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Mountain Biking Dictionary

Mountain Biking Terms, Slangs and Definitions

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These are the Mountain Biking Terms, Definitions, Slang and other words currently stored in our Mountain Biking Dictionary. If you know any mountain biking terms that are not mentioned in this list then go ahead and suggest a word for our dictionary.

There are 176 Mountain Biking Terms in our Mountain Biking Dictionary:
 

AHEADSET

a headset that allows you to attach a fork to your bike with a threadless steering tube.

ALLEN KEY

a six-sided wrench (hexagonal) that is used to loosen and tighten hex:head bolts.

ANCHOR BOLT

the bolt that firmly fixes a cable to a component

APEX

the sharpest point of a corner.

ATB

(all-terrain bike) a mountain bike.

ATTACK POSITION

the alert and well-balanced position you ride in when you approach, or ride on, rough terrain. It is characterized by bent knees, rear above the saddle, elbows slightly bent, and a raised head.

AUGER

(submitted by: fmsmith527)



to crash head first. "man, i totally augered in and split my helmet!"

AXLE

the shaft on which your wheelset rotates.

BARREL ADJUSTER

the adjustment knobs found on rear derailleurs, shifters, and brake levers. Used for fine adjustments.

BB

bottom bracket.

BEGINNER

a category for beginning racers on the NORBA race schedule.

BERM

an embankment on a trail.

BINDER BOLT

an attachment bolt (bar-end to handlebar, seatpost to frame, etc.).

BONK

when you run out of energy.

BOULDER GARDEN

(submitted by: rockster)



This refers to the section of the trail which is covered with big boulders.

BPM

heart rate reference (beats per minute).

BRAKE BOSS

the pivot point attached to a frame or fork that the brake arms mount to.

BRAKE PAD

the block of material used to create friction on a rim or rotor so that you can stop.

BRAKE SHOE

holds the brake pad.

BRAZING

a method of steel frame construction that involves brass or silver solder to connect frame tubes.

BUNNY HOP

a hop that you incorporate into your riding technique so you can clear obstacles such as logs without stopping.

BUSHING

a sleeve that is used as a bearing on suspension forks, suspension swing arms, pedals, and derailleur jockey wheels.

BUTTED TUBING

tubing that has been manipulated so it is thinner in the middle and thicker near the welded ends. Allows for lighter and stronger frames.

CABLE

wire (braided or strands) used to operate derailleurs and brakes.

CABLE END

cap or solder used to keep the end of a cable from fraying.

CABLE FIXING BOLT

a bolt that attaches cables to the brakes and derailleurs.

CABLE HOUSING

the sheath through which a cable passes

CANTILEVER BRAKE

a brake that has two separate arms pulled at the same time towards the rim by a cable.

CHAIN

a series of links held together with pins.

CHAIN LINE

an imaginary straight line which runs from the middle chain ring to the middle cogset.

CHAIN SUCK

the dragging and jamming of your chain that occurs in sloppy conditions, or when little burs occur on your chainrings that cause the chain to bunch up.

CHAIN WHIP

a tool used to remove the rear cogs of a freehub

CHAINRING

a toothed sprocket attached to the crankarm

CHAINSTAYS

the bottom tubes of the rear triangle of a frame

CLEAN

a perfect ride through a tough section.

CLIPLESS PEDAL

a pedal that has spring-loaded cleats that clip to a riders shoe.

CLYDESDALE

a rider who weighs more than 200 pounds.

COG

a sprocket located on the drive side of a rear hub.

COMPRESSION DAMPING

the absorbtion of the speed of compression of a shock's spring on impact.

CRANKARM

the levers of a crankset that your pedals attach to.

CRANKSET

the bottom bracket, crankarms, and chainrings go together to make up the crankset.

CRITERIUM

a race that involves laps around a short course

CROSS-COUNTRY

a traditional MTB race that mixes many types of riding conditions into one coarse.

CYCLOCROSS

an off-road race that involves riders having to dismount and run over obstacles, carrying their bikes.

DAB

to put your foot down while riding so you don't fall over

DAMPER

a mechanism in a suspension fork or shock that helps determine the compression rate of the spring.

