Understanding the world of cycling isn't always easy. We've put together a list of our regularly used cycling terms to help you navigate cycling both on and off the bike.
Find definitions for all relevant terms in our Glossary below:
Aerobic capacity is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can use during intense exercise, also known as VO2 Max.
Aerobic efficiency refers to how well the energy system that provides the body with energy works.
Air resistance is determined by how much air is reaching the fan of your resistance trainer, controlled by a lever. The more air you allow in and the faster you pedal, the more resistance you'll have. Training with air allows you to have full control of the power load to your muscles.
ANT+ connectivity refers to a fitness device, such as a smart bike, which can be connected to another device like a smartphone, using an ANT+ dongle, in order to share data between them.
This determines that a product works alongside a piece of software, or app. Wattbike indoor trainers can be used with a number of compatible cycling apps to enhance your training experience.
Bib shorts are a type of cycling sportswear that consist of tight fitting shorts connected to straps which go over the shoulders. They provide an aerodynamic fit and help keep your shorts in place while pedalling.
Bike rollers fit underneath a road bike to allow you to train inside. When comparing bike rollers to smart bikes, there are many benefits to smart bikes that a bike roller may not be able to provide.
Bonking refers to the feeling during cycling when physical and mental tiredness feel overwhelming, and you may feel like you have a lack of energy and may experience muscle cramping.
Cadence refers to the number of times your feet complete a full revolution of the pedals in one minute as you ride. Improving your cycling cadence means improving how quickly and efficiently you're able to pedal.
Another term for the circulatory system, regarding how blood moves around the body, which consists of the heart, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and glands.
Chamois cream refers to cream which can be applied to reduce chafing while cycling. You can find it in our cycling accessories care pack, to support your outdoor and indoor cycling.
A climb in cycling refers to a racing event which gains altitude continuously and reaches a summit. You can improve your climbing with Wattbike with the real-route climb simulations in our cycling app The Wattbike Hub.
The cobbled classics are four major cycling races held in Northern Europe, named so due to the rough terrain and cobblestones the courses cover. You can train for a cobbled classic by practising short bursts of high intensity on your indoor bike.
CRF stands for cardiorespiratory fitness, and is a measure of how effective your body is at transporting oxygen to where it is needed most. You can complete a CRF assessment on our indoor bikes.
Criteriums are road cycling races, completed in one day, consisting of multiple laps around a circular route. The distances for these races can span from 15 to 60 miles in distance.
Cyclocross are races which take place on outdoor courses of grass, mud, sand, and even snow. You can train for cyclocross with an indoor bike by testing your power thresholds and supporting your endurance.
Direct-drive refers to a type of turbo trainer which requires you to remove your rear wheel and attach the trainer to your chain cassette. When comparing turbo trainers to smart bikes, there are some areas where a trainer can't compete.
DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, is the feeling your muscles ache or stiffen a few days after exercise. It can affect anyone with any amount of experience, but is common among those trying new workouts or increasing workout intensity.
Electromagnetic resistance is a way to create resistance on an indoor bike - using a magnetic field controlled electronically, the resistance can be reduced or increased, affecting how hard you have to pedal.
Endurance refers to the ability to sustain your cycling over a long period of time or long distance. Improving your endurance means training your body to sustain your cycling through workouts and refining your aerobic efficiency.
An indoor training app where you can recreate real-world terrain and find virtual coaching. FulGaz works seamlessly with the Wattbike Atom smart bike.
A Grand Tour refer to the three major road cycling races: the Tour de France (France), to the Giro d'Italia (Italy), and the Vuelta a España (Spain).
The term hammer refers to hard pedalling in high gears, from the term' Drop the Hammer' which is when a cyclist will make an attempt to break away from rival racers.
HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training refers to workouts which consist of short spells of high power exertion, followed by recovery intervals at a lower effort.
An indoor bike trainer is any type of training equipment which allows you to cycle within the house or gym, providing the opportunity to improve fitness, cycling technique, and more from the comfort of your own home.
Intervals refer to timed sections of a workout. In interval training, the exertion levels alternate between high and low effort bursts.
The lactate threshold is the highest intensity a cyclist can sustain over 60 minutes. Cycling above this intensity means the body begins producing lactic acid quicker than it is able to remove it.
LSD stands for Long Steady Distance and refers to workouts of lower intensity over a longer period of time. Also known as long distance base training, this can help cyclists improve their endurance and is often used for training over the winter.
