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Cycling Glossary


  • 6061 aluminium

    A blend of elements used to create a lightweight and strong form of aluminium which is easy to weld. Commonly used for bicycle frames and components.


  • ANT+

    A form of wireless technology widely used in cycle computers, power meters, cadence sensors, heart rate monitors and other devices which allow them to communicate between one another.

  • Arm Pump

    Common on long & rocky downhill MTB trails, forearms become tired as your hands grip on to the handlebars and brakes. This is known as arm pump.


  • Base Layer

    Worn next to the skin, a base layer actively regulate your temperature and wicks away sweat before it irritates the skin. Short sleeve and long sleeve versions are available

  • Boa

    A fastening system with a turn dial to secure shoes without using laces or Velcro.

  • Brake Bleed

    Hydraulic brakes require bleeding to ensure optimum performance. This removes any air pockets in the system to ensure consistent braking performance.


  • Carbon Fibre

    Multiple weaves of thin carbon are bound together, producing a highly sought after strong and lightweight material.

  • Casette

    A group of cogs found on the rear wheel. The amount of cogs on the cassette determines how many gears the bike has, singlespeed bikes have no cassettes.

  • Cadence Sensor

    A sensor which measures the amount or revolutions per minute (RPM) the cranks on your bicycle carry out.

  • Chainset

    A chainset consists of two cranks and up to three chainrings, some also include a bottom bracket.

  • Chainslap

    Where the chain ‘slaps’ against the chainstay and makes a noise.

  • Compact Gearing

    Usually found on sportive road bikes, compact gearing has smaller front chainrings and a cassette with a larger range. This provides a wide range of lower speed gears compared to a standard chainset; ideal for riding hilly terrain.


  • Derailleurs

    Also known as mechs, a derailleur is controlled by the shifters to change gear. Front and rear mechs are available.

  • Drivetrain

    Collective components used to drive a bike forward. Consists of cranks, chainrings, cassette, chain, rear mech and front mech.

  • D-Lock

    A D-Lock, also known as a U-Lock, consists of two main parts, a D/U shaped steel shackle and locking cylinder. These locks are capable of securing your frame and rear wheel to an object such as a bike rack


  • Enduro

    A discipline of mountain biking requiring participants to ride stages as quickly as possible and ride between the stages within an allotted time.

  • Eyelet

    Eyelets are mounting points for bike racks or mudguards and can be found on the fork and chainstays of some bikes.


  • Fat Bike

    A mountain bike with wide tyres, usually up to 5 inches in width; originally developed for use on snow and sand.

  • Fenders

    Also referred to as mudguards, front and rear fenders are available for all bike types.

  • Fixie

    A bicycle with only one gear and no freewheel. The rider must keep pedalling when on a fixie as the rear wheel only moves in conjunction with the pedals

  • Freewheel

    A freewheel connects to a wheel hub and cassette and allows the rear wheel to move freely when not pedalling


  • Goretex

    A waterproof, windproof and highly breathable fabric designed for active use

  • Groupset

    A groupset includes a chainset, front mech/derailleur, rear mech/derailleur, bottom bracket, brakes, gear shifters, cassette and chain.


  • High-wicking

    High wicking clothing moves sweat away from the body, allowing it to evaporate without causing discomfort

  • Hybrid Fork

    Mainly found on road bikes, a hybrid fork uses a blend of material with an aluminium steerer tube with carbon blades.

  • Hydration Pack

    A backpack with, or capable of holding a reservoir/bladder connected to a drinking hose, allowing you to carry and consume liquid with ease.

  • Hydroformed

    Aluminium or steel tubes are shaped by using a high pressure hydraulic fluid and a specific mould.


  • Internal Cable Routing

    Some bike frames route cables through the frame rather than outside. This can improve cable lifespan and frame aesthetics.


  • Jockey Wheels

    The two small, cog-like wheels used in the rear derailleur.


  • Kickstand

    A stand fitted near the chainstays and bottom bracket which props your bike up and can be operated with your foot.


  • Lumen

    A measurement of the amount of light emitted from a source, such as a bulb or LED. The higher amount of lumens, the brighter a light is.


  • Mech

    Also known as a derailleur, a mech is controlled by the shifters to change gear. Front and rear mechs are available.

  • Merino Wool

    Taken from Merino sheep, Merino wool is soft and often used in base layers and socks. It’s naturally wicking, anti-bacterial and extremely comfortable

  • MIPS

    A helmet safety technology that absorbs angled impacts more effectively, compared to non-MIPS equipped helmets. A low friction layer between the helmet shell and liner moves under ample force, providing additional protection.




  • Pinch Flat

    When the wheel rim pinches an innertube causing a puncture, usually a result of innertubes being underinflated.

  • Presta

    A thin bike tyre valve available in a number of lengths. Presta valves are becoming increasingly popular, gradually replacing Schrader valves.


  • QR

    QR (quick release) makes it easy to remove or adjust components without the need for tools. Most bike wheels and seatpost clamps use a quick release mechanism

  • Quill stem

    A long stem which inserts into the steerer tube, rather than clamping onto it as modern stems do. Quill stems are commonly used on older bikes.


  • Remote Lockout

    Forks and/or rear shocks with remote lockout allow the rider to lock them (make them stiff) using a switch on the handlebars. This function is mainly used to increase climbing efficiency on mountain bikes.

  • Reynolds Tubing

    A brand of bike frame tubing available in aluminium, titanium and steel


  • Schrader

    This bike tyre valve is the same found on car wheels and is short and wide. Nowadays Presta valves are more common

  • Silicone grippers

    Found on items of clothing to prevent them from slipping while cycling.

  • Sold Secure

    A bike lock security rating system. The gold, silver and bronze ratings demonstrate the level of security offered, with gold being the highest

  • Steerer Tube

    Attached to the fork blades, a steerer tube is threaded through the headtube of a bike, then secured in place with a stem and topcap.

  • Suspension Sag

    The amount your suspension compresses once you are sat on a bike. Suspension sag should be measured when your bike is stationary and when wearing full riding kit. Check the manufactures recommendation for the suggested amount of sag and adjust your suspension settings accordingly

  • Suspension Travel

    The amount the suspension moves up and down, commonly measured in millimetres


  • Technical Cut

    Close fitting clothing with high wicking fabric for optimum comfort.

  • Tyre Compound

    Tyres are made up of a number of compounds. Softer compounds provide more grip whereas harder compounds roll faster.

  • Tyre TPI

    Threads per Square Inch (TPI) is a measurement used to display the thickness of a tyre. A higher TPI results in a thinner tyre with low rolling resistance, a tyre with low TPI is thicker and more resistant to punctures.


  • Uplift

    A service for downhill mountain bikers. An uplift vehicle takes riders to the top of a trail, they ride down and repeat this process saving them from riding uphill.

  • U-Lock

    See D-Lock


  • Valve

    Valves allow you to adjust air pressure with the use of a pump. Valves are found on innertubes, air sprung forks and shocks


  • Watt

    A measurement of power commonly used to display the amount of power generated by a rider through the use of a power meter

  • Wheelbase

    The length of a bike measured between the centre of each wheel. The longer a wheelbase the more stable a bike will feel


  • XC

    An abbreviations for Cross-Country. Common uses include XC bikes and XC rides



Glossary contents