How To: Talk Like A Cyclist

Skills + Knowledge
July 16, 2018
How To: Talk Like A Cyclist
How To: Talk Like A Cyclist

You’ve solved the 1 speed vs 3-speed bike (or 3-speed vs 7-speed cruiser) debate, purchased your cycle, bought your riding clothes and checked out the best biking apps for cyclists. What’s next to immerse yourself in the world of bicycles?

You need to learn how to talk like a cyclist.

There’s a distinct language that bike riders use to communicate – on the trail and while socializing with other riders. Whether you find staying somewhat of a hobby cyclist or want to become a pro, you really should know the lingo.

Here’s a handy guide for talking like a cyclist, and in turn understanding what other passionate riders are talking about.


This simply means aerodynamic. You’ll want to use this phrase to refer to your riding position or equipment as it pertains to reducing wind resistance.

Blowing Up

You blow up when you have just spent a huge amount of effort and energy, more so than would seem physically possible.

Chopping Wheels

You might want to have a stern talk with another rider who pays no attention to chopping wheels or cutting sharply in front of the wheels on your bike.


Drafting is when you ride right behind another rider’s wheels. This is a perfectly aerodynamic and efficient position, and it’s possible to use 40 percent less energy this way than riding facing the wind.


An echelon typically refers to a long line of biking in a formation that provides shelter from the wind. From time to time, the front rider pulls off and moves to the back of the line.

Filling Gaps

If there’s a gap in a group of bikers, fill it. When gaps form, someone may get left behind due to being exposed by the wind. Then, there’s a bunch of distance to make up.

Getting Dropped

You’ll know when you get dropped. You’ll have lost touch with your group and will be riding all alone.


Riders hammer (he “dropped the hammer”) when they ride aggressively away from the group.


If a ride or race profile is indicated as lumpy, it’s got rolling hills or undulating terrain. Basically, it’s not flat.

Noodle Arms

When you’re climbing effectively, you should notice that your arm movement increases torque. If it doesn’t, you likely have noodle arms that are moving all around.

Motor Pacing

Cyclists who are training use a motorcycle or car drafted behind to pace themselves so they can learn to build or maintain speed.

Off the Back

Similar to getting dropped, if you lose touch with your group, you’re off the back.


Start referring to the group of riders riding or racing in a bunch as the peloton.

That should be a good crash course in riding talk to help you keep up in most conversations. But, really, there could be a whole cyclist dictionary with unique terms and phrases riders use. Try some of them out next time you’re riding on your sixthreezero Dreamcycle 3 Speed Women's 26" Beach Cruiser Bike or sixthreezero Men's BE Single Speed Black 26" Beach Cruiser Bike with a peloton.

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How To: Talk Like A Cyclist