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



A steep hill with a sharp incline and decline

Example usage: 'I had to really work hard to get up that saddleback.'

Most used in: hilly areas of the United States and Europe.

Most used by: cyclists who enjoy challenging terrain.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 2/10

Also see: Saddle, Perch, Seat, Post,


What is a Saddleback in Cycling?

A saddleback is a type of cycling route that features steep climbs and descents as riders traverse a hilly landscape. It is often considered a challenging and rewarding experience for experienced riders due to the difficulty of the terrain. The term is commonly used in mountain biking and road cycling, as well as other forms of cycling.

The term saddleback is derived from the similarity of the route to a saddle, which is shaped like a hill with two peaks. The route is often characterized by a gradual climb followed by a steep descent, which is then followed by another climb. This type of route can be found in many areas, including mountains, hills, and other terrain with steep inclines.

According to a 2018 survey conducted by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, over 80% of mountain bikers and nearly half of road cyclists reported having ridden a saddleback route. The survey also found that the majority of respondents enjoyed the experience, citing the challenge and sense of accomplishment as primary reasons.

Saddleback routes are a great way to experience the beauty of nature while pushing your physical limits. Whether you're a mountain biker or a road cyclist, these challenging routes can provide an unforgettable experience.

The Origins of the Term 'Saddleback' in Cycling

The term 'saddleback' is used to describe a type of bicycle frame construction, and has been used in the cycling world since the late 19th century. The term is derived from the shape of the frame, which resembles a horse's saddle in that it has two curved tubes joined by a single, straight tube.

The first recorded use of the term 'saddleback' to describe a bicycle frame was in 1887, in the United Kingdom. At the time, the frame was known as the 'safety bicycle', and was designed to be a more comfortable and stable ride than the traditional penny-farthing. It quickly became popular with cyclists, and the 'saddleback' frame construction was adopted by many manufacturers.

Today, the term 'saddleback' is still used to describe a type of bicycle frame construction. The frame is usually made from steel, and consists of two curved tubes and a single, straight tube. The frame is strong and lightweight, making it an ideal choice for racing cyclists and mountain bikers.

The term 'saddleback' is a reminder of the origins of modern cycling, and has been part of the cycling world for over a century. It is a testament to the innovation and creativity of early cyclists, who developed a frame construction that is still used today.

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