Bicycle Anatomy 101 Diagram: Finally Name Your Bike’s Parts

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“There’s something wrong with the thingy that connects with the other thing below this thing.”

If you frequently use the word “thingy” when trying to explain a problem to your bike mechanic, you’ve come to the right place.

The world of bikes can be daunting at first, but you’ll soon learn that the cycling community really looks out for each other.

Maybe you don’t know your chainstay from your seat stay or the skewer from the fork. No worries. Below, we’ll give you a super easy breakdown of all the bicycle parts and explain them in a way you’ll never forget.

Bicycle Anatomy

Easy Definitions for Each Bike Part

Pedal: It’s like a little flat dance floor for your feet to make the bike go zoom.

Hub: The belly button of the bike wheel that lets it twirl like a ballerina.

Skewer: A long, skinny metal picnic stick that keeps the wheels from rolling away without you.

Brake: The bike’s “whoa!” handle that makes you stop when you might be going too zoomy.

Crankarm: It’s a strong metal arm that plays tug-of-war with the chain when you stomp on the pedals.

Chain: Think of a metal caterpillar that tickles the gears into spinning.

Rear derailleur: It’s like a little metal guide that tells the caterpillar (chain) where to crawl on the gears.

Rear cassette: A stack of metal donuts that the caterpillar climbs up and down to make you speed up or slow down.

Tire: The bike’s shoes that need to be pumped up, not tied.

Spoke: They’re like the bike wheel’s bones, keeping it nice and round.

Seat clamp: A bike’s way of giving the seat a hug so it doesn’t pop up when you go over bumps.

Seatpost: The bike’s elevator for your bottom, letting it go up and down to the perfect height.

Saddle: Your bike’s chair, but without any cushion for extra adventure feels.

Brake & shift lever: The magic wands on the handlebars that help you stop and turn invisible gears.

Handlebar: The bike’s steering wheel, but without the horn.

Head tube: It’s the bike’s neck, holding the front wheel’s brain in place.

Stem: This is like the bike’s nose—it’s where the handlebar is stuck on.

Fork: The bike’s two metal legs that hug the front wheel.

Down tube: The bike’s slide, from the handlebars to the pedals.

Bottle cage bolts: These are like tiny robot hands that hold your drink for you.

Top tube: The high beam you’d walk if you were a bike tightrope walker.

Chainstay: It’s the bike’s tailbone that connects the pedals to the back wheel.

Chainring: These are the bike’s monster teeth that munch the chain up and down.

Front derailleur: The chain’s front elevator that moves it to the floor it wants.

Wheel rim: It’s the circle the tire wraps around, like a snake hugging a tree.

Seat stay: The bike’s backbone, stretching from your seat to the back wheel.

Seat tube: It’s the pocket where the seat elevator (seatpost) lives.

Cables: The bike’s secret spaghetti that sends messages from your fingers to the brakes and gears.

Bottom bracket: It’s the bike’s spinning heart hidden in the belly of the bike where the pedal arms join.

If you’re concerned that you might forget some of the words, we’ve got a great solution. Get yourself a coffee mug, shirt, tote bag, or print of Discerning Cyclist’s limited edition Bicycle Anatomy 101 series.

Bicycle Anatomy 101

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