Login to VeloClub|Not a member?  Sign up now.
  • Jason de Puit

    I think you meant to write: “Why aren’t you riding in the big dog?”

    • krashdavage

      Specifically refers to the large chainring. Not the “biggest cog on your crankset”. Only a hubbard would refer to it as that don’t you think? ;-)

      • Jason de Puit

        Nah I was more referring to the fact that the example usage of term was questioning someone going hard in the big ring :) I would have emphasised the word “aren’t” in my comment if there as any text formatting available in the comments!

        • Jessy Vee

          I’m on a rest day, bro! Tappering and all that… Lol!

  • Anon N + 1

    I am interested in learning about the origin of the term “hubbard.” It seems to have originated in Australia only recently because other English-speaking cyclists in my acquaintance (Brits, Yanks, Canadian) are completely unaware of the term. Would anyone be willing to explain when and where he/she first heard the term and why it is a suitable derogatory term for a cyclist?

    • Bc

      At some point, someone is going to claim they invented it. This person is almost certainly a Hubbard.

    • The northern hemisphere equivalent would be a Fred.

    • Anon N + 1

      Thanks for the comments; I certainly appreciate the enlightenment. However, please note that the definition is not a problem (I am aware of the Urban Dictionary entry and I have googled the term). Except for Ross, no one mentioned where he/she first encountered the term, no one gave a date. krashdavage suggested that the term came from the nursery rhyme concerning ‘Old Mother Hubbard.” I though of that possibility myself, but then how does that rhyme relate to cycling? I also though of L Ron Hubbard, but again how does the Scientology and its founder relate to the sort of cyclists to which the term refers?

    • HFM

      Brian, what have I told you about bothering strangers?

      Why not come up with some plausible folk etymology for the connection and claim that you were the originator? I’ll get you started… bike wheels have *hubs*, right…

  • lowercasev

    Hi Anon+1… It certainly sounds like a term an Australian would come up with and use. I would say that it is a term most often used in jest. I often refer to myself as one if I am particularly clumsy at the traffic lights. I’m not sure when I first heard it, would have been around 2010. I found this http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Hubbard circa 2008. If you Google the term, some interesting posts appear.

    • krashdavage

      The term as been around at least 15 years. I thought it was taken from “old mother hubbard”.

      • Ross

        I’d never heard of the term hubbard until reading it on CT previously. A “Fred” is the term I know for someone like that.

      • Smokey

        Early 2000s in the Coluzzi group was the first I heard of it

    • brit

      Instagram hubbardwatch……

    • Deeps

      It has been used in Brisbane since at least 2000. It is said to refer to Hubbard’s School where dunderheads who mis-spent their schooling would go to try and improve their tertiary entrance score.

    • Eat More Lard

      I always thought a hubbard was the matchy matchy guy or girl (although its always a guy) on the fancy bike with the carbon wheels (“my everyday wheels”) thinking a sportive is a race…

  • CB

    No mention of the Paul Sherwen classic ‘digging into the suitcase of courage’. ‘Hurtbox’ may be another Sherwenism, but I may be mistaken. A pretty good list, I would only add ‘floating’, when you are going so well you can do no wrong in a ride/race, a bit like Kristoff until last night.

    • Jessi Braverman

      Floating definitely belongs in here. Good addition. I would say the other two are more Sherwenisms than cycling lingo – and if we included them all, this list would have gotten *very* long!

      • CB

        True regarding Sherwen, although one he attributed to Sean Yates I always liked was ‘full mask’. Best described as the face Jens Voigt would have when on the attack.

    • Ronin

      “Hurt box” was used at least as far back as the Vietnam war to describe the US issue, aluminum caskets that dead soldiers were sent home in. “Hurt locker” was a synonymous phrase, since if you stand the casket up–maybe they were at times stored standing up?–it sort of looks and functions like an old metal locker from the high school locker rooms the US soldiers would have known well. Strictly, someone in the hurt box, or hurt locker, is actually dead.