DAMPING

the deadening, or absorbtion, of a spring's compression rate.

DERAILLEUR

a mechanical device that moves the chain over the cogs or chainrings, changing gears.

DERAILLEUR HANGER

the replaceable extension that attaches the rear derailleur to the frame at the right side rear dropout

DIALED IN

when everything on your bike is running smoothly, you are said to be "dialed in"

DIAMOND FRAME

the most recognized bicycle frame shape

DISC BRAKE

brakes that mount near the hub, and squeeze pads against a rotor mounted to the hub. They can be operated both mechanically or hydraulically.

DORK RING (DORK DISK)

(submitted by: fmsmith527)



the plastic spoke protector that sits between the cassette and the spokes on the rear wheel of a bicycle.

DOUBLETRACK

two trails that run parallel to each other (also called tractor trail or Jeep trail).

DOWN TUBE

the tube of a frame that connects the head tube to the bottom bracket.

DOWNHILL

a type of racing held on ski slopes - fastest rider to the bottom wins.

DOWNSHIFT

shifting to a lower gear.

DRIVETRAIN

the parts of a bike that includes the crankarms, chainrings, bottom bracket, front derailleur, chain, rear derailleur, and freewheel.

DROP OFF

(submitted by: mango20)



A ledge that can be ridden over with a drop on one side.

DROPOUTS

the slots in the fork and rear triangle that the axle of the wheel mount to.

DROPPING IN

(submitted by: kbteachme)



Dropping in a steep single track when other riders are around.

DUALIE

a bike that has both front and rear suspension.

ELASTOMER

a compressible erethane material used in suspension systems.

ENDO

a crash that involves you flying over your handlebars

EXPERT

a racing category of the NORBA racing series. It is between Sport class and semi-pro.

FERRULE

the cap on the end of a cable housing.

FIRE ROAD

a back country dirt or gravel road wide enough for emergency vehicles to use.

FIXED CUP

a non-adjustable cup on the drive side of the bottom bracket.

FLANGE

the location on the hub where the spoke heads are anchored.

FORK

the part of the bike that attaches the front wheel to the frame.

FORK CROWN

the piece of the fork that joins the two fork legs to the steering tube.

FRED

(submitted by: johnconahay)



A derogatory term describing anyone who's equipment is ill-suited for the task, or they are vastly over-equipped for the situation.

FREEWHEEL

the cluster of cogs on the rear wheelset that allows you to stop pedalling while the bike is still moving forwards.

FRICTION SHIFTER

the old-style shifter (non-indexed). Relied on cable tension maintained by friction washers and bolts.

FRONT TRIANGLE

the main triangle of a frame consisting of the head tube, top tube, down tube, and seat tube.

GEAR MASHER

someone who always rides in too high a gear, stomping on the pedals.

GEVERT

a really long period of time. Derived from the name of a LBS that was a little slow getting work done. "Man, that roadclimb to the trailhead was almost a gevert long."

GIBLETS

all the colorful parts and pieces that you can add or change out on a bike.

GNARL

extreme technical sections. Characterized by very rough, rooty, slippery, or rocky sections. Commonly found in the Pacific Northwest and New England. "He has got some great bike handling skills and can really scream through the gnarl."

GONZO

treacherous, extreme. "That vertical drop was sheer gonzo."

GRANNY GEAR

the lowest gear available on a bike, which only a grandmother would need to use; designed for steep uphill climbing, but extremely easy to pedal in on flat ground.

GRAVITY CHECK

a fall.

GRINDER

a long uphill climb.

GRINDIES

"All that dried mud and sand left me with a loud case of the grindies in my drivetrain."

GRUNT

a very difficult climb, requiring use of the granny gear.

GUTTER BUNNY

a bicycling commuter.

HARDTAIL

a mountain bike that has no rear suspension.

HEAD TUBE

the framesets front tube.

HEADSET

the cup and bearing mechanism that allows a fork to turn freely in the head tube of the frame.

HUB

the part of the wheelset that the axle passes through and the spokes are attached to.

