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Bicycle misnomenclature

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Old 04-27-17, 05:09 PM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by SloButWide View Post
A close second has to be colorway. If the word snuck out of the fashion industry, shouldn't it have a classy Italian or French equivalent?
The only way I can avoid saying something vulgar and insulting to the user of the term colorway is to justify stifling my anger and dismay by thinking that colorway refers to the overall color design including stripes, highlights, logos, etc. Then I can live with it. Just as I can live with "seat" and "clip in pedals". The alternative would be something like "color treatment" or such, like "window treatment" or "wall treatment". Which is worse?

I can't find such justification for those who either use the word groupset, or non-Italians who use gruppo.

Something I can totally get is the term used by the uncool, "clip in pedals" because about the absolute dumbest custom is calling modern pedals "clipless". Clips - and distinguishing pedals by the lack of them - is referring to such an arcane term and completely out of the realm of understanding of anyone born after, say, 1965, even enthusiastic and knowledgeable cyclists. And there's no need for them to know or have known about clips.

Clip in pedals is such a better term. Or as some call them, my preferred, automatic pedals or step in pedals, like ski bindings were known when we went from heel straps and toe levers that you had to push down engage the binding.

Thank goodness we don't refer to modern landline phones as "crankless phones".

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Old 04-27-17, 05:10 PM
  #102  
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People are always calling the headtube angle "rake", rather than the fork offset (which is the real meaning of the term "rake").
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Old 04-27-17, 05:25 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
And the Australian word for trouser clips: boyangs.
I've never heard that before but what do I know? There was a comic strip which ran in the Melbourne evening Herald newspaper from the 30s to the 80s called Ben Bowyang and he wore trousers with clips or were tied at the ankle.

Freewheel = Cluster
3 Cross = Laced over two and under one
Shifters = Levers / Gear Levers
Rear Forks (lower blades of rear triangle)
Pair of Handlebars / Handlebars / Bars
Seat Pillar
Tubulars = Singles
Clinchers = Wired Ons

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Old 04-27-17, 05:34 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
The only way I can avoid saying something vulgar and insulting to the user of the term colorway is to justify stifling my anger and dismay by thinking that colorway refers to the overall color design including stripes, highlights, logos, etc. Then I can live with it. Just as I can live with "seat" and "clip in pedals". The alternative would be something like "color treatment" or such, like "window treatment" or "wall treatment". Which is worse?

I can't find such justification for those who either use the word groupset, or non-Italians who use gruppo.

Something I can totally get is the term used by the uncool, "clip in pedals" because about the absolute dumbest custom is calling modern pedals "clipless". Clips - and distinguishing pedals by the lack of them - is referring to such an arcane term and completely out of the realm of understanding of anyone born after, say, 1965, even enthusiastic and knowledgeable cyclists. And there's no need for them to know or have known about clips.

Clip in pedals is such a better term. Or as some call them, my preferred, automatic pedals or step in pedals, like ski bindings were known when we went from heel straps and toe levers that you had to push down engage the binding.

Thank goodness we don't refer to modern landline phones as "crankless phones".

Bad hair day?
Remember, when it comes to misnomenclature - Precedent takes precedence.


It wasn't called crankless but rotary, because with the old 'party line' you picked-up the receiver and turned the 'crank' to alert the operator on the other end, who then connected you to the party you requested; then we evolved to the rotary technique. Privately owned telephone lines clogged crowded cities in the very early days.
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Old 04-27-17, 06:10 PM
  #105  
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... and speaking of cranks, this is one of the crankiest threads I've seen in a long time.
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Old 04-27-17, 08:36 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Vintage Raleigh View Post
I've never heard that before but what do I know? There was a comic strip which ran in the Melbourne evening Herald newspaper from the 30s to the 80s called Ben Bowyang and he wore trousers with clips or were tied at the ankle.
I've seen it spelled with and without the W. I learned the term from an Aussie woman in Germany who explained to me that the term predates cycling, applying also to their cowboys' practice of tying a cord around the pant leg at the ankle. Great word.

