Bike 101: Parts of Your Bike
Purchasing a new bike or new bike parts and accessories can be confusing if you have only a limited knowledge of bicycles. At bike shops and centres, store employees and fellow customers may discuss certain terms or use jargon you don’t understand. This could potentially hinder you from getting the best bike and bike parts you can buy. You must remember that the assembly of your bike requires familiarity with the basic parts of the bike!
So, to increase your knowledge of bikes, below is a list of the fundamental parts of your bicycle.
Parts of your bike
- Axle– the rod that connects the wheel to the bike. It gives support to the bearings. Often, it can describe suspension components.
- Bar ends–the angled extensions attached to the flat and riser handlebars. They give additional options for the resting of your hands.
- Bar plugs– also termed as end caps. They are found at the end of the handlebars and act as plugs.
- Bell– audible apparatus used to warn pedestrians and other cyclists.
- Bottom bracket– ball bearing system which the pedals and cranks rotate around. It contains the spindle where the crankset and bearings are attached. It fits inside the bottom of the bracket shell.
- Braze-ons– these sockets are threaded and may or may not be found on the bike frame. This is where you can attach your accessories / additional gears such as cages, fenders, or racks.
- Cage– water container holder.
- Cassette– the collection of the gears that are attached to the rear wheel. They are usually found mostly on modern bikes.
- Chain guard– the cover for the entire chain to prevent clothing from fouling into the chain.
- Chain rings– these are attached to the RH crank arm near the front of the bike. Double crank is the termed used for bikes with two chain rings. Triple crank for three chain rings.
- Cog– a single gear found on the cassette or freewheel gear cluster. It may be the single rear gear found on fixed-gear bikes.
- Crank arm– these are where the pedals are attached. They are bolted onto the bottom bracket spindle.
- Cyclocomputer– also known as an electronic speedometer or an odometer, displays instantaneous and cumulative speed and distance. Some cyclocomputers may also display heart rate.
- Derailleur– this is the collection of levers and cables. It is bolted to the frame that oversees the moving of the chain from one gear to another when shifting. It moves the chain between the sprockets.
- Derailleur hanger– it is a part of the frame where the rear derailleur is attached.
- Drop bar— a type of handlebar usually found on road racing bikes.
- Dropouts– U-shaped notches at the rear of the frame of your bike. They are called as such due to the relationship of the bolts and the wheel. Loosening the bolts while holding the wheel in place causes the wheel to ‘drops out’.
- Fenders – pieces of metal/plastic (usually curved) which clasp and deviate road spray hurled up by the tyres, protecting the rider.
- Flat bar– the handlebar with no (or little) upward or downward curve. Some flat bars, however, have minimal backward curve also known as a sweep.
- Fork – the two-legged mechanical assembly that integrates a bicycle’s frame to its front wheel and handlebars. Part of the fork is the steerer tube which extends into the frame through the head tube.
- Frame – this is the principal structural part of the bike. It is commonly made of steel, titanium, aluminium, or sometimes carbon fibre. It is composed of the following: top tube, down tube, head tube, bottom bracket shell, seat tube, seat stays, and chain stays. The frame and fork combination is commonly referred to as the ‘frameset’.
- Freehub body– this is the part of the hub mostly on rear wheels. Its purpose is to provide a coasting mechanism which gives the wheel the power to propel forward as you pedal. At the same time, it allows the rear wheel to turn as you pedal backward or just resting freely.
- Freewheel– this is the assembly or collection of gears which is attached to the rear wheel. It is usually found in classic bikes. Unlike the cassette gears, the gears and coasting mechanism are part of the freewheel section.
- Headset – this is where the bearings are housed and are within the head tube. It gives the rider a smoother steer.
- Hub– composed of the axles and bearings. It is the central part of the wheel.
- Nipple– it is a small overhang nut that holds the spokes in place on the rim of the wheels. Truing the wheel requires the turning of the nipples which would give tension to the spokes for adjustments (needed for the perfectly round wheel).
- Pannier– zippered storage bag.
- Pedal – mechanical platform between the crank arm and foot.
- Reflector– part of the bike which reflects light to make the bike evident as other vehicles illuminate whilst dark.
- Rim–the outer part of the wheel where the tyres are attached. It is often part of the braking mechanism.
- Rim tape– also referred as a rim strip. Usually, it is made from plastic, cloth, or rubber surrounding the outside of the rim. This prevents the spokes from puncturing the tube.
- Riser bar–a type of handlebar with a U-shaped mid.
- Saddle– referred to as the seat, where the rider sits.
- Seatpost – it is the connecting rod between the saddle and the frame.
- Seatpost clamp– it holds the seatpost at your desired height after adjusting.
- Stem– connects the handlebar and the frame and is usually protected by pinch bolts. It has two types: threadless and threaded.
- Wheel –the whole assembly of the spokes, rim, hub, and nipples.
Now that you know the basic parts of a bike, the next time you visit a bike shop, you will be ready and prepared to talk with confidence about bikes.
Visit Stead Cycles for your bike essentials!
Every bike we sell is assembled and comes with free after-sales service at our shop. Our bike shop can answer any questions and help you find the best bike and equipment to suit your needs. Our sales team is friendly, knowledgeable, and ready to help you find the right bike, bike parts, or bike accessories you’re looking for!