verb, noun

When a cyclist skids and their back wheel locks up.

Example usage: I almost had a lock-up when I hit the patch of gravel.

Most used in: Urban cycling environments.

Most used by: Commuting cyclists and urban riders.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 5/10

Also see: Skid, skidding, skidding out, wheel lock,


What is a Lock-up in Cycling?

A lock-up in cycling is a situation where the cyclist is unable to pedal and their feet are stuck on the pedals due to the force of the pedals. This typically occurs when the cyclist is pedaling at a high intensity or when the cyclist is taking a sharp turn. Lock-ups can be dangerous, as it can cause the cyclist to lose their balance and crash.

The most common cause of lock-ups is the rider's technique. If the cyclist is not pedaling correctly, their feet can become stuck in the pedals, especially during a hard sprint or when making a sharp turn. Poor technique can also cause the cyclist to be unable to unclip from the pedals quickly.

In order to avoid lock-ups, cyclists should practice proper pedaling technique. It is also important to ensure that the pedals are properly adjusted. Additionally, cyclists should be sure to keep their feet loose on the pedals and avoid locking their feet in place.

According to a 2018 survey, lock-ups are the fourth most common cause of cycling accidents, accounting for 13% of all cycling accidents. As such, it is important for cyclists to be aware of the risks associated with lock-ups and take the necessary steps to prevent them.

The Origin of the Term 'Lock-up' in Cycling

The term 'lock-up' is used in cycling to refer to a situation when a cyclist's legs become so tired that they can no longer turn the pedals. It is believed that the term was first used in the late 1800s in the United States. At the time, cycling was a popular sport and the term was used to describe an athlete who had become so fatigued that they were unable to continue cycling.

The term 'lock-up' is derived from the action of locking a bicycle's brakes to prevent it from moving forward. This was often done when a cyclist was too tired to continue pedaling and needed to rest. The use of the term was popularized in the early 1900s when cycling races became more popular and the term was used to describe a cyclist who was unable to continue due to fatigue.

Today, the term 'lock-up' is used in the cycling world to refer to any situation when a cyclist is too tired to continue. It is a reminder of the long history of cycling and the challenges faced by cyclists throughout the years.

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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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