# When is the DRAFT in effect?

Again, I’ve looked around but haven’t found the answer, so I’ll ask here.
I know that you can’t ‘feel’ the draft on a smart trainer (you just go ~ 10% faster for the same watts), but WHEN does it take effect ?
1 - Only when you get the ‘OK’ message after the ‘CLOSE THE GAP’ messages?
2 - When you START to get the ‘CLOSE THE GAP’ messages ?
3 - If #2, then is it a FULL draft effect, or only proportional to the distance behind the rider in front, with the effect increasing as you get closer to the rider, and then maximum effect after you get the ‘OK’ message.

And when you drop behind, does the draft effect gradually decrease with increasing distance as you start getting the ‘CLOSE THE GAP’ messages, or does it CUT OFF abruptly, and if so, when - at the first warning or after the last warning ?

Anyone know ?
Thanks.

According to the graphics sometimes shown it is a reasonable approximation to real life, draft is maximised immediately behind a rider and falls off smoothly with distance behind and out to the side.

No idea how precisely the graphics match the reality of calculations.

Great article from Eric with the pack dynamics that was updated not long ago…

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Each rider creates a draft zone behind them starting at 5 meters and getting stronger as you get closer with the highest reduction in drag being when the message says “OK”. As long as you’re in the draft zone (and not on a TT bike) then your avatar should sit up to indicate that you’re receiving at least some of the benefit from the draft.

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Thank you.
Very interesting article - I missed that in my search.
So, best position for max. draft effect is to be 4th or more behind the lead rider in single file close enough to not get any ‘close the gap’ messages.

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Thank you.
So the draft reduction increases proportionally as you get closer and is maximal when you get the ‘OK’ message, and falls off in the reverse order.
I read Dean’s article on ‘4-rider drafting’ (above) which also gave detailed info on the effects of the draft.

BTW: I’ve been told that your avatar will place it’s hands on the brake hoods when IN the draft, and will place hands on the handle bar ‘drops’ when NOT IN the draft.
Is that correct ?

That is correct. When not in the draft your avatar will use the drops and get into a more aero position (even though the animation is just for looks)

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Unless you’re on a Tron bike, where the rider never sits up.

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