HYDRAULIC BRAKE

a brake that uses oil pressure to move the brake pads against the brake surface.

IMBA

International Mountain Biking Association. An organization for trail advocacy.

IMPEDIMENTIA

all the junk on a bike that impeeds performance and looks bad.

INDEX SHIFTER

a shifter that shifts into fixed gear positions as it moves through its "clicks".

INVOLUNTARY DISMOUNT

a crash.

JET

to accelerate quickly; to go very fast.

JOCKEY WHEELS

Circular cog shaped pulleys on the rear derailleur.

JOHN BOY'ED

when a riders face gets covered with spots of mud, making him look like "John Boy" on the Waltons. "I hit that mudhole and got John boy'ed big time."

JRA

acronym for "Just Riding Along," a phrase universally uttered by people bringing both halves of their frame and the remains of their fork in for warrantee replacement.

JUMP

where we now say bunny hop, BMXers used to say "jump".

KACK

an injury to the shin received while doing trials, a kack can be the result of any injury receive during technical riding.

KICK-OUT

a bunny hop in which the rider pushes the back tire to one side.

KNOBBY TIRES

the all-terrain tires that are used on mountain bikes.

LBS

acronym for Local Bike Shop.

LID

helmet.

LINE

the desirable path or strategy to take on a tricky trail section.

MALE BLINDNESS

when a male rider watches a beautiful female ride over rough terrain and stares intensely at all the jiggling parts, making him too dizzy to see straight when it's his turn to ride the same terrain.

MANDIBULAR DISHARMONY

how one's jaw feels when it and the handle bars attempt to occupy the same space and time. "Fuck!" "Pray, whats wrong?" "I've got mandibular disharmony."

MANTRAP

hole covered with autumn leaves, resembling solid earth and effective at eating the front wheel of the unsuspecting rider.

MARIN

(muh RINN') the county in Northern California where MTBing is said to have been invented. Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

MO

momentum. "If you don't get in gear at the bottom of that hill, you'll lose your mo."

MOJO

charm or icon worn by a biker or attached to the bike.

MONKEY-MOTION

magazine writer speak for a full-suspension bike.

MUD DIVING

what happens when a bike slows abruptly in mud, throwing the rider into wet goo.

MUD-ECTOMY

1) a shower after a ride on a muddy trail. 2) the act of becoming clean.

NEEDLE BEARINGS

rod shaped rollers that allow a sleeve to slide over them. They are usually arranged in a cartridge.

NIPPLE

a nut that is designed to both fit on the end of a spoke and through the spoke hole on the rim.

NORBA

(National Off-Road Bicycle Association) - USA Cycling's mountain bike racing division.

NOSE WHEELIE

a reverse wheelie riding tequnique in which the rider elevates the rear wheel while still rolling on the front tire.

OFF-CAMBER

sloped ground that makes handling difficult.

PINCH FLAT

a tire flat that is caused when the tube is pinched against the rim internally.

PRELOAD

an adjustment on the spring in a suspension fork or shock that allows you to set the suspension compression.

PRESTA VALVE

the narrow valve found on most mountain bike inner tubes. A metal cap must be unscrewed before air can enter or exit.

PRO

NORBA's top racing category.

PSI

the tire inflation measurement. It stands for pounds per square inch.

RAPIDFIRE SHIFTER

mountain bike shifters made by Shimano.

RATCHET

a riding technique in which you pedal in partial strokes in order to clear obsticals.

REACH

the distance from the end of the stem to the other end of the top tube.

REAR TRIANGLE

the rear portion of the mountain bike that is made up of the seatstays, the chainstays and the seat tube.

REBOUND DAMPING

the muffling of the return rate of a spring.

RIM

the outside ring of the wheel assembly.

ROLLERS

a stationary training device that allows you to train on your bike indoors.

SADDLE

the platform that the rider sits on.

SCHRADER VALVE

the type of valve used on most cars and trucks. They are found on less expensive bicycle tubes and are spring-loaded to release air or let it in.

SEALED BEARING

a bearing cluster that has been sealed with a dust cap of some kind to keep out dirt.

