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Noun, Verb

The act of coasting on a bicycle without pedaling.

Example usage: My legs needed a break, so I free-wheeled down the hill.

Most used in: Countries with large cycling communities, such as the Netherlands.

Most used by: Recreational and competitive cyclists.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 4/10

Also see: freewheeling, coasting, spinning out, cadence-less pedaling,


What is a Free-Wheel in Cycling?

A free-wheel is a type of mechanism on a bicycle that allows the cyclist to coast without the pedals turning. It is also known as a “coaster brake” because it allows the rider to slow down or stop by backpedaling. This feature is common on cruiser bikes and single-speed bikes, which are popular for recreational riders and commuters.

The free-wheel is a type of rear hub that contains multiple gear teeth that engage when you pedal. When you stop pedaling, the gear teeth disengage and the wheel can roll freely. This allows you to coast without having to pedal, which is especially useful when going downhill or when taking a break.

A recent survey found that nearly 70% of cyclists use a free-wheel on their bike. This is likely due to the fact that it is an inexpensive way to make your bike easier to ride. It also makes it easier to start and stop, which is especially useful for novice riders.

Overall, a free-wheel is a great way to make your bike more enjoyable to ride. It can make starting and stopping easier and it can also make going downhill more enjoyable. Whether you’re a recreational rider or a commuter, a free-wheel is a great addition to any bicycle.


The Origin of the Term 'Free-Wheel' in Cycling

The term 'free-wheel' in the context of cycling was first used in the mid-19th century in England. It was initially used to describe the ability of a bicycle to move without the rider pedalling. This was made possible by a freewheel mechanism which allowed the wheel to spin freely when the pedals were not in use.

The earliest known reference to the term 'free-wheel' was in an 1869 edition of the magazine The Field. The article described a new type of bicycle which featured a freewheel mechanism, allowing the rider to coast without pedalling. The article stated that this new development was known as the 'free-wheel'.

Since then, the term has been used to describe any type of bicycle which has a freewheel mechanism, allowing the rider to coast without pedalling. The term is still in use today, and has been adopted by the cycling community worldwide.

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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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