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What is the best distance....(6 posts)

What is the best distance....mlester
Jul 8, 2002 6:05 AM
to be at to benefit the most from drafting? I have tried it several times and have not noticed a difference. Am I too close maybe, or too far back?

-ml
closer the betterDougSloan
Jul 8, 2002 6:11 AM
I don't think you can be "too close." In fact, I read that the use of 650C wheels in team time trials helped the team go faster, as they could get closer together.

Just don't overlap.

Doug
The closer the better, just don't touch wheels (nm)TJeanloz
Jul 8, 2002 6:11 AM
re: What is the best distance....GregJ
Jul 8, 2002 7:52 AM
This info comes from a book by Ed Burke. There is an 18 percent energy savings @20 mph, that goes up to 27% at 23 mph. You will continue to save more the faster you go. This savings was realized at a following distance of 8-20 inches. Beyond 2 feet I would think your benefit will start to drop off. Although on descents,say 35-40mph, I will notice a solid benefit several feet back. Keep some space, even experienced riders can be a little erratic, I would say 1 -2 feet is safe, you will be close enough to get a good benefit.
I agreejose_Tex_mex
Jul 8, 2002 11:31 AM
I agree with Greg.

Just keep in mind that you might need to adjust distances when jamming up steeper hills. As you draft and lose momentum the person in front of you may want to stand. This can cause a disruption of speed and you might find yourself rubbing tires if you were within a few inches to begin.

Just something to think about.
re: What is the best distance....aliensporebomb
Jul 8, 2002 9:38 AM
Depends too on what you're drafting behind. My wife's
recumbent has a rear seat that's a large rectangular
slab with a wheel under it - it's amazing - if we're
going appreciably fast I can come up behind her and
be spinning with effort and once I get in the 'zone'
it's like no effort needed at all.

Of course, there's always the chance she'll go 'knock it
off!'