Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Road Etiquette Question: Hopping on a stranger's wheel?

Notices
Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Road Etiquette Question: Hopping on a stranger's wheel?

Old 01-15-20, 11:51 PM
  #126  
TheDudeIsHere
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 187 Post(s)
Liked 276 Times in 161 Posts
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Actually, you do get instantly faster (for the same power output).

Actually, I did not express myself properly.

I meant if I am doing 17 mph, passing a guy who is doing 14 mph, many times the guy speeds up, drafts for a couple miles then sprints around like he had been going faster than he had been. He could hold 14 before but all of a sudden, he was a speed demon before he hopped on my wheel.

Of course they fade down the road anyway. Just seems funny when someone is doing their pace, I'm doing mine then all of a sudden, they think they are faster than they were. That's what I meant.
TheDudeIsHere is offline  
Old 01-16-20, 11:36 AM
  #127  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,774

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2912 Post(s)
Liked 2,967 Times in 1,362 Posts
Originally Posted by zacster View Post
Yes, but it is counter-productive to your workout unless you increase your power. Most people that suck wheels do so to lessen the effort to go your speed. It is the difference between workout and racing. In a workout you want to expend your energy in an efficient way to increase power and to increase fitness. In a race you want to expend as little energy as possible to keep up, hence you draft. I know I'm stating the obvious but wheelsuckers don't seem to get this point. We all like to go fast but it isn't always conducive to getting a workout. When I have someone pass me that I want to stick with I increase my power to catch up and ride side by side. That will give you the workout you want. (I'm thinking about where I can do that and it is mostly in Prospect and Central Park in NYC. There is plenty of room to do that. It mostly isn't possible on any road with traffic nor on a MUP.)
I would not assume that wheelsuckers are doing structured workouts.
caloso is offline  
Old 01-16-20, 11:59 AM
  #128  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 10,800

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3582 Post(s)
Liked 2,394 Times in 1,567 Posts
Originally Posted by hipsterfixie View Post
So, you're be-bopping along solo on a well-known cycling route in your hometown, and you encounter another cyclist who's just a touch slower than you, but not so much slower that you can easily pass and leave him/her behind. Is it impolite to hook up to their wheel for any appreciable time?

It doesn't bother me personally to have someone hook up to my wheel--I just keep going and if they want to pass, fine, if they want to ride my wheel however long they want to, that's okay too. How do other cyclists feel about this? Should you hang back and keep your distance?

Thanks, guys. First post. Look forward to learning more on this forum.


Mays
San Francisco, CA
Question for the OP. Your username is hipsterfixie. Are you riding a brake-less fix gear when you get on people's wheel? I have folks doing that here in Portland and it really pisses me off, especially when I say hear nothing (brain typo) and even more so when I am riding my fix gears. All my bikes have really good brakes and can stop fast. I have no issues with using them to keep myself out of crashes. (At 50+ years of riding and 200,000" miles, my body has seen too many crashes already.) Being taken down by a bigger, heavier rider when I grab a handful to avoid a traffic or pedestrian or whatever situation is not my idea of a good ride. And to have it happen by a rider without the insurance or pockets to reimburse my ensuing expenses and setback in health? I expect it to happen some day and I am not looking forward to it. (More than a few times I have looked in my mirror to discover a brake-less fixie has been silently fracking me for who knows how long. All I had to do was touch my brakes when their cranks were vertical and I just took them out.)

Now, if you ride with a good front brake (and lever rapidly accessible) those CX levers on the tops don't count), the above isn't directed at you.

Ben

Last edited by 79pmooney; 01-17-20 at 04:49 PM.
79pmooney is online now  
Old 01-16-20, 12:04 PM
  #129  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,350

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1554 Post(s)
Liked 1,518 Times in 946 Posts
Originally Posted by Jose R View Post
I felt awful. Couldn't man up to apologize. I mean, what do you say to a gal who is wiping your snot off her face?
Come again?
burnthesheep is offline  
Likes For burnthesheep:
Old 01-16-20, 12:27 PM
  #130  
San Rensho 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,820
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 383 Post(s)
Liked 131 Times in 89 Posts
what are all you wimps complaining about. Apparently none of you race, because when you race everyone is on your wheel. When I am out riding and someone is on my wheel the only a problem I have with them is when I wave them ahead and they won't take a pull hi. Nobody who's sucking your wheel will ever be able to crash you, what is your major malfunction original poster.
__________________
Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
1988 Ducati 750 F1
San Rensho is offline  
Likes For San Rensho:
Old 01-16-20, 05:30 PM
  #131  
Bah Humbug
serious cyclist
 
