Bike Slang: A Dictionary Of The Most Common Things Commuters Say

From saddlebags to derailleurs, and MAMILs to sportives, cycling has its secret language.

Even with a thorough knowledge of cycle talk, there’s always more phrases and words that you’ll need to learn.

We want to help you understand the most common things bike commuters say.

There are probably some things that you normally do on your bike, yet did not realize there’s an “official” name for it.

Commute Slang Dictionary

Here is a small post consisting of fun and inventive phrases in regards to cycling.

Bike Ninja – Cyclists who tend to ride without any warning lights when it’s dark outside. Bike ninjas remove their reflective gear to enhance their ninja status. Usually, this type of rider pops out of nowhere.

Bike Salmon – A bike salmon is someone who cycles the wrong way up the one-way street. Like a salmon, bike salmons swim upstream, by doing this.

Breakaway – A rider or a group of riders that have escaped the pack.

Bunch – The main group of riders clustered together in a race. Also known as pack, pelotin, field, group.

Cliptastrophy – Stands for cyclists who forget to clip in or out while riding. This leads to them falling out of their bicycle or breaking their fall.

Eye of Mordor – You’ll see this often in areas with a lot of heat. Eye of Mordor stands for the bit of skin that’s visible when someone is wearing a non-cycling t-shirt.

Cyclist attacking man with a bike

Firefighter – A cyclist that consistently ring their bell to tell everyone they’re on their way. While it’s good to ring your bell on occasion, it becomes pointless once you use it constantly.

4-H Training – Training under humidity, headwinds, and heat, hills at the same time.

Flat Liner – A rider who’s good at riding only on flat surfaces.

Flipper – Flippers are cyclists who wear flip flops while they ride. We suggest using riding shoes instead of flip flops because flip flops can negatively affect your performance.

Foxing – Riding badly on purpose to achieve a better handicap.

Fred/Freida – A person that’s new to cycling, but rides with professional biking equipment. Most of the time, the Fred’Freida’s ability won’t catch up to the technology they’ve purchased.

Hummer – A cyclist who loves off-roading during the weekends. Hummers tend to have large tires with dual suspension. You can easily identify a hummer by the way their tires make a humming sound once they hit the ground.

Cycling race with toys

The Chameleon – Cyclists who use the pavement to make a turn once the light turns red. This annoys pedestrians and vehicle owners.

Time Trial (TT) – A race in which each participant starts at a set interval and cannot receive or send a draft.

Training Effect – The physiological benefits you receive after an intense workout.


As a new cyclist, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the constant buzz words and phrases each commuter says. But, you can remain socially savvy through using some of the phrases listed above. Thus, learning how to speak in commuter slang gives you a better level of communication amongst you and your cycling peers.

Do you have your form of commuter slang?

Let us know your favorite words and sayings in the comment below.



London Cyclist

Dictionary of Roadie Slang​

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