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I've seen several posters on here give newb riders the advice of "don't overlap wheels" when riding in a group. WTF does this mean? Don't overlap in what direction (laterally?) What is the preferred position for close group riding? Directly behind another rider (tires in line) or slightly staggered? What am I not supposed to overlap? Thanks!:mad2:
 

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It means exactly what it means. Don't put your front wheel in a postion so that it is in front of the trailing edge of the rear wheel of the rider in front of you. If he swerves, you go down.
 

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If you are riding behind and to the left of the rider in front of you, but the front of your wheel 'overlaps' his wheel - i.e. the front most part of your wheel is around the skewer of the rider in front of you. What will happen if the rider in front of you has to swerve left suddenly?
 

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By default the person in back will go down, there are ways to recover but it takes skill and luck. You are better served paying attention to the gap.
 

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alexp247365 said:
If you are riding behind and to the left of the rider in front of you, but the front of your wheel 'overlaps' his wheel - i.e. the front most part of your wheel is around the skewer of the rider in front of you. What will happen if the rider in front of you has to swerve left suddenly?
Oh, I've got this one. You are supposed to lunge forward and attempt to get a grip on his shoulders ....so he can hold you both up while he brings you to a safe and controlled stop. Piece of cake.

:thumbsup:
 

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Riding right alongside a person's backwheel with your front wheel overlapping closely is definitely dangerous, but on the flip side while riding behind someone's rear wheel with a gap I think it might be a good idea to ride a little to the left or right instead of directly behind, so you're already in a position to maneuver around the person infront of you in case you need to. Just pay attention and never overlap, and if you do for a second to avoid collision, get out of that position asap and get back behind.
 

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Yes, the correct position is in a straight line, not overlapping wheels.
Here's this video of Levi touching the back of Lance's wheel.
Seeing is believing.

 

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All good advice here. But it should be kept in mind that within a group of expert riders, overlapping wheels is done all the time when slowly moving up or back. It's also an absolute must in a special group formation ("echelon") staggered in such a way as to defeat a strong side- or quartering wind. Not recommending overlapping here, just saying that "never overlap" is too much of an absolute. There will be overlapping, and lots of it, in an expert pack. If there's a crash in the pro pack, the guilty party is generally considered the rider making an abrupt lateral move, not the rider overlapping a wheel.
 

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Wow, great video and perfect lesson. See how Lance is behind and to the left of Horner's wheel, but never over laps it. But...you see Levi with his wheel overlapping Lance's for a few seconds. Lance barely moves left just a fraction...and that's all it takes. Notice how he rolls up to overlap Horner (or whoever that is) while he's looking back...Lance is in danger right there for a few seconds.
 

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litespeedchick said:
Notice how he rolls up to overlap Horner (or whoever that is) while he's looking back...Lance is in danger right there for a few seconds.
It's also a perfect example of how there's almost no way you aren't going to overlap wheels if you ride in a group. If you are riding close and the guy in front of you slows slightly, you don't hit the brakes to avoid hitting his wheel. No, you move slightly left or right and bleed off some speed, then slip in behind him again. That means you will overlap his wheel, and you are in the "danger zone." The alternative is running into his wheel, which is a far bigger problem.

So the rule is not really "Don't overlap wheels." That's going to happen, and could happen more than you might like. The real rule is "Don't get caught overlapping wheels." In other words, minimize it.
 

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mohair_chair said:
If you are riding close and the guy in front of you slows slightly, you don't hit the brakes to avoid hitting his wheel.
Precisely right: you overlap wheels for a few seconds. This is when the "never overlap" mantra has gotten people in trouble by causing them to grab the brakes rather than overlap for a moment.
 

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I've known the dangers of overlapping, but do it all the time on group rides so I'm not abruptly braking and causing the person behind me to crash. Like mentioned above, it's only very briefly. Funny thing is some people in front get scared, thinking they're in danger of falling vs. me.
 

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What a wanker.....
7 out of 10 times, I can do that, and get away with it. You just have to steer into it, instead of doing the "natural thing" and trying to steer away from the wheel. (that's how you go down, for sure)

(just did it, last weekend)

If someone "chops" your front wheel, in a violent move, it's almost impossible to hold it.
 

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Only overlap when you're well off to the side. Sometimes it's unavoidable but try to minimize the risks on group rides. Saving a few extra watts and effort by being really close isn't worth the risk of messing up yourself, your bike, other people, and other people's bikes!
 

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By not half wheeling (what we call it) esp in group rides, you are riding to the weakest guys level and the group stays tidy behind...helps get rid of the whip effect when avoiding a hazard on the road and is easier for traffic to manage a safer overtake.

Also all the above things too
Dont half wheel!
 

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When planned, overlapping wheels - even touching - is fine. Hell, on the mtbs, I can overlap, turn in hard and almost stop the bike in front of me (just playing around on the trail). But, when it happens unexpectedly, it really is amazing how fast it'll put ya down. It's like that old gag where someone gets on all fours behind ya, a third person just barely pushes and boom, you're on your ass before you can even think.
 

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tarwheel2 said:
Tell us about the other 3 times...
He can't remember.
 
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