Mountain Biking Terms You Should Know

As with any sport, mountain biking comes with its own terminology and language. Learning the ropes out on the trail is nearly as important as understanding essential commands, equipment, and ways of communicating. In memorizing a handful of important terms, you’ll be able to better communicate with fellow bikers both on and off the trail. The Redding mountain biking scene is full of veteran riders who might tease you if you don’t know your stuff. Brush up on some of the most important words with our guide below.


Attack Position: This is the well-balanced position you ride in while you are approaching or riding on rough terrain. The knees are bent, the butt is above the saddle, the elbows are slightly bent, and the head is raised.


Berm: An embankment on the trail


Bunny Hop: A hop you incorporate to clear obstacles, such as logs, without stopping


Chain Suck: The dragging, jamming, and bunching of the chain that occurs in sloppy, muddy conditions


Clipless Pedal: A pedal that has spring-loaded cleats that clip to a rider’s shoe


Dialed In: When everything on your bike is running smoothly


Doubletrack: Two trails that run parallel to each other; this may also be called a tractor trail or Jeep trail.


Downshift: Shifting to a lower gear


Dropping In: When you proceed down a steep single track when other riders are around


Dualie: A bike with both front and rear suspension


Endo: A crash that involves going over the handlebars


Fire Road: a backcountry dirt or gravel trail wide enough for emergency vehicles to use


Gnarl: This is an extreme technical section of a trail often characterized by rough, rooted, slippery, and rocky sections.


Grider: A long, uphill climb


Hardtail: A bike with no rear suspension


Line: The desirable path or strategy to tackle a tricky section of the trail


Ratchet: A riding technique in which the rider pedals in partial strokes to clear difficult obstacles


Upshift: A shift into a higher gear


Wash Out: When the front tire loses traction, especially while going around a corner


Yard Sale: A crash so bad it scatters every piece of equipment