Bah Humbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 18,513

Bikes: S1, R2, P2

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7643 Post(s)
Liked 2,645 Times in 1,390 Posts
When someone hops on my wheel uninvited, I do everything I can to make the experience as unpleasant as possible. I will act like a breakaway trying to shed a pursuit, snot rocket, anything. I've given up on politely asking people to drop back or move forward, since in almost all cases they'll say they're just resting a bit or make any other excuse to not respect my request. No one gets a pleasant, easy draft on my wheel without permission.

Then sometimes they think the answer is to move past me and draft or half-wheel my wife. Then I get unpleasant.
Bah Humbug is offline  
Likes For Bah Humbug:
Old 01-16-20, 05:56 PM
  #132  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,774

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2912 Post(s)
Liked 2,967 Times in 1,362 Posts
I do race. Since I haven't been a Cat5 in a very long time, I know that every time I pin on a number that every other rider in the race has also raced before. And that they've all put in the time and effort do so, which means that I have some assurance that they know how to draft safely.

When I'm out on the open road commuting, doing intervals, or JRA, and some random unknown person hops on my wheel, I have know idea if they know what they're doing.

Also, I have seen an instance where a following rider took down the rider in front: he overlapped wheels and managed to put his spokes into the rear derailleur of the guy in front. RD tore off, rider behind went over the bars, and took down the guy in front. It's an extremely unlikely occurrence, but possible
caloso is offline  
Likes For caloso:
Old 01-16-20, 06:05 PM
  #133  
TheDudeIsHere
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 187 Post(s)
Liked 276 Times in 161 Posts
Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
what are all you wimps complaining about. Apparently none of you race, because when you race everyone is on your wheel. When I am out riding and someone is on my wheel the only a problem I have with them is when I wave them ahead and they won't take a pull hi. Nobody who's sucking your wheel will ever be able to crash you, what is your major malfunction original poster.

Wow, that is pretty awesome, you race, I am impressed!

But as far as the person behind drafting, sure he can cause damage to the front rider's bicycle. A buddy of mine and I were riding, proud of his new rig, top of the line. Some wheelsucker latched on his back wheel. The rider behind hit him and thrashed his rear derailleur. The back guy crashed but not my buddy the front rider. But the wheel sucker did do damage to my bud's new bike. He offered to pay for it but the fact is, wheelsuckers can do some damage.
TheDudeIsHere is offline  
Likes For TheDudeIsHere:
Old 01-17-20, 02:58 PM
  #134  
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 12,916
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3446 Post(s)
Liked 2,198 Times in 1,302 Posts
Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Come again?
himespau is offline  
Old 01-17-20, 04:14 PM
  #135  
Cypress
Globo Gym lifetime member
 
Cypress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 5,204

Bikes: Fast ones

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 410 Post(s)
Liked 612 Times in 305 Posts
Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Come again?
__________________
Cypress is offline  
Likes For Cypress:
Old 01-17-20, 04:56 PM
  #136  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 20,400
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5150 Post(s)
Liked 4,595 Times in 2,456 Posts
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I do race. Since I haven't been a Cat5 in a very long time, I know that every time I pin on a number that every other rider in the race has also raced before. And that they've all put in the time and effort do so, which means that I have some assurance that they know how to draft safely.

When I'm out on the open road commuting, doing intervals, or JRA, and some random unknown person hops on my wheel, I have know idea if they know what they're doing.

Also, I have seen an instance where a following rider took down the rider in front: he overlapped wheels and managed to put his spokes into the rear derailleur of the guy in front. RD tore off, rider behind went over the bars, and took down the guy in front. It's an extremely unlikely occurrence, but possible
I had a friend get his pedal stuck in my rear wheel at a left turn when we were moving slowly. He went down, I didn't , I was able to get my feet out. Bent some spokes.
Had another guy step on my foot at a light and break the strap off my shoe.

Just remembered my worst crash ever was on the mup, idiot coming at me head-on. I move right, guy behind me touches my rear wheel and pitches me sideways collapsing my front wheel. 1987.

