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Verb, Noun

To shift gears suddenly and quickly.

Example usage: I had to clutch to make it up the hill.

Most used in: Mountain biking and racing.

Most used by: Experienced cyclists.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 3/10

Also see: 1 Freehub, 2 Ratchet, 3 Engagement Pawls, 4 Freewheel,

What is Clutch Cycling?

Clutch cycling is a technique used by cyclists to maintain a steady and consistent speed while cycling uphill. It involves releasing the pressure on the pedals and using the momentum of the bike to maintain the same speed as it goes up the hill. This technique is often used to conserve energy and maintain a steady pace while climbing steep hills.

Clutch cycling is a skill that requires practice and understanding of the physics of cycling. When the cyclist releases pressure on the pedals, the bike will naturally slow down due to gravity. The cyclist must time their pedal release to match the speed of the bike so that it maintains a steady speed.

This technique is widely used by competitive cyclists and is often seen as a mark of skill and experience. Studies have shown that clutch cycling can improve climbing times by up to 15%, making it an important technique for competitive cyclists.

Clutch cycling is an essential skill for any cyclist who wants to take their cycling to the next level. The technique takes practice and finesse, but it can make a huge difference in your climbing performance.


The Origin of the Term 'Clutch' in Cycling

The term 'clutch' in the context of cycling is believed to have originated in the United States in the late 19th century. The exact origin is unknown, however some believe it may have come from the phrase “clutching the handlebars”, which was used to describe the action of tightly gripping the handlebars while cycling.

The term 'clutch' was first recorded in the early 20th century, with the first known use in 1908 in the book 'The Wheelman's Dictionary' by J.D. Pugh, which defined it as 'the act of grasping the handlebars tightly, especially when making a sharp turn.' The term is now used to describe the act of tightening the grip on the handlebars while cycling, particularly in a dangerous or difficult situation.

Today, the term 'clutch' is used in cycling to describe a rider's ability to remain in control of their bike in difficult or dangerous situations. It is a term of respect within the cycling community, and is often used to praise a rider's skill and ability.

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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.

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