How To Draft Like A Pro | Essential Cycling Skills

How To Draft Like A Pro | Essential Cycling Skills


(motor running) – Riding on the wheel,
or sitting behind others, to get the benefit from drafting is a crucial skill if you want to learn how to ride with other cyclists. So, here’s how to do it. (peppy music) – Sitting on the wheel,
sitting in, sat on, drafting, giving a tow, are just a
few of the various names given to this crucial skill. By sitting behind another rider, you’ll save around 30 to
40 percent of the energy that you would use when
riding on the front. And this saving will
help you get somewhere faster and easier, or
over longer distances, it’ll help you to ride even further. Learning this skill will
also make your riding far more enjoyable, as it will enable you to ride with bigger groups
of riders effectively and with confidence. It can take a little bit of time to get relaxed and comfortable when riding close to the
wheel of the rider in front, and the best way to do this is to practice as much as possible. Now, to learn this basic
but really important skill, all you need at first is one other rider. You don’t need a big group. – Yes, start by riding around half a wheel behind the rider in front of you. This is going to allow
you the time and space to adjust for anything like
changes in speed or direction. If you’ve never done this before, you’re going to immediately
feel the difference in effort and the benefit compared
to if you were riding at the same speed on
the front of the group. As you gain confidence, you’re
going to feel more at ease riding closer and closer
to the wheel in front. (peppy music) – When riding on the wheel,
don’t constantly stare at the wheel directly in front of you. Make sure you’re looking up and around, scanning the road for any hazards or changes in direction. Just looking at the wheel in front can be quite dangerous, so
don’t let this become a habit. – Occasionally, it is
okay to check the distance between your front wheel
and the wheel in front, but the objective here is to develop some sort of cyclist’s sixth sense as to how close you are, and of course, this is an ability you will hone over time and with practice. – [Biker 1] Try not to
use your brakes suddenly when reacting to speed changes,
or changes of direction. Instead, try to feather them gently to shave off the speed gradually. As your confidence grows
and your skill develops, this way of reacting will become increasingly more natural to you. (peppy music) – The direction of the
wind should determine where you position yourself
behind the rider in front. If you get this right, you’ll
maximise your energy savings whilst riding on the wheel. This is especially
important if you’re sharing the workload with another rider. – So, if the wind is coming
directly from the front, a headwind, then you
need to position yourself directly behind the rider in front of you. Now, if the wind should
come from the left, then you need to move
over and position yourself from the right, to give you
shelter from the wind there, and conversely, if the wind is coming from the right hand side,
you need to move over and shelter yourself from the left. Now this can take a while to master and to build your
confidence, and our advice is to not get too close
to the wheel in front where you end up overlapping, cause that can be a little bit dangerous. (peppy music) – Stopping distances. – Yep. – These are increased
considerably on wet roads and descents, so you need to make sure that you drop back off the wheel in front by a bike length or two,
and that will give you the space and time to brake safely without crashing into the rider in front. – In these situations,
make sure that your brakes are covered in readiness,
so either on the drops, or on the hoods. – There are also some important things to be mindful of when it’s your turn to ride on the front and you
have someone on your wheel. So, no sudden braking. Insure you point out objects in the road, like potholes, and when transitioning from riding in the saddle
to out of the saddle, do this in a gradual, non-jerky way. A common mistake here is that the bike is thrown backwards and comes into contact with the wheel behind. Get these skills dialled,
and you won’t look back. – Don’t look back too
much, cause you might hit the wheel in front. – That’s a good tip
actually, Tom, well said. Anyway, for your one stop
shop for all things cycling, how about clicking on the
globe, it’s absolutely free. – And, if you’d like
to see a tutorial video on another essential
cycling skill, climbing, click right there. – Or, for the opposite of
climbing, that’s descending, click just down here. – Give this video a thumbs up, too. – And a share as well.