"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

Taking a wheel

Reply

Old 10-19-17, 08:07 PM
  #1  
beatlebee 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: ?
Posts: 2,298

Bikes: i may have bike(s)

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Taking a wheel

What strategies do you use to take a wheel?

Specifically, a situation when you are seeking shelter quickly when given a road-race situation (nontechnical course) with the group strung out.

Alternatively, how do you defend your wheel?

Thanks.
beatlebee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-17, 08:30 PM
  #2  
mattm
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Posts: 15,248
Mentioned: 128 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1008 Post(s)
In my experience: in the 3's & 4's, taking a wheel was as easy as just putting your bars in front of someone else's and kind of edging over, usually they would get out of the way/coast to let me in. (I'm not a big guy fwiw)

In the 1/2's, not so much. 10% of the time that works, but unless it's your teammate you're gonna have to fight a bit harder. This is where leaning on people, banging bars, dive-bombing corners comes in to play. I try to avoid all that as much as possible, since usually you can just wait for a gap to open and fill it - and what goes around generally comes around. If you're constantly pushing people off wheels and generally being an *******, people will know that and it will probably come back to bite you.

But there's a lot of things that make this an 'it depends' answer: how close to the end of the race is it? What kind of race (crit or rr)?

Last lap of a crit and you're trying to get on the wheel everyone wants, good luck with that. Or trying to take a sprinter's last leadout guy's wheel when they have a leadout train going, probably not the best idea.

Anyway, what I try to do is generally not put up too big of a fight, unless it's really worth it. If it's strung out and I want shelter, I'll look for a gap (or half a gap) and slot in. Or if the wind is front the right, maybe you don't need to/want to be in the line, but on the left side anyway. Most guys will let you in unless it doesn't make sense to, or they just don't like you.

And on the flip side, for protecting a wheel if someone pushes me off it, I'll just move up a few spots and slot in if possible. I always hope it makes them feel stupid, like "I didn't want that spot anyway"! But if I really don't want to give it up, and I'm not afraid to tussle with them a bit, the best thing to do is not give an inch. If they move in, move over to push them back out. Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile.
__________________
cat 1.

my race videos
mattm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-17, 08:55 PM
  #3  
Spoonrobot 
Senior Member
 
Spoonrobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,846
Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 780 Post(s)
Alternatively, how do you defend your wheel?
Here's a video from Cory Williams that may help illustrate (NSFW Music): https://www.instagram.com/p/BaFUqkiH...nsnumber1beast
Spoonrobot is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-17, 09:19 PM
  #4  
Ttoc6
Cat 3
 
Ttoc6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: UT
Posts: 1,229

Bikes: CAAD 10 / CAAD X / Scalpel

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 508 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Here's a video from Cory Williams that may help illustrate (NSFW Music): https://www.instagram.com/p/BaFUqkiH...nsnumber1beast
Op, if you're not racing in the highest category of races please never do something like this. It's reckless and dangerous and will cause crashes.

On the other hand though, be prepared for **** like this to happen to you. That's how you defend a wheel. Ive had hands in all parts of my body trying to shove me off wheels in cat 3 races. I'm small in comparison to a lot of other riders, but just a little push back and it will get just about anyone to back down.
Ttoc6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-17, 09:39 PM
  #5  
tetonrider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,449
Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 693 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Ttoc6 View Post
Ive had hands in all parts of my body
tetonrider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-17, 10:04 PM
  #6  
Ttoc6
Cat 3
 
Ttoc6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: UT
Posts: 1,229

Bikes: CAAD 10 / CAAD X / Scalpel

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 508 Post(s)
Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
On....
Ttoc6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-17, 10:24 PM
  #7  
aaronmcd
Senior Member
 
aaronmcd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SF, CA
Posts: 3,280

Bikes: Cervelo S5

Mentioned: 65 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 468 Post(s)
In a road race, strung out. I find its often easy if its strung out and not near the finish, as most including me really dont mind easing up a few pedal strokes to let someone in. Unless it looks like your gonna blow up as soon as you get in. If its not a critical time you can always just drift to the very back. If I'm on the rivet and seeking shelter Ill sometimes purposely move to the back cuz I won't be tempted to work back there! Of course that depends on the course and number of people. If you are drifting back and out in the wind, its hard to be mad at you for squeezing in and taking a wheel. If you move up one spot and squeeze back in... Grrr.
aaronmcd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-17, 11:24 PM
  #8  
furiousferret
Senior Member
 
furiousferret's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Redlands, CA
Posts: 5,575
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 536 Post(s)
I'm pretty lax defending wheels for the most part but if I do want to hold it I try to make sure my bars are in front of the other rider. For the most part if it comes down to a situation where a guy is fighting for my wheel and we do several bumps or taps I'll probably cede the spot. Its just not worth it. Also, I think you have to be in a good spot with your bike handling to do that. 2 years ago maybe, but rarely riding in packs in the past few years, not today.

