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


Noun, Verb

Pad is a cycling term used to describe protective gear such as knee and elbow pads.

Example usage: I always wear my pads when I go mountain biking.

Most used in: Mountain biking and BMXing.

Most used by: Extreme cyclists who take part in high impact activities.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 3/10

Also see: Cleat, Shoe, Cleated Shoe, Clipless Pedal,


What is Cycling Pad?

Cycling pad, also known as a bike pad, is a protective device for cyclists that is designed to reduce the risk of injury. It is typically made of a soft, lightweight material that is worn on the arms, legs and/or torso of a cyclist.

The primary purpose of a cycling pad is to provide cushioning between the cyclist and any obstacles they may encounter while riding, such as rocks and tree branches. This helps to reduce the chance of sustaining a serious injury while on the bike. Additionally, cycling pads can help to reduce wind resistance, allowing the cyclist to ride faster and more efficiently.

According to a survey conducted by the National Bicycle Dealers Association, nearly two-thirds of cyclists reported wearing a bike pad while riding. Of those surveyed, over half said they had experienced fewer injuries since they began wearing a cycling pad. This suggests that cycling pads can be an effective way to reduce the risk of injury while riding a bike.

In conclusion, cycling pads are an important piece of safety equipment for cyclists. By providing cushioning and reducing wind resistance, they can help protect cyclists from injury and improve their performance on the bike.


The Origin of the Cycling Term “Pad”

The term “pad” first emerged in the early 1970s in the cycling world. It was commonly used in the United States and was likely derived from the phrase “handlebar pad”, which was used to describe the protective padding that was mounted on the handlebars of racing bicycles.

The handlebar pads were used to cushion the hands of the rider from the hard handlebars as well as to absorb some of the impact from rough terrain. The pads were usually made of leather or foam and were often decorated with colorful designs, which made them a popular addition to any racing bike.

The term “pad” eventually evolved to refer to any type of protective padding that is used on a bicycle, including pads for the pedals, seat, and frame. Today, it is still widely used in the cycling world and is a key piece of equipment for any cyclist.

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