    • Ronin

      “Hurt box” was used at least as far back as the Vietnam war to describe the US issue, aluminum caskets that dead soldiers were sent home in. “Hurt locker” was a synonymous phrase, since if you stand the casket up–maybe they were at times stored standing up?–it sort of looks and functions like an old metal locker from the high school locker rooms the US soldiers would have known well. Strictly, someone in the hurt box, or hurt locker, is actually dead.

  • DS

    What about “The Steed ” ? The Steed is defined as a horse (bike ) been ridden or available for riding !!

    LOL A Hubbard is known as an uncool, slow, unfashionable, annoying, awkward or stupid cyclist. Often identified by wearing a helmet that is more than 15 years old, poor judgement on the road or by the ridiculous cargo they carry on their bike. In a racing context hubbards are identified by having unshaven legs, or by an inability go round a corner with the peleton without almost causing a crash. Recumbent cyclists are automatically hubbards.

    • jules

      I have a different take on hubbards. there is no formal definition of course – but I don’t class cyclists who aren’t trying as hubbards. to me hubbards are those who are trying to look pro but failing – e.g. riding a Cervelo S5 with flat pedals or anyone in pro team kit or a yellow jersey :)

      or a masters rider with top of the range handmade deep dish carbon wheels. oh no

      • veloaficionado

        Or people who call wheels with deep section rims “deep dish” wheels. Classic hubbardism.

        • jules

          how are your ‘deep section’ wheels going? ;)

          • DS

            LOL absolutely love it !! I think I am safe to say I aint any hubbard but a chick that wears FUCK YEAH socks when we go riding butr still bonk week in week out after our rides !! Hmmm woe is me !!

            • jules

              well I’m a hubbard. I’m the masters rider with unnecessarily expensive wheels. apparently veloaficionado has outed himself too :)

              • veloaficionado

                I refuse to confirm or deny that I am 2kg over the weight limit for the lightest most expensive wheels I own that I use the least.

          • veloaficionado

            Just say “aero”. ‘Dish’ relates to hub flange offset and cassette body width. Which may get shallower if we all get disc brakes soon… CMON UCI GET WITH THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE!!!

            Or deeper. I dunno which. It’s the not knowing that bugs me.

      • Jessy Vee

        What’s your take on (quite unprofessional) riders who are given a pro team kit by the team and sponsors? I was given a Sky kit by Rapha and it’s extremely comfy. I’d hate not to be able to wear it in case someone thinks I’m a hubbard and not just a rubbish rider in lovely kit. :p

        • jules

          sorry, I think you’ll have to put it away. or.. not take idle banter about hubbardism too seriously ;)

          • Jessy Vee

            I always take everything seriously. It’s serious business being a cyclist, dontchaknow?! :p

        • Raphie

          Just don’t wear it all at once. I have rapha sky kit but only wear one peice at a time.

        • winkybiker

          I was on a group ride in France years ago. An older guy turns up with full Sky kit and Team Sky Pinarello, complete with his name on the kit and top-tube. We initially thought “Who’s this wanker?” Of course, we didn’t know who Brian Cookson was at that time, until he introduced himself and explained what he did for a living. He was humble and actually a bit embarrassed to be riding the flashy kit, but they (Sky) gave it to him (he was President of British Cycling and a director of Team Sky at the time) and expected him to use it. What would you do?

    • Ciaran Carroll

      So you’d call Graeme O Bree a hubbard?

  • Guest

    Hup, Hup, Hup.. Euro – not sure of original – but generally used to signal something is happen, time to chase

    • Jake(Aus)

      ‘Hup’ is Dutch for ‘go’, so simple ‘go, go go’ :)

      • Jake(Aus)

        sorry I meant – so it’s simply ‘go, go, go’

        • Jessy Vee

          Sometimes used when you want to sit on the back of the bunch for a bit, and you need to signal other riders to roll through. ‘Hup’… ‘Go. I’m being lazy.’

