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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.
A Guide To Mountain Bike Terms-Learning The Lingo A to Z
26When a rider is using 26 Inch wheels on their bike
27.5This 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).
650bTAn alternative slang word for 27.5 Inch wheels.
29er29ers is when a rider is using 29 Inch wheels on his Mountain bike.
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!
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 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.
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”.
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.
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.
This is a part found on a bike. The word crank can also be used when describing how many times a rider pedals.
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.
This is the cadence of how much a rider pedals (aka Pedaling Rate).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Usually means it was good/awesome. “that was dope”
This is a feature on a trail where there is a small jump or ledge to ride off.
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.
This is when a rider is fully focused and ready to ride.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
This is when a rider is using flat pedals on their bike.
A gap or a gap jump is a jump with a gap in between the take off and the landing.
Granny gear is when a rider is egg beating and is in too low a gear, so this is called the granny gear.
This is when something is fun, dangerous and sketchy.
This is when a rider lifts up during a jump and tries to launch themselves and their bike to go huge on the jump.
This is a type of jump found on an MTB Trail.
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”.
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.
This is a steep jump that will send you further and higher than other jumps.
This term stands for “King of the Mountain”.
This is section of a jump where the riders land.
This word is the slang term for helmet.
The line/path a rider chooses to go down when riding trails.
A Manuel is when a rider is in a wheelie position but balancing the bike onto the rear wheel without pedaling.
The term MTB is short for Mountain Bike. Check out the insane Specialized Levo below…
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.
This term is slang for “Over the Bars”. OTB is said when a rider crashes their bike and goes over the bars.
This measures how much air pressure is inside your tires.
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.
When a rider roosts it means they are going through a berm quickly, flicking up dirt, roosting through it.
The term roll it is said when a rider is rolling over a jump or roller.
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.
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).
This is when a rider aggressively cuts through a berm so hard that the tire folds slightly making a shralp noise.
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.
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.
Sending it is when a rider puts their full focus and confidence into riding, this is sending it.
When a rider has steeze it means they have lots of style and good lines when riding.
This is a type of jump on a mountain bike trail.
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.
This is when a bikes tire doesn’t have an inner tube inside it.
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.
A wheelie is when you pop the front wheel up whilst pedaling and balance the bike on the rear wheel.
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.
This is slang for cross-country.
This is when a rider is in the zone and is 100% focused.
I’m James Duff, a 29-year-old from Orange, California, fueled by a lifelong passion for bikes. From childhood pedaling to exploring BMX tricks and tackling mountain trails, biking has been my constant. Now, I’m translating that love into words on this blog. Join me in discovering the thrilling world of biking, as I share insights, gear essentials, and personal adventures. Let’s journey together through the exhilarating realm of cycling.