Totem Pole Blog

Bike Parts A to Z

Your new bike has arrived! But it’s in a box. The good news is that most bikes are relatively easy to assemble. For those who haven’t assembled a bike from a box before, don’t fret. There is probably a detailed set of instructions in the box that will ease the process. But there can be a lot of bike terms in there that will have you wondering if you’re assembling a bike or an airplane. Totem Bike Racks is here to help you through the process and define any terms that will turn you into a bike pro in no time. Once you have your bike assembled, be sure to have a six bike rack so you, all of your friends or family can travel in ease with your bikes.

6 Bike Rack

Bar Ends: This is an angled extension that attaches to some flat handlebars and provides another place for riders to hold onto.

Bottom Bracket: This houses ball bearings and spindles within a shell of the frame. It provides a shaft mechanism so that the crank arms (what connects the pedals to the bike) can turn.

Braze-ons: This allows items such as bottle cages, cargo racks, and fenders to be attached to the bike. The terms comes from when the items themselves were brazed onto the frame of the bike.

Cage: What serious cyclists like to call where you put your water bottle.

Cassette: Also known as a freewheel, this is a collection of gears that is attached to the rear wheel.

Chainrings: These are the gears that are located on the right-hand crank arm near the front of the bike. A bike with two chainrings is called a double crank, a bike with three chainrings is called a triple crank.

Cog: A single gear on a cassette cluster or a single rear gear on a fixed-gear bike.

Crank Arms: This is what the pedal screws into and bolt onto the bottle bracket spindle.

Cyclocomputer: What serious cyclists like to call an electronic speedometer or odometer.

Derailer: This device is bolted to the frame of the bike and moves the chain from one gear to another.

  • The front derailer controls the shifting on the chainrings and is controlled by the left-hand shifter.
  • The rear derailer controls the shifting on the cassette or freewheel and is controlled by the right-hand shifter.

Derailer Hanger: This is where the rear derailer is attached. This can be a part of the frame on steel and titanium bikes but can be a replaceable part on aluminum and carbon fiber bikes.

Drop Bar: This is a type of handlebar that is popular with road cyclists and racing bikes. It has a half-circle shape extends below the top, flatter part of the handle.

Dropouts: This is a U-shaped notch at the rear of the bike frame and at the front of the bike at the bottom of the fork legs where the wheels are attached. If the bolts of this piece are loosened, the wheels will “drop out”.

Fixed Gear: This type of bike has a single gear and does not have a freewheel or cassette.

Flat Bar: A type of handlebar that is flat and without any downward or upward curve.

Fork: This part of the frame holds the front wheel in place. A steerer tube is part of the fork that extends into the frame through the head tube.

Frame: Commonly made of steel, aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber, the frame is the main structural part of a bike. There are multiple parts that make up the frame:

  • Top tube
  • Head tube
  • Down tube
  • Bottom bracket shell
  • Seat tube
  • Seat stays
  • Chain stays

Freehub Body: This is found on most rear wheels and allows a coasting mechanism that moves power to the wheel when you are pedaling and also allows the rear wheel to move when you are pedaling backward or not at all. The cassette is attached to the freehub.

Headset: This is a collection of bearings within the head tube. This provides smooth steering.

Hub: This is the very center of the wheel. Inside are the axle and ball bearings.

Nipple: This holds the spokes in place on the rim of the wheel. Adjusting the tension in the spokes allows the wheel to be perfectly round.

Rim Strip or Tape: Usually cloth, plastic, or rubber, this material is located between the rim and the inner tube and prevents the spokes from poking the tube.

Riser Bar: A type of handlebar that has “U” shape. Some mountain bikes have more shallow “U” shapes and cruiser bikes tend to have a deeper “U” shape.

Saddle: What serious cyclists like to call the seat.

Seatpost: This connects the saddle to the frame

Seatpost Clamp: This piece allows the rider to adjust the height of the saddle.

Stem: This connects the handlebars to the frame and comes in either threadless or threaded.

Knowing the parts of a bike is great if you want to assemble your own bike, but what’s the point if you can’t travel with your bike and ride on some of the best trails around? Totem Bike Racks offers a bike hitch carrier so cyclists, road and mountain alike, can easily travel with their bikes. Our bike rack mount is easy to install as well as easy to store when it’s not in use. The best hitch mount bike rack on the market, learn more and order your 6 bike rack today.