For the most part I'm just opportunistic on wheels, I don't force my way in but if I had any talent in this sport its knowing when someone is going to jump. Maybe its obvious to the experienced guys here as well but not many racers in the 4's. Also I find having a good variable cadence really helps because jumping up to 120 for a few seconds closes gaps much faster than shifting.
furiousferret is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-17, 11:43 PM
  #9  
mattm
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Posts: 15,248
Mentioned: 128 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1008 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Ttoc6 View Post
Op, please never do something like this. It's reckless and dangerous and will cause crashes.
fixed that
__________________
cat 1.

my race videos
mattm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-17, 08:57 AM
  #10  
TheKillerPenguin
Nonsense
 
TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Vagabond
Posts: 13,490

Bikes: Affirmative

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 663 Post(s)
Honestly like 50% of the time I just politely ask if I can slot in and dudes are happy to give it up. 25% of the time it turns into a stupid drag race, and the other 25% I realize how stupid drag racing for one position is and I wait until there is a better opportunity to move up.

60% of the time it works every time! It basically never works in crits, so if that's your thing be less chill.
TheKillerPenguin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-17, 09:19 AM
  #11  
therhodeo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Tulsa OK
Posts: 2,076
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
Honestly like 50% of the time I just politely ask if I can slot in and dudes are happy to give it up. 25% of the time it turns into a stupid drag race, and the other 25% I realize how stupid drag racing for one position is and I wait until there is a better opportunity to move up.

60% of the time it works every time! It basically never works in crits, so if that's your thing be less chill.
I let a guy in who asked in a part of a road race where nothing was happening and there was a pinch point of sorts coming up. Guy behind me starts yelling about giving up positions. Then yelled at me later for giving a guy space to move up on the yellow line (he asked again). I hate the team that said yeller rides for so if you ask nicely I'll probably let you do about anything if I thought it would piss them off.
therhodeo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-17, 02:20 PM
  #12  
beatlebee 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: ?
Posts: 2,298

Bikes: i may have bike(s)

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Thanks for all the thoughts. I pretty much use the advice here already, just wondering if there were any not so obvious techniques.

And if the OP wasn't clear, I am interested in road race situations. Two broken arms, broken elbow, and broken collar bone all at once in a crit swore me off them, which basically ended my chasing upgrade points as road races are much more rare. Cue the crits are safer in three, two,...
beatlebee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-17, 04:07 PM
  #13  
Ttoc6
Cat 3
 
Ttoc6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: UT
Posts: 1,229

Bikes: CAAD 10 / CAAD X / Scalpel

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 508 Post(s)
@carpediemracing has a way of describing taking wheels as "backing" into your spot. Ever since I read his post about that, it what I think about when I want to take a wheel in a strung out group. I'll let him chime in if he is active.
Ttoc6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-17, 04:13 PM
  #14  
Ygduf
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
Ygduf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Redwood City, CA
Posts: 10,901

Bikes: aggressive agreement is what I ride.

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 932 Post(s)
in before the all races are dangerous comments

(true)
Ygduf is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-17, 04:49 PM
  #15  
beatlebee 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: ?
Posts: 2,298

Bikes: i may have bike(s)

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Ttoc6 View Post
@carpediemracing has a way of describing taking wheels as "backing" into your spot. Ever since I read his post about that, it what I think about when I want to take a wheel in a strung out group. I'll let him chime in if he is active.
Yes, that makes sense to me too.
beatlebee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-17, 06:16 PM
  #16  
aaronmcd
Senior Member
 
aaronmcd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SF, CA
Posts: 3,280

Bikes: Cervelo S5

Mentioned: 65 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 468 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Ttoc6 View Post
@carpediemracing has a way of describing taking wheels as "backing" into your spot. Ever since I read his post about that, it what I think about when I want to take a wheel in a strung out group. I'll let him chime in if he is active.
Kinda like changing lanes on the freeway when the ******* on the right doesn't wanna let you in.
aaronmcd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-17, 06:18 PM
  #17  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 2,372

Bikes: Felt AR

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1374 Post(s)
Generally I'll get my handlebars in front of the person and then ease off a bit so they either ease off (or run into me) and let a gap or have to move up my side. If the latter, then you basically end up riding side by side, which still provides enough of a draft in a finishing situation unless they stick you in a curb.

