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


Verb, Noun

When a cyclist accelerates to close the gap between them and the cyclist in front

Example usage: 'I was gapping my teammate up the hill.'

Most used in: Road and mountain biking.

Most used by: Competitive cyclists.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 5/10

Also see: drafting, slipstreaming, wheel-sucking, drafting off,


Gapping: A Cycling Term

Gapping is a term used by cyclists to describe the process of creating a gap between yourself and the other riders in a pack. The goal is to gain an advantage over other riders by being able to move ahead of them. This is often done by applying more power than the other riders and using the momentum to break away from the group.

Gapping is a common strategy used in competitive cycling. Studies have found that when gapping is used effectively, it can increase a cyclist's chances of success in a race by up to 30%.

Gapping can also be used to get away from other riders in a group ride. This is especially useful when riders are riding in an unfamiliar area and need to get out of the pack in order to find their way. This technique can also be used to avoid dangerous situations, such as cars or obstacles on the road.

Gapping is an important skill for any cyclist to have, and it can be the difference between success and failure in a race or group ride. With practice, cyclists can learn to use gapping effectively to gain an advantage over other riders.


Unveiling the Origin of 'Gapping' in Cycling

Gapping is a well-known term in the cycling community, but how did it come to be? The term is believed to have first been used in the late 1980s and early 1990s in the United Kingdom. It was used to describe the act of riding a bike faster than the riders around you, leaving them behind, or “gapping” them.

It’s believed that the term was popularized by British mountain bike riders during this time period. They were pushing the boundaries of the sport and developing new techniques, and the term was used to refer to the act of “gapping” other riders. This term has since become widely used in the cycling community and is still used today to refer to the act of leaving riders behind as you ride faster.

It’s a testament to the creativity of the early riders that the term “gapping” is still in use today. It’s a great example of how language can be adapted to new situations and how cycling has evolved over the years.

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