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Sam's Bike Terms You Need to Know

May 16th, 2024 | by Sam Noel

Spring mountain biking is here. And we're so psyched.

All of our friends and everyone in the office is talking about it. But sometimes we don't understand everything they're talking about...like you loved the "hero dirt" last night? Huh?

We figured many of you are in the same boat. Maybe your eager nephew or niece is regaling story after story of "white knuckling" last weekend and you can't keep up with their jargon. Or you're looking for some new terms to throw out in conversation with your buddies after your next ride.

We consulted our in-house mountain bike lingo expert, Sam, and asked him to compile a list of every bike term you need to know to stay in the know this spring and summer.

What essential bike terms did we miss? Add them in the comments!

Spring mountain biking is here. And we're so psyched.

All of our friends and everyone in the office is talking about it. But sometimes we don't understand everything they're talking about...like you loved the "hero dirt" last night? Huh?

We figured many of you are in the same boat. Maybe your eager nephew or niece is regaling story after story of "white knuckling" last weekend and you can't keep up with their jargon. Or you're looking for some new terms to throw out in conversation with your buddies after your next ride.

We consulted our in-house mountain bike lingo expert, Sam, and asked him to compile a list of every bike term you need to know to stay in the know this spring and summer.

What essential bike terms did we miss? Add them in the comments!

Roost: When you carry a lot of speed into a berm or a rut and the rear wheel sprays up dirt, it's sick I promise.

Holeshot: Similarly to motocross racing, the start for mountain bike and cyclocross racing is always a sprint to the first corner to avoid getting caught up in any sort of antics. Getting the holeshot means you have won the race to the first corner.

Hero Dirt: Typically is found during the spring. After a long winter of precipitation, and saturated dirt, the drier days allow the moisture to begin to drain. The surface it leaves allows you to really push it, knowing with confidence that you can catch yourself if things start to get a little spicy. Could be said that hero dirt is to mountain bikers as crust skiing is to nordic skiers.

Roost: When you carry a lot of speed into a berm or a rut and the rear wheel sprays up dirt, it's sick I promise.

Holeshot: Similarly to motocross racing, the start for mountain bike and cyclocross racing is always a sprint to the first corner to avoid getting caught up in any sort of antics. Getting the holeshot means you have won the race to the first corner.

Hero Dirt: Typically is found during the spring. After a long winter of precipitation, and saturated dirt, the drier days allow the moisture to begin to drain. The surface it leaves allows you to really push it, knowing with confidence that you can catch yourself if things start to get a little spicy. Could be said that hero dirt is to mountain bikers as crust skiing is to nordic skiers.

Chunder: A generally fast section of trail that often has big roots, big rocks and maybe a little loose that you often have to carry your speed through to maintain your balance.  

White knuckling: When you decide to ride above your level and follow someone like Adam Morse on a downhill, there's a chance you will end up gripping your bars so tight, your knuckles turn white. 

Pre ride: The time you get on course before your race to dial in lines, your bike set up and warm up. But it is actually just a perfect time to show off your skills before fighting for your life to stay on the lead lap.

Half Wheeling: The term used when someone rides a wheel length ahead of you at all times making it awkward to have a conversation and impossible to go easy.

Chunder: A generally fast section of trail that often has big roots, big rocks and maybe a little loose that you often have to carry your speed through to maintain your balance.  

White knuckling: When you decide to ride above your level and follow someone like Adam Morse on a downhill, there's a chance you will end up gripping your bars so tight, your knuckles turn white. 

Pre ride: The time you get on course before your race to dial in lines, your bike set up and warm up. But it is actually just a perfect time to show off your skills before fighting for your life to stay on the lead lap.

Half Wheeling: The term used when someone rides a wheel length ahead of you at all times making it awkward to have a conversation and impossible to go easy.

Weekly Night Worlds: Weekly group rides that are treated with the same importance as a World Championship. 

Town Line Sprint: A chance for the local youth to outsprint the masters blasters during Weekly Night Worlds.

Bonk: Aggressive half wheeling and too many townline sprints can lead to this.

Marginal Gains: What you tell yourself you are getting when you do things like shave your legs, wax your chain or tilting your hoods in (no gains).

Weekly Night Worlds: Weekly group rides that are treated with the same importance as a World Championship. 

Town Line Sprint: A chance for the local youth to outsprint the masters blasters during Weekly Night Worlds.

Bonk: Aggressive half wheeling and too many townline sprints can lead to this.

Marginal Gains: What you tell yourself you are getting when you do things like shave your legs, wax your chain or tilting your hoods in (no gains).

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