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Old 04-27-17, 11:09 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
I've seen it spelled with and without the W. I learned the term from an Aussie woman in Germany who explained to me that the term predates cycling, applying also to their cowboys' practice of tying a cord around the pant leg at the ankle. Great word.
There you go must be where Ben got his name from. Thanks.
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Old 04-28-17, 03:13 PM
  #108  
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My favorite is the Rollfast Bicycle Company...
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Old 04-28-17, 03:20 PM
  #109  
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I did the MS150 rides here for many years and people were forever calling it a race.

"That's so awesome you're in that MS150 race this weekend". Uhhh, sure... now go to my page and donate!
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Old 04-28-17, 04:05 PM
  #110  
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The worst has GOT to be "Clipless"
-less insinuates that it had something before but does no longer.

"So Pedals used to come with clips?"
"No, they used to come with straps, or toe cages, or just flats"
"Then shouldn't they be called Clip-in pedals? Or Clip-in Shoes?"
"No, they are clipless"
"So to use these "clipless" pedals you have to clip into them?"
"Yes"
"...with shoes and pedals that have cleat and clip mechanisms?"
"Yes"
"But they're clip-less"
"Now you're getting it!"


"Buy these shoes so you can clip-in to your bike pedals!"
"HA! Not going to fool me salesman, my pedals are clipless!"

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Old 04-28-17, 04:26 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by SloButWide View Post
A close second has to be colorway. If the word snuck out of the fashion industry, shouldn't it have a classy Italian or French equivalent?
I'm pretty sure the history of that term is as follows:

1. Hipsters used it to justify the high prices they were asking for their "curated" fixies.
2. BikeSnobNYC adopted it as a way of poking fun at hipsters.
3. BSNYC's fan's adopted it because it's fun to play along with his jokes.
4. It accidentally ended up becoming a common term.

In other words, it's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.
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Old 04-28-17, 04:50 PM
  #112  
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It's always bothered me that there are wheels using the brands "Oval" and "Ellipse". I suppose a circle is both and ellipse and an oval, but I'd like a little more commitment from the wheel companies regarding how round the wheels are going to be.

Also, while this is more of anachronism than misnomenclature, I find it hilarious that the U.S. tariff schedule still distinguishes between cotterless cranks (which are tariff free when imported from most countries) and "other crank-gear and parts thereof" (which carry a 10% tariff).
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Old 04-28-17, 05:05 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by Fett2oo5 View Post
"So Pedals used to come with clips?"
"No, they used to come with straps, or toe cages, or just flats"
FWIW, back when everyone used toe clips, I never heard anyone at all call them "toe cages", ever. Toe clips was the term.

Yeah, 35 years later it seems kind of silly to call pedals without clips clipless, but language is full of countless arcane terms like that.

I'm tired of people calling burnsides sideburns. Get it right folks.


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Old 04-28-17, 05:36 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Also, while this is more of anachronism than misnomenclature, I find it hilarious that the U.S. tariff schedule still distinguishes between cotterless cranks (which are tariff free when imported from most countries) and "other crank-gear and parts thereof" (which carry a 10% tariff).
FWIW, if anyone wants to have a chuckle about how hopelessly dysfunctional the U.S. federal bureaucracy is, check out this 2017 ruling on a 2013 request for advice as to whether a spider-based power meter constitutes a part of a cotterless crank or a part of another type of crank.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...ekyDXCFn3MaTgg

I particularly like that they used images from Sheldon Brown's website to illustrate what a cotterless crank is.
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Old 04-28-17, 10:46 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
People are always calling the headtube angle "rake", rather than the fork offset (which is the real meaning of the term "rake").
This is motorcycle nomenclature. If someone talks about their "chopper" being "raked out", it means the head tube has been laid back and the forks extended to move the front wheel further forward.

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Old 04-28-17, 10:48 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I'm tired of people calling burnsides sideburns. Get it right folks.

Oh, it can get way more complicated:

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Old 04-28-17, 11:49 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post

This is true on some bikes, but on some bikes it really is a triangle. And if you recognize that the "diamond frame" is formed from two triangles, then this is the main one.

