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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
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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
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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
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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.

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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
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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.
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  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
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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
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    I'd be more worried about potholes!

  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)
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  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).

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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
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    i don't like to ride anywhere near trucks...

  21. #21
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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
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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.

  26. #26
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    2 foot behind my mates escort mk2 literally 22 years ish ago, on the HUGE HUGE hill, he saw 55mph wasn't pedalling just holding on for dear life being shook around all over the place, was fun kinda.

    easily get 45mph on the same hill without drafting so it added 10mph, imagine a SUV / Lorry could add even more.

    Tried it in the old 206 which had a read out for live fuel economy, used to sit at 60mph at 60mpg quite nicely, 2 foot behind a lorry and reading 85mpg for quite some time, scarey though ofcourse.

  27. #27
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    Sometimes Mythbusters just does things wrong. Not too often but they seem to have a lack of general knowledge about some things. Like the bicycle in the pool thing. I don't think they ever dropped the pressure in the rear tire to aid in traction, nor weight the front of the bike to stop wheelies. Plus they tried to ride up the slope instead of across the flat deep end.
    Disclaimer: I did not have time to watch that whole episode so they might have tried those but I doubt it.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadwulff View Post
    Sometimes Mythbusters just does things wrong. Not too often but they seem to have a lack of general knowledge about some things. Like the bicycle in the pool thing. I don't think they ever dropped the pressure in the rear tire to aid in traction, nor weight the front of the bike to stop wheelies. Plus they tried to ride up the slope instead of across the flat deep end.
    Disclaimer: I did not have time to watch that whole episode so they might have tried those but I doubt it.
    I stopped watching, due to little school boy errors like above, maybe Health and Safety or costs means they can't do some stuff right ??

  29. #29
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    This is actually an official sport. A variation of track cycling that's been around awhile
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  30. #30
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    At least the mythbusters promote seeking truths rather than spouting off long held untruths. And they are definitely not real scientists, they are just really good at building things.

    Also as far as the drafting of a vehicle, it is not two inches, which made me giggle, you start getting the effects as far as 40 feet back. Depending on size of the lead vehicle.

    Even airplanes can draft each other.

    I also drafted (road bike) a semi once on a 45mph street and it was very easy. Coming out of the draft at that speed is the dangerous part.

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  31. #31
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    Dump trucks are awesome. Slow off the line and on secondary roads a top speed of about 60-70 km/h.
    They don't brake very quickly either. Stay out from the curb in line with the trucks wheels and stay tucked in close enough so that you slide through intersections with the truck and you are perfectly safe. Well, maybe not perfectly but whatever.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    Check out the scene in breaking away where he drafts a semi up to 50mph. Not sure if that was real of movie fake.
    If you watch that scene again you 'll see in some shots during the sequence he's in the big ring, and other times in the little ring. Dead giveaway as far as I'm concerned. Still a good scene though.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by huffster View Post
    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!
    We used to call this hopping cars. When it snowed, we roamed the neighborhood in groups of up to 5 guys, looking for unsuspecting drivers. Then all of us would chase the car, grab the bumper and go for a ride. Allot of drivers would stop and yell at us. The key to a long ride was to get the bumper close to the side of the car, that way you could look in front and see the manhole covers coming. The snow that hit the manhole covers always melted first and you didn't want to be trying to slide over a bare manhole cover, it would rip your feet out from under you, leaving you face down on the snow.

    Of course that was when cars had bumpers that you could grab onto.
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    I used to draft buses on the way to work and back when I was in my early 20's. There was a bus route that started a couple blocks from home and dropped me about a block from work, catch the draft and I could get to work faster with less effort. Easy choice. Not exactly a safe thing to do, then again, safety was way down the list of concerns in my youth. These days, I keep my drafting to streetcars, they're electric so I don't end up inhaling diesel fumes.

  35. #35
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    Not too bright are we as humans. Even dogs no when not to draft.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinDirt View Post
    Not too bright are we as humans. Even dogs no when not to draft.
    Do they?

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja View Post
    Do they?

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    that's a pretty sweet buick the dog is chasing...

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  38. #38
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    Drafted a minivan once for about 30 miles at about 45 mph. Was a lot of fun. Driver knew I was there. Pulled away from the couple of lights we hit nice and slow and would brake nice and slow. Made for a nice quick ride from flagstaff to Prescott.

  39. #39
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    I've done 57mph without drafting, hmm wonder how fast I could have done with a big truck in front of me.

    When I was in middle school and first started mtb, I came down a trail that opened up to a road. Got behind a car that had no idea I was there and they decided to hit the brakes to chat with some folks on the side of the road. I slammed the brakes, bike went sideways on the ground, 1 leg came off the pedals and the inside of my knee went skidding across the ground along with my bike. That was before helmets were cool too.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    that's a pretty sweet buick the dog is chasing...

    1970 BUICK GRAN SPORT Information Specifications Resources Pictures
    Yep Shekky many of those GS's got a good look at my tail lights back in the day. I had a 1969 GTO Ram Air IV which was the highest output GTO ever produced.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    Yep Shekky many of those GS's got a good look at my tail lights back in the day. I had a 1969 GTO Ram Air IV which was the highest output GTO ever produced.
    1969 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV Convertible
    Looks a lot like my delivery "truck" when I drove for a body shop supply company in the 80's. Mine was metal flake purple with a white roof.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SV11 View Post
    Yeah, but not to that extent. Theres a word for that, its called "suicidal".
    Agreed!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja View Post
    I don't see the point, they never get going fast enough to draft.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    WTF? Is that a Subaru Brat with a suspension/chassis from another vehicle under it?
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    that's a pretty sweet buick the dog is chasing...

    1970 BUICK GRAN SPORT Information Specifications Resources Pictures
    Hehe, I was thinking the same thing! No wonder the dog is chasing it!
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    WTF? Is that a Subaru Brat with a suspension/chassis from another vehicle under it?
    I think so.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
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  46. #46
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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.
    I would disagree, but I didn't major in physics either. I just know when I was drafting behind a minivan at 40 mph it was much easier than me trying to pedal at 40 mph, but it was lung busting getting into their draft.
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  47. #47
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    I've drafted 40-45 before behind a minivan and I drafted a semi up to 35 before I decided I couldn't hang on anymore going through town. He pulled out fast and was still accelerating so I was having problems hanging on at the end of a ride. The hardest part of drafting is running down the vehicles and hoping they don't brake check you. So far so good, but I try to chase down motorcycles, cars, etc. going through town. Some people never grow up.
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  48. #48
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    The best things to draft are (loaded) horse trailers. The guys pulling them really don't like to make fast starts or stops because it beats up the horses. The trailers are also wide and low.
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    Eh Mythbusters said a long time ago they were more about entertainment than actual science. Its just two guys who are good at building things trying to see if something can actually be done within certain reason.

    Unfortunately with that, a lot of what they do leaves out a lot of the "What if's"

    Aside from that, I've drifted in my car and motorcycle following semi's down the freeway, and you do have to get pretty close because you need to get inside that wind pocket and away from the turbulence. Never tried it on my bike, not sure how the drivers here would react to it.

  50. #50
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    I've drafted behind trucks a few times. But this one time, I had the bright idea of drafting in front of a truck. Didn't work out so well. Skid marks were left behind. Big skid marks.
    Last edited by Cobretti; 11-08-2012 at 02:56 PM.

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