Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel

Row-tay-ting E-shuh-lon


Rotating Echelon is a type of group riding formation where cyclists take turns leading the group and drafting off the other riders.

Example usage: 'We formed a rotating echelon when we were out on the group ride.'

Most used in: Time Trial events in Europe.

Most used by: Experienced cyclists who want to save energy and ride faster.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 3/10

Also see: Paceline, Peloton, Slipstream, Drafting,

What is Rotating Echelon in Time Trial Cycling?

Rotating echelon is a tactic used in time trial cycling events to help cyclists achieve higher speeds. It is a technique used by two or more cyclists in which each one takes turns leading the group as they move forward. The cyclist in the lead is responsible for breaking the wind for the riders behind, allowing them to save energy and move faster.

In a rotating echelon, the riders take turns leading and following. The leader is responsible for maintaining a steady pace and the followers adjust their speed accordingly. As the leader tires, they move to the side of the road, allowing the next cyclist to take the lead. This process can be repeated several times, allowing the group to maintain a high speed over a long distance.

Rotating echelon is a common tactic used in time trial events and is often used to increase the speed of the group. Studies have shown that a rotating echelon can increase the speed of the group by up to 10% compared to a single rider. This means that a group of cyclists can travel faster and further than an individual cyclist.

Rotating echelon is an effective tactic for time trial events and can be used to increase the speed of the group. It is important for cyclists to practice this technique in order to get the most out of their performance in time trial events.

The Origin of the Term 'Rotating Echelon' in Time Trial Cycling

The term 'Rotating Echelon' was first used in the context of Time Trial cycling in the early 1990s in the Netherlands. It refers to a formation of cyclists where riders take turns at the front of the group, taking the lead and the wind resistance for a short period of time before dropping back. This method of cycling allows the group to move faster than any individual rider can manage on their own, and is used in Time Trial events to maximize speed.

The concept of Rotating Echelon had been used by cyclists for some time before it was given its name, but the term was popularized by Dutch cyclists in the early 1990s. It has since become a standard formation used by Time Trial riders in many parts of the world.

The use of Rotating Echelon in Time Trial events has been proven to be a successful strategy, and its popularity continues to grow as cyclists discover the advantages of this formation.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3