35+ Bicycle Parts Names and Their Functions Made Easy

by | Sep 18, 2023 | Tips & Guide

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Many components come together to form a bicycle, including the frame, fork, handlebars, chain, brakes, and tires. However, are you aware of the names and functions of every single component on a bicycle?

Having a basic awareness about the purposes of bicycle parts names is crucial for obtaining the best efficiency and results from of your bike, regardless of your level of experience as a pro cyclist or a absolute rookie.

Knowing the fundamentals of bicycle anatomy can help you understand how your bike performs and what needs to be maintained.

We’ve covered nearly all of the names and photographs of bicycle components in this blog post, along with an explanation of how each item functions and some key frequently asked questions at the conclusion.

Now let’s see what the names and purposes of the parts of a bicycle are.

Bicycle Parts Names and Their Functions: Explained

For the benefit of everyone, a thorough explanation of the names of bicycle parts and their purposes is provided here.

Bicycle Anatomy - Bicycle Parts Name Explained

1. Top Tube

The top tube, commonly known as the crossbar that connects the head and seat tubes, is crossed when mounting the bike. Though occasionally it may be slightly tilted, it normally follows a straight path that is parallel to the ground.

Your preferred riding posture when cycling is determined by the length of the top tube of your bicycle frame; a larger length promotes more aerodynamics, whereas a shorter length favors an upright riding position that is more pleasant.

2. Head Tube

As it connects the handlebars & wheel fork, this is the tiniest and most important tube on a bicycle frame. Because of its headset, we may easily steer the front wheel on its two internal sets of bearings by using the handlebars.

3. Down Tube 

Reaching from the head tube, which is situated just behind the handlebars, to the pedals is a long tube called the down tube. The bulkiest part of the frame is usually made up of it. There is the manufacturer’s insignia for the bike as well as the water bottle cage. Occasionally, they have a little bit more thickness than the average tube.

A frame of a bicycle.

4. Seat Tube 

From behind the saddle, the seat tube continues down to the pedals (bottom bracket). We refer to this length as frame size. Holding the seat post in place and connecting the down tube to the seat tube is the top of the seat tube.

The seat post is located in the top portion of the seat tube and is fastened using quick-release or nut fasteners. Every kind of bike has a distinct seat tube angle. Seated tubes on road bikes have a sharp angle, whereas those on hybrid bikes have a slack angle.

5. Recliner Seats

Stretching from the base of the saddle to the rear hub or back wheel are two smaller tubes called seat stays. When a seat stay ends, a “rear drop out” occurs. Furthermore, the axle of the rear wheel is connected to one side of each rear drop-out.

6. Chain Shields

Two smaller tubes called chain stays go parallel to the ground from each side of the pedals to either side of the back wheel. Due to its alignment with the bike chain, the chain stays get its name.

7. Forks

The fork is the part of a bicycle that connects the front wheel to the frame. Both sides of the wheel have two blades that extend from the bottom of the steerer tube. Because of their dropouts, these blades may be fastened to the front wheel axle. This meeting point of the two blades above the front wheel is called the fork crown, and it’s right below the steerer tube. A part of the bicycle fork called the steerer tube connects the stem to the head tube.

There are now two kinds of forks available for bicycles: rigid and suspension. The majority of road bikes and city bikes feature rigid forks since they are lightweight and suitable for paved roads and flat terrain.

To absorb more shock, suspension forks are hefty and typically used on electric, hybrid, and mountain bikes. Yet many inexperienced riders question if suspensions on hybrid bikes are really necessary. – Read and share your opinions.

8. Headset

Lying within the fork steerer tube (one both above and below the head tube), the headset is a group of components that joins the frame to the wheel fork joint. Two cups on a bicycle headset are fitted with bearings to provide smooth handlebar rotation.

Smooth turns in the front wheel are made possible by bearings in the headset, which rotate in response to handlebar motion. The most popular types of headsets are threadless and integrated systems.

9. Stem 

One of the parts of the bicycle that connects the handlebar to the steerer tube of the fork is the stem. Which implies that the bike’s wheels move in tandem with handlebar movement. All it is, really, the forward-projecting part of the head tube. Bypassing the tip of the stem are the handlebars.

Most contemporary stems have numerous screws, so you can take off your handlebars without taking off your brakes, gear shifter, or bar tape.

10. Handlebars

Since a handlebar controls a bicycle’s direction, it is regarded as an important component of the bike’s anatomy. The handlebar is attached to the stem, and the stem’s other end is attached to the steerer of the fork, which is located within the bike frame’s head tube.

