Bike components

Bike components small glossary

We all know what a bike is and we can certainly identify one when we see it, but when it comes to its components things get complicated. There is an entire new jargon to learn to be able to classify correctly all the parts that together make that wonderful object that is a bike.

Let’s us give you a small glossary of all the parts. You will find more explanation in each section.

Bar ends

the extensions attached to the ends of some flat handlebars and riser handlebars. They give you an additional place where to put the hands and some more protection on a ride.

Bottom bracket

The part of the frame around which the pedal cranks revolve, and also the set of sphere bearings and spindle contained within the bottom bracket shell of the frame, which provides the 'shaft' mechanism on which the crank arms turn.

Brake Pads and Rotors

In a disc-braking the wheels are attached to metal discs called rotors, that spin along with the wheels. The job of the caliper is to slow the bike's wheels by creating friction with the rotors. Conversely, rim brakes apply friction with brake pads to the rim of the rotating wheel. Rim brakes are typically actuated by brake levers mounted on the handlebar


the collection of cogs gears that placed on the rear hub and that works within the derailleur to move the chain up and down, to shift gears.


the larger cogs on the right-hand crank arm (the pedal) to the front of the bike. A bike with two chainrings is said to have a 'double crank;' a bike with three chainrings is said to have a 'triple crank'. It works with the front derailleur to shift the chain up and down and change the speeds.


in clip-in pedals, the pedal attaches to bike like a regular flat pedal while the cleat attaches to the sole of your cycling shoe. A spring mechanism on the pedal allows you to 'clip' the cleats on your shoes in and out of the pedals.


a single gear on a cassette or freewheel gear cluster, or the single rear gear on a fixed-gear bike.

Crank arms

are the arms on which pedals fasten into; these lock onto the bottom bracket spindle.


the device that is fastened to the rear of the frame that moves the chain from one gear to another when you shift gears. The front derailleur shifts on the front chainrings and is usually controlled by your left-hand shifter. The rear derailleur changes speed on your cassette or freewheel,

Derailleur hanger

a portion of the frame where the rear derailleur hangs. It is usually an incorporated on steel or titanium frames, but is a replaceable element on aluminium and carbon fibre bikes.

Drop bar

the type of handlebar found on road racing bikes, with the curved, mutton horns shaped.

Flat bar

a handlebar with little or no upward or downward curve.


the part of the frame that holds the front wheel in place. The steerer tube is a part of the fork that extends up into the frame through the head tube. Most MTB forks include shock absorbers. They can also be single legged in the case of a Lefty.


the main structural part of the bicycle that can be made of different materials, such as steel, aluminium, titanium, or carbon fibre. Composed of a top tube, head tube, down tube, bottom bracket shell, seat tube, seat stays, and chain stays. A frame and fork sold as a combination are called a frameset.


a part of the hub on most rear wheels that allows the transfers of power to your wheel when you are pedaling forward. A freewheel mechanism allows a rider to stop pedalling whilst the cycle is still in forward motion. On a cycle without a freewheel mechanism, the rider has to keep pedalling whenever the cycle is moving. The cassette is attached to the freehub body.


A freewheel mechanism on a bicycle allows the rear wheel to turn faster than the pedals.


the bearings contained within the head tube of the bike frame; it is responsible for suave steering.


the central component of a wheel; inside the hub are the axle and ball bearings.


A tiny bolt that fit the spokes on the rim of a wheel. Turning the nipples with a spoke wrench is what allows the tension in the spokes to be adjusted, in the operation called to 'true' the wheel. To True the wheel means that it is perfectly round.


the outer band part of a wheel that is attached to the hub by the spokes. Can be in steel, alu or carbon.

Rim tape

The rim tape (or strip) is a layer of cloth, plastic, or rubber, fastened on the outside of a rim to prevent the ends of the spokes from piercing the inner tube.

Riser bar

The riser bar is a type of handlebar with a 'U' shape in the middle.


The saddle is the part of the bike where you sit your soft parts. Saddles can be extremely aerodynamic or wide and comfortable, to accommodate each kind of rider.


The seatpost is the shaft connecting the saddle to the frame.

Seatpost clamp or collar

The seatpost clamp or collar is the ring that chokes the top of the seat tube on the frame in order to change the height of the saddle. Some seatpost clamps have a quick-release lever that allows for easy, tool-free adjustment, while others require a tool to tighten or loosen the clamp.


The shifter or gear control or gear lever is a component used to control the gearing mechanisms and select the desired gear.


The stem is the part that connects the handlebar to the frame.


The wheel is the final assembly of hub, spokes, nipples, and rim.

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