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Nov 19

Tri Tips- How to Bike Faster in Triathlon: How to Pass Efficiently

T1Tip of the day: Legal Drafting, (Part 2) How to pass people on the bike as efficiently as possible.

Bike legs are crowded places. You are constantly being passed and passing people- How can you ride legally (no drafting penalties!) but still get the most advantage possible?

First, review the rules and drafting advantages as I laid them out in my first drafting article, here:http://bit.ly/ZYDveU

When passing someone else the proper technique is called “the slingshot pass.”So how do you pass most efficiently?


1) right right behind the lead cyclist approaching from more than 3 bike lengths behind
2) when 3 bike lengths behind the lead cyclist (when you are not officially passing yet), pause for a little while. Eat a gel. Drink some water. Adjust your sunglasses. You are legal right here, and you are still getting a huge (legal) aero advantage. Milk it for all its worth. Adjust your sunglasses a 2nd time. Shimmy your bike shorts around to a more comfortable spot.
3) enter the 2.5 bike length drafting zone, still riding right behind the cyclist, and slowly catch up to them, staying right behind them. Start counting to 15 in your head.
4) Once you catch the cyclist ahead, stay right behind them, with your front wheel right behind their rear wheel. Keep counting. If you haven’t gotten to 10 yet, stay right where you are until your count hits “10″
5) only once you have milked your legal draft for all the time you can, as you hit 10 seconds in the draft box, swing gently to the left, and pass the slower cyclist on the left.
6) be sure your front wheel passes their front wheel before your count reaches 15

The key to doing this is to milk the aero advantage of the pass for all its worth. This isn’t cheating, its riding legal and smart.

As always you can:

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