Regarding handlebar shapes, flat handlebars are found on urban, hybrid, and mountain bikes. Bars on road bikes are drop-style. However, there are several additional handlebar layouts available for various bike kinds.

11. The Brake Levers

The handlebars at both ends of the bicycle include devices called brake levers that you pinch or pull with your fingers to slow down the ride. Put another way, the purpose of the brake levers is to apply or stop the bicycle’s brakes.

The bike slows down or stops when the brake calliper pinches the disc rotor or the wheel rim when the brake lever is gripped. This is accomplished by pulling hard on the brake wire.

In low-end bikes, brake levers are often made of plastic; in high-end, luxury bicycles, brake levers are made of aluminum or alloy. In rare occasions, they can be used with a gear shifter to create a “brake shifter,” sometimes known as a “brifter.”

12. Disk vs Rim Brakes

A bicycle’s brakes are a crucial part because they allow the bike to stop quickly or to slow down appropriately.

A bicycle has three different kinds of brakes: rim brakes, hub brakes, V-brakes and disc brakes. In the newest bicycles, the classic hub braking mechanism is hardly utilized.

Knowing that rim brakes are applied to bicycle wheels in order to stop them is why they are named rim brakes.

Due to Its affordability, low weight, lack of maintenance, and power make it the most often used. However, when it’s raining or the rims are wet, it doesn’t function correctly. There are three primary varieties: cantilever, v, and calliper brakes.

Disc brakes then enter the scene. They consist of a special metal disc rotor attached to the wheel hub that is stopped by callipers. Additionally, the rims continue. Because of this, they outperform rim brakes in terms of durability and wet roads.

Nowadays, disc brakes are found on most bicycles since they are consistently effective.

13. Headset Cap

Headset caps are bicycle components that are used to push or preload the headset. Along with top and stem caps, other names for them. Before locking the stem, bike top caps are put on top of the steerer tube of the fork and tightened until the headset is completely tight. Once the stem cap is securely fastened, the stem may be adjusted and tightened.

Read More: Best Gear Cycles under 15000 in India

14. Bar-Ends Plugs

Bar-end plugs, sometimes called handlebar plugs, are tiny plugs that go into the end of your handlebars. Plugs are installed to prevent injury in the case of a fall or collision. The sharp edges of open-end handlebars may readily penetrate flesh. Open-ended handlebars ripped into victims’ abdomens in many fatal bicycle accidents, damaging vital organs.

15. Bar Tape & Handlebar Grips

To provide one a solid hold for improved control, bar tape and grips are utilized. For mountain bikes, BMX bikes, hybrid bikes, and other kinds of bicycles, leather and rubber grips are typically utilized. Be careful to familiarize yourself with these 21+ distinct bicycle kinds.

On the other hand, because bar tapes are constructed of textured rubber, they provide superior retaining control, cushioning, and stability without applying any pressure to the bike. The vibration felt by the stiff fork was removed.

A great addition to badminton rackets for superior comfort and grip, bar tapes are also useful for extended rides.

Related: Bicycle History: A Timeline – Discover the changes in bicycle design since 1817

16. Brake Wiring

The brake wires in mechanical braking systems are crucial for controlling the average speed of your bicycle. Since you might be already aware, mechanical brake wires are protected from the elements by an outer casing that permits unrestricted movement within. In order to suit varied cycling disciplines, brake cables generally have a diameter of 1.5 to 1.6 mm and variable heads.

17. The Components of a Wheel

You’ve need to have ridden or seen a bicycle. However, are you aware of the names of every component found in a bicycle wheel?

Actually, there are several important parts that make up a bike wheel. Below is information on every part of a bicycle wheel.

18. Hub

Situated at the center of the wheel, the hub of a bicycle is equipped with internal bearings that provide smooth wheel rotation. Additionally, this holds true for a bicycle’s front and back wheels.

Its three constituent parts are the axle, the bearings, and the hub shell. It is the hub shell that is the external element to which the spokes are attached. Adjacent to the frame, the axle is the bar that protrudes on alternate sides. To allow the shell to freely revolve around the axle, bearings are also positioned between the axle and the shell.

19.  Rims

The term “rim” refers to the metal ring that encircles the exterior of the wheel. Originally made of steel, rims are now usually made of an aluminum and magnesium alloy (mag wheels) since the 1980s.

