Group Riding And Freewheeling
Makes it harder for people to follow you closely, if you want to freewheel for a bit, stretch legs etc. then thats fine obviously, but doing it constantly is not ‘sociable’ if you in the middle of a group.
Nothing worse then trying to ride with someone who pedals/coasts/pedals/coasts/etc.
NOTE; only appiles on flats, downhills you might need to coast/brake.Posted 4 years ago
Me, a chomper? How mean!
The ride was 55m of total elevation over 40km. There’s not much gradient really. I try and keep a consistent pace using the GPS speedo.
I do enjoy group riding. But like most things, I’d enjoy it more if I understood why we did some of the things we did.
How is freewheeling not sociable? I find myself having to coast if the person in front is a bit slow and I have to sit up to slow myself down without braking. The worst group rides for me are when you have a nervous “braker” in front of you and you’re constantly trying to watch what their hands are doing by moving sideways!Posted 4 years agoanagallis_arvensisMember
being given advice puts you off doing something new. As said above soft pedalling will make speed changes less dramatic then stopping all pedalling and would enable you to pick up the pace better too. If you focus on maintaining the gap on the person in front rather than the speed it will be more pleasant for those behind. Another newbie error is to really hammer it when its your turn on the front, this is the only point I would suggest looking at your speed. I never ride with a speedo, the group will go better if you ride on feel and effort, it takes a while to gauge your effort compared to the rest of the group though.Posted 4 years ago
How is freewheeling not sociable? I find myself having to coast if the person in front is a bit slow and I have to sit up to slow myself down without braking. The worst group rides for me are when you have a nervous “braker” in front of you and you’re constantly trying to watch what their hands are doing by moving sideways!
What i meant was the whole pedal/coast thing is very similar to a nervous brake’r. Perhaps you are yo-yo’ing off the guy infront? If your just straight-up catching him and getting a free tow then there is no need to soft-pedal, but putting in occasional strokes to stay there is disconcerting to those behind you, they wont know if your going to drop back into them or accelerate away. Its all guesses really as we dont have much info other than the guy who was there saying you needed to pedal.
For those using this as a reason ‘why road riding sucks’ or ‘why i wont join a group’ your missing out. The OP is receiving advice from (probably) a group, to make his and everyone elses ride more enjoyable. When a group of riders who work well together get in a good rhythm its great.
Its not all about pace-lines, sprints and cafe stops either. In my club rides (typically 6-10 riders) it usually the same 2 or 3 on the front most of the ride. Others who are not as strong are free to sit in the group, contributing as the feel able – sometimes not at all or sometimes, if they feel good, maybe the whole way out into the wind! Its rare we stop either, only really on the 80m+ rides, other clubs in the area stop every 15mile!
Find a club, ride with them a few times, if you dont get on with them find another.Posted 4 years ago
Been told on the group rides to “soft-pedal” instead of freewheel by the ride leader. Anyone know the reason why?
The only thing I can think of is to make it simpler to up/maintain your cadence if you’re just about to hit the front. Anyone care to explain to me why this is advised?Posted 4 years agodeadkennySubscriber
Puzzles me why so many roadie questions on a forum with ‘Singletrack’ in the name but anyway 😉
Group rides I go on are a bunch of mates out for a laugh, off road that is 😛 . No one I ride with gives a shit about freewheeling but then we’re not in it for performance or racing. All about finding some nice singletrack and having fun. And freewheeling unsociable? We actually talk to each other! 😆Posted 4 years agoajcMember
It’s all about making it easier for the rider behind to follow close. It is a pain following someone that puts in a few hard pedal strokes up to the person in front and then free wheels until they drop back a bit. if all the group ride smoothly , brake smoothly and accelerate smoothly the whole group works much better together.Posted 4 years ago
Group rides I go on are a bunch of mates out for a laugh, off road that is . No one I ride with gives a shit about freewheeling but then we’re not in it for performance or racing.
The club does offroad rides too, tho mostly CX. Its a great laugh, lots of searching out the worst mud to fight through and plenty of natter. The road rides have just as much banter but many of the guys and girls have families and responsibilities to get back to, so they tend to want to actually ride rather than pootle about 😉Posted 4 years agoanagallis_arvensisMember
Group rides I go on are a bunch of mates out for a laugh, off road that is . No one I ride with gives a shit about freewheeling but then we’re not in it for performance or racing. All about finding some nice singletrack and having fun. And freewheeling unsociable? We actually talk to each other!
if there’s a point you missed it by milesPosted 4 years agoHoratioHufnagelMember
I’ve been doing a bit of racing and going out on chaingangs.
