an alphabetized collection of cycling jargon. not meant to be complete.
most nouns have verb forms, and most verbs have noun forms.
noun, the star or top rider on a team.
adjective, abbreviation for aerodynamic.
verb, to suddenly attempt to distance oneself from the pack. attacks are often responded to by one or more riders, who all together might form a breakaway.
usages: "she attacked after the second climb"
noun, an old or worn bike, often used for commuting.
usages: "the downtube on my beater broke"
noun, french for water bottle.
usages: "my bidon is empty"
verb, to run out of energy.
usages: "i'm bonking", "he bonked on the last ride"
synonymous phrases: "hitting the wall"
noun, a small pack of cyclists who "break away" from the peloton during a race. breakaways often form into pacelines.
usages: "there were 6 different breakaways during the race"
noun, the integrated breaks and shifters found on modern road bikes.
noun, abbreviation for "bicycle shaped object," the kind of cheap and dangerous bike sold at walmart and other box stores. derogatory.
usages: "he rides a BSO"
verb, to upgrade one's cycling category.
usages: "i'm going to cat up to 4 tomorrow"
noun, the ring-shaped grease strain often found on a cyclist's right leg, especially new cyclists. very mildly derogatory, usually humorous.
usages: "you can see she rides a 53t from her cat 5 tattoo"
synonymous phrases: "cat 5 stamp"
verb, the act of pulling one's bike to the left and right, primarily when riding out of the saddle, for leverage.
usages: "he was dancing up the hill"
noun, french for "servant," a cyclist whose only role in a race is aiding their teammates by providing a draft or carrying food and water. often used sarcastically at the collegiate level.
usages: "i was a domestique for our ace"
noun, the plastic disk frequently found on the rear wheel of a new bike, designed to protect the spokes from a derailleur failure. often removed by cyclists.
usages: "he never took his dork disk off"
verb, to stay in another cyclist's slipstream, usually to conserve energy. a cyclist who drafts is a drafter.
usages: "i drafted behind a strong guy for the whole race"
verb, to leave another cyclist behind. potentially derogatory.
usages: "i dropped her on the flats", "she got dropped on the flats"
noun, the lower parts of standard road cycling handlebars. often used when sprinting or in aero position.
usages: "the ride was so slow, i was barely in my drops"
verb, to flip "end over" one's handlebars.
usages: "i endo'd on the last corner"
noun, a slow (usually wealthy, male and middle aged) cyclist with a very nice bike and/or kit. stereotypical fred equipment includes cervelo and rapha, frequently alongside gel seats and raised bars for extra comfort. extremely derogatory.
usages: "i saw a fred wearing sky's kit yesterday"
noun, a generic term for a broad range of syrupy athletic foods, usually sold in small tearable foil packets.
usages: "do you have any goo left?"
noun, the nausea or stomach unrest that comes after eating too much goo or not drinking enough water with goo.
usages: "if you don't drink some water, you'll get goo gut"
noun, the largest rear gear or smallest front ring, or both.
usages: "if you don't get out of your granny gear, you'll spin out"
verb, to push a small gear or large ring. preferred over spinning (perhaps unwisely) by some riders.
usages: "don't grind too much on the uphills"
verb, "to put the hammer down," to go all out.
usage: "she hammered it on the last loop"
verb, to overlap one's front wheel with another rider's rear wheel. half wheeling is dangerous, and shouldn't be done in most circumstances.
usage: "careful, you're half wheeling"
noun, the rubber hand-shaped tops of one's brifters. one of the most common riding positions.
usage: "when you're going downhill, don't ride on the hoods"
noun, abbreviation for "invisible aero bars," the act of placing one's arms on the tops of the bars as if there were aero bars installed. alternatively "IABs".
usages: "i installed IABs on my bike yesterday"
noun, a catch-all term for cycling attire: jersey, bibs, socks, and so on.
usages: "my new kit was so expensive"
noun, abbreviation for "king of the mountain," traditionally the first rider to complete a mountain segment in a race. more recently, the ranking position on a Strava segment.
usages: "she got two KOMs on Strava yesterday"
noun, abbreviation for "local bike shop."
noun, a single-file formation used in a smaller group of cyclists, frequently for time trialing or breakaways. a paceline may employ a rotation.
usages: "the breakaway was in a paceline until the final sprint"
noun, the main pack of cyclists in a race or ride. the peloton's size and density gives it a speed and energy advantage over breakaway groups, which is why breakaways are frequently "swallowed up" by the peloton.
usages: "the peloton is 5 minutes behind the breakaway"
verb, to provide a draft for one or more other riders.
usages: "i'll pull for a bit"
noun, a riding strategy where cyclists take turns in the front pulling the group by creating a draft. often employed in a breakaway to make up for the lost advantages of the peloton.
usages: "stop sucking my wheel, get in the rotation"
exclamation, frequently shouted when the pack slows unexpectedly.
verb, to maintain a high cadence, usually in a larger gear or small ring. the opposite of grinding, often recommended to newer riders.
usages: "i like to spin when i go up hills"
noun, the flat upper part of road cycling handlebars. often used when climbing.
noun, a cyclist who rides solely or primarily on weekends. freds are often weekend warriors, but not all weekend warriors are freds. mildly derogatory.
usages: "he'd be a lot faster if he wasn't a weekend warrior"
noun, a cyclist who drafts off of others without returning the favor. derogatory.
usages: "the peloton was full of wheel suckers today"