There are several sizes and forms for rims. Tubes are inserted inside the tires, which are subsequently fixed to the bicycle rims. It features holes at predetermined intervals for spokes & spoke nipples.

The rims on road bikes are narrow. Mountain bikes, on the other hand, feature robust, thick rims. Dual-wall alloy rims are found on most motorcycles because they are robust, lightweight, and offer good speed.

When used with rim brakes, the brake pads have a smooth side surface to grab onto.

20. Spokes

The thin metal rod that joins a bicycle’s hub and rim is called this. Installing and tensioning spokes correctly is essential since they support the full weight of the cyclist and the bicycle.

Better speed and performance are achieved with properly tensioned spokes; improper tensioning might cause the wheel to deform or damage the rim.

At the point where the spokes and rim connect, are the lever nuts, which control the tension.

21. Valves

Any bike wheel’s air inlets may be used to fill your tires. While valves come in a wide variety of varieties, Schrader and Presta valves are now the most often utilized varieties.

These valves are known as Schrader valves and are the same ones found in car and motorbike tires. An air filled Schrader tire requires lowering the spring-loaded pin located in the center of the valve. When this pin is lowered, the valve opens, permitting the tire to be filled.

Presta valves are mostly used on road bikes. Compared to Schrader valves, presta valves are more streamlined and firmly seal using just air pressure. They can utilize a basic valve without increasing weight as a result.

Air is added to or released from the inner tube via a valve that extends through the hole in the wheel rim. Schrader and Presta are the two most often utilized types of valves. Schrader valves are also used in cars and motorbikes. On the other hand, presta valves are exclusive to bicycles.

22. Spoke Nipples

After the spoke has passed through the wheel rim, its nuts are tightened. Tightening the spoke nipple increases the spoke’s stress, which in turn increases the hub’s tension. Speaking nipples and spokes must have the same thread, thus spokes are usually supplied with matching threaded nipples.

23. Wheels

When a bicycle is moving, its tires make touch with the ground. The size of the tire that is mounted to the rims varies depending on the kind of bike and rim.

Compared to mountain bikes, road bikes feature thinner (tubular) tires. With their wide tires, or clincher tyres, MTBs offer more grip on both smooth and uneven terrain. By cushioning shock, tires and tubes contribute to a comfortable ride.

Tires are composed of rubber-impregnated linen with a stronger rubber tread layer on the outside. To provide suspension, the tire is positioned over an inner tube that is filled with air.

Related: A thorough explanation of the 26-inch bicycle wheel size for each size person (size chart included)!

24. Tube

One of the key components of a bicycle wheel is the tube. It is put into a bicycle’s clincher tire, and air is pumped through the valves (described above) to fill it.

25. Chain or Crankset

Rotate the back wheel of your bicycle by applying pressure with your legs on the crankset. With the pedals attached, it is made up of the crank arms & the chainrings that the chain revolves around.

The chainrings are the front gears of the bike. A bicycle without gears has just one chain ring. A bicycle with gears may have up to three. Crankset-related components include the pedals, back wheel chain, and lower bracket of the frame.

Read More: How to Remove Rust from a Bicycle Chain?

26. Claws

The bike and your feet are linked by spinning parts known as pedals. You apply pressure on them to go forward. Essentially, there are two kinds of pedals: flat/platform pedals and clip-in pedals, which are used with certain shoes that include cleats in the soles to help the shoe stick to the pedal more firmly.

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27. Lower Bracket

The bottom bracket of a bicycle is the part of the bike where the crank arms rotate. Composed of spindle and crankset connected to it (allowing the spindle to rotate smoothly), it is comprised of bearings. The bottom bracket inserts into the bottom bracket shell at the base of the frame. 

28.  Chain

One of the key parts of a bicycle drivetrain is a chain, which is fastened to the cassettes in the rear and the chainrings at the front. By pedaling, the crankset’s rotation is transferred to the back wheel, causing it to revolve in the same direction.

The strength of your legs is transmitted through the bike chain to the back wheel. The length of the chain stay, the cassette sprockets of the rear wheel, and the crankset’s chainrings are all looped around.

A chain’s lifespan typically ranges from 3000 to 4000 kilometers, depending on usage and upkeep. To ride your bike more efficiently and with less effort, maintain your chain clean and lubricated.

With a geared bike, shifters and derailleurs are used to shift these chains. It’s important that you know how to change gears on your bike and avoid damaging the chain.

