Benefits and Basics of Bunch Riding

Riding in a bunch can be the most enjoyable experience if done correctly. The advantage of riding as a bunch or peloton (French word for an organised group of riders) is that as an organised group you can ride further and faster than individual riders or non-organised group. You will expend up to 30% less energy by riding sheltered in a bunch, as riders in front of you overcome the wind resistance. By taking turns at the front, all riders can share the effort and longer distances can be covered.
However, bunch riding can also be difficult, especially if people in the group don't understand the rules or don’t do their fair share of the work. Everyone needs to know these rules for the safety of all riders. Below explains what to do when riding in a large bunch. However, from time to time you may be riding in a smaller bunch which will require you to take your turn leading the group by yourself (and not with a partner as described below). In such circumstances the same basic rules apply. The rules mentioned below are elaborated on in the Detailed Bunch Riding Etiquette page.

Basic Rules of Bunch Riding

  • Be predictable with all actions
  • Brake carefully
  • Roll through and take your turns at the front
  • Be smooth with turns at the front
  • Do not 'half-wheel'
  • Pedal when going downhill
  • Point out obstacles
  • Plan when to come off the front
  • Always retire to the back of the bunch
  • Don’t leave gaps when following wheels
  • Don’t overlap wheels
  • Do not follow too close when riding up hill
  • Do not panic if you brush shoulders, hands or bars with another rider
  • Look ahead
  • Obey the road rules
  • Don’t use your aero-bars in a bunch ride
  • Have fun!