35-odd mph..
    Boardman HT Team - Hardtail
    Rose Pro-SL 2000 - Roadie
  • marykamaryka Posts: 748
    I can't really describe what I do as it sort of becomes instinctive, but you need to lean into it a bit with your body and keep the front wheel firmly planted. Hands in the drops, body and centre of gravity low. Don't fight the wind pushing you, let it push you around a bit. Be ready for gusts if you're in a place where the landscape suddenly opens up to one side (hedgerows become an open field, etc.).

    When descending in crosswinds I just generally brake and go a bit slower, I also like to keep pedalling so there's weight distributed on the bike (not a high cadence, may 80-85rpm). The other thing I will do on a steeper windy descent is keep the leeward foot down with more weight on it, like you do when cornering. So wind coming from the left = treat it like a left corner = right foot down left foot up.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    It comes with experience, knowing how much you have to lean into the wind - only weighing 60kg, I've been blown about a bit in my time. Deep-rim wheels don't help - got blown 6ft sideways once coming over the top of a hill into a 30mph sidewind. Best tip is to find someone big to ride behind / downwind!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
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