How close do you need to be to benefit from drafting?

Wind tunnel tests and CFD calculations by Swiss Side wheels show the effect of drafting

Aerodynamicists at wheel brand Swiss Side have conducted CFD modelling and wind tunnel tests to study the effects of drafting. They developed computer models simulating two identical sized riders at separations between 0.1m and 20m, calculating the effect on the lead rider as well as the follower.

Although Swiss Side was primarily interested in triathlon riders, its results are equally significant for individual time trials in cycling events. Drafting behind motorbikes and cars is a constant cause of friction in races and riders have been fined and disqualified too for drafting others in time trials.

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