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The term “trap” can have multiple meanings depending on the context. Here are three distinct definitions relevant to different contexts:

  1. Racing:
    • Definition: The area over which the vehicle is raced for timing purposes.
    • Details: In motorsports, the “trap” refers to a specific section of the track where the speed of the vehicle is measured. This area is critical for determining the performance of the vehicle over a specified distance, such as in drag racing where the trap speed at the end of the quarter-mile is recorded.
  2. Mechanical/Engineering:
    • Definition: A filter or separator.
    • Details: In mechanical systems, a trap is used to filter out unwanted substances from a fluid or gas. For example, a steam trap in a steam system removes condensate and non-condensable gases without letting steam escape. Similarly, oil traps in engines or plumbing systems separate oil from water.
  3. Cycling:
    • Definition: A pedal on a bicycle into which the foot is locked in place.
    • Details: In cycling, a “trap” refers to clipless pedals, which are a type of bicycle pedal that locks the cyclist’s shoe into place. This system improves pedaling efficiency and control. The cyclist’s shoe is equipped with a cleat that snaps into the pedal, allowing for a secure connection that can be quickly released with a twisting motion.


  1. Racing Trap: The timed section of a race track for measuring vehicle speed.
  2. Mechanical Trap: A device for filtering or separating unwanted substances from a system.
  3. Cycling Trap: A type of bicycle pedal system that locks the foot in place for better control and efficiency.


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