Bicycles are fascinating machines that are easy to take for granted. At their most basic, they are simply two wheels, a frame, and a seat, but the array of bike parts that goes into making a modern bicycle is both numerous and complex. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common bike parts and what they do.


The first thing to understand about bikes is that there are two main types: road bikes and mountain bikes. Road bikes are designed for speed and feature thinner tires, while mountain bikes are designed for ruggedness and have thicker tires. Both types of bike will have a variety of different parts, but there are some key components that all bikes will share.

All About Bike Parts


The frame is the backbone of your bike and everything else is attached to it. The style of frame you choose will be determined by the type of riding you do; for example, road racing frames are typically made from carbon fiber or aluminum to be as light as possible, while mountain bike frames are often made from steel or titanium to be stronger and more durable.


The wheels are perhaps the most important part of your bike; they provide the contact point with the ground and play a major role in how fast or slow you go. Road bike wheels are typically made from carbon fiber or aluminum to minimize weight, while mountain bike wheels can be either 26 inches (the standard size) or 29 inches (a newer “plus” size).


The drivetrain is what makes your bike move forwards (or backwards, if you’re a BMXer!). It consists of the pedals, chain, chainrings (attached to the crank), cassette (attached to the rear wheel), and derailleurs (which move the chain from one chainring to another). For more information on how this all works, check out our article on bicycle gears.


Brakes are another crucial component of your bike; after all, you don’t want to crash! Most modern bicycles have either rim brakes or disc brakes; in rim brakes, pads grip onto the metal rims of the wheel itself, while in disc brakes pads grip onto a metal disc that is mounted on the hub of the wheel. Rim brakes tend to be lighter but less powerful than disc brakes, while disc brakes offer more stopping power but can add significant weight to your bike.


Finally, we come to saddles and handlebars. The saddle is where you sit when riding your bike and it’s important to choose one that is comfortable for you. Handlebars come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the type of riding you do; for example, drop handlebars are common on road bikes as they offer an aerodynamic position when riding fast, while riser bars are popular on mountain bikes as they allow for better control when riding off-road.

Bike Parts

Bike parts are essential to the function and performance of your bicycle. In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at all the different types of bike parts, what they’re made of, and how they work together. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of your bike and what it takes to keep it running smoothly.


The heart of your bike, the frame sets the tone for the rest of the build. It needs to be strong enough to handle wherever you’re taking it while being light enough that you’re not weighed down on the uphill. The material will also affect the ride feel and to some degree – the price.

There are three main materials used to make bike frames today: steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. Each has its pros and cons, but in general, steel is the most comfortable, aluminum is stiffer and lighter, and carbon fiber is lightest and most expensive.

Your budget will largely dictate what kind of frame you can get. For entry-level bikes, you’ll mostly find aluminum frames with lower-end components. As you move up in price, bikes will have better components and maybe even a carbon fiber frame. At the highest prices, you’ll get all the bells and whistles like hydraulic disc brakes and electronic shifting.


BMX racing wheels have come a long way. The cross-country style rims of the 1970s gave way to heavier double-wall rims in the 1980s as racers began hitting big jumps and drops. These rims were followed by the introduction of aluminum alloy rims in the late 1980s, which were lighter and stronger than their steel predecessors. The 1990s saw the development of disc brakes and suspension forks, which led to even lighter and stronger rims made from materials such as titanium and carbon fiber. Today, BMX race wheels are available in a wide range of sizes, widths, spoke counts, and rim materials to suit the needs of any rider.

Rim Materials

BMX race wheels are typically made from one of three materials: aluminum alloy, titanium, or carbon fiber. Aluminum alloy is the most common material used in BMX race wheels due to its affordability and durability. Titanium is significantly more expensive than aluminum but is also much lighter, making it a popular choice for racers looking for every advantage possible. Carbon fiber is the lightest material used in BMX race wheels but is also the most expensive.

Wheel Sizes

BMX race wheels are available in two sizes: 20″ and 24″. The 20″ wheel size is the standard for BMX racing and most racers will use this size wheel. The 24″ wheel size is typically only seen in cruiser class racing as it offers a bit more stability and durability than a 20″ wheel.

Wheel Widths

BMX race wheels are available in a range of widths from 29mm to 36mm. The narrower 29mm width rims are typically only seen on 20″ wheels as they offer reduced weight and rolling resistance. The wider 36mm rims are typically only seen on 24″ wheels as they offer increased durability and stability when hitting big jumps and drops.


On a road bike you’ll find tires measured in millimeters. Tires between 23 and 28mm wide offer good all-around performance. On wider tires, you’ll roll faster over rough stuff and have more cornering grip. The downside is increased rolling resistance and weight—wider tires are heavier.

Mountain bike tires have evolved to meet the needs of riders who want to ride fast on varied terrain. Tires in this category range in width from 2.4 to 2.8 inches (60 to 70 millimeters). Riders who do a lot of climbing might prefer narrower tires, while those who spend more time on descents can go with wider ones for more traction and comfort.


The brake is the part of the bicycle that allows the rider to gradually slow down or stop. There are two types of brakes commonly used on bicycles today: rim brakes and disc brakes. Rim brakes are the most common type of brake and can be found on almost all road bikes and many mountain bikes. Disc brakes are less common but are becoming more popular, especially on mountain bikes.

Rim brakes work by using two pads (one on each side of the wheel) that press against the sides of the wheel to slow it down. The pads are held in place by a caliper, which is attached to the frame or fork. When you pull on the brake lever, a cable runs from the lever to the caliper, causing the pads to squeeze the rim and slow down the wheel.