Last edited by big john; 01-17-20 at 05:03 PM.
big john is online now  
Likes For big john:
Old 01-17-20, 10:49 PM
  #137  
Doge
Senior Member
 
Doge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 10,407

Bikes: 1979 Raleigh Team 753

Mentioned: 153 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3345 Post(s)
Liked 347 Times in 239 Posts
Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
what are all you wimps complaining about. Apparently none of you race, because when you race everyone is on your wheel. When I am out riding and someone is on my wheel the only a problem I have with them is when I wave them ahead and they won't take a pull hi. Nobody who's sucking your wheel will ever be able to crash you, what is your major malfunction original poster.
When you are racing, you have an agreement. Same as when you are in a group ride.
There is no agreement when folks just show up.
There is a distance we want to have strangers, in both our personal life and on the road.

You can always be crashed by someone else. In front is more common, but rear works too. If you are not crashed, they can mess up your stuff.

That and I don't like them butting into my 2020 election campaign discussions.
Doge is offline  
Likes For Doge:
Old 01-17-20, 11:51 PM
  #138  
Princess_Allez
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 330
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 173 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 40 Posts
I sucked someone's wheel for the first time recently. I was wondering why it seemed as if I was faster than him. We were on a slight downhill and I felt like I could overtake him, but there wasn't a safe place to do so. I got home, looked at that particular segment on Strava, and it turned out I PB'd on this segment and was faster than the guy by a few seconds. I guess people poking holes thru wind for you actually does work! Science!
Princess_Allez is offline  
Old 01-18-20, 12:50 AM
  #139  
TheDudeIsHere
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 187 Post(s)
Liked 276 Times in 161 Posts
Originally Posted by Princess_Allez View Post
I sucked someone's wheel for the first time recently. I was wondering why it seemed as if I was faster than him. We were on a slight downhill and I felt like I could overtake him, but there wasn't a safe place to do so. I got home, looked at that particular segment on Strava, and it turned out I PB'd on this segment and was faster than the guy by a few seconds. I guess people poking holes thru wind for you actually does work! Science!

I've had wheelsuckers tell me they felt as if they could overtake me on some sections seeing the draft had made their effort far less. Of course, once they do, a few seconds later the wind hits their faces then they fade like cheap ink. I've had a few conversations with people in that same scenario and we usually end up laughing about how they "thought there for a second" that they may be stronger or able to overtake and stay ahead.
TheDudeIsHere is offline  
Old 01-18-20, 05:37 AM
  #140  
guadzilla
Pointy Helmet Tribe
 
guadzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Offthebackistan
Posts: 4,334

Bikes: Venge, Shiv, Factor LS

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 519 Post(s)
Liked 626 Times in 294 Posts
Count me among the people who arent too bothered by someone holding my wheel. There is a lovely out-and-back stretch that i ride on which has hellish headwinds on the way back. Quite common to see riders with assploded legs plodding back and eager for relief.

Yeah, there is a theoretically greater risk to me, but I think that anyone who has the experience to hold a wheel really closely probably wouldnt do it or would know enough to ask - certainly, the few times someone has grabbed my wheel, they havent been all that close, from what i could tell.

If it bothered me, I'd just tell them and not be a dick by blowing snot rockets on them or brake-checking them.
guadzilla is offline  
Likes For guadzilla:
Old 01-18-20, 07:56 PM
  #141  
Princess_Allez
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 330
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 173 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
If it bothered me, I'd just tell them and not be a dick by blowing snot rockets on them or brake-checking them.
Princess_Allez is offline  
Old 01-18-20, 09:02 PM
  #142  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 39,063

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 352 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20375 Post(s)
Liked 9,099 Times in 4,508 Posts
Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
If it bothered me, I'd just tell them and not be a dick by blowing snot rockets on them or brake-checking them.
A few years back, I was riding along when I noticed the guy in front of me getting increasingly agitated - gesturing, talking to himself, hocking loogies, etc. Then it dawned on me - wait, does he think I'm wheel-sucking?! I swear there were at least five bike lengths between us, but dude was heated and I couldn't think of any other reasons for why he would be getting so upset.
WhyFi is offline  
Old 01-19-20, 12:06 AM
  #143  
guadzilla
Pointy Helmet Tribe
 
guadzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Offthebackistan
Posts: 4,334

Bikes: Venge, Shiv, Factor LS

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 519 Post(s)
Liked 626 Times in 294 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
A few years back, I was riding along when I noticed the guy in front of me getting increasingly agitated - gesturing, talking to himself, hocking loogies, etc. Then it dawned on me - wait, does he think I'm wheel-sucking?! I swear there were at least five bike lengths between us, but dude was heated and I couldn't think of any other reasons for why he would be getting so upset.
There's always someone having a "get off my lawn" moment.
guadzilla is offline  
Old 01-19-20, 07:43 AM
  #144  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Paul Barnard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 5,415

