The New Zealand Cyclist Corps, which served at various times as the II Anzac Corps Cyclist Battalion, XXII Corps Cyclist Battalion and New Zealand Cyclist Battalion, was added to the New Zealand Division in April 1916. Starting as a single company, it was formed in New Zealand from men training to be mounted riflemen. The unit arrived on the Western Front in July 1916, when it was split into two companies and was attached to II Anzac Corps. For most of the war it did not fight with the rest of the New Zealand Division but as a separate unit attached to other corps within the British Army.
Cyclist battalions performed a similar function to mounted riflemen, conducting scouting and reconnaissance work. Like mounted riflemen they were of little value in trench warfare conditions, so spent much of the war on navvying work. They were particularly involved with burying telegraph cables, and at times served in the trenches as infantrymen.
The New Zealand cyclist companies served exclusively on the Western Front, participating in the Messines and Passchendaele offensives in 1917 and the Spring Offensive and Advance to Victory in 1918. In January 1918 a third New Zealand company was created to replace an Australian one that had been transferred. The three New Zealand companies were then designated XXII Corps Cyclist Battalion. In September 1918 the unit was renamed the New Zealand Cyclist Battalion.