SEAT CLUSTER

the point on the frame where the seat tube, top tube and seat stays intersect.

SEATPOST

the post that the saddle attaches to.

SEMI-PRO

the post that the saddle attaches to.

SHRED

(submitted by: johnconahay)



Negotiating trails with sufficient speed and elan to evoke awe in fellow riders or onlookers. Doing it with a higher-than-usual level of expertise.

SINGLETRACK

a narrow mountain bike trail that must be ridden single file.

SKEWER

the quick release axle clamp of a wheelset.

SNAKEBITE

(submitted by: johnconahay)



same as a pinch flat, but has two holes. (same causative mechanism)

SPIDER

the right side of the crankset that the chainrings attach to.

SPOKE

the thin rods of the wheelset.

SPORT

the NORBA race catagory between beginner and expert.

STACK

(submitted by: mango20)



Another word used for CRASH on a bike.

STANDOVER CLEARANCE

the distance between the top tube and the rider's crotch.

SWINGARM

the swinging rear end of a dual suspension frame.

SWITCHBACK

a turn on a hill that is too steep to be climbed without zig-zagging.

THE ZONE

a state of mind experienced while riding. You don't think, you just do. A truly mystical experience that can't be fully explained, but when you get there you'll know it and strive to reach it again.

TOP TUBE

the tube connecting the head tube to the seat tube.

TRACKSTAND

a riding technique that involves the rider stopping completely without putting a foot down.

TRAVEL

the distance a suspension fork or a shock can compress.

TRIPLE

having three chainrings on a crankset.

TWIST SHIFTER

an indexing shifter that twists around the handlebar.

UNOBTANIUM

describing a bike or accessory made from expensive, high-tech material. A play on "unobtainable" and "titanium." n. a piece (of god knows what) that has come off from the inside of something else and rattles around, impossible to retrieve to stop the rattling. E.g. a piece of weld comes off of the inside of a bike frame.

UPSHIFT

to shift into a higher gear.

VEGETABLE TUNNEL

a singletrack that is heavily overgrown with foliage, so a rider must duck and bend to get through it.

VOID

1) to empty the contents of one's bladder. "Where were you, man? We waited for at least two minutes." "Sorry, dude, I had to void, my back teeth were floating." 2) a deep chasm that you have to clear or you will die.

VTT

Velo Tout-Terrain, the French term for mountain biking. Velo = bike, Tout = all, and don't even ask me about terrain. :-)

VULTURES

spectators who line up at dangerous obstacles in hopes of seeing blood.

WANG CHUNG

what you might get when your stem has no nard guard.

WASH OUT

to have the front tire lose traction, especially while going around a corner.

WASHBOARD

small, regular undulations of the soil surface that make for a very rough ride.

WEIGHT-WEENIE

a MTB owner (not even necessarily a rider) who is more concerned with how many milligrams a certain component saves off the bike's total weight than with how to be a better rider.

WHEELIE

lifting the front wheel off the ground, usually with some combination of pulling on the handlebars, pedaling harder, and balance.

WHEELIE DROP

a combo of a wheelie and a jump, used to negotiate a large drop with little speed due to a limited run-out.

WHOOP-DE-DOOS

a series of up-and-down bumps, suitable for jumping.

WILD PIGS

poorly adjusted brake pads that squeal in use.

WINKY

a reflector. "Nice winky set, fred!"

WIPEOUT

a crash. v. ("wipe out") to crash.

WOMBATS

Marin-based organization founded by writer and former MTB racer Jacquie Phelan.

WONKY

not functioning properly. "I bailed, and now my wheel is all wonky and all I hear are wild pigs."

WRENCH

to work on one's steed, to adjust or repair. n. a bike shop mechanic. "I blew my shock but the wrench at Charlie's dialed it back in for me."

YARD SALE

a horrendous crash that leaves all your various "wares" -- water bottles, pump, tool bag, etc. -- scattered as if on display for sale.

ZONE OUT

a state of mind where you think you've reached The Zone, but you really just stopped paying attention to what you're doing. Usually used as an excuse for a particularly embarrassing biff.

 
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