11 Most Annoying Types of Cyclists

We love how passionate cyclists are. But sometimes, we can become too enthusiastic. Here are 11 behaviours that can be overwhelming.

Bicycling. . All illustrations by Charlie Layton |

We love how passionate cyclists are. But sometimes, we can become too enthusiastic. Here are 11 behaviours that can be overwhelming. – By The Editors of Bicycling. All illustrations by Charlie Layton

We respect everyone who rides bikes, of course, but sometimes our passion for riding turns our quirks into irritating eccentricities. It can happen to anyone and we’ll be the first to admit we can be irritating on a group ride. From borrowing your last tube – to regaling you with our 17-part dissertation on the potential outcomes of disc brakes on road bikes – riding with us can be a mixed bag of fun, camaraderie, and yes, occasional frustration that we just won’t shut up about bike parts.

Luckily, we’re not alone—lots of our fellow cyclists are out there ready to settle in comfortably on your last nerve. Join us as we take a brief spin through the 11 most annoying cyclists to ride with, many of which were nominated by Bicycling staff members who closely identify. Which one are you? And what would you add? Head over to Facebook to let us know.

1. The Excuse Machine

Always went too hard the day before. Or doesn’t feel good. Or has a hangover. Then announces plans to keep things easy and drills it.


2. The Gear Snob and His Nemesis, the Anti-Gear Snob

These riders can evoke serious anxiety about your gear, or your own performance. One gets a new bike every season and the way he flies uphill (thanks to his Zipp 404s with the special blackout graphics, of course) make you question your own setup. The other is on an ancient skedonk and hasn’t bought new tyres since the last time LeMond won the Tour, and yet he still beats you up every climb.


3. The ‘How Many More Minutes’ Rider

This cyclist claims to be drawn to the freedom and adventure of riding, but needs to know exactly how long the ride will be so he/she can plan when to eat, how much to eat, and when to start feeling like it’s time to be done.


4. The Desperately Unchicked

Mortally afraid of being passed by a woman. Will do anything to stay in front of them on a group ride, even if it means pulling off the road and faking a mechanical. See ‘The Competitive Type’.


5. The Half-Wheeler

Always stays a few centimetres ahead of the riders next to him/her, pushing the pace on a group ride. (If people stop talking and start panting when you hit the front of the group, this might be you.)


6. The Chronically Unprepared

Has endless enthusiasm for riding, but shows up with a flat tyre. Needs a gel, or R20, or a spare tube, or multi-tool every week. Are so busy riding, they can’t seem to get that they can attain these things in advance themselves.

7. The Competitive Type

Going fast is great, unless you’re attacking at a yellow light, or turning every ride into a race (and blowing up five minutes in), or claim your coach wants you to do intervals during group rides.


8. The ‘Gram Addict

So enamoured by the ride that he/she has to record every moment of it and stamp it with 40 different #hashtags #about #bikes. Otherwise, did the ride even happen?


Illustration by Charlie Layton
Illustration by Charlie Layton

9. The Constant Yapper

This rider has a lot to say and a frustratingly endless lung capacity with which to say it. Even when they’re more focused on the yammering than the hammering, they’re still somehow hard to drop.


10. The Over-Helper

Yes, you can have too much of a good thing, particularly if you’re a beginner and someone is offering an avalanche of otherwise helpful tips. “You should eat more. Want me to check your tyre pressure for you? Sure you don’t want a push up that hill? Here comes one anyway!” The Over-Helper is hard to shake.


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11. The Over-Helper’s Sidekick, the Unsolicited Coach

“Elbows out, lower gear, more power, eyes up, butt back, go, go, go!” The Coach is an endless font of advice who forgets you’re out to enjoy the ride, not compete for a spot on the SA Olympic team.

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