Video: How to ride through and off

Essential tips for riding quickly and safely in a group

by Mat Brett   August 6, 2014  

Through and off 1

A video in the Racesmart series from British Cycling shows you how to ride through and off – an essential skill for racing and also useful for riding sportives, in a club or with a group of friends.

Riding through and off, also referred to as riding in a chaingang, involves a group of cyclists working together to keep the pace high and consistent. Each rider takes a turn at the front before sheltering out of the wind so that the whole group can go much faster than any of them could on their own.

Of course, riding close to other riders could be hazardous, so you need to know what you’re doing, and that’s where this video comes in.

The video advises you to ride steady when it’s your turn at the front rather than to increase the pace to show how strong you are, and to keep the two lines of riders close to one another in order to be as efficient as possible. It also tells you not to overlap wheels because that’s asking for trouble.

The video advises on the direction that the group should rotate. If the wind is coming from your right you should rotate clockwise; anticlockwise if it’s coming from the left.

You shouldn’t go too hard on the hills if you’re one of the stronger riders in the group. If other riders struggle to match your speed they’ll be less able to contribute when you’re back on flat roads.