Mountain Bike Terms

There are hundreds of Mountain Bike terms and slang words to learn. These slang words have been created and formed from many different sports and types of Mountain Biking. These phrases are used all over the world in different bike parks and tracks.

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A Guide To Mountain Bike Terms-Learning The Lingo A to Z

Numbers:

26
When a rider is using 26 Inch wheels on their bike

27.5
This is when a rider is using 27.5 Inch wheels

27.5+
This refers to when a rider has 27.5 Inch wheels and plus sized tires (2.8 or bigger tires).

650b
TAn alternative slang word for 27.5 Inch wheels.

29er
29ers is when a rider is using 29 Inch wheels on his Mountain bike.


A

Airtime

Airtime is the time spent of a rider in air when doing a jump. Watch the Athertons getting some serious airtime below for an excellent cause!

B

Berm

A berm is a corner on a mountain bike trail that has been built up from soil/dirt and has a catch in it so the rider can cycle through the corner with more speed.

Braaap

Braaap is a term that has been taken from a motorcycles two stroke engine, and is used in mountain biking when you hear the sound of the knobbly tires ripping up the trail.

Bottom Out

Bottoming out on a bike is when you hit a hard compression or land a jump too flat and your suspension (Forks/Rear shock) compresses, leaving it to completely “bottom out”.

Burp

A “Burp” is when a rider bursts his tire. Burping a tire will only happen if you are running a tubeless tire setup on your bike. For a burp to happen you would need to put lots of force and weight against your bike when going around a flat corner or in a groove on the mountain bike trail. This will cause a small amount of air to burst out the tire making a burp.

Bunny Hop

This is when you do a jump on your bike from flat ground, or any surface, and a skill you learn to maneuver your bike better in the air.


C

Crank

This is a part found on a bike. The word crank can also be used when describing how many times a rider pedals.

Case

A case is when a rider lands short on a jump causing his back wheel, or more of the bike, to not make the landing of a jump. A case can be ridden out easily.

Cadence

This is the cadence of how much a rider pedals (aka Pedaling Rate).

Cutty

Clips is a type of pedal you can get for you bike. You can use specific clipped in shoes that have a kleet underneath the shoe that locks into your pedal. Some riders prefer clips and others prefer flat pedals and grippy shoes.


D

Double

A double is a type of jump found on the trails. A double can be a set of jumps that you can either double, triple, quad and so on or it could be a roller jump with a gap in-between and another roller jump used for the landing of the double.

Dab

In MTB terms, a dab is when you get into a sticky situation on the trail and need to put a foot out to help yourself balance, or for comfort to get yourself back on track.

DJ/Dirt Jump

A dirt jump is normally a steeper jump made for achieving height and lots of airtime, but can also be a regular jump, made out of soil.

Dope

Usually means it was good/awesome. “that was dope”

Drop

This is a feature on a trail where there is a small jump or ledge to ride off.

DH

DH is slang for Downhill.

Drop In / Dropping In

This is said when a rider is about to start riding a trail or section of a track.

Dropper/Dropper Seat Post

This is a component on a bike that allows the seat to lift up and down with a press of a button.

Dialled

This is when a rider is fully focused and ready to ride.


E

Enduro

This is one of the main types of Mountain Biking and consists of uphill and downhill sections and is usually a longer style of riding with fewer gnarly jumps.

Egg Beating

Egg beating is when a rider is in too low of a gear for the terrain they are riding. This will result in the rider pedaling fast and getting nowhere fast, ie: egg beating and not getting the speed they should be getting.


F

Flat Land

Flat landing a jump is when a rider either has too much speed or hucks a jump too hard and lands near the botte of the landing of the jump.

Flow

Flow is a very popular term. It is where a rider has general control of the bike and can flow through jumps, corners and the trail as a whole.

Fire Road

This is a road that usually loops around the trails for emergency vehicles to get to a fire or rider if there's been an accident, or if a rider has to leave because of an emergency and needs to quickly get back, they can use a fire road.

