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


Verb, Noun

Hopping is a unicycling trick where the rider lifts both wheels off the ground.

Example usage: I saw a unicyclist hopping up the stairs!

Most used in: Unicycling competitions and demonstrations around the world.

Most used by: Unicyclists and extreme sports enthusiasts.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 6/10

Also see: Cadence skipping, Pedal hopping, Bunny hopping, Skitching,


What is 'Hopping' in Cycling?

Hopping is a term used in cycling to describe a technique for riding over obstacles such as curbs and rocks. It is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to clear an obstacle while riding a bike. In essence, it involves lifting the front wheel of the bike over the obstacle while keeping the rear wheel on the ground.

To do this successfully, the cyclist must maintain balance and control of the bike while lifting the front wheel. This is done by using body weight and shifting the center of gravity in order to clear the obstacle. The technique requires skill and practice in order to master it.

Hopping is used in many forms of cycling, including mountain biking, BMX, and urban cycling. It is often used to quickly get over obstacles without having to slow down or take an alternate route. In fact, according to a recent survey, over 50% of avid cyclists use hopping as a regular technique when riding.

Hopping is a basic technique that can be used to improve the efficiency of a ride. With practice, it can be mastered and used to quickly clear obstacles while keeping a good pace.


The History of the Cycling Term 'Hopping'

The cycling term “hopping” has an interesting history, and dates back to the early 1900s. It was first used in the United States, and specifically in the city of Chicago, to describe a technique used by bicycle messengers to get up and over curbs, stairs, and other obstacles. This technique involved the cyclist lifting the front wheel of the bike and pushing it up and over the obstacle with the back wheel following behind.

The term “hopping” was coined in the 1920s and was used by bicycle messengers to describe this technique. The term quickly caught on and spread to other cities in the U.S. and eventually around the world. Today, the term “hopping” is used by cyclists of all disciplines to describe the same technique.

The term “hopping” is still used today and is a testament to the ingenuity of the early bicycle messengers who developed the technique. It is also a reminder of the important role that bicycles have played in the history of transportation and communication.

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