Home

Some of my commute is on an off-road cycle path, and pretty much every other day I get someone wheelsucking off the back of me without even saying hello which is pretty annoying to be honest. I like to go at my own pace without any drafting and dnt want a race!!

Now this path can get pretty muddy and wet, luckily I have access to a hose at work so instead of mudguards I just give my bike a quick clean every morning when i get in. But my other reason for not using them is that it gets rid of the wheelsuckers on the muddy days. One actually tried to have a go at me yesterday and I said 'well you shouldnt have been hanging off the back of my wheel without asking then!' Plus what if i need to brake sharply or something and I dont even know they are there??

So my question is am I perfectly justified in having a little chuckle to myself when one of these leeches gets a face full of mud from my back wheel or am I been rude?!

32 comments

Avatar
Daveyraveygravey [706 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

It's not all bad, according to some figures I read (can't remember where) you get an 8% benefit when someone is on your wheel...

Avatar
Kendalred [402 posts] 1 week ago
24 likes

If you're prepared to get a wet arse, feet and legs in order to chuck some dirty water at the ocassional wheelsucker, then go for it. Seems a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face to me.

Avatar
Cugel [80 posts] 1 week ago
21 likes

"Wheel sucking" is some sort of foolish Yank terminology denoting a "freeloader" (another foolish Yank term) that is "stealing" your effort by using you to push air out of the way. The terminology reflects the ridiculously over-competative winner-loser schtick of that benighted country.

In Britain it's called "sitting on a wheel" and is a recognised method of cycling eficiently that costs the fellow in front nothing. And, being the co-operative fellows we proper cyclists are, the usual arrangement for fellows of more or less equal ability is to take turns on the front, as relative fitness or current condition dictates.

So, you won't be surprised to hear, OP, that I find your post rather silly, not to say infantile, especially if you cut orf your nose to spite your face by clarting up your own bike such that you have to perform the tedious business of hosing it down all the time.

My advice is, stop sucking up Yank kulturekrap.   1

Cugel

Avatar
EddyBerckx [724 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
Cugel wrote:

"Wheel sucking" is some sort of foolish Yank terminology denoting a "freeloader" (another foolish Yank term) that is "stealing" your effort by using you to push air out of the way. The terminology reflects the ridiculously over-competative winner-loser schtick of that benighted country.

In Britain it's called "sitting on a wheel" and is a recognised method of cycling eficiently that costs the fellow in front nothing. And, being the co-operative fellows we proper cyclists are, the usual arrangement for fellows of more or less equal ability is to take turns on the front, as relative fitness or current condition dictates.

So, you won't be surprised to hear, OP, that I find your post rather silly, not to say infantile, especially if you cut orf your nose to spite your face by clarting up your own bike such that you have to perform the tedious business of hosing it down all the time.

My advice is, stop sucking up Yank kulturekrap.   1

Cugel

 

I think his point is they don't take a turn and as such, I got no real problem with it.

 

On busy routes where you can't help bunching up a bit (or overtake easy, thinking of cycle paths or superhighways) then it's a different matter entirely. As is overtaking someone then slowing down, thus spraying them with crap - not cool.

Avatar
alansmurphy [2333 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

I'd just drop you!

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4270 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

Totally justified in my opinion. For more of a laugh, go a bit slower and just as you hit a really deep bit of mud, give it a bit of juice to hopefully maximise the spray.

If they don't want to get muddy they need to hang back or go in front.

Avatar
Organon [357 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
Cugel wrote:

"Wheel sucking" is some sort of foolish Yank terminology denoting a "freeloader" (another foolish Yank term) that is "stealing" your effort by using you to push air out of the way. The terminology reflects the ridiculously over-competative winner-loser schtick of that benighted country.

In Britain it's called "sitting on a wheel" and is a recognised method of cycling eficiently that costs the fellow in front nothing. And, being the co-operative fellows we proper cyclists are, the usual arrangement for fellows of more or less equal ability is to take turns on the front, as relative fitness or current condition dictates.

So, you won't be surprised to hear, OP, that I find your post rather silly, not to say infantile, especially if you cut orf your nose to spite your face by clarting up your own bike such that you have to perform the tedious business of hosing it down all the time.

My advice is, stop sucking up Yank kulturekrap.   1

Cugel

Idiotic patronising statements from Cugel not representative of the UK. There is no indication that the OP is American. 

