10 types of cyclists we all know

From the one who always punctures to the one who always get lost, we can all recognise these rider stereotypes

ClockUpdated 09:00, Thursday 25th January 2024. Published 10:00, Friday 25th August 2023

They say that everyone is different and unique, but when it comes to cycling, there are some pretty clear types among us. From secret trainers to bar baggers, here are 10 types of cyclists we've come across.

This is a purely tongue-in-cheek look at the tropes we all fall into from time to time – I know I’ve been every rider on this list at some point.

Read more: 5 things cyclists shouldn't do... but do anyway

The one who punctures

We have all come across this rider, the one that appears to be a magnet to any sort of road debris that comes vaguely close to them. If anyone is going to puncture on a ride, look no further than this person. You would think that after this many punctures, they might start to avoid the potholes, stop riding in the gutter or get some new tyres. But it wouldn’t appear so.

The chatterbox

If you’ve been out with your local group chances are you might have seen this person. The talker, typically an incredibly passionate and vocal rider, is able to talk endlessly about any topic under the sun, from the latest racing to the new tubeless valves they have fitted. They don't quite get the fact that for many of us, a bike ride is a chance to enjoy the quiet of the countryside.

The poor navigator

This is pretty self-explanatory - if you have ever ridden with this rider you have probably had your patience tested along with your sanity. The poor navigator might believe that they are a modern-day Christopher Columbus, but in reality, they will have you pulling U-turns, slamming on for missed junctions, and retracing your steps to get back on course.

If you spot a poor navigator early into a ride, try to get someone else to call the shots, you’ll thank yourself for it later.

The secret trainer

Have you ever come across a rider who always says that they never get time to ride, and yet on every group ride as soon as the hammer drops they are the ones dropping everyone? This is the MO of the secret trainer. Don’t be surprised if they go as far as putting their Strava rides to private to keep everyone in the dark about the sheer volume of training kilometres they are putting in.

The fair-weather cyclist

We have probably all been guilty of being this rider, although if you are from the UK, it is unlikely that you get many opportunities to be a 'fair weather' cyclist – that would depend on their being some fair weather to ride in.

However, for the fair-weather cyclist, even the best-formed plans can be halted by a quick look out of the window. Is that a drop of rain? Better give it a miss. These riders think no ride is worth getting wet or cold for - cycling is to be enjoyed in summer kit and nothing else.

If you are fortunate enough to live somewhere that permits you to spend most of the year in summer kit, where you can leave the house without a jacket or a pair of overshoes, just know that you are unpopular with most of the cycling population in the UK.

The crasher

Bike handling is a skill that takes some time to develop - here are six drills if you need to improve - but we all know someone who has a peculiar habit for going head over heels. They might call themselves unlucky, and who are we to say different, but it's probably wise to give this rider a bit more space in a group.

Not only will it make them more comfortable but it will save your skin in the event of a takedown. You have to hand it to the crasher; if nothing else, they are the most resilient riders out there.

The bar bagger

Love them or hate them, the humble bar bag is here to stay and to be honest, you cannot knock them for their functionality. Having said that, there's only so many things you need to carry on a short ride. In most cases, these bags are more of a fashion accessory than a functional item. Make the mistake of asking them about their bag, and a bar bagger will typically drop a sales pitch if you give them chance. They have seen the light and want to get as many riders to join them in their bar-mounted luggage club as possible.

The one who always needs a toilet stop

In a group ride you are bound to find the rider who regardless of when the last stop was or how soon the café is, they always need to stop for the toilet. This rider deserves kudos just for the ability to stay that hydrated throughout a ride.

You can spot this rider as they will often circulate a group asking if anyone needs a toilet stop before announcing that they do. The group might be kind enough to stop for them the first few times but if this is you, don’t be surprised if you have to chase on after your fifth stop of the ride.

The data scientist

We all like to know our stats - how far we have gone, average speed and elevation - and for most of us, it stops there. Not for this rider, they live for the numbers, they can tell you about the average gradient of every climb in the area and the maximum power they have ridden them at.

They know their stuff but also want to share it with anyone and everyone in earshot. Be careful, if two data scientists get talking the nerdery can rip a hole in the space-time continuum.

The warrior

Who says that every ride shouldn’t be a race? For the warrior that is what they ride for: full gas, flat-out or there is no point in leaving the house. No town sign is safe, no climb is to be easy. Rumours have it the warrior hasn’t heard of zone 2 and thinks a recovery ride is for the weak. If you want to go for an all-out smash-fest then the warrior is the rider to call.

Bonus: the half-wheeler

No group ride is safe from this rider, sometimes their work is incredibly subtle, and other times it's barely disguised at all. As they roll to the front of the group they will position themselves just in front of the rider next to them, and no matter how hard the rider next to them tries to pull level, they will always keep their nose just in front.

This will continue until a flat-out effort begins, often with riders getting shelled from the group in the process. Keep an eye out for this rider and keep them off the front if they can’t contain their excitement, this is what a chain gang is for.

Are there any you think that we missed? Let us know in the comments what type of rider you think you and your mates are.

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