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How to Talk Like a Cyclist in Malaysia


Paceline.  Groupset.  Magic spanner.  Aero.  Sticky bottle.  Bike throw.  Road rash.  Endo.

A small sample of the English words and phrases likely to come out of the mouth of a cyclist.   Throw in the French, Flemish, Dutch and Italian terminology common to the sport, and it is no wonder that most non-cyclists are baffled by cyclospeak.

Not to be outdone, Malaysian cyclists have a few cycling terms of their own.  Such as:

A Hokkien phrase which means not inviting someone along to an event or activity.
Often used in Facebook comments in response to postings of Strava ride summaries.

Ceria rider
The Malay word for “cheerful.”  Refers to someone who rides purely for fun.
“No lah.  I don’t want to do a century ride.  I am a ceria rider only.”

The abbreviation of Fong Fei Kei.  A Cantonese phrase which means a betrayal or breaking of a promise / deal made with another party.
In this case a person who did not turn up for a group ride as promised.
“Next time you FFK, you have to buy everyone breakfast.”

Hantu / Ghost rider
The Malay or English word referring to an unregistered, non-paying rider in an organised event.
“The registration damned expensive.  So just be a ghost rider lor.”

Just buy a new bike
The standard advice given to any cyclist who has even the slightest thing go wrong with their bicycle, or who muses about buying a new component or upgrading an existing one.
“Eh.  Your shifting quite noisy.  Just buy a new bike lah.”

Kaki besi
A Malay phrase meaning “iron legs.”  Refers to a strong rider.
“That guy kaki besi one.  I can’t follow him.”

Kaki jelly
The opposite of kaki besi.  Literally means “jelly legs.”
“So much climbing today.  I got kaki jelly now.”

Kena conned
Refers to being tricked into riding further / faster/ higher than anticipated.
“She said we are riding about 50km today.  Ended up riding for five hours.  I really kena conned.”

Kena racun / Got poisoned
This Malay or equivalent English phrase is used to refer to a person who was persuaded to upgrade an existing, or buy a new, bicycle component.
“He kena racun and bought a set of Zipp 404s.”

Nubis Kubis
A term for a newbie.  If anyone knows why the Malay word for cabbage, “kubis,” is part of this phrase, let me know.
“I am a nubis kubis.  Dare not use clipless pedals.”

A Malay word that is most likely a corruption of the English word “punctured.”  The equivalent of “blowing up.”
“I have to stop for a while.  Pancit already.”

Santai ride / Chillax ride
The Malay word for “relaxed,” and the English portmanteau word combining “chill” and relaxed.”
“Don’t worry.  It will be a santai ride.  Average speed less than 25kph”  (See Kena conned above)

Smoke me
What a kaki besi does to a nubis kubis.  Leaves them in the dust.
“That girl smoked me.  After a few kilometers I couldn’t see her anymore.”

Tarik me
The Malay word for “pull.”  With the same meaning in a cycling context.
“You got kaki besi mah.  So you tarik me lah.”


I’m going for a santai ride in the morning.  I’ll be alone, so no one to tarik me.  Hopefully none of my friends complain that I bojio them.

About alchemyrider

I left Malaysia in 2008 as a non-cyclist. I am back home now with three road bikes and all the paraphernalia that goes with being addicted to cycling.

4 responses »

  1. Good to know for my visit next year!

  2. “I’m going for a santai ride in the morning. I’ll be alone, so no one to tarik me. Hopefully none of my friends complain that I bojio them.”

    You’re a kaki besi, so having no one to tarik is no problem. It’s the santai rider like me, who is a nubis kubis compare to u kaki besi people, who always get kaki jelly after kena conned that will struggle. But takpe, nanti after i upgrade because kena poisoned i’ll be able to keep up.

    Also, bojio.


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