Drafting on a slow uphill climb


#1

I am a heavier (225 lbs/102 kg), older rider (48). I’ve done the Whistler Gran Fondo 4 times. It’s 122 km with ~ 1,500 meters (4,500 feet) climbing.

My typical speeds during the climbs drop quite a bit on steep sections sometimes as slow as 8-15 km/hr. So very slow. Not winning the event any time soon :~)

Ignoring the downhill and flat sections, I know the hills have benefit. I am wondering are there any benefits what so ever of drafting on the climbs? Or is it complete wasted energy trying to line up behind a wheel?

Being this slow, I’m not getting into any big groups (so maybe behind one or two people.


#2

The slower you go the less the draft matters. There’s no hiding on hills and you just have to crank those W/kg.


#3

Yep drafting wont help much if at all on steeper/slower climbs. However dont discount the mental aspect of being able to follow someones wheel, it should make it feel a bit easier if you have a carrot/person to chase :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

True, when speed is low, drafting is minimal. But keep in mind wind as well.

Wind is pretty common on many hills & mountains. So paying attention to any wind, it’s direction and speed, are worthwhile.

  • 5 mph climb + 10 mph head wind = 15 mph wind speed for the rider.
  • That is a start of concern for aero issues and drafting.

#5

Good points


#6

Great point about the wind.

I would also add the positive physiological benefit of following a wheel.