Disc brakes work in a similar way but instead of pressing against the sides of the wheel, they press against a rotor (a disc) that is mounted on the hub of the wheel. When you pull on the brake lever, a cable runs from the lever to a caliper (attached to the frame or fork), causing the pads to squeeze against the rotor and slow down/stopthe wheel. Disc brakes are more powerful than rim brakes and work better in wet or muddy conditions, but they are also heavier and more expensive.

Shifters and Derailleurs

Shifters and derailleurs are the parts of your bike that allow you to change gears. Shifters are located on the handlebars and are used to change gears on the front derailleur, which controls the chain on the larger front sprockets. Derailleurs are located near the back wheel and are used to change gears on the rear derailleur, which controls the chain on the smaller rear sprockets.

There are two types of shifters: trigger shifters and grip shifters. Trigger shifters are most common on mountain bikes and have two levers – one for shifting up and one for shifting down. Grip shifters are common on road bikes and work by twisting the grip to shift up or down.

Derailleurs come in two varieties: front and rear. The front derailleur moves the chain between the two or three front sprockets, while the rear derailleur moves it between the five or six rear sprockets. Both derailleurs are operated by shifters – either trigger or grip shifters – located on the handlebars.

Gear shifting is an important part of riding a bike, especially if you’ll be riding in hilly terrain or want to be able to ride at different speeds. It’s important to choose a bike with quality shifters and derailleurs that will work well and last long.


The crankset is the part of a bicycle that contains the crank arms and sprockets. In a typical road or mountain bike, the crankset will have either two or three chainrings. The larger outer ring is called the “big ring” and the smaller inner ring is called the “small ring”. The third ring, located between the big and small rings, is called the “middle ring” or “granny gear”.

The crank arms are connected to the bottom bracket spindle via a square taper or splined interface. The spindle itself is mounted in bearings inside the bottom bracket shell. Together, the crankset and bottom bracket form the bicycle’s pedaling system.

Most modern cranksets are made of aluminum alloy. Steel was once a common material for cranksets but has largely been replaced by aluminum due to weight considerations. Some high-end road and mountain bike cranksets are made of carbon fiber for reduced weight.

Bottom Bracket

The bottom bracket on a bicycle connects the crankarms and pedals to the bike and allows them to rotate freely. It consists of a spindle to which the crankset’s spindle attaches, bearings, bearing cups or cartridges that housing the bearings, spacers, washers, and lockrings/retainers. The bottom bracket fits inside the bottom bracket shell of a bike frame.


A chain is a crucial part of a bicycle, connecting the pedaling power from your legs to the drivetrain and making it possible to ride your bike. It’s important to keep your chain clean and lubricated so it will last as long as possible. There are many different types of chains, from basic models to those with special features like quick links that make removal and installation easier. No matter what type of bike you have, we can help you find the right chain.


The cassette is the cylindrical cluster of gears attached to the rear wheel of a bicycle. The cassette body is mounted on a freehub, which combines the functions of the ratchet mechanism and the axle hub. The sprockets on the cassette engage with a chain, propelling the bike forward. A given cassette will usually have sprockets with varying numbers of teeth. These sprockets are referred to as “cogs,” with smaller cogs having fewer teeth and larger cogs having more.


There are a few different types of pedals to choose from and the right pedal for you will depend on the type of riding you do. Road bike pedals are typically much lighter than their mountain bike counterparts and have cleats that click into the pedal, making it easier to keep your feet in place when pedaling at high speeds. Mountain bike pedals are often wider and have a cage around the outside to prevent your foot from slipping off when riding over uneven terrain.

If you’re looking for a more versatile pedal that can be used for both road and mountain biking, look for a pedal with a platform on one side and a cage on the other. This way, you can click in when you’re feeling speedy on the road, or just use the platform when cruising around town or hitting the trails.


In general, bike parts can be divided into two categories: frame parts and drivetrain parts. Frame parts are the parts of the bike that make up the frame, including the Fork, Headset, Bottom Bracket, and Seatpost. Drivetrain parts are the parts of the bike that transmit power from the pedals to the wheels, including the Chain, Derailleurs, Cassette, and Crankset.


What size bike wheel do I need?

The size bike wheel you need will depend on the size of your frame, as well as the type of bike you’re riding. For road bikes, most cassettes have sprockets that range from 16 to 20 teeth. Mountain bikes usually have cassette systems with smaller sprocket sizes (about 12 or 13 teeth), so it’s important to match the wheel size to the correct cog size on your bike.

How do gears work on a bike?

Gears work by using the chain to transfer power from the pedals to the wheel. When you pedal, your bike will spin faster because it’s able to turn more quickly thanks to each cog on the bike wheel. The size of your frame and bike wheel sprocket determine what size gear you’ll need in order for that power to be transmitted evenly and efficiently.

What are the different types of pedals available and which one is best for me?

There are a number of types of pedals available on the market, including mountain bike pedal-assist systems and road bike Shimano or SRAM drivetrains. When it comes to mountain biking, pedal-assist systems use sensors in the frame or fork to detect when you’re pushing down on the pedal and then activate one or more mechanical derailleurs in order to spin your wheel at a higher speed. In contrast, road bikes generally rely upon Shimano or SRAM drivetrains that have an indexing system that allows you to change gears using a conventional crankset.

Do frame parts come in different sizes?

Yes, mountain bike pedal-assist systems can be mounted onto road bikes in order to convert them into hybrid bikes. Typically, these systems use a different type of crankset (such as an Avid BB7 or Sram X1) that doesn’t have the same size range as road bike Shimano or SRAM drivetrains.