  • Knickers in a twist

    Slightly embarrassing when a post about the cycling lexicon can’t even spell the phrase “bib Knicks” correctly. Oh well, better luck next time.

    • Spelling B.

      It reely annoyz me as wel, is it so hard too spel proporly?

    • Jessi Braverman

      In Verita’s defense, she has an American editor – and we don’t use the term knicks – so I honestly didn’t know there was only one correct spelling for the Australian term. And now I do. Change made. And thanks for alerting me to it.

    • lowercasev

      I’ll admit to spelling it wrong… thanks for pointing it out!

  • anon


  • veloaficionado

    Trying hard to sound like you know what you are talking about is sometimes trying too hard. There are terms used in Europe that haven’t made it here, because they’re in a different language and don’t translate well, but, they’ll be trotted out by those who’ve heard them used by some 2nd rate commentator, just to impress their mates. A bloc? Rouleur? Etc.

    • a different ben

      Seems everyone around the world uses ‘chapeau’ though.

    • winkybiker

      Remember when Kelly used to call GC “General Classement”? He’s improved a LOT over the years. His sentences could go for 15 minutes without a breath when he first started commentating.

  • Jim

    I always thought half-wheeling was when you were overlapping your front wheel with the back wheel of the person in front of you.
    What’s this called ? (besides stupid and dangerous)

    • lowercasev

      That is considered half wheeling too!

      • winkybiker

        No. That’s overlapping. Totally different to half-wheeling.

    • Elisabeth

      Also called “overlapping wheels”

  • Mark

    You forgot douchebag, generally cyclist who owns a 10k bike and roads with a large belly down beach road

    • Jessy Vee

      I question that definition. I’d consider a douchbag to be someone who is too caught up in himself to be bothered remembering his manners. Often seen scowling at slower riders, ducking between cars in traffic jams and running red lights.

      • lowercasev

        Agreed Jessy. Mark I’d say the person you describe is a Pro Hubbard … All the gear, no idea!

        • Flashing Pedals

          No, they’re just simply a c#nt

        • GrahamWKidd

          So not afraid of being judgmental and stereotyping there Verita? Confident that MAMIL’s aren’t reading your articles so you are free to mock and abuse? Great way to build a reader base, and get wide cross sectional support for women’s cycling.

          • Natalia

            Well to be fair she didn’t invent the term and I’ve seen women cyclists that are hubbard friendly and mocking-free, so please don’t give up on them.

            Being an aspiring Pro Hubbard (or Hubbarda, since I’m woman and I think I fit 80% of the characteristics), I learned not to take the pro and competitive cyclist mockery too seriously otherwise it will ruin my rides, and why tell me? Never. I have all the gear (not the 10k bike, mine is heavier) and as you read, I have no idea, nor do I want to have some. My balance is not great and I’m sure I have poor bike handling skills. However, I have a blast every time I go out for a ride. I guess my hubbardism lets me coexist with recumbent cyclists, MAMILs and MAWILs alike, with or without hanging bellies (good for you, pedal on), and in general with anything that pedals my way. I wave to them all.

            Dear mocking hubbard movement supporters, until you convince stores to ask for a racing license or certification or whatever it is you serious and competitive cyclists use to identify yourselves (see? I’m scoring hubbard points by the second), to be able to buy the sacred gear, I’ll keep buying what I like and can afford, even if it’s wasted on me. No worries, I’ll make sure not to tarnish the brands sponsoring you with my lack of looks, skills and fashion, I’ll stay away from them.

            May life bring you plenty of punishing and satisfying rides, along with abundant opportunities to show off your matching kit with perfect fit, knowledge about cycling, bike handling skills, shaven legs and graceful presence on the bike, so you can forget that once upon a time you were a hubbard too.

        • winkybiker

          Yo, careful. As a MAMIL with a 10k+ bike I might just take some offence to the stereotype. I don’t, as I’m not the type of person who is easily offended, but careful you don’t alienate some readership with the continuation of disparaging stereotypes. Cycling has enough of an exclusionary reputation as it is.