So it's a double triangle; but it's still a triangle, and it's in the rear. When we speak of the rear triangle we all know what we're speaking of. Do you have a better term for it?
The cool kids have bicycles with triple triangles:

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Old 04-29-17, 06:54 AM
  #118  
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Late to the party, but while I like bikes of the English persuasion, I put the blame for most of this misnomenclature squarely on the Brits' penchant for murdering languages: their own, but especially and enthusiastically anyone else's:

Cholmondeley = Chumley
Fotheringay = Funghy
Lieutenant = Leftenant

The wonder is that Shakespeare and the people who decided that a wrench should be called a "spanner", or a crank bearing a "bottom bracket" share a language. With a heritage like that, it's no wonder that in English the terminology has gotten so screwed up. I think it might be interesting to review a catalog of the Wright Brothers bike shop, and see what it was like more than a century ago. My guess is that the English had a stranglehold on the terminology even then.

It's funny, as mentioned by others, how the English threading/size standards have persisted in cycling technology, despite metrication in England. Of course, given the current political trends (now a worldwide contagion), they might be burning that bridge too.

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Old 04-29-17, 07:52 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by SloButWide View Post
A close second has to be colorway. If the word snuck out of the fashion industry, shouldn't it have a classy Italian or French equivalent?
I grant you that the mere existence of this thing, the thing that you don't want to call a colorway, is annoying. But the fact is: it exists. Here we have the annoying fact of an annoying word for an annoying phenomenon. But is it an example of misnomenclature? Unless you're going to tell me the correct word for it, I think not.
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Old 04-29-17, 05:30 PM
  #120  
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I also get disproportionately annoyed when someone uses "rim" or "tire" when talking about a wheel.

I am sure there are arenas where I think I am knowledgeable, but just reveal how little I know as soon as I open my big mouth. Computers and cars come to mind.
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Old 04-30-17, 01:52 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I grant you that the mere existence of this thing, the thing that you don't want to call a colorway, is annoying. But the fact is: it exists. Here we have the annoying fact of an annoying word for an annoying phenomenon. But is it an example of misnomenclature? Unless you're going to tell me the correct word for it, I think not.
I suppose some will point to the word "livery" for describing the paint scheme on a bicycle, but since that term originally applied to servants and horses I suppose we shall have to throw it out also.

Wait. Didn't I just say "paint scheme?" Certainly that must be the correct term!
No. We shall have to throw that one out also since the word "paint" is derived from words meaning "to cut" or "to decorate with cuts."

Whether we like it or not, languages evolve. Words take on new meanings. Meanings take on new words. Some stick. Some don't. I'd rather enjoy the show than quibble with it.
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Old 04-30-17, 07:57 PM
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I often am a curmudgeon about these changes, but just as often, I enjoy them. Every time someone says, "I'm jes' sayin'!" I laugh. I understand the spirit in which it's said, but the funny thing is that it adds no meaning to the sentence it accompanies.
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Old 05-01-17, 04:18 AM
  #123  
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Anyone have a word that used to annoy them that they now use themselves?

Referring to cyclists as "bikers" always used to raise the hairs on the back of my neck. But now it seems to have become so commonplace that even pros and "old-timers" use it.

Or was this always the case and it was just me? I inherited this particular bias from the cool as hell old time mechanic in the shop I used to loiter in high school. He was from Italy, barely spoke English (or wouldn't), had a Faema epsresso machine in his shop, and smoked cigarettes. He also always looked better dressed than the yuppies that would frequent the shop on weekends.
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Old 05-01-17, 04:47 AM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Every time someone says, "I'm jes' sayin'!" I laugh. I understand the spirit in which it's said, but the funny thing is that it adds no meaning to the sentence it accompanies.
You're jes' sayin' that. Because why? Because, that's why.

There is one word, not a bicycle word though, misused by folks who should know better. That word is "exponentially", mistakenly used to mean "very" or perhaps "very, very" (as many very's as you like). This even made the fad-word rounds through NPR a few years ago. Just the other day a newspaper column here mentioned how some particular thing was exponentially bigger than something else. Uh, pardon me but two static measurement do not qualify as exponential. As for it meaning "very", it means nothing of the sort. If you start with a population of, say 2 things and let the population grow exponentially at a rate of 1000 years per doubling, in 1000 years you'd still have just 4 of them despite the exponential growth, hardly worthy of a "very" but exponential nevertheless.
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Old 05-01-17, 05:34 AM
  #125  
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So, perhaps its that we're jus sayin the use of word being made up is growing very exponentially.

Hopefully we can figure out which colourway is fastest between the red and green bikes because that thread is still growing exponentially. If we don't get thrown out for saying colorway
Jus' sayin'

Word, Peace out dawgs.....

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