Metabolic rate refers to how fast the chemical processes that are essential to living organisms to maintain life occur.
A term for the system that works together to support your weight and movement, consisting of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissues.
As simple as it sounds - overtraining is when you have pushed your body too hard and may need to take some rest days. Signs of overtraining can include trouble sleeping, mood swings, and seeing your performance decline.
The 'pain cave' is a term for the indoor set-up of an athlete or fitness fanatic. Many will choose to set up the perfect pain cave with all the essentials they need to complete a workout and stay focused on their goals.
Pedal Effectiveness Score (PES)
The Pedal Effectiveness Score (PES) is Wattbike's technology to help you assess the impact of your pedalling technique in real-time. It shows you net force, gross force, and a sliding scale for each leg.
Pedal stroke refers to the way you rotate the pedals as you cycle. Improving your pedal stroke is crucial to make you a more efficient cyclist. You can improve your pedal strokes through the unique Polar View and Pedalling Efficiency Score on the Wattbike Hub app.
Periodisation in cycling is to plan your training in a way that switches up the intensity and duration of your workouts in order to tackle several areas of your performance.
Polar View is Wattbike's very own pedalling analysis tool which displays your right and left leg balance during your pedal revolutions to help you see where you're losing force.
To pull in cycling refers to the cyclist in the front of a pack of cyclists during a race. The person 'pulling' is working the hardest, and cyclists will often rotate the cyclist who is at the front of the pack or 'peloton' during a race.
A cycling training app that gives you realistic riding experience via augmented reality cycling workouts. Rouvy works seamlessly with the Wattbike Atom smart bike.
RPM stands for Revolutions per Minute, and refers to the number of pedal strokes made in a minute. Cadence is measured in RPM, so a cadence of 60 means there are 60 complete pedal revolutions made per minute.
Smart Bike Trainer
Smart bike trainers have an electromagnetic resistance type, they record your cycling data, so you can assess your performance in-session, and they allow for seamless connectivity with 3rd party cycling apps, like Zwift.
Cycling sportives refer to long distance, organised cycling races for amateurs and athletes alike. They typically span 50 to 150 miles, and involve completing a set route.
Spring classics are major one-day pro cycling events which take place in Europe in the spring. While the events are real-road, you can train for a spring Classic on your indoor bike.
A sprint refers to a race over a distance of 500 to 1,000 metres, where the cyclists' time is only recorded over the last 200 metres. Sprint training on an indoor bike can help you prepare for these races.
A fitness app that lets you track and analyse every aspect of your cycling performance. Strava works seamlessly with the Wattbike Atom smart bike.
Sweet spot training means you cycle at a specific training intensity which allows you to sustain the efforts over a longer duration but without putting your body under too much stress.
Tapering involves reducing the intensity of your training in the days leading up to a cycling race or event. Tapering your training before an event gives your body time to rest and recover, and allows your performance to peak when it counts.
Time trials are individual performance races that consist of racers starting a minute apart and racing against the clock. There are many benefits to completing time trials on an indoor bike in order to test your own performance.
An AI-powered training app that helps you complete your goals through personalised workouts. TrainerRoad works seamlessly with the Wattbike Atom smart bike.
A training app that pairs you with accredited coaches to walk you through a fitness plan. TrainingPeaks works seamlessly with the Wattbike Atom smart bike.
A turbo trainer is a device that attaches to your road bike so you can workout indoors. There are limitations though, and when comparing turbo trainers to smart bikes, there are many ways a turbo cannot compete.
Not a term solely used in cycling, it represents the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use as you exercise, measured in ml/kg/min. Improving your VO2 max can help to improve your endurance.
The watt is a unit of power. The more power you put into your cycling on your indoor smart bike, the higher the wattage produced.
The Wattbike Atom smart bike is our award-winning indoor trainer with unrivalled accuracy and seamless connectivity, that recreates real-road feel and supports you in your indoor cycling journey.
The Wattbike Hub indoor cycling app has been curated by Wattbike, featuring over 100 workouts, training plans, and performance tests to keep you fit, motivated, and on track of your goals.
The Wattbike Nucleus air bike is our indoor trainer which uses air resistance to provide an effective way to train. Chosen by world-class athletes and coaches, you'll get instant data feedback and the ability to customise your training.
An indoor cycling training app that helps you reach your goals in a virtual world with an online community. Zwift works seamlessly with the Wattbike Atom smart bike.
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