It seems that someone recently added a tag called frostcycling. It doesn't have usage guidance at the time of writing. Looking at the list of questions, they appear to be not distinct from the winter tag. Going off my memory, this question by @Sam may be the first question tagged as frostcycling, and it's the first one I remember seeing the phrase "frostcycling" in.

I am not sure that frostcycling is a term in common usage, at least in English in the West. Policing language that you don’t like is ultimately futile, as terms will eventually catch on if enough people find them meaningful. However, Googling “frostcycling” doesn't appear to reveal any hits per se aside from the question I linked above. In fact, many of those hits contain "frostbike" instead. One of those hits is a book titled (emphasis mine) "Frostbike: the Joy, Numbness, and Pain of Winter Cycling". There are more hits for a recurring event called Frostbike organized by Quality Bicycle Parts (a massive US distributor of bike components that also owns several fat bike brands).

I propose that frostcycling be deleted and merged with the winter tag, unless we can find evidence that it's a phrase used by at least a group of cyclists and we can distinguish it from the winter tag.

  • If a tag merge is overkill, there are few enough questions that a few of us could retag them very quickly.
    – DavidW
    Jan 17, 2022 at 15:59

4 Answers 4

  • winter is defined in any english dictionary.

  • frostcycling is not, and while the meaning is relatively easy to decode, it is not a recognised word.

For accessibility I'd pick Winter as the root word and have frost-cycling and frostcycling as synonyms along with "winter-riding"

A search of tags returns relevant-but-unique tags like [ice] [commuter] [protection] [rain] [snow] [frozen] [salt] etc. Of those, only ice and frozen might be similar enough to merge, and I can also see justification for ice and frozen to be merged under [ice]

  • 1
    @Sam Why not just tag those questions with "ice" then?? If I was asking a question about frozen-water-on-road cycling, that would be the tag I'd be looking for. No way would I find the frostcycling tag autonomously. Most humans are smart enough to understand that when the tag is "ice", that likely includes topics such as cycling on icy roads.
    – MaplePanda
    Jan 18, 2022 at 21:02
  • 2
    Remember tags are additive. [winter] plus [commute] plus [ice] describes facets of the topic nicely.
    – Criggie Mod
    Jan 18, 2022 at 21:25
  • 3
    @Sam You've got the entire body of the question to elaborate on that stuff. As it stands right now, you fail to address the issue that "frostcycling" is an unknown word to everyone on this planet except for yourself and the ~15 people who are regularly on this SE. As Weiwen elaborated upon, until it is a more generally accepted term, you are honestly just locking your [excellent] winter riding knowledge behind this wall of obscurity.
    – MaplePanda
    Jan 18, 2022 at 21:31
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    "Frostcycling" might become a nice term if it gets widely adopted, but using Sam's question and a few others as examples, it doesn't refer to anything unique. I found one question where that tag was (and no longer is) misapplied - I wrote it and included "no visible frost" and "the ground was damp"; the discussion and (self-)answer were around liquid water
    – Chris H
    Jan 25, 2022 at 13:21

No, this tag should not exist.


Referring on some comments from the OP: I understand the argumentation, but respectfully disagree, except on 'winter' being too vague as a replacement.

The tag that is discussed here is limited to a section of SE dedicated to cycling. It's implicit that questions tagged here with 'frost' will be related to 'cycling in frosty conditions'. Inventing a new word doesn't bring any added value.

  • @Sam The examples you give refers to the bike themselves, not to the conditions in which they are ridden. It makes senses to add this precision because there are technical implications, and these technical implications matter on a technical forum. And for the record, the only tags that are contains "cycling" are "frostcycling" and "utility-cycling", and there are no tags that contain "biking".
    – Rеnаud
    Jan 18, 2022 at 21:46

I am adding a parallel answer to the question, although I will not accept this answer. In general, we tag questions or posts to help users find relevant topics. If tags are largely duplicative in content, this arguably lessens the utility of each tag. If the general public can’t distinguish between which tag to use, that’s a sign of largely overlapping content. As I showed in the original question, there’s no sign that frostcycling is a widely used phrase. With respect to Sam, I am not sure anyone else is using that phrase (yet?).

Some people are prescriptive linguists and they get annoyed when people use language in ways they deem unconventional or unusual. That was not my purpose when I posed this question. When or if frostcycling starts being a phrase, I would be open to either including it in the descriptions for the winter or ice tags, or to starting a new tag and possibly merging one of the other tags with it.

Language evolves with time. Language policing with the intent of restricting evolution is probably unhelpful much of the time. However, language is something shared by people. Until there are enough people using frostcycling as a concept distinct from other tags here, I respectfully can’t see the rationale for using frostcycling as a tag. Naturally, at some point, history may prove that Sam was ahead of the curve and that the rest of us were behind it. If that happens, I hope this answer will stand as an example of how to organize a site with some level of respect, striking a balance between maintaining usability and leaving room open for changes in language and technology.

As one example of linguistic evolution: the term “all-road bike” is currently relatively rare, but it is common enough that a number of cyclists would recognize it. To me, it means a bike with similar geometry to an endurance road bike but with wide tire clearance, probably up to 40mm if it’s a 2020 or later model year, possibly 35-38mm in earlier years. I think it is a subclass of gravel bike, although some might interpret as sitting somewhere between endurance road and gravel bikes. I am not sure if Jan Heine was the first user of the term, but I know I first encountered the phrase on his blog at Compass Cycles, and I am pretty sure it was a rare term until about 2020 or 2021. Another phrase is the term “integrated cockpit” for handlebar/stem combinations with fully hidden hoses and wiring; I know for a fact that some forum mates find this phrase very annoying.


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