I have been 'drafted' as I call it by another rider who force me to run a red light which was turning amber in front of me. My choice was go through as it turned or brake rapidly and have him crash into me. After the light I gave the slow pedal until I was almost stopped before he over took. When I called him out on his behaviour he seemed to think it was justified because I was dressed 'like a pro' so I must think I can handle it. Now that is stupid. The guy was wearing a gold skater helmet if you want to read a book by it's cover.

Avatar
Dingaling [122 posts] 1 week ago
6 likes
Cugel wrote:

"Wheel sucking" is some sort of foolish Yank terminology denoting a "freeloader" (another foolish Yank term) that is "stealing" your effort by using you to push air out of the way. The terminology reflects the ridiculously over-competative winner-loser schtick of that benighted country.

In Britain it's called "sitting on a wheel" and is a recognised method of cycling eficiently that costs the fellow in front nothing. And, being the co-operative fellows we proper cyclists are, the usual arrangement for fellows of more or less equal ability is to take turns on the front, as relative fitness or current condition dictates.

So, you won't be surprised to hear, OP, that I find your post rather silly, not to say infantile, especially if you cut orf your nose to spite your face by clarting up your own bike such that you have to perform the tedious business of hosing it down all the time.

My advice is, stop sucking up Yank kulturekrap.   1

Cugel

Your anti American tirade makes you look a complete twat. Canadians and Americans call it drafting. In German the expression is "am Hinterrad lutschen" which translates as sucking on your rear wheel.

Avatar
Boatsie [538 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

There might be some reduction of effort required due to returning displaced air which could be a reason why automotive manufacturers advertised that back during 1986 a you beaut new sedan could drive between two of our capital cities on 1 tank of juice but they didn't tell public that the vehicle was sandwich meat between a push and a pull.
I like the rear guard because of the dirty snail trail that rooster tails up my back if without. Without a front guard (due to laziness) sloped tube copes most of that spray; a bit of dirt/mud/filthy water gets onto feet yet not much. Bike looks clean from seated view

Avatar
Sriracha [335 posts] 1 week ago
7 likes

Do you pass others on your way? Pedestrians maybe? People coming the other way? So long as you don't mind them spraying you with muck in reply then sure, spray away. Personally I think dodging the draft is a feeble excuse.

Avatar
Prosper0 [246 posts] 1 week ago
8 likes

I don't really understand the fuss some people have with wheelsuckers.

It makes no difference to your cycling/performance etc why do you care? 

Avatar
vonhelmet [1497 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

Cool story bro.

Avatar
Yellow Peril [24 posts] 1 week ago
7 likes

If someone sits on my wheel, so what? We're all brothers and sisters on the road. I've also been mightily grateful for someone else's wheel at times.

Avatar
mattsccm [431 posts] 1 week ago
6 likes

Cugel has it.

To ay otherwise is daft. What about all those riders coming up behind to pass you? Oh of course the OP is to fast for that.  Equally too selfish to consider that giving a minor tow may be sociable.  Of course he is in a very important race so the rest don't matter. Pillock to spout off like that. Ah well, not everyone is out of their teenage years yet

 

Avatar
Judge dreadful [436 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Ass savers, on my roadys or stand off type mudguards, on my mucky / hybrid bike, are fine. I've been sent over the bars by having crud / sticks, jamming in hugger guards, on the roadys, it's not good. A bonus is, that no one wheel sucks, and with the Ass saver, your backside / back doesn't end up with the dysentery stripe of shame, in rubbish weather / road conditions.

Avatar
Nick T [1346 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

Riding in line with someone I know and trust is one thing, but I've had some twat run out of talent while sitting on my wheel without my knowing he was even there - until he went into the back of me and fed his bars through my rear wheel. Stay the fuck off my wheel unless you've asked and proven you can behave yourself 

Avatar
CyclingInBeastMode [155 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
Cugel wrote:

"Wheel sucking" is some sort of foolish Yank terminology denoting a "freeloader" (another foolish Yank term) that is "stealing" your effort by using you to push air out of the way. The terminology reflects the ridiculously over-competative winner-loser schtick of that benighted country.

In Britain it's called "sitting on a wheel" and is a recognised method of cycling eficiently that costs the fellow in front nothing. And, being the co-operative fellows we proper cyclists are, the usual arrangement for fellows of more or less equal ability is to take turns on the front, as relative fitness or current condition dictates.

So, you won't be surprised to hear, OP, that I find your post rather silly, not to say infantile, especially if you cut orf your nose to spite your face by clarting up your own bike such that you have to perform the tedious business of hosing it down all the time.

