Cycling Lingo

A cyclist and a complete novice talk cycling lingo … Do we understand them? Well for those who are not cyclists, the answer is definitely no!

Cycling lingo can be weird. There will be plenty of times when you're out and about with your cycling friends, and they’ll say something you might not understand. Most likely, it's a word that might even be in the dictionary, but it leaves you in a bit of a hard spot.

Terms like, ‘Oh, did you see him take a dirt sample?’


‘Her bike has a granny ring!’

I mean, it sounds so much better than, ‘He fell off his bike ….’ and 'Why is she using a chain that makes cycling so much easier?'

So, we thought we´d run a little competition between Dave (our cyclist) and Caerwyn (uploader and novice cyclist). 

The rules are simple: they choose 10 words each (anything from slang, technical or equipment). The other person can ask them to be put into a sentence as a hint, and then it’s ‘game on’!

We’ll keep score (and secretly root for the underdog!). Don’t be afraid to DM us your favourite word or phrase and we’ll add it to the next ‘lingo session’.

Enjoy the first video!

Dave´s words

  1. Half Wheeling: When the person in front of you always keeps their handlebars ahead of the person next to them or rides half a wheel's length in front of you, no matter what the speed.
  2. On the rivet: Refers to riding at your maximum ability. Apparently it comes from when saddles had rivets on them and riders would slide their position forward and sit on the rivet when riding as hard as they could.
  3. Granny ring: The smallest of the three chainrings on a triple crankset.
  4. On the drops: When discussing the cycling position as 'on the drops', it usually refers to holding on to the parts of the handlebars that curve outward, with the cyclist's hands directly behind the brake levers.
  5. KOM/QOM: The “King of the Mountain” or “Queen of the Mountain” is the fastest rider for a given segment. The segment doesn't have to be a climb – it could be a flat or rolling stretch, or a descent.
  6. Road rash: The term used for a skin abrasion that happens when your skin is scraped against something rough, like the road
  7. Ghost bike: A ghost bike (also referred to as a ghostcycle or WhiteCycle) is a bicycle roadside memorial, placed where a cyclist has been killed or severely injured, usually by the driver of a motor vehicle.
  8. Queens stage: The most difficult stage of a multi-day road race, typically involving multiple difficult climbs.
  9. Chain suck: When shifting between the front chainrings, the chain can sometimes get jammed on the teeth causing it to get stuck between crank and chainstay. This is called 'chain suck' and occurs mainly when shifting down onto the two smallest chain rings.
  10. Sitting on: Riding right behind someone.

Caerwyn´s words

  1. Baby Heads: Small rocks the size of baby heads on a trail.
  2. Beartrap: When your foot slips from the pedal and your shin gets grated along the spikes of the pedal.
  3. Biopace: Shimano chainring. Now defunct technology developed by Shimano that makes the chain ring elliptical, not circular, so as to improve and smoothen power delivery, removing a dead spot.
  4. Brain Sieve: A helmet with more vents than protective structure.
  5. Giblets: Purely aesthetic add-ons to the bike that serve no purpose other than to make your bike look worse!
  6. Veloporn: Full page advertisement of giblets.
  7. Taco: When your wheel completely folds over during a crash.
  8. Potato chip: Like a taco but it doesn’t quite fold over.
  9. Soil Sample: Face planting.
  10. Squirrel: Someone who rides swerving all over the place.

Current Score:

Dave: 6

Caerwyn: 5


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