The bicyclesa is a fascinating machine with many parts – so many, in fact, that a lot people never actually learn the names and just point to an area on their bike when something goes wrong. But whether you’re new to bicycles or not, everyone knows pointing isn’t always the most effective way to communicate. You might find yourself walking out of a bike shop with something you didn’t actually want. Ever ask for a new “wheel” when all you really needed was a new tire?
Going into a bike shop to purchase a bike or get a tune up can be bewildering; it’s as if the employees speak a different language.
There is a lot of technical jargon in the world of bicycles and bicycle accessories. Simply knowing the basic part names can help clear the air and even make you feel more confident about riding your bike. That’s why we put together an article highlighting all, well almost all, the parts that make up a bicycle. If this sounds like more work than it’s worth just remember that when you’re interested in everything you will never have a dull day.
Use the photo and descriptions below as your guide. If you do forget the name of a part you’ve always got your finger to help point it out.
Essential Bicycle Parts / Bicycle Tool
This is the part that a cyclist places their feet on. The pedal is attached to the crank which is the component that the cyclist rotates to spin the chain which in turn provides the bicycle’s power.
Mechanism for changing the front gears by lifting the chain from one chain wheel to another; it allows the cyclist to adapt to road conditions.
Chain (or drive chain)
Set of metal links meshing with the sprockets on the chain wheel and gear wheel to transmit the pedaling motion to the rear wheel.
Tube connecting the pedal and crank mechanism to the rear-wheel hub.
Mechanism for changing the rear gears by lifting the chain from one gear wheel to another; it allows the cyclist to adapt to road conditions.
Mechanism activated by a brake cable, comprising a caliper and return springs; it forces a pair of brake pads against the sidewalls to stop the bike.
Part of the frame leaning slightly to the rear, receiving the seat post and joining the pedal mechanism.
Tube connecting the top of the seat tube with the rear-wheel hub.