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  1. #1
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    Drafting Behind Trucks.

    Has anyone ever done this? I've seen videos of some guys doing it, reaching some high speeds.

  2. #2
    Custom Wheelbuilder
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    Sounds pretty darn sketchy to me. Unless I knew the driver, and trusted that they wouldn't brake check me.
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  3. #3
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    just running along secondary roads... 35 mph or so is the most I've really done it to (actually accomplished it twice). It's pretty fun, though probably not advisable.

    disclaimer:don't do it. If you do, I'm not liable. I think that should cover the lawyers.....

  4. #4
    usually cranky
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    mythbusters proved you have to be like 2 inches off the bumper to gain any noticable draft. seems pretty damn sketchy to me.

  5. #5
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    Bike Drafting Like A Boss - YouTube

    This is most definitely dangerous, but its from Russia and those guys laugh at danger. This guy is doing almost 100km/h !!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    Sounds pretty darn sketchy to me. Unless I knew the driver, and trusted that they wouldn't brake check me.
    Assuming the driver even knows you're there at all.

    I have to admit that looks fun, not safe, but then what's fun that is?

  7. #7
    'Tis but a scratch
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    This reminds of when I was young and stupid and used to "skitch" behind my friends pick-up truck on snow covered roads in the winter. No skateboards or bicycles...just whatever shoes you had on then hold on as long as you dare. A few of us got injuries. Yet, I still look back on it and smile. Isn't youth wonderful. That's why I keep trying not to grow up!

    On a related note, I was re-enrolling for my benefits today for 2013 and my wife was commenting how it was good that I had "bought up" the extra life insurance since I do such "risky things". HA!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    mythbusters proved you have to be like 2 inches off the bumper to gain any noticable draft. seems pretty damn sketchy to me.
    Was that behind a semi or a regular vehicle? Semi I could understand because they sit so high off the ground. Passenger car, even a lifted pickup has a ton of draft.

  9. #9
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    If the cyclist in front of you gives a noticeable draft at 20mph or less, a semi going 30 definitely has a huge draft. You still have to pedal, but it is significant.

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I used to draft buses. I've been lucky enough not to get hurt, but I generally try to be more mature than that.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Back before mountain bikes were invented I was drafting a truck through an intersection at 45mph or 50. Truck hit his brakes hard so I did. I got sideways a bit and when I released the brakes I hooked up so hard I broke three spokes. Never drafted after that. Oh and that was before people wore helmets.

  12. #12
    I build my own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by huck pitueee View Post
    ...
    Oh and that was before people wore helmets.
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  13. #13
    addicted to chunk
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    I'd be more worried about potholes!
    Riding.....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Urban View Post
    Bike Drafting Like A Boss - YouTube

    This is most definitely dangerous, but its from Russia and those guys laugh at danger. This guy is doing almost 100km/h !!
    FWIW that was a viral advertising campaign and not in fact a real video. Impressive videography and a cool concept but not real.

    Check out the scene in breaking away where he drafts a semi up to 50mph. Not sure if that was real of movie fake. Also check out John Howard's attempts behind a race car on the an old highway. (bonus 80's music)
    Try this: HTFU

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Was that behind a semi or a regular vehicle? Semi I could understand because they sit so high off the ground. Passenger car, even a lifted pickup has a ton of draft.
    I would say more dependent on the shape of the vehicle. Regardless though, so many things can go wrong.
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  16. #16
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    I have never encountered a truck while out on the trail. I think if I did, I would be more concerned about why there is a truck on the trail than whether or not I could draft it.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Urban View Post
    Has anyone ever done this? I've seen videos of some guys doing it, reaching some high speeds.
    Did this throughout my teen years to early twenties back in the 1980s to mid 1990s. Amazing I am still alive. Longest draft was from Orland to Chico behind a dump truck on highway 32, took a matter of minutes. Had one of those “cycling computers” which had the magnetic pickup on the wheel of my roadbike which used the calculated diameter of the wheel to determine accuracy—it was reporting around 60MPH; how accurate it was is still up in the air, however, I don’t recall ever having pedaled with such a high cadence (was running a rare-at-the-time-and-expensive 54 tooth front chainring with I believe a 13 tooth cog in back).

    Everyone does stupid sh*t when they’re younger. Why I am still alive today is a mystery.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    Everyone does stupid sh*t when they’re younger. Why I am still alive today is a mystery.
    Yeah, but not to that extent. Theres a word for that, its called "suicidal".

  19. #19
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    I draft high speed monorails when I'm jogging. At one point, I just start flying like the Greatest American Hero.

  20. #20
    the half breed devil
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    i don't like to ride anywhere near trucks...

  21. #21
    I build my own.
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    I don't see the point, they never get going fast enough to draft.

    Drafting Behind Trucks.-trails-trees-trucks-3-carey-rose.jpg
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  22. #22
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    Seems like a good way to cleanse the gene pool.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    mythbusters proved you have to be like 2 inches off the bumper to gain any noticable draft. seems pretty damn sketchy to me.
    Don't believe the mythbusters. There was a 2 mile stretch that I used to wait at a light until a semi stopped so I could hitch a ride and 45+ mph was no problem- spinning my biggest gear (road bike).

    Dumb as dirt but so was I, lots of fun though.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I used to draft buses. I've been lucky enough not to get hurt, but I generally try to be more mature than that.
    Ditto.

    Drafting is something I sort of adapted to. I had a 12 mile commute through downtown Atlanta. Part of it went through the park, but if I could get in behind a bus once in awhile I took the free speed. Eventually I got the rhythm of the traffic and I learned where every sewer grating, post, mailbox, phone booth (yeah, it's been awhile), low curbs, high curbs... If the bus slowed at all I would pull out and pass it and try to catch another vehicle. I've had to bunny hop all manner of debris, hop up the curb and ride the sidewalk at about 35mph, dodge other vehicles and pedestrians... I often had to use explosive pedal moves to get into the best position or avoid danger.
    In hindsight it was pretty risky, but I never felt over my head. I was actually more comfortable in the midst of all that than one-on-one out on the country roads. I always tried to have an escape route and I always tried to make myself extremely visible. I seldom got an attitude from other vehicles, because I was matching their speed or better and I wasn't overly aggressive - just assertive.
    It is certainly dangerous, but like anything, it requires practice and knowledge to reduce the risk.

    -F

    PS - drafting a dump truck is a good way to get a face full of rocks - not good
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  25. #25
    usually cranky
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Was that behind a semi or a regular vehicle? Semi I could understand because they sit so high off the ground. Passenger car, even a lifted pickup has a ton of draft.
    it was a semi. i (and i imagine a lot of other people) am higher up than a car or even mid size suv on a bike.

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