Performance Bicycle Glossary
4.Wheel includes: rim, spokes and hub
There are many different varieties of saddles. Racing saddles are narrower and weigh less. Comfort saddles are wider and heavier. There are different saddles for men and women. Men's saddles are usually narrower and longer than women's saddles, which are wider and short.
This connects the saddle to the frame. Seatposts can be made from aluminum, carbon fiber, titanium or steel, aluminum being the most common. Seatpost size is determined by measuring the diameter of the post. Most seatposts have the size etched on, located just below the minimum insertion line (i.e. 27.2).
There are four different types of brakes: Caliper (road), Cantilever, Linear Pull or V-Brakes, and Disc. Caliper brakes are found most often on road bikes and mount with a single bolt located in the center of the brake. Cantilever brakes are most often found on mountain bikes, hybrids and Cyclocross bikes. Cantilever brakes mount to posts located on the frame and fork. The cable attached to the brake looks like an upside down "Y." Linear side-pull (V-brakes) also mount to posts and found on he same bikes as Cantilever brakes. With Linear side-pull brakes the cable goes through a metal tube attached to one brake arm. Disc brakes come in basically two types: hydraulic and mechanical. Disc brakes mounts are located on the frame near the dropouts and near the bottom of the fork leg.
A Wheel is made up of a rim, spokes and a hub. Rims come in basically four different sizes:
700c----- Most new road bikes, built after 1990, including Hybrids
650c----- Women's specific road bikes and Triathlon bikes
27"------- Older less expensive road bikes, most made before 1990
26"------- Nearly all mountain bikes and some "comfort" bikes
*Tires must be the same size as the rim. 700c rims mean 700c tires, 27" rims mean 27" tires, etc.
The two most common rear hubs are freewheel hubs and cassette hubs. With freewheel hubs the cogset (freewheel) is all one piece and is threaded directly onto the hub. With cassette hubs the cogset (cassette) is separate and slides onto the hub and held in place by a lockring.
Spokes come in a two different styles: straight gauge and double butted. Straight gauge spokes are a single thickness. Double-butted spokes are two thicknesses, thick on the ends and thinner in the middle.
Used to guide the chain from cog to cog on the rear cassette. Rear derailleurs come in different cage lengths. Long cages rear derailleurs are for bikes with Triple cranksets. Short cage derailleurs are for bikes with Double cranksets.
Used to guide the chain from chainring to chainring, the front derailleur has a few distinctions: mount type (Braze-on, E-Type or Clamp-on), pull (top or bottom) and swing (top or bottom). Braze-on front derailleurs bolt directly to the frame. Clamp-on front derailleurs have a clamp that goes around the seat tube and tightens with a bolt. The E-type front derailleur mounts to the bottom bracket.
Pull is from what direction the cable comes to the derailleur:
Top-pull = cable comes from above the derailleur
Bottom-pull = cable comes from under the derailleur
Swing refers to where the derailleur cage pivots:
Top-swing = cage pivots above the clamp
Bottom-swing or traditional = cage pivots below the clamp
7.Crankset and Bottom Bracket
A Crankset consists of two crank arms and either two (double) or three (triple) chainrings. The bottom bracket connects the crankset to the frame. Bottom bracket consists of bearings, cups and a spindle. There are two different spindle styles: square taper and splined.
-Shimano square taper-will not work with Campagnolo -Campagnolo square taper- will not work with Shimano -Shimano Octi-link Version 1- XTR and Road -Version 2- XT and LX -ISIS Splined- will only work with ISIS cranks, no Shimano
There are basically two types of pedals, platform (with or without toe clips) and clipless. Platform pedals do no require a special cycling shoe. Clipless pedals are sold with cleats that mount to the bottom of a cycling shoe. These cleats come in various bolt patterns: LOOK, SPD, TIME or SPD-R. See Bolt Pattern Chart.
This is the set of bearings and cups that connect the frame to the fork and allow you to steer a bike. There are two types of headsets: threaded and threadless. Threaded headsets have two lock nuts threaded directly to the fork used for adjusting. The threadless headsets use a bolt and a star-fangled nut to adjust. The star-fangled nut is located inside the steerer tube of the threadless fork.
There are two different types of stems: threaded (quill) and threadless. Threaded stems have a quill that slides into the steerer and is tightened via a bolt and wedge. Threadless stems clamp directly to the steerer tube and are tightened by one or more bolts. Stems consist of two measurements: length and diameter. The length is measure along the stem, from the center of the quill or steerer clamp to the center of the handlebar clamp. The diameter of the stem refers to the steerer tube of the fork it fits with.
-Threadless 1"diameter steerer = 1" diameter stem -Threadless 1 1/8" diameter steerer = 1 1/8" diameter stem -Threadless 1 1/4" diameter steerer = 1 1/4" diameter stem
-Threaded 1" diameter steerer = 7/8" actual stem diameter (order 1") -Threaded 1 1/8" diameter steerer = 1" actual stem diameter (order 1 1/8") -Threaded 1 1/4" diameter stem = 1 1/8" actual stem diameter (order 1 1/4")
**See Fork for description of steerer tube
The cockpit of the bike, handlebars come in a variety of different styles. Road bikes come with Drop-bars; these bars have a flat sections with two hooked areas that drop below the flat portion of the bar. These bars must be mounted to a road stem. Mountain bikes primarily have one of two bars, either flat bars or riser bars. Flat bars are flat across the bar but sweep back towards the rider. Riser bars sweep back towards the rider as well, except they also rise up from the stem.
12.Shifters and brake levers
Modern road bikes are equipped with either Shimano STI or Campagnolo Ergo levers. These levers integrate shifters and brake levers into one unit. Older bikes are equipped with downtube shifters and separate brake levers. The downtube shifters are mounted the frame located just above the waterbottle. Touring bikes are sometimes equipped with bar end or "Bar Con" shifters. These shifters mount into the ends of the handlebar.
Mountain bikes offer a wider variety of brake and shift lever combinations. They can either be integrated with the brake and shift levers mounted together or separate. The two most common shifters are Shimano Rapid Fire and Sram GripShift.
There are two types of forks: suspension and rigid. Suspension forks offer travel much like a motorcycle and are found mostly on mountain bikes. Rigid forks have no travel and come in many different materials: Carbon, Aluminum and Chro-moly. Forks have two different measurements: steerer diameter and steerer length. The steerer tube is the part of the fork that inserts into the frame.
-Steerer diameter = outside diameter of the steerer tube
-Steerer length = length of steerer tube from crown to top of steerer tube