How To Remember the Different Parts of the Bike

I’d like to make a confession. I’ve been cycling for 15 years. I’ve come 4th in the UK National hill climb and the UK National 100. I know a little about cycling, but here it is – For a long time, I could never be exactly sure where exactly on a bike are the top tubes, down tubes, seat stays. I go into bike shops and people talk about angles of head tubes, down tubes and I  know what they are talking about. But, I wouldn’t want to bet my life I’d point to the right place on the bike. But, being a top cyclist, you could never possibly admit not knowing. So you never ask, but just nod your head and smile. Rather like when some-one starts talking about 60 inch gears and you pretend to know what they mean. So like many things cycling related you just bumble along with an 85% knowledge.

It’s also  bit like trying to adjust you gears, you kind of know what you should do, you’ve read 5 maintenance books, and 4 youtube videos.  But somehow every time I try to adjust my gears, you can never remember which way you’re supposed to tighten the screw (and of course, if you did ever remember, you’d get a new Shimano Dura Ace, who have to do it the completely other way around to everyone else- or is it Campag Record which does it the other way around?)

Anyway to make a long inconsequential story short. I’ll come mercifully to the point. Below is a lovely piece of bike art which caught my eye and also gives the definitive guide to which part of a bike is which.

The Typographical Bicycle


Reproduced permission of: Aaron

From: Aaron’s site

Actually, when I look at this diagram, it all make sense

  • chainstay – next to the chain
  • Seat tube – goes down from seat
  • top tube – the tube on the top (even I knew that)
  • head tube – by headset
  • Down Tube – the one that slopes downhill
  • saddle – the thing you sit on

Got it! Cycling is simple!




3 Responses to How To Remember the Different Parts of the Bike

  1. David Smith November 18, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Bottom Bracket?

  2. John D November 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    So tell us where the steerer tube is. :-)

    • tejvan November 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

      It’s that bit between the ground and rider near the steering mechanism. :)

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