Few things rile up cyclists more than mispronounced names, be it brands or brand gurus, and we’re very guilty of this particular linguistic crime here at BikeRadar.
So we’ve done a bit of research, and determined — to the best of our abilities — the absolute correctest way to say the five most commonly mispronounced brand names.
Our first mispronunciation comes from the surname of one of the forefathers of mountain biking.
His first name is Keith and he started out riding motocross before switching to pedal powered bikes, and people have been getting his surname wrong ever since.
Trek’s in-house component brand is called Bon-tray-Ger, with a hard G. Not Bon-tray-jher, bontra-jeur or anything else you may have heard whilst out on your travels.
So, as Keith has taken the time to make us some fancy bicycle components, the least we can do is get his name right from this point on.
SRAM makes shiny gold groupsets and magical wireless ones, yet many of us have been guilty of mispronouncing one of the biggest brands in the world of cycling.
In fact, our very own women’s cycling editor and voice-over specialist — yes that’s Aoife Glass — has been called out for getting it wrong, more than once…. on this very channel.
So, hopefully for the final time, mainly for Aoife, but also for anyone else out there who’s unsure, it’s SRAM…. Not Shram and definitely not S-ram.
This Italian heritage brand has been around for a long time, so it stands to reason that the correct pronunciation of its moniker would be welded into the cycling vernacular.
Well, some people, and we hold our hands up to this one as well, still get Campy wrong.
The most common transgression is going hard on the G for a very un-italian sounding CampaGnolo. Weirdly, a hard-G is acceptable if shortening the name to ‘Campag’, but if you’re saying all the syllables then you need to say them as Campan-yolo. Italian accent optional.
They’re based in the good ole U S of A, so conventional wisdom would suggest that the correct pronunciation would be ‘jai-ro’, like a ‘gyroscope’.
Wrong. It’s pronounced the Italian way, as in Giro d’Italia, with soft ‘I’ and ‘G’ sounds.
This one is so hard to find the correct pronunciation that we had to go deep into the German company’s YouTube archives to find it.
We’ve heard various attempts, including ‘schwal-bey’, ‘schwalb’ ‘schwabble’ and ’schwab-lee’.
Those are all wrong, so just so everyone’s sure, it’s Schvalb-uh.
It doesn’t end there
There are so many other cycling brands we hear mispronounced, it was difficult to pick just five.
We’d love to hear which mispronunciations make you chuckle, and most of all, which ones you are guilty of saying.