Mountain Biking Terms You Need to Know
by Alastair Hamilton [January 29, 2007]
There's a lot of terminology to learn if you're a mountain biking enthusiast. These enthusiasts have a language all their own, what with "face plants, boing-boing, drillium and wild pig."
However, there is also biking terminology that stays the same, regardless of the age of the user, and that's the terms used for individual parts of the bike. And its important to know these as well.
1. Bottom bracket - A circular hole in the bottom frame of the bike, used to attach the crankset.
2. Brake cable - The cable that connects the brake lever to the brake mechanism.
3. Brake lever - Lever on the handlebar which activates the brakes. The left lever controls the front brake, the right lever controls the rear brake.
4. Chain - The set of circular metal links which transfers power from the chain ring to the cogs. There are two types of bicycle chains: bushing and bushingless.
5. Chainring - Part of the crankset. A sprocket or toothed wheel which attaches to the crank and holds the chain. Bikes can have from two to three chainrings.
6. Crank - Part of the crankset. The lever or "arm" which connects the pedal to the bottom bracket.
7. Derailleur - The device which moves the chain from one chainring to another inorder to shift gears.
8. Down tube - Part of the frame. The tube which runs diagonally from the head tube (supporting the handlebars) to the bottom bracket. Above this is the top tube, which runs from the head tube to the seat.
9. Front shock - A suspension system on the front fork which allows the bike to absorb shocks without transmitting them to the rider.
10. Handlebar - The horizontal bar located at the front of the bike which is used to steer, and which will contain the shifters and break levers and any other items a cyclist wishes to have within easy reach.
11. Headset - The device which houses the bearings that enables the handlebars and front wheel to rotate on the frame of a bike. There are two types of headset, the threaded and the threadless.
12. Hub - The center part of the bicycle wheel, consisting of an axle and ball bearings to allow the wheel to move easily. In addition, the spokes radiate out from the hub to the bicycle rim.
13. Idler pulley- A pulley takes up slack in the chain in order to keep it tight at all times.
14. Nipple - Small threaded cylinders in the bicycle rim which secure a spoke to the rim.
15. Pedal - A short metal bar on which to put your foot, in order to propel the bicyle. The pedal is attached to the crank. Pedals can be simple or come attached with clips in which to put your shoes to increase leverage.
16. Rear shock - On a dual suspension bike, the device that absorbs shocks from the rear tire.
17. Rim - The metal ring to which the bicycle tire is fitted, and to which the breakes apply their force. The interior of the rim holds the spokes which give strength to the tire.
18. Saddle - Also called the seat. Something to sit on!
19. Seat post - The tubular support to which the saddle is connected. This tube is then placed into the seat tube, and can be raised or lowered depending on the rider.
20. Skewer - A metal rod that attaches the wheel to the frame of the bicycle. On one end is a nut to keep the skewer secure, on the other is the release mechanism, which is secured either by a "quick release" toggle, or with bolts.
21. Spindle - Part of the bottom bracket. The free rotating axle to which the crank arms attach.
22. Spokes - The thick wires that join the hub to the rim. The amount of spokes determine how strong the tire will be. Spokes can also be arranged in different patterns, which affect twisting and brake forces.
23. Stem - The metal piece that attaches the handlebar to the steering tube.
24. Wheel hub - See hub.
About the Author
Alastair Hamilton is the copywriter of http://www.bikecyclingreviews.com . He provides tips and advice about bike parts as well as on the components at mountain bikes