If you’re new to cycling, it can be hard to understand all the different parts of a bike. Bicycle shops use a lot of technical jargon, but understanding the basics of bicycle parts will help you get the most out of your bike. This glossary will help you find the right parts for your bike and understand what they do.
For your bike’s wheels, you’ll need a skewer (the two pieces of metal that fit through the hub) and a derailleur (the lever used to shift between gears). There are two types of derailleurs: front and rear, and they have varying degrees of complexity. The front derailleur moves the chain from sprocket to sprocket, and the rear derailleur moves the chain between them.
Another bike part is the frame, which is the main structural part of a bike. This can be made of steel, aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, or a combination of these materials. The frame consists of a top tube, a down tube, a seat tube, and a seat stay. These parts are sold as a “frameset” and are attached to the fork.
A bicycle’s crank is made up of two parts: the crank and the crankset. The crank is the drive train and includes the gears and crankarms. It also has a chain and chainring assembly. When you pedal, the chain moves the back wheel through the gears. The crank is also attached to the pedals.
Other bicycle parts are essential to a working bicycle. A bicycle’s brakes and gears are components of the bike. They turn a bare frame into a functional bicycle. Changing the brakes or shifting levers can improve the bike’s performance. Upgrading the components will also give it a lighter ride and better stability.
Shifters are an important part of a bike. They control the speed of the bike by moving the chain between the front and the rear wheel. Similarly, the shifters operate the front and rear derailleurs. Shifters are typically mounted on the handlebars, and some shifters are integrated with the brake levers.
Seat tubes are another important part of a bike. These tube components connect the seat and the handlebars to the frame. They can be threadless or threaded. Threaded stems are secured by a wedge bolt in the fork steerer tube. They are also used to adjust the height of the saddle.
Wheelsets are another vital bike part. A wheel’s suspension system can either be flat or steep, depending on the type of riding it is meant for. Some bikes feature a front wheel suspension, while others have front wheel suspension and rear wheels. These are often referred to as the groupset. You can purchase them separately or in a complete kit from the manufacturer.
The front wheel and rear wheel are linked together with a hubset. The rear wheel has a freehub (also called a freewheel), which supports the gearing cassette and transmits the pedal power from the pedals to the bike. The freewheel hub also has a pawl mechanism, allowing the bike to freewheel. There are several different freehub standards, and you can find more information about these in a freehub standards guide. Axles can be quick-release or a thru axle.