Bicycle Terms Index

Bar Ends: an extension added to flat handlebars to add hand positions. When used on mountain bikes, for which they were originally developed, gripping the bar ends shifts the rider's center of gravity forward, which keeps the front wheel on the ground on steep climbs.

bicycle bar ends

Bottom Bracket: bottom bracket refers to that frame member into which the bottom bracket cartridge is installed. Sometimes the term is used for the cartridge itself.

bicycle bottom bracket shell

Bottom Bracket Cartridge: a non-serviceable, cylindrical unit that screws into the bicycle frame onto which the crank arms are affixed. Containing bearings.

bicycle bottom bracket cartridge

Cassette: the cluster of sprockets, or gears, on the rear wheel.

bicycle cassette

Chainring: one of the front sprockets, or gears. Also called a ring.

bicycle chainring

Cleat: the hardware used on the bottom of a cycling shoe to fasten it to the pedal.

Cycling Shoe Cleat

Coaster Brake: a brake that's built into the rear hub actuated by pedaling backwards.

Cog: one of the individual sprockets on the rear set of gears.

bicycle cog

Crank: the arms onto which the pedals and chainrings are affixed.

bicycle crank

Derailleurs: the mechanisms that changes gears by "derailing" the chain from sprocket to sprocket.

front bicycle derailleur bicycle rear derailleur

Disc Brake: brake in which friction is applied to both sides of a spinning disk which is mounted on the hub (left) as opposed to a caliper brake (right) which squeezes the rim.

bicycle disk brake     bicycle caliper brake

Fork: the tuning-fork shaped frame member that holds the front wheel and facilitates steering.

mountain bike fork bicycle road bike fork

Headset: the bearing assembly that connects the front fork to the frame and permits the fork to turn for steering.

bicycle threaded headset bicycle threadless headset

Hub: the central part of a wheel that encases the axle and onto which spokes are attached.

bicycle hub

Presta Valve: a thinner European style inflation valve found on nicer bikes where the valve must be opened manually to inflate the tire.

bicycle preseta valve

Reach: refers to the distance from the seat to the handlebars.

bicycle reach

Rim: the hoop shaped part of the wheel that holds the tire and provides a braking surface.

bicycle rim

Ring: one of the front sprokets on a bike, also called a chainring.

bicycle chainring

Road Shoe: a lightweight, stiff soled, smooth bottomed shoe where the cleat bolts to the outer sole

bicycle road cycling shoe

Schraeder Valve: the common inflation valve, like those on a car.

bicycle schraeder valve

Shifters: the controls on the handlebars that operate the derailleurs.

mountain bike shifter road bicycle shifter

SPD: Originally standing for Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, but now a generic term referring to a shoe design that has the cleat recessed into the sole so you can walk in them.

shimano spd

Stand-over Height: refers to the measurement on a bicycle from the ground to the top of the top tube. Comparing this measurement to that of an individual from crotch to floor with their shoes on, tells by how much they will clear the top bar when they stand over it.

bicycle stand over height

Stem: refers to the handlebar stem, that component that attaches the handlebars to the bike. Stems are made in a multitude of sizes and used to adjust the bike to fit the rider.

quill bicycle stem threadless bicycle handlebar

True: refers to the straightness and roundness of a wheel.

Truing: the process of making a wheel straight and round by tightening and loosening the appropriate spokes.

truing a bicycle wheel

Wheel: refers to the whole assembly including the hub, spokes, and rim.

bicycle wheel

Frame Tube Names:

bicycle frame tube diagram

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