Video: How to ride in strong winds

How to take control in crosswinds and use the conditions to your advantage

by Mat Brett   June 13, 2014  

GCN crosswind 1

British Cycling has produced a video supporting its Racesmart campaign that shows you how to race in strong winds.

Strong winds can be a tactical challenge and often have a big influence on the outcome of races at all levels. In the video, former professional rider Daniel Lloyd explains on-the-bike strategies, and talks through positioning, effort levels and equipment choices to help you take control in these conditions and use them to your advantage.

Positioning is crucial in crosswinds and the video concentrates on getting it right. If you’re not positioned correctly you’ll never move from the back of the bunch to the front in a crosswind, no matter how strong you are.

The video advises you to study the route and the forecast ahead of time so you know where the wind is likely to come from and how strong it will be, allowing you to plan accordingly.

It also tells you the best position to ride in an echelon in order to get the most shelter from the wind, and how to ensure you get into that position just before the start of a section where a crosswind is likely to make itself felt.

You might want to make equipment choices to take account of crosswinds; the video suggests that you swap from a deep-section front wheel to something shallower to make your bike’s handling more manageable.

4 user comments

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This is an easy one. Basically, find out which way the wind is blowing and then cycle in that direction. Have a good weekend Big Grin

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [188 posts]
13th June 2014 - 7:40

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These Racesmart videos do actually seem to be having an effect! Racing part of a series the other day and very suddenly there is a lot more indicating direction and talking going on than the weeks before! Hopefully it can cut down on stupid crashes and keep more people safe, not good for bike shops and kit manufacturers if everyone stays upright all the time though!

andybnk's picture

posted by andybnk [91 posts]
13th June 2014 - 12:51

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andybnk wrote:
Hopefully it can cut down on stupid crashes and keep more people safe, not good for bike shops and kit manufacturers if everyone stays upright all the time though!

But then you can buy those bling wheels, carbon frame, EPS/Di2 and not worry about trashing it. So maybe shops won't loose out?

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1030 posts]
13th June 2014 - 14:12

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"...equipment choices to help you take control in these conditions and use them to your advantage..."

That's also easy: ride a recumbent or velomobile. Less air turbulence down there, and the 'bent position is generally more aerodynamic. You can typically use up to 30% less power than a n upright in a headwind at the same speed on flat ground (with a velomobile that is - an un-faired recumbent is probably closer to 10-15%, but still better aero than an upright). Big Grin

jimm's picture

posted by jimm [4 posts]
14th June 2014 - 15:10

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