Bikes: Lynskey GR300, Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1855 Post(s)
Liked 1,228 Times in 628 Posts
Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
When someone hops on my wheel uninvited, I do everything I can to make the experience as unpleasant as possible. I will act like a breakaway trying to shed a pursuit, snot rocket, anything. I've given up on politely asking people to drop back or move forward, since in almost all cases they'll say they're just resting a bit or make any other excuse to not respect my request. No one gets a pleasant, easy draft on my wheel without permission.

Then sometimes they think the answer is to move past me and draft or half-wheel my wife. Then I get unpleasant.
I would say that when I am bored I am known to make sport of hypersensitive riders, but I won't. One rider's unpleasant is another rider's game.
Paul Barnard is offline  
Old 01-19-20, 09:43 AM
  #145  
Bah Humbug
serious cyclist
 
Bah Humbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 18,513

Bikes: S1, R2, P2

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7643 Post(s)
Liked 2,645 Times in 1,390 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I would say that when I am bored I am known to make sport of hypersensitive riders, but I won't. One rider's unpleasant is another rider's game.
I hope this helps people understand why I don't bother asking people off my wheel.
Bah Humbug is offline  
Old 01-20-20, 11:50 AM
  #146  
colnago62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,429
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 739 Post(s)
Liked 409 Times in 228 Posts
Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
I hope this helps people understand why I don't bother asking people off my wheel.
Why not ask first? Itís not like you canít do all those other things if they donít comply. I think sometimes the person doesnít realize that they are making the person in front uncomfortable. If a person races a lot or is a track rider is used to threading the needle in between cars, their perception of what is too close could easily make a person who rides solo nervous. Itís not on purpose.
colnago62 is offline  
Old 01-20-20, 01:55 PM
  #147  
GlennR
On Your Left
 
GlennR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Posts: 8,373

Bikes: Trek Emonda SLR, Sram eTap, Zipp 303

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3004 Post(s)
Liked 2,422 Times in 1,184 Posts
Hey, don't like someone on your wheel? Drop them if you can.Or you can try a brake check and hope that don't run into you.

I actually enjoy jumping on the wheel of electric bikes.
GlennR is offline  
Old 01-20-20, 05:55 PM
  #148  
colnago62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,429
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 739 Post(s)
Liked 409 Times in 228 Posts
Brake checking gets people mad. It really only works if they are really close to you. If you brake check someone and they are not close enough to you, they simply ride around you. If they are really savvy, they might come around you and then hip check your handlebars and ride you into the curb. Itís not worth antagonizing people.
colnago62 is offline  
Old 07-19-22, 11:05 AM
  #149  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,350

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1554 Post(s)
Liked 1,518 Times in 946 Posts
Had a d-bag do this just recently. I unfortunately have to take a couple miles of greenway to not turn my out/back to the gravel park into a prolonged waste of time. I much prefer quiet neighborhood streets to greenway. On the way home chilling and pass a guy, rang the bell, yada yada. I proceed to hear freewheel after a bit. Mind you I'm going a mph or two faster, not yoyoing. Not a word, not a hi, nothing. I speed up slowly/progressively hoping they get the idea. I finally slow without doing a break check and "c'mon Fred, I just want to ride home".

Dude was surprised at me responding. It wasn't even a mean response, compared to mine. Either way, I deviated my route on purpose after that a way home I didn't want to go because of this person. I would have immediately upon noticing if it was possible.

It just reiterated to me how childish it is. I went to the hospital in a road race from a touch of wheels. I'd rather not have some tagalong hit my bike or me because they were trying to have fun at my expense.

No other life activity is this similar kind of thing acceptable. "I'm randomly going to join you and get in your personal space/activity, and top it by not saying a word."
burnthesheep is offline  
Likes For burnthesheep:
Old 07-19-22, 11:41 AM
  #150  
tomato coupe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,578

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Factor, Cervelo, Ritchey

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2261 Post(s)
Liked 3,915 Times in 1,583 Posts
Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Come again?
A zombie thread, but worth reviving for the above post ... nothing funnier has been posted on the forum since this thread went dormant.
tomato coupe is offline  
Likes For tomato coupe:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.