Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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boytitan   100 W

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Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by boytitan » Jun 12 2017 9:55am

Wind on windy days knocks off my top speeds so on 30-35mph roads my ebike is capable enough to stay in the normal lane and in the normal lane I get the advantage of using cars to spearhead wind for me I don't have to trail right on em even being a bike distance behind helps a ton is this a bad idea ?

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by billvon » Jun 12 2017 10:27am

Does it work? Absolutely - and a great many human-powered vehicle records have been set this way. (Called motor-paced racing.) I think the record currently stands at 166 mph.

Is it safe? Generally cars can stop a lot faster than bikes can, given their lower center of gravity. So you want to stay back far enough that you can always exit to the right (or the left in the UK) if he hits the brakes hard.
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E-geezer   100 W

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by E-geezer » Jun 12 2017 10:46am

The other thing that can be very dangerous is that since your line of sight is impaired, you can't see road hazards like potholes in time to do much about it. It can be done ofc and I've done my share, but it's not without risks
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jordison   10 mW

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by jordison » Jun 12 2017 11:15am

it really does work... until you hit a pothole and have a flat tire, break a rim, or worse have a crash.
i'v tried it many times and had many flat tires and a broken rim, most of the time is not worth it

boytitan   100 W

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by boytitan » Jun 12 2017 11:59am

jordison wrote:it really does work... until you hit a pothole and have a flat tire, break a rim, or worse have a crash.
i'v tried it many times and had many flat tires and a broken rim, most of the time is not worth it

How about on streets you know ?

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by Chalo » Jun 12 2017 12:16pm

The surface might be perfect and familiar, but if the driver brake-checks you, you could be in trouble. Plus there are laws against following too closely. But yes, it works.

Cyclists draft closely behind each other to get a boost, taking turns at the front. This arrangement is called a paceline.

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jordison   10 mW

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by jordison » Jun 12 2017 1:14pm

in streets you know and you know there are no surprises...maybe
you can also try this:
the the drawback is side winds may knock you down
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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by MadRhino » Jun 12 2017 2:08pm

Use the cars to save your battery and eventually, your brakes. :mrgreen:

I prefer to have them cars, far behind. :twisted:
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by LewTwo » Jun 12 2017 3:29pm

In a collision between a 2000 pound stopped car and a 35 MPH bicycle the rider always loses.
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Sunder   100 MW

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by Sunder » Jun 12 2017 5:20pm

The effect fades off faster than you might think. Also, modern cars are designed to be aerodynamic, thereby being less beneficial to the person behind them.

If you were going to do it, a high, square truck at a fair distance might be the best compromise. After all, trucks take longer to stop, tend to leave themselves more room, so less sudden braking, and their bigger squarer size lets you follow further way while still getting some benefit.
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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by Hillhater » Jun 12 2017 5:35pm

Modern cars are much more aerodynamic with lower drag causing much less of a hole in the wind resistance behind. They are also much faster than they used to be ! ( hard to tag on to !)
When i used to pedal lots in my youth (no Ebikes then ) my favorite was big trucks which would blast a huge hole in the wind at a lumbering 30-40mph on roads that were much slower than todays highways, so much so that they could actually "suck" a bike rider along behind if you got in the right spot.
And on hills, there was always a rope or tailgate latch you could hold onto to avoid all that unneccessary effort of pedaling.
Truckies didnt seem to mind in those days before liability laws and unfriendly cops and when the bicycle was the only affordable working class transport option.
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tigcross   100 W

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by tigcross » Jun 12 2017 5:45pm

boytitan wrote:Wind on windy days knocks off my top speeds so on 30-35mph roads my ebike is capable enough to stay in the normal lane and in the normal lane I get the advantage of using cars to spearhead wind for me I don't have to trail right on em even being a bike distance behind helps a ton is this a bad idea ?
In as nutshell, yes. Car drivers hate it. iIt puts them in the awkward position of being responsible for your life. It's one thing to draft a friend or another bike, but unknown car drivers should be left alone. We already have a bad enough reputation as it is. I had this explained to me by a very angry motorist one day and I couldn't disagree.

boytitan   100 W

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by boytitan » Jun 12 2017 6:58pm

tigcross wrote:
boytitan wrote:Wind on windy days knocks off my top speeds so on 30-35mph roads my ebike is capable enough to stay in the normal lane and in the normal lane I get the advantage of using cars to spearhead wind for me I don't have to trail right on em even being a bike distance behind helps a ton is this a bad idea ?
In as nutshell, yes. Car drivers hate it. iIt puts them in the awkward position of being responsible for your life. It's one thing to draft a friend or another bike, but unknown car drivers should be left alone. We already have a bad enough reputation as it is. I had this explained to me by a very angry motorist one day and I couldn't disagree.
From my testing I don't need to be right on them. I am simply doing it to maintain top speed when facing class 5 and up winds not get a speed boost. I actually ease on the throttle when doing this at times to not get super close.

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tigcross   100 W

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by tigcross » Jun 12 2017 7:02pm

boytitan wrote:
tigcross wrote:
boytitan wrote:Wind on windy days knocks off my top speeds so on 30-35mph roads my ebike is capable enough to stay in the normal lane and in the normal lane I get the advantage of using cars to spearhead wind for me I don't have to trail right on em even being a bike distance behind helps a ton is this a bad idea ?
In as nutshell, yes. Car drivers hate it. iIt puts them in the awkward position of being responsible for your life. It's one thing to draft a friend or another bike, but unknown car drivers should be left alone. We already have a bad enough reputation as it is. I had this explained to me by a very angry motorist one day and I couldn't disagree.
From my testing I don't need to be right on them. I am simply doing it to maintain top speed when facing class 5 and up winds not get a speed boost. I actually ease on the throttle when doing this at times to not get super close.

sound like you've given it some thought. Just remember we are all ambassadors for ebikes

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by ScooterMan101 » Jun 12 2017 11:33pm

Yea like back in the days , or even before Mick Dundee.

But if you were American and said something to them then all hell broke loose, starting with " Aw Ya Bloody Yank ... "

Hillhater wrote: Truckies didnt seem to mind in those days before liability laws and unfriendly cops and when the bicycle was the only affordable working class transport option.
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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by dogman dan » Jun 13 2017 6:51am

Not a good idea to follow too close. but at lower speeds, the two second rule is still pretty close, plenty close to enjoy a good draft.

Bike or car, two second rule ( or more) works well.

Personally, I'd just buy more battery. Then ride in the lane when you have a good reason to, keeping up, and keeping a safe follow distance. I would not tuck in like a peloton with cars.

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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by chas58 » Jun 15 2017 2:58pm

I draft, with or without an ebike. But I'm not a noobie either.

Best are large SUV's or this time of year trucks carrying lawn mowing equipment in an enclosed trailer.
This works best when there is a line of 2 or more cars, as one vehicle will almost always accelerate away - but they can't if someone is in front of them.

Yeah, don't follow too close that you can't see potholes or stop in time. Don't be a jerk. I agree with Dogman's 2 second rule (for any vehicle)
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Re: Using cars to get rid of wind resistance

Post by JackSpade » Jun 15 2017 10:20pm

I do this on my motorcycle on long rides and used to do it as a messenger on my non e-bike. The potholes really do discourage you quite quickly though. Unless your riding a large tire bike or are on pristine roads you will likely encounter the same thing.

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