Names of bicycle parts

Every part on a bicycle has a name. Some names of bicycle parts will be familiar and are used regularly in speech. Wheels, tyres and brakes for example.  Other words are used in different contexts such as cassette, flip-flop and dropout. Some words will be totally new to everyone except for the most ardent cyclist such as one-by, step-thru and chainset. 

Names of bicycle parts

What are the names of bicycle parts?

Here is a list of some of the names of bicycle parts to get you started:

Frame

There are different shapes and sizes, they can be made of different materials, metal, plastic and even wood.

Names of bicycle parts
Headset 

The headset is the bearing assembly between the forks and frame and allows the forks to spin freely.

Forks 

The forks hold the front wheel and help to steer the bike

Wheels

The wheels consist of a hub, rim, spokes and nipples. They also have a tyre and what you can’t see is the inner tube and the rim tape. The front wheel sits in the fork. The rear wheel is different to the front wheel as it will also have freewheel or cassette mounted on the hub.

These are the terms used to describe the cluster of cogs on the middle of the rear wheel.  The terms are not interchangeable and while freewheels and cassettes look very similar, there are differences. This is part of the gear system.

Cranks/ chain set/ crank set/ crank arms

All of these terms mean slightly different things, but tend to be interchangeable. It consists of two arms that mount onto the bottom bracket at one end and a pedal on the other.  The right hand crank has toothed rings that are part of the gearing.

Pedals

Two. Left and right. As the cyclist’s legs propel the cycle forward, the pedals support the feet.

Derailleurs/ mechs 

They derail the chain and move the chain onto different cogs to give different gears.  The rear derailleur is near the middle of the rear wheel and the front derailleur is positioned on the seat tube.

Chain 

This joins the rear wheel sprockets and the toothed ring on the right hand crank. As the rider pedals the chain drives the cycle forward.

Seatpost  

This is the tube of (generally) metal that fits inside the frame and supports the saddle.  Because it fits very precisely into the frame tube, it can be moved up and down and secured in place with a clamp, allowing the saddle to be set at different heights.

Saddle

Often called a seat or even a chair. It means that the rider can be seated while riding

Handlebar stem

This attaches the handlebars to the forks.  But be careful, there are different measurements that need to be taken into consideration.

Handlebars

This is where the rider places their hands to control the cycle. Here are mounted the components that the rider needs to easily access with their hands, such as gear levers and brake levers. 

Gear levers  

The gear levers are connected to the derailleurs either with a cable or electronically.  The rear derailleur is moved with the right hand lever and the front derailleur with the left hand lever.

Brake levers

These are connected to brake callipers with a cable or a hose. The front brake is moved with the right hand lever and the rear brake is moved with the left hand lever. 

Brake callipers 

These are mounted near the wheel. Their function is to stop the bike. These are just some of the names of bicycle parts and as your interest in bicycles and cycling grows, so will your knowledge.

To learn more about cycle maintenance and repair, check out our YouTube. In our latest video you can find out all about the names of bicycle parts which is useful when it comes to maintaining your bike at home and great if you want to impress your cyclist buddies next time you meet up.

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