The Key Components Of Your Bicycle

in Bicycle

Cycling is a fun and energetic sport enjoyed by many people the world over. Whether you’re a complete novice, or a more advanced cyclist, it’s important to know about the different types of bicycles and how bikes work, as well as having a good knowledge base of the key components of your bicycle.

Why is it so important to know what your bike is comprised of? Well, I’ll tell you. If your bike becomes damaged and needs repair work, it can be much more rewarding and fulfilling to do the repair work yourself, rather than taking it to a bicycle specialist, not to mention you’ll probably save a fair bit of money while you’re at it. What’s more, having a good knowledge of the components that make up your bicycle may help you to stay safe when you’re out on a ride. You can also increase cycle safety by ensuring you wear the correct cycle clothing each time you take your bike for a ride.

Before we discuss bike parts in more detail, let’s take a quick look at the different types of bike available.

  • Road bikes

These are regular bikes used to ride on pavement or road. They have narrow tyres and curved handlebars and generally have three or more gears. You can switch between the different gears using the dial usually located on the handlebar. Low gears are helpful when riding uphill and high gears are good for riding downhill or with increased speed.

  • Mountain bikes

Mountain bikes have a heavy duty frame and thick tyres to allow them to be ridden over off-road terrain such as gravel, dirt and grass. They generally have gear systems with up to 27 gear speeds. Some also have front and rear suspension spring systems to make riding on rocky terrain smoother for the cyclist.

  • Hybrids

These are a cross between mountain and road bikes and can be used for both on and off road biking. Their tyres are narrower than those on a mountain bike but wider than road bikes. They can also have up to 27 gear speeds.

Each type of bicycle looks different to the others and even though they’re all comprised of more or less the exact same parts, they have been designed for different purposes. The major bicycle requirements are speed, safety, comfort and endurance. The weight of the bicycle helps to determine its speed but as well as a lightweight bike, it’s important to balance out that aspect with the other requirements which is what determines which specific materials are used when building a bike.

There are many parts of a bicycle but the main ones are wheels, frame, seat, handle bars and components. In order to fully understand the components, it helps to see a labelled diagram of a bicycle.

Wheels are what give the bike its fundamental purpose, which is why it’s known as a “bi” (meaning two) and “cycle” (meaning turning). Bicycle wheels are made up of a hub, spokes, a rim, tyre and tube.

The frame is another core element of a bicycle as it helps to complete the functional physical unit. It is the main component onto which all of the other parts are fitted and comprises of:

  • Top tube (connects the seat tube to the head tube).
  • Seat tube (contains the seat post of the bike, which connects to the seat).
  • Seat stay (connects the top of the seat tube to the rear dropout).
  • Head tube (houses the forks and bearings).
  • Down tube (connects the bottom bracket to the head tube).
  • Bottom bracket (houses the pedal axle and bearings).
  • Dropouts (the slots in the frame and fork that holds the wheel axles).
  • Chainstay (section of the frame that connects the bottom bracket to the rear dropout).

The “components” is just another name for the moving mechanical parts and includes everything but the wheel, frame, seat and handlebars. Other key components of bicycles include:

  • Fork (holds the front wheel and pivots in the headset when steering).
  • Chainring (toothed rings that directly connect to the crank).
  • Crank (connects the pedals to the chainring).
  • Front derailleur (moves the chain from one chainring to another).
  • Rear derailleur (moves the chain from one gear to another).
  • Headset (houses the bearings that allow the handlebars and fork to turn).
  • Cassette (toothed cog that makes up the gears and is attached to the rear wheel).
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Jane Foulds has 25 articles online

This article contributed by Jane Foulds a freelance writer who works hard to keep you well informed about bikes.

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The Key Components Of Your Bicycle

This article was published on 2013/08/27