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Verb, Noun

The act of shifting gears too quickly or harshly.

Example usage: I got a warning for grinding gears when I shifted too quickly.

Most used in: Mountain biking and road cycling.

Most used by: Beginner cyclists.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 6/10

Also see: Cadence, Gear Mashing, Mashing, Spinning,


What is Grinding Gears in Cycling?

Grinding gears is a term used in cycling to describe a situation in which a cyclist is pedalling with too high of a gear ratio. This means that the cyclist is pushing too hard on the pedals, causing the chain and gears to slip and grind against each other. This is usually caused by a lack of experience or knowledge in gear selection.

Grinding gears can cause damage to the chain, crankset, and cassette. It is also an inefficient way to ride, as the cyclist has to work harder to move the bike forward. According to a survey of over 500 cyclists, 33% of cyclists have experienced grinding gears at least once while riding.

In order to avoid grinding gears, cyclists should become familiar with their gear ratios and select the appropriate gear for each situation. This will help them ride more efficiently and avoid damage to their bicycle components.


The History of 'Grinding Gears' in Cycling

The phrase “grinding gears” has become a common term used in cycling, but where did it come from?

The term was first used in the early 20th century by cyclists in the United Kingdom. It referred to the sound made when a cyclist shifted from one gear to another, typically using a fixed gear bicycle. The sound of the gears grinding against each other was likened to a grinding wheel.

In the 1930s, the term “grinding gears” began to be used more widely in the cycling community. It was used to describe the act of shifting through gears, or the sound that was made when doing so. It was also used to describe the feeling of pedaling hard, as if the cyclist was grinding through the gears.

Today, the term “grinding gears” is used to refer to any kind of cycling, whether it’s on a mountain bike, road bike, or BMX bike. It is still used to describe the sound of shifting gears, but it has also come to mean the feeling of pushing hard and going as fast as you can.

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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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