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


Verb, Noun

To put in a great effort to catch up with a group or to drop out of a race.

Example usage: He had to hammer to drop the leader of the pack.

Most used in: Cycling events and races, especially in the US.

Most used by: Cyclists who are racing and need to put in an extra effort to catch up with the group.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 6/10

Also see: Bonk, Dig Deep, Grind, Put the Hammer Down,

What Does “Hammer to Drop” Mean in Cycling?

The term “hammer to drop” is a phrase used in cycling to describe a rider’s sudden burst of speed. It is typically used when a cyclist is trying to break away from the pack or trying to get ahead of their competition. This type of burst is usually done in the final stages of a race when the cyclist is trying to hold onto their lead or make a last-minute push for victory.

The term “hammer to drop” is often used in reference to a rider’s sudden increase in speed and effort. This type of effort is usually done in the last few hundred meters of a race where the cyclist is trying to hold onto their lead or gain an advantage over their opponents. During this burst, the cyclist’s speed can increase by up to 25% compared to their average speed.

The term “hammer to drop” is also used to describe the feeling of being left behind or “dropped” during a race. This usually happens when a cyclist’s burst of speed is too much for their competitors to keep up with. As a result, the cyclist is left behind and unable to catch up to the pack.

The term “hammer to drop” is an important part of cycling and is used to describe a rider’s ability to make a sudden burst of speed when needed. This type of effort can be the difference between winning and losing in a race and is a skill that all cyclists should strive to master.

The Origin of the Term 'Hammer to Drop' in Cycling

The term 'hammer to drop' is a metaphor commonly used in the sport of cycling. It is used to describe the moment when a cyclist unleashes a burst of energy to gain an advantage on their competition. The phrase was first used in the early 1980s in the US and UK, and has become a fixture in the cycling lexicon.

The exact origin of the term is unknown, but it likely derives from the phrase 'hammer down,' which means to push hard. The term may have been coined by cyclists who felt like they had to put the hammer down to get ahead in a race. The phrase could also have been inspired by the 'hammering' motion of a cyclist's legs as they pedal hard.

The term 'hammer to drop' has been in use for over 40 years, and is still used today by cyclists to describe the moment when they put the pedal to the metal. It is a metaphor that captures the feeling of pushing your limits and striving for victory.

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