Only when it really matters, though. I very much try not to force anything early on, and try to let people in when I see they want to come in. Just because it makes the whole racing thing a little more pleasant on my end to not be really pissed off.

If in the closing laps of a race someone comes in on me like that I generally put my handelbars onto there's. If that doesn't fend them off, then I ride side by side. If they then start bumping me more, I'll generally sprint up a little so I can put my hip in their bars. And if that doesn't work, then I will probably concede and let them have it because they be crazy.

That virtually never happens in local or regional races, but in bigger races I've been hip checked into a wall once and in another had a "pro" guy swerve out and into me three or four times and take out my front wheel. And then of course there are the kamikazee ******** who just dive right into you on a turn and use you to slow down. They eventually wipe themselves out, though.

No results for going down.
rubiksoval is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-17, 07:37 PM
  #18  
carpediemracing
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,076

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 257 Post(s)
Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
What strategies do you use to take a wheel?

Specifically, a situation when you are seeking shelter quickly when given a road-race situation (nontechnical course) with the group strung out.

Alternatively, how do you defend your wheel?

Thanks.
A few thoughts come to mind.

1. It's always easier to take a wheel.
2. It's virtually impossible to defend a wheel.
3. Often you can wait a bit before doing something.
4. Usually it's not a huge deal if you can't take or hold a wheel.

First, #4. Ultimately it really doesn't matter, not at (most of) our level. I'm at a point where I rarely fight for a wheel or whatever, and in my "best" races in the last few years I've often tried very hard to *not* beat certain riders, like trying to lose a race with as close a bike throw as possible while not passing the other rider. The other rider might be a long time friendly rival, it might be a Junior (or three - there was one race I really wanted to get fourth). Even when teammates try to help me I've intentionally sat up to let someone else win. It really doesn't matter for the most part.

Second, #3. Even in the last lap of a crit you can often wait for the situation to evolve a bit. Yes, you'll have to move or whatever at some point but I find that in some of the most hopeless situations things suddenly open up, like the parting of the seas. Patience can pay off. And if not, see #4 above.

#2. Defending a wheel is basically impossible. I figure that a lot of the leadout trains in pro races are there by agreement, i.e. teams don't try to wreck one another's leadout trains. It's a case of mutual destruction if they start fighting among leadout trains because it's so difficult to defend a wheel. I virtually never defend my position on a wheel, and if I do, the other rider usually slots in behind me (see #3, #4 above). If a rider gives me some resistance and really wants the wheel, I'll usually let him take it. Or earn it, really, as I can make it a bit tougher to take a wheel than just "easy".

#1. Taking a wheel is pretty straightforward for someone used to riding in a tightly packed field. I try not to be too intimidating when I need to improve position because I want people to enjoy racing. I don't want to discourage people because some short fat guy did some racing stuff and put them into the wind. I think it's really unpleasant when someone "over-fights" for a wheel, esp in a Cat 3 race. However, when helping teammates in a P123 race, I'll be much more aggressive. I've done stuff that would definitely raise eyebrows but never to the point of taking someone out. If someone makes a suicidal move, even in a P123 race (like sprinting into a driveway entrance area to pass me on the curb side, knowing there's a huge curb at the other end of the driveway that will cause him to crash if I don't let him in) then I usually let him in.

I've had to hop curbs because I put myself into a leadout train (breaking an unwritten rule I didn't know existed). The national level crit racer in the leadout train immediately bumped me right off the course, forcing me to hop onto the curb and ride inside the snow fencing lining the course. I jumped back in just behind the leadout train and all was fine. This was maybe 1990 or 1991 or thereabouts, Cat 3 race, $900 first place. The guys in that leadout train, some are still racing nowadays, and I think they got 1st and 2nd that race. That year I think I got 11th, on a different year I got 4th.

