Different languages and vocabularies are spoken the world over and vary between cultures and nationalities and the mountain biking world is no different. Entering the world of fat tyres, baggy clothing and mud, being up to speed with the lingo will ensure your transition into becoming ‘one of the cool guys’ is as smooth as the roads you’re used to on your skinny tyres. Take a look at our vocab guide to make ensure you fit right in whilst dialling your runs and stomping the booters.
A skill everyone needs to know and something which you’ll become hugely accustomed to. Bailing is being able to jump off your bike in order to avoid a more serious crash. If the tree is getting bigger and quickly as you head straight towards it, it’s a good time to bail and leap off your bike to avoid the tree completely.
‘Wow, I had to bail there otherwise I was going straight into that tree.’
A run where bailing never even needs to cross your mind. When your equipment is running great and you’re tearing up the trails, you are said to be absolutely dialled in.
‘I was so dialled in on that run! I smashed it, so stoked to watch it back on the GoPro.’
A long day on the saddle and being absolutely dialled in all day will take its toll. When you’re coming to the end of your ride and the only thing on your mind is making it to the end because you’re completely spent, you’re said to have ‘bonked’.
‘Thank god that’s done, I bonked hard there.’
Before you bonked, you were cruising down the trail, eating up the dirt and using the ‘berms’ to carry your speed through the trail and keep the adrenaline pumping. A berm is a banked corner on the route which allows you to take the corner at more speed without having to slam on the brakes and are a common feature of all mountain bike trails.
‘That berm spat me out of the corner with so much speed.’
Taking the berms with no issues and being dialled in on the whole of a section of trail with no need for bailing, stopping or putting your feet on the floor means you took it real clean.
‘I cruised that trail and totally cleaned the tough section in the middle.’
Going clean on a trail and over the different features of it will require you to stomp few landings once in a while. Taking on a feature and pulling a trick or adding some style to it is one thing, but landing it is another. When you nail the landing, it’s said in the mountain biking world that you have stomped the landing.
‘Mate, I saw you pull that backflip, you absolutely stomped it.’
Although more commonly thought of as something to eat your dinner off, in a mountain bikers’ eyes, the table is seen as a platform to pull trick after trick on. Table, like in its appearance, with two ramps either side, it’s a feature of a trail which bikers look at as an opportunity to stomp their newest tricks on.
‘There’s a table on this trail that I’m hitting up to pull a backflip on.’
A kicker is another feature of the trails which you’ll likely come across but if you’re new to the game, unlikely to have a go at. Normally reserved for the big boys, a kicker is a large jump that requires a lot of commitment and even more courage. To stomp a trick off the biggest of kickers is no mean feat but when you nail it, you’ll look like a king.
‘Hey, did you just see that guy fly off that kicker? He got so much air.’
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go the way you think it will. You’re not always dialled in and stomping every jump is easier said than done. When things do turn south, your body and your bike will bear the brunt of your errors and when they do, that’s when you get what they call a taco. A taco is where your wheel takes a huge hit and buckles, folding in half taking the shape of a taco. No one likes to see it, but getting one can be worn as a bit of a badge of honour to show just how hard you were pushing it.
‘I went too hard at that table and missed my landing. Look at my wheel, completely taco’d!’
So when it comes to it, knowing all the terms and slang ensures you slide effortlessly into the mountain biking world with your new friends none the wiser about your complete inexperience in this new world. No one likes to be the one left out, the one that doesn’t quite fit and of course, in mountain biking circles, there is a word for people like that – a punter. A punter is the ‘all the gear, no idea’ guy; he rocks up with his new £3000 bike without any idea how to ride it properly and without doubt has failed to scrub up on his mountain biking lingo before arriving too. The old guard take great pleasure when a punter taco’s his wheel on the first feature and don’t mind showing it.
‘Look at that punter, he looks the part but wow he really hasn’t got a clue; that’s what, the fourth time he’s bailed today?’
Mountain biking’s dictionary throws up some words we all think we know, but knowing what they really mean when you’re in the right circles is imperative. Obviously you need to show-off about just how dialled in you were at the end of a sick trail, but doing it in a way that your peers will understand is a must. Bailing on learning the vocab makes it super difficult to go clean once you’re off the bike, so do yourself a favour and avoid being branded a punter before heading out onto the trails.
Having the right gear is a must. Being equipped for an intense, adrenaline-fuelled day can be the difference between a day of bails and a day of stomps.
For women, the Odlo MORZINE Cycling Jersey is the ideal shirt for a day of tearing down the mountain. This breathable and lightweight jersey incorporates functionality and performance with its waterproof back pockets, perfect for storing things whilst on the bike, as the Hydro tricot twill wicks moisture and keeps your body at optimum temperature. Naturally, the jersey’s stylish design highlights Odlo’s eye for a smart, professional look. Match the jersey with MORZINE cycling shorts for the complete outfit. Designed with a silky inner brief to limit chafing and made with all-weather DWR coated twill, you are guaranteed maximum comfort with ultimate performance. To top off your outfit and to be 100% for the whole day in the saddle, grab the BIKE mid socks and ENDURANCE gloves. Both are specifically designed to provide support and comfort to your hands and feet. With an ergonomic panel in the gloves to improve handlebar handling and optimum arch support on the socks to increase power transfers, they are an absolute necessity when heading for the hills.
For men, the Odlo MORZINE Cycling Jersey displays a bold, bright design ensuring you won’t go unnoticed on the trails. The Hydro tricot twill wicks away moisture whilst improving breathability and the MORZINE has two waterproof pockets for easy access to provide exceptional performance and functionality. The bold, bright flashes of colour continue through your outfit when you match the Jersey with the MORZINE Cycling Shorts. With fantastic moisture-wicking properties and a DWR coating, the weather and dirt won’t touch you, allowing you to ride clean all day long. Once again, the BIKE mid socks and ENDURANCE gloves are a must for men as much as they are for women, allowing you to get as much out of the bike as you possibly can. Ergonomically designed to eek every possible bit of effort out of you, they give you the real opportunity to smash the descents with style and skill.