Have you recently picked up mountain biking? Do you ever feel like you don’t understand what language your MTB friends are speaking when you ride together? It’s okay. Mountain biking, like other cycling disciplines has a unique culture all it’s own. Like any culture, this rad sport has its own language and set of norms that outsiders and newcomers won’t fully understand. Being new to something is difficult and can make you feel vulnerable, but don’t get down on yourself! No need to be scared anymore, we have a secret guide so you can speak like a pro!
Start with the Basics
To start with the most common term, MTB is short for “mountain bike”. PSI is another essential term that refers to the measurement shown on a pump when inflating your tires. Over or under inflating can lead to punctures so you need to be aware of what you are inflating your tires to. It stands for pounds per square inch. Make sure those babies are fully pumped and ready to go! When someone says travel, they are talking about the distance a suspension fork or shock can compress. Now if you’re new to the sport, you shouldn’t have to worry about taking things too seriously, but many people are obsessive. For example, a weight-weenie is a rider who is too concerned with the how many milligrams a certain piece will save off their bike’s total weight. Weight-weenies would usually benefit from working on their riding rather than worry about the components on their bike.
“Did I bonk? What’s a bonk?”
What the heck does that mean?! Don’t worry, most people wouldn’t know this term unless you’re an avid mountain bike rider. To bonk means to run out of energy when cycling. Cycling isn’t easy and you might bonk a few times as you push your physical limits and gain fitness. Because there are so many disciplines of cycling, its important to know what it is exactly that you are doing. Cross-Country is a term people use for riding a traditional mountain bike through various off-road riding conditions. Cyclocross is a form of riding very similar to the recent trend of gravel cycling. Cyclocross-Races often feature dirt, gravel, and paved surfaces with obstacles that force riders to get off their bikes and run while carrying their bike. It is typically raced in the brutal rainy and cold winter season. Lycra. Mountain bikers will usually scoff at the tight-fitting clothing worn by road cyclists, but lycra-bib-shorts are more aero, therefore faster. Cyclocross and gravel cyclists will commonly wear lycra. Wondering what gravel cycling is? We have a blog to explain the new trend.
“Did You See That? He Went Endo!”
The words featured in the next portion of our list are things you should try to avoid… Endo is a crash that involves going over the bike’s handlebars. Another word for crashing is involuntary dismount. This word is often used when a rider is essentially bounced from their bike like they were launched from a wild bull. Although it’s a crash, that is probably better than going mud diving. Mud diving is when a biker is abruptly slowed by the mud and is thrown into the wet mud. If their front wheel gets stuck abruptly enough, the crash may also be an endo. Let’s hope you’re not wearing white! “Yard Sale!” This is when you crash so badly that all of your belongings (water bottle, backpack, tool bag, etc) go flying and resemble a hillside yard sale. Now you know these terms, try to avoid hearing them be said about you!
“Let’s Go Shred That Trail, It Looks Gnarly!!!”
Shred can be used for many different sport and activities. That means preforming at a higher-than-usual level of your expertise. Risky! When someone says gnarl, that is some extreme riding condition. It is either rough, rooty, slippery, or rocky grounds. We might suggest staying away from the gnarl for a while until you get comfortable riding. Now that you know how to talk like a mountain biker, go shred the Gnar! Oh wait, last one… gnar is when you ride with exceptional speed and ability or are extremely enthusiastic about your ride.
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