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Drafting question(8 posts)

Drafting questioncyclejim
Jul 18, 2002 8:13 PM
Can anyone speak to how much of an advantage drafting is assuming no wind and a slow uphill climb?? It just doesn't see like you would get that much of a benefit.
So they say...Bigburlymtnman
Jul 19, 2002 4:49 AM
I've heard that you can save up to 30% of your energy while drafting on the flats. As for going uphill, it definately helps, but I'm not sure how much energy you're saving while you do it.

next to noneoff roadie
Jul 19, 2002 5:13 AM
At speeds below 10 mph, it probably takes more energy to maintain a good drafting line than you save. Like any aerodynamic advantage, the benefit of drafting all but disappers at low speeds.

On the other hand, at speeds above 20mph, good drafting is probably the most signifigant energy saving measure there is. If you draft somebody down hill, you'll have to use your brakes a whole lot more than they will.
re: Drafting questionthejerseydevil
Jul 19, 2002 5:21 AM
for low speeds, there isnt much benefit besides a psychological one of holding the person in front of you as a target to follow.

however, if we are talking about armstrong and heras or anyone climbing fast, the benefit is real from a physical standpoint. they are climbing much faster than they look and are probably going 20mph plus up the mountains.
re: Drafting questionPhatMatt
Jul 19, 2002 5:30 AM
On up hills I do not know. But on falts I am good for 16-18 solo. I have held 27-28 fro a short time (about 5 miles), but I did not have to pull in this group. With my usual group I can hold 22-24 in a comfortably Pace line while taking a turn up front.

No they're notRay Sachs
Jul 19, 2002 9:12 AM
They're really fast, but except for short sections during attacks, they're not going 20+ mph on those extended 8-10% climbs. I think when Pantani set the record on Alpe d'Huez a few years back ('97?) he averaged about 13 mph on that climb. In the mountains the benefit is mostly psychological. Following someone on a climb (at a pace that you're capable of following) is a LOT easier than making the pace yourself. Even at my purely recreational/tourist level of riding, I can feel the effect - it must be magnified many times at the elite race level.

probably not much unless you have a big headwind (nm)ColnagoFE
Jul 19, 2002 6:41 AM
People Running Alongside Hill Climbersjose_Tex_mex
Jul 19, 2002 4:04 PM
I doubt if the effect of drafting matters much at speeds under or around 12mph. You'll notice the comentators saying Heras is "pacing" Armstrong up the hill. I think it's more a psychological effect. Cycling definitely has a hunter/pack mentality and there's safety in numbers.

As for their speeds, I would think that the average more than 13mph but less than 20mph, I am thinking 15mph. I was under the impression that Pantani had an average speed of nearly 17mph when he set the record.

Personally, I can hold a 12mph on a 7% grade for 5 miles. Although, shorter and less of a grade than the pro's, I am positive they could crush me into dark matter and thus assume they would climb at least a few mph faster.

I try and watch the crazies run alongside the bikers. Normally they are just jogging - 10 -12mph. However, we do see the bikers dropping them 15+mph?

I'll have to see if I can find the times and distances...