From the beginning Mountain Bikers have had their own unique subculture so interesting that it takes this humorous little dictionary for us to begin to understand everything. Thanks to Jason and EXTREME Mountain Biking for the original list. Now it's up to mountain biking fanatics like you to keep the list going!
Submit your own slang word and a short definition.
Check the slang words submitted by other riders!
ano adj. frequently-misspelled abbreviation for 'anodized'.
ATB n. All Terrain Bike (Biking). A synonym for MTB
auger v. to involuntarily take samples of the local geology, usually with one's face, during a crash. See face plant
Aunt Bee n. slowest member of group ride
bail v. to jump off in order to avoid an imminent crash.
biopace adj. a now-discredited Shimano techno-fad where the chainrings were made intentionally not circular -- instead, they were elliptical, in order to (allegedly) smooth the power delivery, by giving the rider an effectively lower gear for part of the spin cycle. Now used to describe any uneven pedaling motion. Also used as a synonym for pogo-ing.
biff n. a crash. Synonyms: wipeout. v. "I biffed and then wiped away the blood."
blood donar n. an injured rider.
BSG n. acronym for "Bike Store Guy".
bunny-hop v. to lift both wheels off the ground by crouching down and then exploding upward, pulling the bike with you. Useful for clearing obstructions, such as curbs, potholes, logs. Differs from its older BMX & trials meaning -- see jump.
buzz n. euphoric feeling. Commonly used after a particularly hard passage is successfully completed.
Can-can v. Radest maneuver you'll ever see! Rider kicks out foot opposite side over top tube while catching sick air.
captain crash v. to "go down with the ship". Usually the result of a novice spud-user failing to clip out in time.
cashed adj. to be too tired to ride any farther; bonked
chainsuck n. condition when the bike chain gets jammed between the frame and the chain rings, or when the chaining is so worn that it holds onto the chain and lifts it up to meet the incoming part of the chain.
clean v. to negotiate a trail successfully without crashing. "I cleaned that last section."
clipless adj. misleading name for a pedal-and-shoe system where the clips or cleats clip onto the soles of special shoes. Called 'clipless' because you can't see the clips when you're clipped in like you can with toe clips.
corndog v. to become covered in silt, usually after a fall.
curb slide v. to place the front wheel up on a curb and allow the rear tire to scrape along the curb, usually resulting in a loud tearing sound.
dab v. to put down in order to catch your balance on a difficult section of trail. "I made it without crashing, but I had to dab once."
death cookies n. fist-sized rocks that knock your bike in every direction but the one you want to proceed in.
dialed in adj. when a bike is set up nicely and everything works just right.
digger n. a face plant.
dirt bike n. an off-road motorcycle. Louder than MTB's.
drillium n. any bike part with lots of holes drilled in it to make it lighter.
dual-track n. a dirt road used by four-wheeled vehicles rarely enough that their tires have made ruts that became parallel singletracks. Also called doubletrack. See singletrack.
endo n. the maneuver of flying unexpectedly over the handlebars, thus being forcibly ejected from the bike. Short for "end over end". "I hit that rock and went endo like nobody's business." In BMX riding, "endo" used to be a synonym for front wheelie.
engine n. the rider.
face shovel v. when one's face comes in contact with the ground.
first blood n. credit to the first rider in a group who crashes and starts bleeding as a result.
front wheelie n. what endo used to mean in BMX: a trick where the rider applies the front brake and lifts the back wheel off of the ground; this is the basis for many BMX tricks.
giblets n. all the colorful parts and pieces that you can add or change out on a bike.
gravity check n. a fall.
grinder n. any hill in which a 20 tooth chaining feels like a 50 tooth.
grindies n. e.g., "All that dried mud and sand left me with a loud case of the grindies in my drivetrain."
gutter bunny n. a bicycling commuter.
half-track n. a trail so narrow and/or overgrown that you'd hesitate to call it a singletrack.
hammer v. to ride fast and hard.
horizontal track stand n. a foot fault that happens at a stop sign.
IMBA n. International Mountain Biking Association. An organization for trail advocacy.
Index Steering n. seriously pitted headset, resulting in notches and lower selectivity on direction.
jersey n. Serious rider, person who rides for what is written on their jersey.
jump n. or v. known as bunny-hop.
kack n. an injury to the shin received while doing trails, a kack can be the result of any injury received during technical riding.
kick-out n. a bunny-hop in which the rider pushes the back tire to one side.
LBS n. acronym for "The Local Bike Shop".
linen. the desirable path or strategy to take on a tricky trail section.
mach session v. descending a fire road with friends at great speed.
man trap n. hole covered with autumn leaves, resembling solid earth and effective at eating the front wheel of the unsuspecting rider.
Marin n. the country in Northern, CA where Mountain Biking is said to have been invented. Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
mo n. momentum.
mojo n. charm of icon worn by a biker or attached to the bike.
nirvana n. the state of being in absolute control and totally in tune with your bike, the trail, and your physical strength. "I was just doing it all so smoothly and delicately and quickly, it was nirvana!" Synonym for The Zone.
