How to draft - a small tip


(Mark Williams) #1

I have seen quite a few people post here saying that drafting is very difficult (just saw another one). I have no idea whether this varies significantly between the various types of trainer but did want to pass on little suggestion, in case it helps.

First, if the person / group you are trying to draft is all over the place in terms of speed then it’s just difficult, given the lag in seeing their speed changes. But, for the most part, that’s NOT the case - most people with whom I draft tend to be reasonable consistent so that’s not a problem.

The subtle little tweak I made was this. If I am on the wheel or close to someone I am drafting, my initial reaction to them slowing down was to pretty much stop peddling to counteract their slowing down. It was a bit of a knee jerk reaction to the bike suddenly getting closer. In reality, that was overkill. Now I just reduce my cadence a little, rather than stop or slow down peddling. Generally, this means that the bike in front gets closer but then the rate of convergence slows down and we end up side-by-side or me slightly ahead. If I want to stay behind I slow down just a tad.

Unless the other person is specifically trying to drop me, I find the same when they move away. A small increase in speed normally pulls me back.

It’s a little hard to explain but my original reaction when drafting was to overdo the changes and that resulted in a “see saw” reaction between the other rider and me.

Just a thought.


(Chad H) #2

Thanks Mark, will try this tomorrow. I am riding with a Win 7 laptop that is in the bottom 3rd when it comes to video card prowess, so that may have something to do with it. On my first two rides I experienced two periods of frame jitter (less than a second), so I can tell the video proc is getting a work out as well.

I can’t wait for the OS X version to come out most of my compute power is on Apple.


(Andrew Williams) #3

I find camera 3 makes it easier to maintain drafting distance


(Chris O'Hearn Masters (E)) #4

I just don’t really think of it as drafting, more like riding together.

You’re right about needing to keep a steady pace. I find that if I do that I stay in the same vicinity as the people I’m riding with.

Obviously it would bother me in the real world if we overlapped or rode on top of each other but as you say, if you react the same way then it see-saws.

Stop thinking about it as a real environment and just accept that the software is going to put you in approximate positions, then it seems to work OK.


(Greg Gibson-Haymarket) #5

Instead of slowing down or dropping cadence try just upshifting one gear as you approach. Keep cadence the same. Should put you right in the draft.


(lilmira koyotes) #6

Yeah, I was able to stay with another person yesterday for quite a while. The key is that you have to be at about the same pace and don’t think about it as drafting. Just gradually adjust your pace when necessary. If you end up pulling out front and dropping a bit, so be it. The person pulling can do the same thing by watching the distance from the person behind. I do find it strange sometimes that I’m putting in more effort (W/kg) than the person in front. Other than that, if the pace don’t match, it just doesn’t work which is the same in reality. Drafting behind bots? Now that’s crazy.


(Chad H) #7

View 3 did it for me as well as a bit of soft pedal as I get to 3 meters so not to close too quickly.

Does the draft dynamic change in a single pace line versus the peloton? I noticed when there was a large group of riders it was much easier to jump through the draft as opposed to a single rider or two. May just be my perception though.


(Aaron Deutsch - BMTR) #8

I think the drafting physics are pretty close to reality. Since you don’t have the wind in your face and life-sized riders in front of you there is a bit of adjustment to get it to work. I found shedding 10-20watts will help me to fall back slow enough to tuck back in and upping my effort about 20-40watts helps to close the gap.