How to Rotate in a Paceline

How to Rotate in a Paceline

 Whether you are in a group ride or a race, riding in a paceline can be intense and often overwhelming.  We compiled nine tips to hope you ride stronger, longer, smoother, and safer in your next paceline.  

  1. Flick your elbow on the side you want the rider behind to pull through on.  This keeps it simple for the rider behind to know which side to pass and which side you will be pulling off on (the opposite to your elbow.)
  2. Pull off AFTER your flick elbow.   This is to give the rider time to adjust which side of your wheel they are on behind. Try to go diagonally rotating off, which requires accelerating while moving off the front. 
  3. Gently ease off the power, but keep pedaling.  Make it easier for the rider to pass but keep pedaling so you do not rocket backwards.
  4. Stay close to the forward moving line as you drop back.  This is to give them a draft moving forward while you have a draft moving backward.
  5. As you drop backwards past the first two riders keep looking forward.  This is important as riders often will move over while the rider is drifting backwards, which results in cleaning out their front wheel (and crashing).
  6. Meanwhile, the rider who pulls through focuses on a smooth acceleration.  The best way to do this is when the lead rider pulls off, the rider behind first feels the wind hit them and increases the power to just hold the speed.  Then after the rider who pulled off is behind them, smoothly increase the speed if possible. 
  7. Rider who is dropping back starts to accelerate when reach the second to last rider.  This is important as the line near the back gets a bit of “whiplash” and is moving faster than the front.
  8. Standing is optimal to get back on to stretch your back and get a better acceleration.  Oftentimes your back and neck will get tight in the paceline, so standing at the back is a safe place to stretch out. 
  9. Do your largest effort to get on the back of the paceline.  Here is where most riders actually get dropped.  This is usually because they are not prepared to do a massive effort to get back onto the paceline.  You need to be mentally aware and ready to go all out here to get back into the draft.  




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