          • Jessi Braverman

            Missed all this until just now or I would have piped up sooner. Verita’s comments are completely tongue-in-check – just like Graham’s are sarcastic. No need to take them at face value!

            One of the best things about cycling is there’s a place for everyone in this sport – and we aim to bring you content diversity that we hope reflects the inclusive nature of the sport.

    • winkybiker

      How does an expensive bike and/or body shape make one a douchebag?

  • Mark

    Granny gears should only refer to a bike with 3chain rings on the front cog.

  • Mandy Rudwick

    We use the term “Outthebackistan” – defined as a place you don’t want to stay in for long, and a place you certainly don’t want to visit again. :)

    • Jessi Braverman

      Ha! Love this one. Thanks for sharing it, Mandy.

  • Yann

    Racing in France ( badly ), but had to learn a whole new language on and off the bike. But it got spelled out pretty quickly that if you aren’t pro then you are only racing for the title “Roi des Patapons” …
    not really translatable but basically means King of the clowns!

    • lowercasev

      Love it!

    • Karl

      So that would be a KoC? Whoops!

      • Yann

        We can save that special name for the Freds who get done for doping when racing for nothing more than a bouquet ! … there was a certain female 59 time National champion and 13 time world champion getting dropped on the 1st lap from Cat1 last weekend who would have us believe her dear hubbie was only buying EPO for his personal quest to be Roi des Patapons! … a true KoC!

        • 900Aero

          Ahhh Jeannie.

  • mikeya

    One I’ve seen a bit of lately is “grovelling” – probably similar to “snivelling” – as in grovelling for a wheel, any wheel….

    • Pete

      They are different. Grovelling is when you are in trouble and trying to grab wheels and hang in.
      Snivelling is moving from wheel to wheel, not doing any turns, all the while having good legs.
      Most snivellers tend to “suddenly come good” in the final.

      • Pete

        eg. Tough race today and I had no legs. I grovelled all day and was lucky to roll home on the back of the bunch.

        And We were all pulling except for “Jules”, who didn’t do a single turn.

        1) Bloody sniveller got to the hill, attacked then rode away….
        2) Bloody sniveller, got to the sprint, he suddenly found his legs, kicked away and won by 5 lengths…

  • Staffy

    What about “On the Rivet”! One of my favourites and shows a little heritage as well ;)

  • Paul Mitchell

    Ticket Taker. This is the person directly behind the last rotating spot in an eschelon. They are effectively blocking anyone else from getting into the rotation, forcing them to get strung out in the wind or start another eschelon. The term comes from the guy at a train station that lets you board the train. No ticket, you can’t get into the eschelon.

    Also a nice position in crits where you are forcing the 5-8 riders in front of you to keep up the rotation while you’re sitting in.

  • bdcuwb

    “Polishing the lever”–for difficult climbs, when you keep trying your shift lever to see if maybe *this* time a lower gear magically appeared…

  • Unshaven one

    Unshaven Legs = Hubbard ???? Really

    • Ciaran Carroll

      I agree with you. Sagan was rocking hairy legs earlier in the season. Someone further up said recumberants are for Hubbard’s as are shaved legs. Sagan and Graeme O Bree are Hubbard’s?

  • Sue

    In North Queensland a person new to cycling or has limited bike skillss is called a Gumby, affectionately of course

  • Jon Holbrook

    I’ll confess to being a Hubbard, at least as far as mismatched kit and unshaven legs go. As for the rest I’ll let others be the judge.

  • SecretPro

    All on – which is used to let the group know that everyone is back on. Used by pro’s (most famously Lance Armstrong) when they feel the pace isn’t particularly hard and sarcastically shout out ‘all on’, as if to indicate someone must have been off the back for it to be so slow.


Pin It on Pinterest

November 21, 2017
November 20, 2017
November 18, 2017