Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel



Climber: a cyclist who is particularly skilled at ascending hills.

Example usage: The climber made it to the top of the hill in record time.

Most used in: Hilly areas and mountainous regions.

Most used by: Cyclists who regularly ride in hilly and mountainous regions.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 5/10

Also see: Climbing Specialist, Mountain Goat, Hill Killer, Grinder,


What is a Climber in Cycling?

A climber in cycling is an athlete who excels at ascending steep grades on a bicycle. Climbers have a range of physical attributes, such as a high power-to-weight ratio and a low body fat percentage, that make them well-suited to tackling the ascents. They also possess the mental fortitude to keep a steady pace and the willpower to push through fatigue.

Climbing is a key element of many professional cycling races, and the ability to ascend quickly can be a decisive factor in the outcome. Climbers are often the ones who make the biggest impact when it comes to winning a stage or race, as they can make up time on their competitors on the climbs. Statistics show that the top five riders in the Tour de France mountain classification have won the race in 14 of the last 15 years.

Climbing is an essential skill for any cyclist, regardless of their main discipline. The ability to climb efficiently can make the difference between a good ride and a great one, and it can also help to improve overall fitness and stamina. With practice and dedication, any cyclist can become a better climber.

Uncovering the Origin of the Cycling Term “Climber”

The term “climber” has become a staple of cycling terminology, but where exactly did the concept come from?

The term “climber” first appeared in the early 1900s, when cycling was becoming an increasingly popular sport. The first known use of the term was in a 1909 issue of the French cycling magazine La Vie au Grand Air, where it was used to describe a cyclist who was particularly adept at navigating steep hills and mountains. The term was also used in a 1910 issue of the English cycling magazine Cycling, showing that the concept had spread throughout Europe.

Since then, the term has become a mainstay of cycling lingo, referring to riders who have the skills and endurance to excel in mountainous terrain. The term is also used to describe bicycles designed for climbing, such as road and mountain bikes.

Today, the term “climber” is used around the world by cyclists of all levels, from casual riders to professionals. It is a testament to the long history of cycling and the evolution of the sport over the past century.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3