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Streamwood Steve said:
How close do you have to be to the person in front of you in a to get the aero benefits of being pulled?
To get benefits...2 - 3 feet, maybe a bit more depending on speed.

To get maximum benefits 6" - 1'

Also remember being directly behind a rider isn't always the best position. Rarely does the wind ever come from straight on, so you have to move around a little to find the best position for wind blocking. If the wind is coming from your right, you need to move to the back left of the rider in front of you...how much depends on how strong the wind and how fast the group is going.
 

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1 ft to 3 inches is optimal but two feet offers benefits too. If you are not too comfortable with the person in front of you. Off to one side slightly so you can see over there shoulder works too. Watch the Back of the rider in front of you not their wheel!!!
 

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disgruntled pigskin fan
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Wookiebiker said:
Also remember being directly behind a rider isn't always the best position. Rarely does the wind ever come from straight on, so you have to move around a little to find the best position for wind blocking. If the wind is coming from your right, you need to move to the back left of the rider in front of you...how much depends on how strong the wind and how fast the group is going.
+1000
 

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Depends on how skilled the riders are. If you're a newb, don't get closer than 2 feet (wheel length). Highly skilled riders that are comfortable riding together, such as a team time trial, will ride 2" - 3" apart.
 

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Jac44,
I'm fairly new, but why "Watch the Back of the rider in front of you not their wheel!!!" What's the advantage???
Thanks...Lunger
 

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Dirty. Nerdy. Unemployed.
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Lunger1 said:
Jac44,
I'm fairly new, but why "Watch the Back of the rider in front of you not their wheel!!!" What's the advantage???
Thanks...Lunger
A wider area of focus - you can see more of people around you.

For drafting, I'd say get as close as you feel comfortable with regards to your own skills and the ability of the person in front of you to ride straight. There's some guys out there who you probably don't want to be within a foot of...
 

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Staring at the wheel in front of you is almost hypnotic I think. And when something does happens you are not looking forward. It's also easier for me to judge distance. Don't get me wrong you still have to keep on eye on the wheel in front of you but don't get caught starring down at it. I guarantee you will touch wheels. When I'm in a tight Paceline I focus on the rider's "Small of his back" and rarely look down at the wheel. Too much distraction going 25 or 30 MPH.
 

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When you become comfortable you should try to look at the rider in front of you less and less, you will be able to judge changes in speed of the group if you're looking ahead in the group. You'll see hills and turns coming, changes in speed happening and you'll be able to react smoothly.
 

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TWD
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looking up you can see the cadence of the rider directly ahead and those forward of that rider. Watching cadence and terrain you should never have to hit your brakes. Just moving in wind a little to either side will slow you for small uphills and changes in others cadence
 

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Don't focus on the back of the rider in front. That's hardly better than staring at the wheel.

Look up the road as far as you can see. Pay attention to how close you are drafting using your perhipheral vision. If you are looking up the road you can see the pack bunch up (means they are slowing), string out (speeding up), move to one side or another to avoid an obstacle, etc.
 

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If you are staring at the wheel in front of you you won't see the attack that starts a few riders ahead.
 

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Its awesome!

I actually "got it" on today's ride. In the past, seemed like I was always out of sync - wanted to go faster than the group on flat/downhills, slower on uphills, just couldn't figure out how to anticipate the flow of the group. I'd even COAST faster than the group on some downhills.

Today rode with a faster group (finally feel like I can hang on) and things went quite smooth. The flow of the group was much more in in sync with what I'd naturally do and there was actually good rotation on pulls at the front for a good part of the ride. What a difference, and what a blast!
 
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