A good part of understanding your triathlon training and performance is having a grasp on the lingo. Here is a guide to cycling terms that you should know in order to get the most out of your experience.
Derailleur – When gears are shifted on a bike, the derailleur is the mechanism that changes which gear sprocket the bicycle chain is on.
Devil Take the Hindmost – Devil take the hindmost is a race type in which the last rider across the finish line in each lap of the course is eliminated from the race, this type of race is also known as a miss-and-out.
Disk Wheel – A disk wheel is a spokeless solid wheel used for its aerodynamic properties, mostly in time trials but also in other types of races.
Domestique – The domestique is a rider in long races who has the responsibility to retrieve items such as water and food to pass along to their teammates from the support vehicle.
Draft – Drafting is a way to decrease a cyclist’s wind resistance by riding closely on the tail of another cyclist.
Drops – On handlebars that are turned down, the drops are the lower portion.
Echelon – An echelon is a formation used by groups of cyclists not competing with each other. By riding in a diagonal pattern with each rider downwind of the one in front of them the lead rider lowers the wind resistance of the whole group. To spread out the extra effort, members of the group take turns riding in the lead.
Field – In a race, the field refers to the main mass of riders.
Field Sprint – A field sprint usually occurs towards the end of a section of a long race, it is when riders within the main group.
Fixed Gear – Seen in track bikes, a fixed gear is what is known as direct drive, where the rear cog is linked to the chain ring, with this configuration a rider cannot coast as the pedals will spin whenever the bike moved.
Flyer – A flyer is when a lone rider makes an unexpected attack.
Force the Pace – Forcing the pace involves speeding up to force the rest of the group to speed up as well.
Full Tuck – The full tuck provides an improvement in a riders aerodynamics by having the rider assume a crouching position.
Gap – The gap is described as being the amount of time that is between riders or between groups of riders. This can also refer to working to increase a lead and widen that gap.
Granny Gear – Used for making difficult inclines, the granny gear is a name for a mountain bike’s lowest gear.
Hammer – To hammer is to ride at the very limit of an individual’s capabilities, or to ride extremely hard.
Hammered – To be hammered is to be completely exhausted.