29. Front Derailleur

An important component of the anatomy of a geared bicycle is the front derailleur. This feature enables you to adjust the chainrings on your bicycle to decrease or enhance the difficulty of pedaling.

Positioned at the base of the seat tube of a bicycle frame, the front derailleur is a component of a geared bicycle that has several chainrings. On the handlebar, there is a gear shifter (left or right) that is used to change gears.

30. Rear Derailleur

Your bicycle’s rear derailleur shifts the chain through one cassette cog on the back wheel to another as you shift gears. In unison with the jockey wheel, it operates. All bicycles with gears include rear derailleurs. Two common types of rear derailleurs found in most regular bicycles are the Shimano Tourney & Microshift Mezzo.

31. Cogset or cassette

A set of different-sized cogs, also known as sprockets, attached to the back wheel hub make up the cassette. The cassette cogs are the back gears on a bicycle. Your bike will only have one cog if it is a single-speed cycle.

Read More: How to Shifts Gears on a Bicycle?

32. Tension pulley or jockey wheel

One can only find jockey wheels in a geared bicycle’s rear derailleur. Two are present in the derailleur; one is within the chain shifter and is visible, ensuring the tension between the chainrings.

The jockey wheel maintains the chain tight and smooth as you transfer gears.

33. The seat or saddle of a bicycle

In India, a bicycle saddle is sometimes referred to as a cycle seat. While riding or pedaling, you sit on this. Saddles for bicycles are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Ladies’ bicycles typically have wide saddles for added comfort and cushioning.

On the other hand, mountain bikes, road bikes, and racing bikes all have narrow width saddles to keep riders from chafing their thighs.

34. Seat Post

In certain places, the seat post is also referred to as a seat pillar, seat pin, or saddle pillar. Essentially, it is a tube that is placed within the seat tube of a bicycle and clamped firmly.

By positioning this within or outside of the seat tube, the saddle height may be changed. To prevent damage, do not stretch the seatpost beyond its normal length.

35. Saddle Rails

Saddle rails are the two parallel rails that run the length of your bike seat. A range of materials may be used to build these rails, which fasten to the top of the seat post. The saddle rails include measurements for the fore and aft. To determine the correct saddle location, these are utilized.

36. Clamp for Seat Posts

On top of the bicycle frame’s seat tube is where you’ll find the seat post bolt. These clamps, loosening the top of the seat tube with metal bands or collars, hold the seat post in place.

 37. Fender

Installed above the tires, these curved pieces of plastic or metal collect and reroute the road spray that the tires release, keeping the rider reasonably clean. In addition, it serves as the rider’s weather protection by effectively covering the bike’s tires.

Your bicycle’s fenders will shield your face, shoes, and back from getting muddy in the rain. Transport cyclists are not required to have fenders, but they are a very useful addition for any rider in the city.

Common Questions About The Bicycle Anatomy

1. What component of a bicycle is the most important?

Since every component of a bicycle is tied to the frame, I believe that the frame is the most significant portion of the bike. It gives the bike its form and links the entire thing; without it, bicycle parts are meaningless.

Q3. What is an axle on a bicycle?

A bicycle axle is a part that facilitates the smooth rotation of the wheel’s hub. It is often threaded, spherical, and composed of solid metal.

Q4. What component of a bicycle costs the most money?

In my opinion, the rider is the most costly component of a bicycle—even without a price tag—because it is indispensable. The frame of a bicycle is what counts as a component. A bike’s carbon fiber frame is its most costly component.

Q2. What are the bike’s or bicycle’s five primary components?

Well, if you didn’t know, go back and read the last paragraph. Every component of a bike matters. But for a bicycle to go ahead, it needs five main components: the frame, wheels, handlebar, powertrain, and saddle.

Final Thoughts on the Bike Parts Names

Hopefully, you will be able to recall the names of every bicycle component and how it fits into a cycle. While a portion of your bicycle is malfunctioning, you can quickly determine which part needs to be fixed or replaced.

That concludes our discussion of the main bicycle parts and their crucial roles. In accordance with this, I have separated the name list of bicycle components with photographs into five groups. Finding out more about these topics, which we typically ignore, is quite fascinating.

finest of all, readers may get the finest grasp of the anatomy of a bicycle with photos thanks to the comprehensive coverage of every function of the parts stated in the book.

Please let us know in the space provided for comments below the component of the bicycle you were unaware of or whose name you were unaware of, as well as whether we missed any. Pay attention!

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