NORBA n. National Off-Road Bicycling Association. Organizes large races.
OHV, ORV n. Acronyms for Off-Highway Vehicle and Off-Road Vehicle. These have motors and are not bicycles.
over-the-bar blood donor n. a rider who is injured while doing an endo.
pogo v. to bounce on a full-suspension bike like a pogo stick.
power slide n. a two-wheel sideways slide, with one foot opposite the direction of travel.
prune v. to use one's helmet to remove leaves and branches from the surrounding flora. Usually unintentional.
R&D n. Ripoff & Duplication, or Research and Development
roadie n. a rider who prefers riding on paved surfaces.
roost v. to go fast or accelerate quickly. Or, to stop suddenly
singletrack n. trail just wide enough for one person or bike -- the MTBer's holy grail. Contrast with dual-track.
skid lid n. helmet.
sky v. to jump extremely high. To get big air.
snake bite n. a double puncture of an inner tube, caused by hitting an obstacle too hard or by under-inflation of tires.
snowmine n. an object hidden by snow on the trail. "Be careful of the snowmines -- you know, rocks, logs, hibernating bears..."
soil sample n. a face plant.
spin v. smooth pedal motion. Opposite of push-push.
spring planting n. a face plant.
spuds n. "SPD" (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) clipless pedals.
stack n. crash. v. crash.
STI adj. "Shimano Total Integration" -- a marketing ploy that forces you to buy new brakes when you replace your shifters.
superman n. a rider who flies over the handlebars and doesn't hit the ground for a long time. This may result in injury, but when it doesn't, it's really funny for everyone else.
swag n. the stuff that manufacturers and vendors donate to be given away at bike related events. When you race, go to bike shows, help put on events, write bike articles, you are often rewarded with swag. Sometimes called "schwag".
table-top n. a jump in which the rider throws the bike sideways in mid-air. Less commonly, a jump made over a hill that reaches a plateau and goes back down.
taco v. to bend a wheel over on itself, in the shape of a taco. "I taco'd my wheel, and it cost me a hundred bucks." Worse than a potato chip.
tea party n. when a whole group of riders stops and chats, and nobody seems to want to ride on.
technical n. a section of trail that is difficult to ride because of rocks, tree roots, steep drops.
techno-fad n. a screwy or unique technology that a dominant company tries to foist upon the innocent cycling public. Past techno-fads include Biopace chainrings, and overly complex "thumb-thumb" or "push-push" shifters.
techno-weenie n. a rider who knows more about the newest MTB parts and techno-fads than about the trails. Someone who buys lots of gadgets to add supposed iotas of performance to the bike. Greeting a friend whom we haven't seen in a year, I might say "Hi, Marta!" A techno-weenie might say "Oooh, you got White Industries hubs on that bike now?"
three-hour tour n. a ride that looks like a piece of cake at the outset but turns out to be a death march. Derived from the theme song to "Gilligan's Island."
track stand n. (from road-cycling) a maneuver where the rider stops the bike and attempts to remain standing.
trail swag n. equipment or accessories dropped by other bikers and found on the trail.
tricked out adj. when a bike has the latest and hottest components.
tweak n. a jump during which the rider twists the handlebars back and forth in mid-air, the more times the better. v. 1. to slightly injure a part of the body or the bike in a crash. "I tweaked my wrist when I fell." 2. to make a minor adjustment. "My brake pads were rubbing but I tweaked the cable and it went away."
unobtanium adj. describing a bike or accessory made from expensive, high-tech material. A play on "unobtainable" and "titanium."
vegetable tunnel n. a singletrack that is heavily overgrown with foliage, so a rider must duck and bend to get through it.
VTT n. Velo Tout-Terrain, the French term for mountain biking. Velo = bike, Tout = all, and don't even ask us about terrain. :-)
washboard n. small undulations of the soil surface that make for a very rough ride.
wash out v. to have the front tire lose traction, especially while going around a corner.
weight-watcher n. 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 n. lifting the front wheel off the ground, usually with some combination of pulling on the handlebars, pedaling harder, and balance.
WOMBATS n. "WOmen's Mountain Biking And Tea Society", a Marin-based organization founded by writer and former MTB racer Jacquie Phelan.
wonky adj. not functioning properly. "I bailed, and now my wheel is all wonky and all I hear are wild pigs."
yard sale n. (from skiing) a horrendous crash that leaves all your various "wares" -- water bottles, pump, tool bag, etc. -- scattered as if on display for sale.
The Zone n. 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.
zone out v. 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.
Word Submitted By: David Benson - Wednesday, March 18, 1998 at 17:46:18 EDT
Epic n. A ride which must take an entire day. At least one member of
the group must come home either, injured (hopefully not
badly) or with broken bike parts. This usually resulting
from something stupid they shouldn't have tri
sketchy adj. When you almost fall on a rough trail.
square v. to intentially leave the pressure too low in your tires and severly bend the rim into something other than a circle. ex. I took my beater bike and squared the rims on a curb.
stand n. To stay in equalibrium during a certain period of time without pedaling or applying brake levers. This trick is more common for people who do TRIAL.