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Pacelines or Through-and-Off

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Pacelines or Through-and-Off

Post  ChrisO on Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:54 pm

We most often ride two at the front and peel off together here - it's the easiest to understand and most achievable in a large (10+ group).

But in smaller and faster groups a paceline is the easiest, fastest and most efficient way to ride - also referred to as riding through-and-off.

A good description of paceline riding, with videos, is here on the always-excellent Cycling Tips blog, written by a competitive amateur rider in Melbourne.


The key point, as the video notes, is to not accelerate as you come to the front - if you do that then the paceline rapidly becomes energy-draining.

The 'up' line keeps a steady pace and the rider moving across should ease off a little, allowing himself to be passed - in a really good line it might be as small as a .5km/h variance but usually more like 1-2km/h - just slowing down a little.

This also helps the rider behind in the 'down' line to recover because he has a wheel to follow. There should be minimal gaps.

If the wind is a crosswind the 'up' line should be protected i.e. on the side away from the wind. Rotate into the wind.

From experience I reckon 5 is the minimum number for a paceline to work well over a long period, and 10, maybe 12 is probably the maximum depending on experience levels. The ideal is 6-8 people of reasonably similar capacity.

Five or under I think single-file, short turns (1 min or less) are most effective and over 10-12, two at the front.


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Re: Pacelines or Through-and-Off

Post  MNSlingerland on Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:05 pm

Nice movie and animations: let's do it! (more)

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