The cycling community is vast, and made up of an array of colourful personalities, which can be loosely slotted into tribes. Though in some cases, members of these tribes do not always mix when placed in close proximity to one another; the truth is that they are all united by one love.
We know we won’t have covered off every type of cyclist here – we bike riders are notoriously individualistic – but here’s a look at some of the most well known tribes…
Which type of cyclist are you?
The Strava Addict
The Strava addict might, initially, appear as a perfectly normal riding companion. This will remain the case as you begin your ride – they’ll chat away happily and share the load.
And then. For no apparent reason, out of the seemingly blue, the Strava addict will ATTACK. Fighting for breath, you’ll chase down the Strava addict, desperate to hold onto the smoking rear wheel in front of you.
The Strava addict will ride at a friendly pace on all terrain, except land which is proclaimed a “Strava segment”. When you catch up, you’ll probably find him/her checking the leaderbard to see if they have claimed the KOM/QOM, before the ride continues as before.
We are friends to the Strava-ites, and have a Strava group here.
This is the rider that will sit on your wheel throughout a climb, only to smash it past you as the end approaches. Unrelentingly competitive, the road racer knows their tactics. They are also strong believers in the values and ideologies of the Velominati rules, and commonly heard quoting them to anyone who dares to disobey.
The benefit of riding with the road racer is that they know their riding etiquette, too, and though they’ll enjoy a little competition, they’re great at demonstrating the perfect way to take a corner and they will never skip a hand signal. Just remember one thing: Do. Not. Deviate. From. Your. Line. And you’ll be good friends.
All about the team, the road racer is often seen in club or team kit. In fact, we hear most of them sleep in team issue pyjamas.
For more roadie traits, check out “Signs you’re a harcore roadie.”
This rider loves the work. The sportiver relishes miles and revels in hills. Sportiver’s strive for the “gold standard” at events, and enjoy riding in bunches, some of them adopting race tactics in the final miles to shake off competitors, but mostly enjoying riding on new roads in new places.
Sportiver’s are fully catered for at our RideIt events, which take place across the country, year round.
The Mountain biker can be split up into a wide range of catagories: downhillers, cross country riders, endure riders… but they all like getting out and getting muddy.
Mountain bikers can be identified by the use of lexemes such as “gnarly”, “rad”, and “stoked”, as well as the wearing of plaid shirts. The MTBer will also usually drive a car which contains the foliage of a small forest.
These guys are a friendly bunch, always willing to include new members in their group – provided they accept and respect their opinions on the correct wheel size to adopt.
Our RideIt events also cater for MTBers, with awesome gnarly trail rides available across the country.
For more MTBer traits, check out “How to be a Mountain Biker”.
The commuter has a hardy soul. To the commuter, there is no better form of transport than that which is offered by the two wheels of a bicycle. They will ensure every pair of ears in the vicinity has heard this message.
Riding 12 months of the year has taught the commuter everything there is to know about dressing themselves and their bikes to cope with whatever the weather throws at them.
Lightness, quickness and responsiveness are qualities important to some commuters, but the true hardcore of the breed are more taken by durability and resistance to the weather.
The “urban cyclist” is a sub sect of the commuter. Often riding a brightly coloured “vintage” singlespeed with 50mm rims in a city centre, this sort of rider is more comfortable in chinos that a chamois, and can be identified by their carefully trained ability to track stand at traffic lights with an air of nonchalance.
A ride is not a proper workout unless it is followed by a run, transforming it into a “brick session.” Triathlete’s can be spotted by the lack of arms on their jerseys, often socklessness, and the wearing of cycling shoes designed to be removed easily in “transition”.
Triathlete’s are often seen riding on ‘tri-bars’ or triathlon bikes on group rides, setting them apart from roadies, who often eye them with a slight mistrust. You may also notice numbers written on their arms in black marker pen – these are race numbers, and means they are either racing, or raced recently, and are trying to maintain the badge (possibly showering and swimming with a protective plastic bag layer).
At Evans Cycles, we love all people that love bikes, and we’ve got lots of Tri kit available here.
Bradley Wiggins once said that it helps if you’re a “bit odd” in time trial. They do tend to look “a bit odd” in their attempt to beat all air resistance.
The time triallist/tester is often an insular individual. Riding a set distance solo as quickly as possible can be a torturous activity, and this tribe tends to enjoy the pain.
There are two groups of time triallists: The Boardman’s, and the Obree’s. The Boardman’s love data, science, and likely owns 1 or more powermeter’s. The Obree’s value feel and passion. Neither group will ever be happy with their result, since it is always possible to go faster.
(NB: The author is a tester and has tried to remain unbiased.)
The cyclocorss riders emerge from hibernation over the winter months – this is because the summer months are just not muddy enough for them.
CXers like to race bikes that look much like road bikes, off road. They also enjoy being applauded with cowbells, and are at their happiest when caked in mud and eating Frites.
Sharing one characteristic with the Triathlete, CXers like to hop off their bikes to run, occasionally, but unlike triathletes, will only do so when an object is placed directly in their path. The “flyling leap” is an essential skill – this refers to getting on and off the bike quickly. You will know if an error has been made in re-mount by the “crying yelp” uttered soon after.
Do you identify with one of these groups? Or are we missing your chosen tribe? Tell us in the comments…