Information for the new or leisure cyclist Information for the racing or touring cyclist Cycling initiatives, routes etc.
Information and advice for advance touring or racing cyclists
Fit your bike
Advanced bike fitting
Body pains explained
Braking at speed
Leaning in turns
Some major Tours
Bike Line
Legal lighting
Cycle Training
Different cyclists
Weight training
Strength training
Heart Rate training
Cross training
Turbo training
The Training Diary
Nutrition for Cycling
Weight control
How much to eat
Main energy sources
Increasing caloric output
Effects on digestive tract
Factors affecting digestion
Optimal cycling diet
Nutrition for common rides
Post ride nutrition
Performance enhancers 1
Performance enhancers 2
Final considerations
Road Racing
Track Racing
Bikes and equipment


Setting your bike up
Braking and descending
Hill climbing
Lifting the front wheel
Lifting the rear wheel
Tips for women
On the trail kit
Cycling terminology - cycle components

In the section for new and leisure cyclists there is a list of the most frequently used terms in cycling, specifically for the new cyclist, . As you get more into cycling and even racing, you find as in all other activities, a language perculiar to the pastime.

Here we go that stage further and bring you a whole set of terms that cover cycles and components, techniques, training and racing,

The racing terms are particularly useful for those trying to understand cycling on TV, see the link at the bottom of the page..

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y

A - cycle and components

ahead set - a type of headset that fits on a non-threaded steerer aero levers - road bike brake levers using hidden cables that travel out the back of the level body and under the handlebar tape

all-terrain bike (ATB) - term sometimes used for a mountain bike

adjustable cup - the left-hand cup in a non-sealed bottom bracket, used in adjusting the bottom bracket bearings

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B - cycle and components

Bar Ends - mini handlebar add-ons that fit on the ends of mountain bike bars to add another riding position

Binder Bolt - the bolt used to fasten a stem inside a steerer tube or a seatpost inside a seat tube or a handlebar inside a stem

Bottom Bracket - the cylindrical part of a bike frame that holds the crank axle, two sets of ball bearings, a fixed cup, and an adjustable cup.

Brake Pad (block) - the block of rubberlike material which presses against the wheel rim when the brakes are applied

Brake Shoe - the metal part that holds a brake pad.

Braze-Ons - parts for mounting shift levers, derailleurs, water bottle cages, and racks, which are fastened to a steel bicycle frame through a type of soldering process known as brazing.

Brinelled - a type of wear in bearing components that is a series of dents in the races or cups

Bushing - a sleeve that fits between two parts to act as a bearing; often found in suspension systems

Butted Tubing - tubing whose outside diameter remains constant but whose thickness is reduced in midsection where less strength is needed

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C - cycle and components

cable end (cap) - a small aluminum or plastic cap installed to the ends of brake and shift cables to keep them from fraying

cage - on a front derailleur, a pair of parallel plates that push the chain from side to side; on a rear derailleur, a set of plates in which pulleys are mounted to hold and guide the chain from cog to cog

calipers - brake arms that reach around the sides of a wheel to press brake pads against the wheel rim

cantilever brakes - rim brakes with pivoting arms mounted on fork blades or seatstays

cassette - the set of gear cogs on the rear hub. Also called a freewheel, cluster or block.

cassette hub - a type of rear hub that has a built-in freewheel mechanism

chainring - a sprocket attached to the right crankarm to drive the chain

chainring nut spanner - a special tool used to loosen the slotted chainring bolts that fasten a chainring to a crankarm

chainstays - the two tubes of a bicycle frame that run from the bottom bracket back to the rear dropouts

chainsuck - when the chain doubles back on itself in the middle of a gear shift and gets jammed either between chainrings or between the inner chainring and the frame.

chain whip - a tool consisting of a metal bar and two sections of chain, used in changing cogs on a cassette

chrome moly, chromo, (chrome molybdenum) - a type of high-quality steel tubing

clincher tyre (also known as "wired-on" tyre) - a tyre whose edges hook under the curved-in edge of a rim

clipless pedals - pedals that use a releasable mechanism like that of a ski binding to lock onto cleated shoes

cleat - a metal or plastic fitting on the sole of a cycling shoe that engages the pedal.

clinchers - conventional tyres with a separate inner tube.

coaster brake - a foot-operated brake built into the rear hub normally found on one-speed kidsí bikes and cruisers

cog - a sprocket attached directly to the rear hub on a single-speed bike and mounted on a cassette on a multi-speed bike

cone - a bearing race that curves to the inside of a circle of ball bearings and works in conjunction with a cup

cottered crank - a crankset in which the crankarms are fastened to the axle by means of threaded cotters and nuts

cotterless crank - a crankset in which the crankarms are fastened to the axle by means of a taper and nuts or bolts

crankarm - a part, one end of which is attached to the bottom bracket axle and the other holds a pedal, whose forward rotation provides the leverage needed to power the bicycle

crankarm bolt - the bolt that holds a crankarm on the end of the axle in a cotterless crankset

crankset - includes the bottom bracket, two crankarms, and one or more chainrings

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D - cycle and components

damping - the process of controlling suspension action, without which a suspended fork would bounce like a pogo stick

derailleur - a lever-activated mechanism that pushes the chain off of one sprocket and onto another, thus changing the gear ratio

diamond frame - the traditional men's bicycle frame, the principal parts of which form a diamond shape

dish - offsetting of the hub in a rear wheel on a derailleur bike to make room for the cassette and still allow the wheel to be centered within the framedouble-crown fork - a type of suspension fork that resembles a motorcycle fork due to crowns above and below the head tube, which increase stiffness

downhill bike - a bike designed for racing down mountains; features include long-travel dual suspension frame

down tube - the frame tube running from the headset to the bottom bracket.drivetrain - the derailleurs, chain, freewheel, and crankset of a bike

dropout - a slot in the frame into which the rear wheel axle fits

dropout hanger - a threaded metal piece that extends below the right rear dropout, used as a mount for the rear derailleur

drops - the lower, straight portion of a turned-down-type handlebar dual-suspension bike - a bike with front and rear suspension

dustcap - a metal or plastic cap that fits into a hub shell to keep contaminants out of bearings

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F - cycle and components

fixed gear - a direct-drive setup using one chainring and one rear cog, as on a track bike. When the rear wheel turns so does the chain and crank; coasting isn't possible.

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G - cycle and components

granny gear - smallest chainring combined with largest cog, used mainly for climbing.

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H - cycle and components

headset - the parts at the top and bottom of the frame's head tube, into which the handlebar stem and fork are fitted.

hybrid - a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike. Not as fast or efficient as the former, and not as well suited to singletrack as the latter. Often called a "cross" bike.

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S - cycle and components

straight block - a cassette with cogs that increase in size in one-tooth increments, often used in time trialling.

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T - cycle and components

tops - the part of a drop handlebar between the stem and the brake levers.

tubular, tubs - a lightweight road or track tyre that has the tube permanently sewn inside the casing. Also called a sew-up. The tyre is glued to the rim.

Racing terms

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LPS marketing
providers of marketing and design services to the small/medium sized business. Specialists in the cycling and outdoor industry.