52 votes
Accepted

How to prevent drafting?

In road racing there are lots of way to try and gain an advantage (or not to give others an advantage). Because this is a friendly race, I will break it down into friendly, indifferent and hostile ...
Rider_X's user avatar
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35 votes
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Why do racers follow the leader in a curve rather than take the shortest path?

I have trouble imagining that the benefit of drafting is so high it outweighs the advantage of cutting it short and continuing straight. Believe it. Drafting can reduce the power needed to maintain ...
Andrew Henle's user avatar
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30 votes
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Is there a way to know if someone is drafting behind without turning your head back or trying to hear the noises?

A group riding together and cooperating will ride to a set speed, so you'll be surging if you exceed that speed for long. A simple wheel-magnet speedo and bike computer helps show this on your bars ...
Criggie's user avatar
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23 votes
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Drafting in small triathlon

Almost all amateur triathlons are DRAFT ILLEGAL. This was originally because triathlon famously has its roots in finding out "who the best athlete is" (Ironman, specifically, was founded by a group ...
Josh Doebbert's user avatar
21 votes

Why do racers follow the leader in a curve rather than take the shortest path?

The 'leader' creates this path because they don't want other people drafting them. They want to either break the draft and create a gap (probably to attack) OR have others come around them and take ...
Andy P's user avatar
  • 18.3k
21 votes

How to prevent drafting?

Let the co-worker pass and then draft behind them. It becomes a game of chicken to see who goes first. This is partially why road racing at the professional level is usually done in teams. The team ...
Kibbee's user avatar
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15 votes

Is there a way to know if someone is drafting behind without turning your head back or trying to hear the noises?

On a sunny day you can often see the shadows without moving your head, so long as the sun isn't in front of you or too high. I sometimes pick up wheel suckers when commuting and while my commuter bike ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 58.4k
15 votes

Why do racers follow the leader in a curve rather than take the shortest path?

The shortest path isn't all that much shorter. Your original calculation of 57% more distance in the curve assumes that the lead rider does semicircle loops, actually moving perpendicular to the road ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

What is the optimal way to draft in a group of two cyclists?

Do you both have a speedo on your bike's handlebars for reading the current velocity, (ie speedometers/head units/bike computers/) ? It can be very hard to ride on feel, so one of the better ways to ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 124k
9 votes

How close do I have to be for effective drafting (while commuting)?

According to this research quoted by Cycling Weekly you get pretty good drafting effects at 5 metres, as does the person you are sitting behind. And you still get a significant drafting effect up to ...
Wiggo the Wookie's user avatar
8 votes
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How close do riders follow their wheel/attack

How close do peloton riders typically and strategically follow each other's wheel/attack? At the higher levels of racing you are often try to tuck your wheel as close as you you can stand, usually ...
Rider_X's user avatar
  • 30.6k
7 votes

How to nonverbaly signal a drafting proposition to fellow cyclist?

Yes. There are a number of different ways to initiate a paceline via hand signals, but the most common one I've seen and used is to make a circle with an upwards pointed finger. Watch Peter Sagan (...
Ealhmund's user avatar
  • 2,065
7 votes

What help can the domestiques provide on mountain climbs?

Pro's are FAST - they ride up mountains at a speed where they can still gain significant benefit from drafting. As witnessed in the stage you are mentioning it can often be quite windy in the ...
Andy P's user avatar
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6 votes
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Aerodynamics of cycling behind a bus

The zero benefit will theoretically only appear in infinity. In practice, it will of-course be non-measurable in a finite distance. The wake of a bluff body (like a bus) will consist of a ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
6 votes

What is the optimal way to draft in a group of two cyclists?

It will depend heavily on the cyclists and the ride. I assume here that both riders are equal - clearly if one needs some help they should take shorter pulls. In addition, trying to stick rigidly to ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 58.4k
6 votes

Is there a way to know if someone is drafting behind without turning your head back or trying to hear the noises?

A bike mirror allows you to see what's behind you while you're facing ahead. If you're concerned with the width of your bike during group rides, you can opt for a helmet or frame-mounted mirror ...
BlueRidge's user avatar
  • 161
5 votes

How to prevent drafting?

The best way to make it impossible for him to draft of you is to draft on him instead. You will then probably just end up taking turns. Competitive bike riding is not only about who is the best, but ...
Bart's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
Accepted

What help can the domestiques provide on mountain climbs?

On the flat, following a rider gives you a great advantage because of what you said: the draft. But also when climbing there is an advantage. There is a little bit of draft, even at low speeds. "...
Christine's user avatar
  • 364
4 votes

Is there a way to know if someone is drafting behind without turning your head back or trying to hear the noises?

Especially for more casual riding, motorcycle intercom systems can be a nice addition for group rides. It will allow you to talk easily with the other riders, who can then notify you if you are ...
jpa's user avatar
  • 1,737
4 votes

Slipstreaming Passing Vehicles

This seems perfectly fine. Cyclists often stand up for various reasons, and there's no reason to think that it would startle drivers. They probably have no idea why you're standing up anyway. Some ...
BSO rider's user avatar
  • 5,710
4 votes

How to prevent drafting?

You can combine strategies from track racing, namely match sprint, and road racing. In match sprint, the racers typically start very slow in order to not give any drafting advantage. This continues ...
ojs's user avatar
  • 22k
4 votes

What is the optimal way to draft in a group of two cyclists?

It depends very much how far you are going and how fast you are intending to ride. If you are doing a 25 mile 2 man time trial you are probably going to be swapping every 30 seconds. On the other ...
Andy P's user avatar
  • 18.3k
3 votes

Aerodynamics of cycling behind a bus

The distance-to-benefit ratio would not be linear. There is a pocket of still air close to the back of the bus, followed by a very turbulent area farther back where the airflow from each side of the ...
Adam Rice's user avatar
  • 29.8k
3 votes

How to prevent drafting?

A weather dependent strategy is available when there is a stiff crosswind. Your wind shadow (i.e. the place where a drafter would want to ride) is "behind" you from the point of view of the wind you ...
jilles de wit's user avatar
3 votes

Is it considered rude to draft other random cyclists?

It's not only rude, it can be very dangerous if you don't make sure they know you are there. I remember once hearing quite a loud angry yell and crash behind me when I actually stopped for a stop sign....
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
3 votes

Drafting in small triathlon

Even if your local triathlon is not USAT certified, it's likely that they follow the same general rules. The only way to be sure is to ask the race director (if they haven't already published their ...
Johnny's user avatar
  • 1,799
2 votes

How to prevent drafting?

This is apparently an informal race where you can set your own rules. So as suggested by criggie in the comments you might be able to agree a rule against drafting. In time trials, riders set off at ...
bdsl's user avatar
  • 532
2 votes

How close do riders follow their wheel/attack

The length of the drafting benefit increases with the speed of the cyclist and the size of the cyclist in front. Even at 5 meters there is significant benefit for the rider behind. However what ...
Fred the Magic Wonder Dog's user avatar
2 votes

What is the optimal way to draft in a group of two cyclists?

If we were to think about an "optimal algorithm" for two people exchanging positions while drafting, we could consider one "event", which is the condition to exchange positions, ...
heltonbiker's user avatar
  • 18.9k
1 vote

Why do racers follow the leader in a curve rather than take the shortest path?

Not answer; only a counterpoint. No one "took the bait" so to speak, in the question's example. Here is an example where the two followers did decide to lead. source: ...
Sam7919's user avatar
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