My advice is, stop sucking up Yank kulturekrap.   1

Cugel

We all know what wheelsucking means, it doesn't matter what term is used,  only typical stick in the muds bring up the fact that different countries call it something else and make a big deal as you have!

Bother to grasp the situation that the OP describes, this isn't about riding effeciently, it's about another impinging on their safety through cycling too close, as a consequence these wheelsuckers are getting sprayed, that's their problem not the OPs, he/she is not riding in a group, they are riding on their own, there's no  'etiquette' here with regards to mudgaurds, also "proper cyclists", what does that mean exactly?

Your post is infantile and ignorant, too busy having a pop at the OP to even grasp the rudmentaries of the problem and making a helpful comment!

Avatar
CyclingInBeastMode [155 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
mattsccm wrote:

Cugel has it.

To ay otherwise is daft. What about all those riders coming up behind to pass you? Oh of course the OP is to fast for that.  Equally too selfish to consider that giving a minor tow may be sociable.  Of course he is in a very important race so the rest don't matter. Pillock to spout off like that. Ah well, not everyone is out of their teenage years yet

To say otherwise is daft eh? Frankly you and others saying that are the ones who are ignorant/daft!

No he doesn't have anything, I used to ride without mudguards, until about 2001, I put some on to keep my feet dryer more than anthing else, however that's entirely up to me if I choose to use a set of mudguards if riding solo. If I was riding in a group, sure, but BITD it really wasn't that big a deal at all to ride without, certainly not in the groups I rode with, nowadays things have changed to a degree but not all road group rides will have guards on wet days.

The OP isn't riding in a group, it's up to the other person behind to firstly consider safety, if you're getting sprayed then you're too close, end of story, and if you don't like getting sprayed then it's ENTIRELY up to you as the person behind to do something about that. Ride wider, ride further back, get in front, or even if possible ride alongside and ask if that's ok, I don't always want someone right next to me for similar reasons I don't want you right behind me getting my spray if I don't happen to have guards on that bike, I don't know you, I don't know your standards/understanding towards safety nor your abilities, most of the time I don't want to know you if it's piddlin' it down with rain, I want to crack on and focus on my surroundings and being safe to others and avoiding hazards, I don't want you too close, that means buzz off unless I invite you into MY space!

The OP is getting flak for absolutely no reason whatsoever, utterly ridiculous!

Avatar
CyclingInBeastMode [155 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
Prosper0 wrote:

I don't really understand the fuss some people have with wheelsuckers.

It makes no difference to your cycling/performance etc why do you care? 

yes it does, you have no idea on road safety do you!

Avatar
Welsh boy [711 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes

 

[/quote]

I have been 'drafted' as I call it by another rider who force me to run a red light which was turning amber in front of me. My choice was go through as it turned or brake rapidly and have him crash into me.

[/quote]
I love the way you assume that your riding skills are better than the other rider and justify your action in riding through a red light on some random stranger

Avatar
Organon [357 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
Welsh boy wrote:

 

I have been 'drafted' as I call it by another rider who force me to run a red light which was turning amber in front of me. My choice was go through as it turned or brake rapidly and have him crash into me.

[/quote]
I love the way you assume that your riding skills are better than the other rider and justify your action in riding through a red light on some random stranger

[/quote]

I hope your riding skills are better than your reading skills.

Avatar
hirsute [1195 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
Yellow Peril wrote:

If someone sits on my wheel, so what? We're all brothers and sisters on the road. I've also been mightily grateful for someone else's wheel at times.

Depends on the road, traffic, volumes, pedestrians and other hazards.
No way do I want someone on my wheel on the way to work. I may have to brake suddenly, then what will the rider behind do?
Had a go at someone before for doing this with out even asking. They still did it later in the month and never attempted to take a turn.

Avatar
Crippledbiker [99 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

I'd love to have some guards on my primary h'cycle, but it's nearly impossible to fit them without them then being massively in the way. Front guard is doable but is a) pointless, and b) has a nasty tendency to catch my feet and foul the wheel.

As to drafting, I'm about as aero as a brick, but I'm basically a tractor for anybody behind me; draft away, but keep in mind that I might not move quite how you expect.

Recumbent is another matter - no guards on that, but you shouldn't be directly behind my wheels anyway so meh. Your guards almost certainly won't come down low enough to protect me anyway, goggles are a must!

No point drafting off a recumbent handcycle unless you're also on a recumbent - I'm so low it won't do much, and I'd really rather you didn't even try, because if you fuck up you'll land on my head.

