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



A cyclist who rides at the back of a group and helps ensure that no one is left behind.

Example usage: 'I'm the sweep-rider, so I'll be the last one in the group.'

Most used in: Cycling clubs and group rides.

Most used by: Cyclists who are part of a group.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 5/10

Also see: Peloton, Domestique, Lead-out Man, Pacer,


What is a Sweep-Rider in Cycling?

A sweep-rider is a cyclist who is positioned at the back of a group ride or race and is responsible for ensuring that no one gets left behind. The sweep-rider helps to keep the group together and provides support for any riders who may be struggling. The sweep-rider is also responsible for warning other riders of any upcoming obstacles, such as potholes, road debris, or traffic.

Sweep-riders are essential to group rides or races, as they provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants. Studies have shown that having a sweep-rider on a ride can reduce the rate of injury by up to 50%. Additionally, having a sweep-rider can help to reduce the risk of riders getting lost or left behind, making group rides safer and more enjoyable.

If you are participating in a group ride or race, it is important to know who the sweep-rider is. The sweep-rider is usually the most experienced cyclist in the group and is often the one who sets the pace. Knowing who the sweep-rider is can help you to stay safe and have a more enjoyable ride.

The Origins of the Term 'Sweep-Rider' in Cycling

The term 'sweep-rider' in cycling refers to a cyclist who rides at the back of a group ride, acting as a type of guardian for the rest of the riders. The sweep-rider is responsible for ensuring that no one gets left behind and that the group stays together. The term originated in Australia in the 1970s, when the first official recreational cycling clubs were established.

The term 'sweep-rider' was first used to describe the person who rode at the back of the group to ensure that everyone stayed together. This person was usually the most experienced rider in the group, and was there to ensure that no one got left behind or separated from the group. The sweep-rider would also be responsible for checking on the other riders, and helping them out if they had any mechanical issues.

The role of the sweep-rider is still important today, and many recreational cycling clubs still have a designated sweep-rider for their group rides. The sweep-rider is responsible for ensuring that the group stays together, and for providing assistance to any riders who may need it. The term is now widely used in the cycling community, and is a reminder of the importance of looking out for each other while on the road.

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