When you’re riding in a *really* tight formation, with a few inches or so between you and the front wheel, you have to be really careful riding otherwise you’ll end up in a big crash. It only takes the slightest increase of effort to close the gap, so you have to modulate your power quite well. The better you can do that, the closer you ride, the faster the group.
It takes a while to learn, especially if you’ve mostly been riding solo.
Its not very easy to do it if you pedal/coast.
Its the equivalent of constantly grabbing at the brakes rather then modulating them when MTB’ing.Posted 4 years ago
Cheers to STATO and all the other helpful responses.
To be fair, this is a club I used to ride with regularly but stopped riding with for one reason or another for a year. I went out with the beginners group to get back into the swing of group riding. It’s a good thing I did, because I’ve forgotten a lot of things. Sure, nervous brakers are annoying but we all have to start somewhere. In the faster groups it’s not uncommon to never brake unless it’s for traffic or road signs where the group gives you plenty of notice. With a beginners group you’ve got a lot more unpredictable stuff going on meaning you can never fully switch off and get on the rivet.
The ride leader was a lady by the way guys! I think her advice was sound. I’d have asked her, but I didn’t get a chance to and I don’t want to wait till the next ride. It does make sense to soft-pedal unless you’re getting a free tow and it probably does make you less prone to yo-yo-ing off the person in the front. There’s an etiquette element too I guess.
I’m not sure why people are getting worked up by roadie questions on Singletrack. It’s a pretty friendly and knowledgeable place about bikes. You’d be an idiot not to put it to use.
Those of you who’re saying you’re put off by road riding, please don’t be! Riding in a group and road riding are things I’ve wished I started doing a long time ago. It’s made my mountain biking a hell of a lot more enjoyable and the lack of relative faff means I can ride a bike pretty much anytime I want to. At the end of the day it’s all riding bikes like some wise people keep saying isn’t it?
I’ve just gotten back from a 15km run. Now that is an activity with absolutely no redeeming qualities.Posted 4 years ago
I know where your coming from. Im on about 6months since a decent group ride (bloody degrees!) so fully expect to be set on the back and freaking out at others being so close for the first few rides. I dont often sit on the front, others are far stronger than me, but i managed a few last year where i was pacing the group all day, that felt great!Posted 4 years agoRealManMember
See, I’m just about to buy my first proper road bike but stuff like this really puts me off joining a group to ride with.
I’ve been road riding for a while now, still won’t ride in a group due to posts like these.
Because roadies give each other tips? Wtf??
It’s just all about keeping it smooth – if you freewheel you slow down. The guy in front of you should be doing a dead steady pace, so you want to be doing that too. Slow down and you’re obviously not keeping it smooth, soft pedal and you’ll find you will. It’s all about keeping the gap between the wheels constant.
Somewhat obviously, different situations change it, sometimes you do have to freewheel.Posted 4 years agoKryton57Subscriber
steve_b77 – Member
I got told this too on my first ever club ride, didn’t see it as being an issue so I just did it (soft pedalling that is) and I do it as much as possible when I ride by myself too. It makes accelerating easier
This, and the fact is forces you to change into an appropriate gear, meaning as soon as the terrain changes the rider behind you doesnt smash into you as you naturally decellarate too much while you find out which gear you are in / need.
Not sure why those above are “put off” of group rides by this kind of thing, perhaps try it and realise the practicality of the advice?Posted 4 years agoTiRedMember
When you are riding in a close group at a smooth steady pace, you are consciously or subconsciously watching the rider in front’s legs. When they coast, you will ease off or coast yourself. And the rider behind may also do so, or reach to cover the brakes and modulate their speed, and so on down the chain. It will disrupt the smoothness, although the beginner’s rides I lead aren’t especially smooth.
The mark of a good team and smooth ride is where you place your hands. If you are always covering the brakes, then your group isn’t smooth and you are anticipating speed changes.Posted 4 years ago
An experienced rider giving a beginner tips = shouty?
I think we need to close this one down now.
In a group;
unknowingly dangerous action, a need inform rider quickly of point. ‘Shouty’ is Acceptable.
general riding tip, rider informed, no need for shouty though may sound like a school teacher trying to Sheppard a class, so some shouty with good meaning.
Generaly being shouty, trying to force group and berating others = person who should be told where to go (im avoiding filter of naught language here!)Posted 4 years ago
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