It's actually what that little T bar that comes back from the frame and covers the rear wheels is for - you tap that with your front wheel to let the handcyclist in front know you're there. It's also considered OK to come into contact with that bar whilst drafting, and it prevents wheel to wheel contact, which is A Very Bad Thing.
Some expensive h'cycles have a front as well as a rear drafting bar, but that's rare. Does make a very nice handle to move it around by, though.

Avatar
triq-D [1 post] 1 week ago
3 likes
Cugel wrote:

"Wheel sucking" is some sort of foolish Yank terminology denoting a "freeloader" (another foolish Yank term) that is "stealing" your effort by using you to push air out of the way. The terminology reflects the ridiculously over-competative winner-loser schtick of that benighted country.

In Britain it's called "sitting on a wheel" and is a recognised method of cycling eficiently that costs the fellow in front nothing. And, being the co-operative fellows we proper cyclists are, the usual arrangement for fellows of more or less equal ability is to take turns on the front, as relative fitness or current condition dictates.

So, you won't be surprised to hear, OP, that I find your post rather silly, not to say infantile, especially if you cut orf your nose to spite your face by clarting up your own bike such that you have to perform the tedious business of hosing it down all the time.

My advice is, stop sucking up Yank kulturekrap.   1

Cugel

 

Wow. Jacob Rees-Mogg had joined road.cc.

Avatar
brooksby [5187 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
triq-D wrote:
Cugel wrote:

"Wheel sucking" is some sort of foolish Yank terminology denoting a "freeloader" (another foolish Yank term) that is "stealing" your effort by using you to push air out of the way. The terminology reflects the ridiculously over-competative winner-loser schtick of that benighted country.

In Britain it's called "sitting on a wheel" and is a recognised method of cycling eficiently that costs the fellow in front nothing. And, being the co-operative fellows we proper cyclists are, the usual arrangement for fellows of more or less equal ability is to take turns on the front, as relative fitness or current condition dictates.

So, you won't be surprised to hear, OP, that I find your post rather silly, not to say infantile, especially if you cut orf your nose to spite your face by clarting up your own bike such that you have to perform the tedious business of hosing it down all the time.

My advice is, stop sucking up Yank kulturekrap.   1

Cugel

 

Wow. Jacob Rees-Mogg had joined road.cc.

Can't be him - he didn't go on about 'common sense'...

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4270 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:
triq-D wrote:
Cugel wrote:

"Wheel sucking" is some sort of foolish Yank terminology denoting a "freeloader" (another foolish Yank term) that is "stealing" your effort by using you to push air out of the way. The terminology reflects the ridiculously over-competative winner-loser schtick of that benighted country.

In Britain it's called "sitting on a wheel" and is a recognised method of cycling eficiently that costs the fellow in front nothing. And, being the co-operative fellows we proper cyclists are, the usual arrangement for fellows of more or less equal ability is to take turns on the front, as relative fitness or current condition dictates.

So, you won't be surprised to hear, OP, that I find your post rather silly, not to say infantile, especially if you cut orf your nose to spite your face by clarting up your own bike such that you have to perform the tedious business of hosing it down all the time.

My advice is, stop sucking up Yank kulturekrap.   1

Cugel

 

Wow. Jacob Rees-Mogg had joined road.cc.

Can't be him - he didn't go on about 'common sense'...

I think it's ironic that Cugel is complaining about Yank terminology whilst using the name "Cugel" which AFAIK is a creation of American author Jack Vance (Dying Earth series).

Avatar
Argus Tuft [108 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

There's quite a few things about Australian "Culture" I'm not thrilled about,but this obsession the English have about someone else "Getting away with something"does my head in.

Avatar
HLaB [292 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes
Prosper0 wrote:

I don't really understand the fuss some people have with wheelsuckers.

It makes no difference to your cycling/performance etc why do you care? 

It makes a large difference to my cycling performance if they crash into the back of me or the threat of it takes my attention away from other things which also endanger me. 

Avatar
rogermerriman [164 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
HLaB wrote:
Prosper0 wrote:

I don't really understand the fuss some people have with wheelsuckers.

It makes no difference to your cycling/performance etc why do you care? 

It makes a large difference to my cycling performance if they crash into the back of me or the threat of it takes my attention away from other things which also endanger me. 

 

Indeed I’ve had to rescue my wife as someone had smashed into her bike when she braked.

 

I’m a club rider riding in a group is fine, you take the risk for the benefit/social aspect but having some random bloke on my rear wheel on the commute no thanks. I generally shake them off.

Avatar
cougie [91 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

Get some mudguards on.  Your washing machine will thank you for it as will your bike. 

Pages