I've also taken a wheel immediately in a heated battle between a pro (my friend) and a Cat 1-2 (guy trying to beat him), this maybe 1995 or so. My friend couldn't rid himself of the Cat 1-2 rider, who was literally marking every move, and asked me to clear his (the pro's wheel). It was literally a few hundred meters later I cleared his wheel (I backed into the spot, forcing the Cat 1-2 back). Then for about 500 meters I viciously defended the wheel (aka significant contact on me and me in extremely suboptimal position relative to the wind) until the Cat 1-2 sprinted next to me into a driveway. He would have crashed had I not let him in so I let him in. Then I promptly took my friend's wheel back. I again defended viciously for about 500-600m until my pro friend launched an attack. The Cat 1-2 sprinted through about 4-5 riders, literally sprinting into them and bouncing off of them. Everyone was a bit freaked out and let him go. I realized at that point my friend would need to use more than just tactics, he'd have to break the other rider's legs. Since my pro friend was solo and the other guy had about 8 solid teammates, my friend ended up losing overall, too heavily marked. He did ride away to a couple wins though, but it wasn't enough because the Cat 1-2's team would set him up for the sprint and he'd earn a lot of points.

Ironically I joined the Cat 1-2's team the following year, under a different team name. I was totally outclassed by the team leaders, all 1s and 2s, so I put myself at their service in P123 races (I raced for myself in the 3s). We could put together a really solid leadout but our sprinter was an eternal 3rd or 4th, simply outclassed by the best sprinters in the area. I was always the designated sweeper, keeping everyone off the sprinter's wheel. Basically, if you think about the 4 thoughts above, I was tasked to "take the sprinter's wheel" every time another sprinter got on his wheel (because it's easier to take a wheel than to defend it). My extremely dogged defense, with immediate counterattacks if someone dislodged me from the wheel, led to some heated discussions after the race (usually with just one or two riders, but still), but in most cases no one could get on my teammate's wheel until the actual sprint started and I sat up. I was getting beat up back there and fought back similarly. Although I think I pushed the limits of acceptable riding (I'd hate to see that in a Cat 3 race), for the P123s everyone seemed to take it in stride.
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-17, 06:15 AM
  #19  
beatlebee 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: ?
Posts: 2,298

Bikes: i may have bike(s)

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
@carpediemracing :
beatlebee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-17, 11:58 AM
  #20  
Psimet2001 
I eat carbide.
 
Psimet2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Elgin, IL
Posts: 20,195

Bikes: Lots. Van Dessel and Squid Dealer

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 332 Post(s)
Good shiz in here. I was always luck in that it was always lower category racing or masters and even when I am in form I weigh more and have a lower center of gravity than most other riders. I put the bars up and then come over. Slowly. Backing into the space is a great technique that almost always works.

I've also been shut out and guttered for miles and miles making me want to punch everyone but at the same time admiring their ability.

I love it when someone asks and always yield to that.

If they only point though and I don't know them - they're getting a hood up their ass.

I've touched, pushed slightly (directly on the hip).

In general you learn what works for you for your size and for the areas and fields you race in. Getting to know everyone helps a ton especially if you're not an a-hole. Many times I hear after the race, "Then some guy shoots the corner and I'm like setting up to sharpen my elbows and I look and see it's f'n Dave so I let him in and yell at him."

Big benefit - if you are close enough then start riding and racing at a velodrome. You learn real quick how to become narrow and fit into tight places as momentum can sometimes carry you into a place where a space doesn't currently exist.
__________________
PSIMET Wheels, PSIMET Racing, PSIMET Neutral Race Support, and 11 Jackson Coffee
YouTube Channel
Video about PSIMET Wheels
Psimet2001 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-17, 11:02 PM
  #21  
mollusk
Elite Fred
 
mollusk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Edge City
Posts: 10,889

Bikes: 2009 Spooky (cracked frame), 2006 Curtlo, 2002 Lemond (current race bike) Zurich, 1987 Serotta Colorado, 1986 Cannondale for commuting, a 1984 Cannondale on loan to my son

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Taking a wheel from somebody that doesn't want to give it up will require some aggression. If you can do with style all is good. If you can only do it by being a jerk, then you are that guy.

added in edit: If you want a wheel you need to first get into position to take that wheel. This will probably require expending more energy than they guy sucking the wheel you crave. Next you need to be attentive. If the guy you want to replace leaves even the smallest gap, you need to move in. Being further up the road gives you huge advantages.

Last edited by mollusk; 10-23-17 at 11:08 PM.
mollusk is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service