As we are all about helping to increase the numbers of people riding at Southern XCs and other MTB events, we thought it may be helpful to break down some of the words and phrases that are commonly used amongst riders in the MTB world. Having an understanding of what is being said will help you progress in the sport and feel more at home joining in conversation.
These will be very basic through to a few more complicated terms:
• 29er - this relates to the wheel and tyre size that a person is riding so a 29inch diameter wheel. These are big, fast rolling wheels. • 27.5" or 650B - again on tyres and wheels this is the size again... Slightly smaller which gives a little more rider control and also allows a smaller frame for smaller riders. • 26” = going back to traditional wheel/tyre size... This is slower moving but very agile. • Tubeless - this is where there is no inner tube in the tyre but just a sealant fluid. The advantages are that it can be lighter, it self-fixes punctures and you can run them at a lower pressure so you can get more grip in the mud. • Berm - this is a banked corner that you can ride faster than a flat corner. They allow you to hold or even increase speed through a corner. • Loam - a type of soft and easy going mud/pine that allows the bike to hold very well in corners. It can be hard pedalling when wet though! • Rooty - Simply means lots of roots on the trail which becomes harder to ride when wet due to slipping. • Pump - this is a riding technique which allows you to gain speed or hold momentum by lifting and pumping the handle bars over certain jump features. • Bonk - a term given for running out of energy while training/racing. We all get this at some point and it's not a nice feeling but it teaches us to work on our nutrition. • Chain Suck - This is when the conditions are wet and muddy and it can cause the chain to bunch up and get stuck in the front chain rings. • Full Suspension (Sus) - A mountain bike with front and rear suspension, normally used for more technical trails. • Hard Tail - A mountain bike with just front suspension, most typically used by cross country riders. • PSI/Pressure - This refers to how much air you have in your tyres. It will vary depending on your weight, the conditions (dry/wet) and if you are using inner tubes or not. • Off Camber - A section of sloped trail which can be harder to ride • Single Track - A section of the trail that is too narrow to overtake and requires a bit more focus on where you point your front wheel. • Switch back - A section on the trail going uphill which is too steep to go straight so adding in a zig zag to get up.
Obviously, there are more terms that you may hear and not understand so please feel free to email Jon at E3 on firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions on terms, training and racing and we will help you understand a little more about this sport. Happy riding.