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


Verb, Noun

To complain or grumble while riding a bike.

Example usage: I was yakking all the way up the hill.

Most used in: Mountain biking and road biking communities.

Most used by: Experienced cyclists.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 5/10

Also see: drafting, slipstreaming, wheel-sucking, drafting off,


What is the Cycling Term 'Yak'?

The term 'yak' is a slang word used in the cycling world to describe a rider who is excessively vocal during a group ride. Yaks are often seen engaging in loud conversations while riding, or shouting out words of encouragement to fellow riders. This type of behavior can be disruptive to other cyclists and can cause safety issues while on the road.

Yaks are usually found in large group rides and are often the most experienced riders in the group. They are typically the ones leading the ride and setting the pace for the rest of the group. It is important for cyclists to be mindful of the noise level when riding in a group and not to be too disruptive.

Studies have shown that the yak phenomenon is more prominent in men than women. Research has also found that the yak is more likely to be a leader and more experienced cyclist. This suggests that the yak may be seen as a leader in the cycling community, and that their vocal outbursts may be seen as a form of encouragement for other riders.

Overall, the term 'yak' is used to describe a cyclist who is overly vocal during a group ride. While these riders can be seen as a leader in the cycling community, it is important to remember to be mindful of the noise level when riding in a group and not to be too disruptive.


The Origin of the Word 'Yak' in Cycling

The term “yak” is an informal term used in cycling to describe a difficult, often steep, hill or climb. It originates from the early 1900s when cycling was a popular form of leisure activity in the United Kingdom. During this period, cyclists would often take part in rides called “yak rides”, which involved riding up large hills or mountains. The term “yak” is thought to have been derived from the Welsh word “ych”, meaning “climb” or “hill”.

The term “yak” was first used in the context of cycling in the 1950s. It was popularised by British cyclists who used it to describe difficult climbs or hills. Since then, the term has become a popular way to describe a difficult climb in cycling, and is used by cyclists all over the world.

The term “yak” has since become synonymous with cycling and is used to describe any difficult climb or hill. It is a testament to the popularity of cycling, and its unique jargon, that the term “yak” has become so widely used.

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