Trail Terms

Our unoffical list of MTB terminology

Close Calls/Crashes

Axl Rose
Snake-like hip movement– used to avoid imminent contact with a tree or rock that you’re pretty sure wasn’t there the last time you rode this section. If someone is following you they get a funny feeling inside. Usually used in combination with an expletive: “Holy Shit! Had to pull an Axl Rose to avoid that tree!”

Come at me Bro
When you see a tree on the edge of trail but you decide to show it who’s boss and hit it with your shoulder anyway. Doesn’t make a difference, still hurts, tree wins.

Pecan Sandy
When you find yourself in a very sandy spot that takes you out.

Lindsey Vonn
When you use a tree like a ski racing gate and bash you forearm on a branch or trunk.

Pinball Wizard
When you bounce off of multiple trees riding through a trail section.

Bad Burrito
When you slide out in a wet section and the butt of your bike shorts get covered in mud.

Lumber Jack
A very low-speed or no speed crash caused by being stuck in your clipless pedals. Usually happens in front of a crowd.

When you end up passing the same person or group multiple times. Just as annoying as the online version.


MTB Glossary

Baby Heads: Baby head sized round rocks on the trail, it’s dark but descriptive.

Bandit Trail: Unsanctioned and often unmaintained trail.

Bunny Hop: Ride technique to clear rocks or logs without stopping – also to show off to friends.

Burp: Burping air from tubeless tire setup normally from a tire impact. The bead unseats and air escapes creating a situation that could be described as sketchy. See “sketchy” below.

Chain Suck: This is when your chain gets jammed between either the crank and the frame.

Chain Tat: Bike grease left on the inside of your leg when you brush your leg against your chain. Newbie move. See “newbie” below.

Dab: Dropping a foot off of your pedal to tap the ground to avoid a crash.

Dialed: When you have your bike set-up running exactly how you want it or when you ride a section of trail to perfection.

Drop: A trail feature that has a sudden drop-off that is normally tall enough that it is very difficult to roll.

Dropper: A seat post that lowers and raises with a thumb control to add control to various riding situations.

Endo: A crash where the rider goes ass-over-tea-kettle.

Fattie: Fat bike.

Flow: Either a trail with lines that flow together super smoothly, a feeling of riding through the trail effortlessly, or beautiful long locks of hair.

Full Squish: Full suspension MTB.

Gnar: Very difficult technical feature or hard to ride section of trail.

Grom: A younger kid on the trail.

Hero Dirt: The magic combination of soil moisture and softness on a trail that leads optimum traction. Hero dirt is fleeting and normally can be found earlier in the season or very soon after a trail re-opens after rain.

Hip Jump: A jump with an angled landing that you must change your direction midair to land.

Huck: Riding a big jump, drop or sketchy feature without knowing what’s on the other side and not sweating the consequences.

Kicker: A steep jump or end of a jump that pops you vertically.

Line: The path you pick out through a section of trail or technical feature. Can be good. Can be bad.

Lip: The edge of a jump takeoff or landing area.

Manual: Front wheel lift while in motion and without pedaling for momentum and balance.

MTB: Mountain Bike or Mountain Biking.

n + 1: Bikes you have/bikes you need ratio.

Off-Camber: When the edges of the trail slope downward, away from the center. The opposite of banked corners, always seem to be found in sketchy, loose over hard conditions.

Over-Cook: To ride with too much speed into an technical feature, berm or turn.

Pinch Flat: When tubed tires get a puncture from the tube being pinched between the rim and tire or if a gentleman lands hard on the saddle and their hanging nethers get pinched between their body and the saddle. Ouch.

Rad: Cool, awesome, bad-ass – you get the idea.

Rail: Riding a corner so fast that you feel like you are on rails.

Ratchet: Pedaling technique of partial pedal strokes with partial reverse strokes to keep your pedals from hitting an obstacle while maintaining pedal position for power.

Rock Garden: Trail section made up of mostly rocks.

Send It: Aggressive and confident riding through a difficult section. To go for it.

Session: Stopping at a technical feature to scope it out and ride it multiple times until you can clear it.

Shred: Ripping up the trails with awesome technique.

Sick: Cool, good, awesome…

Sketch / Sketchy: A section of trail or feature that has a high risk of injury or is unsafe because of unusual conditions.

Skinny: A very narrow, normally human made, feature on the trail that requires excellent balance and bike handling skills.

Slacked Out: A head tube angle with the fork raked outward making the bike’s steering slower but handling on descents is better.

Stoked: Excited and feeling awesome about what you just did or what are about to do on the bike.

Switchback: S-curve on a hill that zig-zag riders up or down the hill.

Taco: When your wheel is bent enough that it unridable and starts to look like a taco shell.

Teeter: Teeter-totter that you ride where half of the wood skinny is in the air and half is on the ground. It requires balance and skill to transition from riding up the first half and then adjusting as the teeter falls away.

Trail Dog: Awesomely trained dog that runs with a MTBer as they ride the trail.

Travel: This is the amount of suspension in the fork and rear shock. Big jumps and drops requires more travel.

Wash Out: Complete lose of traction with the bike sliding from under the rider.

Weight-Weenie: Someone who focuses heavily on the weight of each bike component and frame. When someone talks about saving a certain number of grams – probably a weight-weenie.

Wonky: When your bike has something that feels wrong or is not working correctly.

XC: Cross-country.

Yard Sale: Rider crash that ends with all of there stuff (water bottle, whatever is in the pockets, seat bag…) being scattered around them.