Full Sus/Full Suspension

This is when a bike has full suspension on both front and rear (Forks and Rear Shock).

Free Ride

Free riding is usually fun bike park style tracks that contain lots of smooth jumps, berms and drops. Free riding is a non-competitive way of riding.

Flats

This is when a rider is using flat pedals on their bike.


G

Gap

A gap or a gap jump is a jump with a gap in between the take off and the landing.

Granny Gear

Granny gear is when a rider is egg beating and is in too low a gear, so this is called the granny gear.

Gnarly

This is when something is fun, dangerous and sketchy.


H

Huck

This is when a rider lifts up during a jump and tries to launch themselves and their bike to go huge on the jump.

Hip

This is a type of jump found on an MTB Trail.

Hard Tail

A Hard Tail is a type of bike that has no rear suspension, so you land hard on your tail, hence the name “hard tail”.


J

Jump

This is when a riders two wheels lift up off the ground. A Jump can also be a section of an MTB trail which sends you into the air.


K

Kicker

This is a steep jump that will send you further and higher than other jumps.

KOM

This term stands for “King of the Mountain”.


L

Landing

This is section of a jump where the riders land.

Lid

This word is the slang term for helmet.

Line

The line/path a rider chooses to go down when riding trails.


M

Manuel

A Manuel is when a rider is in a wheelie position but balancing the bike onto the rear wheel without pedaling.

MTB

The term MTB is short for Mountain Bike. Check out the insane Specialized Levo below...

mountain bike terms

N

Nose Bonk

A nose bonk is where a rider will be air born and bonk his front wheel down whilst midair. This trick is usually performed on a step-up jump.


O

OTB

This term is slang for “Over the Bars”. OTB is said when a rider crashes their bike and goes over the bars.


P

PSI

This measures how much air pressure is inside your tires.

Pump

A Pump is a device that can inflate your tires. Pump can also mean when a rider is pumping through berms, rollers or jumps.

Pedal, Pedal, Pedal

This term is said to cheer on fellow riders when they are passing you. This term is usually said in racing when a spectator is watching riders race down the trail.

R

Roost

When a rider roosts it means they are going through a berm quickly, flicking up dirt, roosting through it.

Roll It

The term roll it is said when a rider is rolling over a jump or roller.

Rider

People shout this term out when a rider is coming down the trail to warn any other riders. This will inform the other riders to get out of the track if they are in the way of the rider coming down.

Race Pace

This term is for how fast a rider is going (Race pace is how fast you would go and how much effort you would put in as if you were doing a race).


S

Shralp

This is when a rider aggressively cuts through a berm so hard that the tire folds slightly making a shralp noise.

Scrub

Scrubbing a jump is when a rider wants to go faster over a specific jump and leans the bike down, doing the opposite of a huck, to maximize speed.

Squash

Squashing a jump is smiler to a srcub but instead of leaning the bike down you will push the bike down and compress it with your legs (squashing a jump is easiest with a full suspension bike.

Send It

Sending it is when a rider puts their full focus and confidence into riding, this is sending it.

Steeze

When a rider has steeze it means they have lots of style and good lines when riding.

Step Up

This is a type of jump on a mountain bike trail.


T

Triple

A triple is a type of jump found on the trails. A triple can be a set of jumps that you can either double, triple, quad and so on. Or it could be a roller jump with another jump in-between it and then a landing, this would make it a triple.

Tubeless

This is when a bikes tire doesn't have an inner tube inside it.

W

Washout

Washouts usually happen during a corner but can happen anywhere. A washout is when a rider loses traction and their front or rear wheel slides out normally causing them to crash but can be saved.

Wheelie

A wheelie is when you pop the front wheel up whilst pedaling and balance the bike on the rear wheel.

Whip

This is a trick used by any riders. To whip you must lean left or right when going up a jump and flick the back end of your bike either left or right and then be able to bring it back straight after.


X

XC

This is slang for cross-country.


Z

Zone

This is when a rider is in the zone and is 100% focused.


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