The frame of your bike is what everything else is attached to. Some frames are lightweight, some are more durable, they can differ quite a bit depending on the bike and what it is intended for and are typically made from carbon-fibre, aluminium alloys, steel, or even titanium. It’s good to know what kind of frame you have and how to describe each of the parts, so you can get replacements and repairs as they wear.
Fork: The part of your bike frame that connects to your front wheel. Not to be confused with the one you use at the dinner table!
Stem: The part of the bike your handlebars are attached to that allows you to control your wheels by turning them.
Head Tube: The part of your frame that the stem and handlebars attach to, the head tube connects to the fork that moves the front tyre.
Handlebars: The handlebars are what you grip while riding your bike and allow you to steer the front wheel to control your direction. Most handlebars have a bell so you can make yourself known to other cyclists and motorists, or just annoy your neighbours!
Brake Lever/Brakes: Attached to the handlebars, squeezing the brake lever will activate your brakes, slowing your tyres until they bring you to a stop. Just be careful not to stop too suddenly or you may find yourself flying over the handlebars.
Down Tube: The down tube is part of the bike frame that connects the head tube to the bottom bracket shell.
Bottom Bracket Shell: The bottom bracket on a bicycle is the part of the frame that connects the crank and chainring to the bicycle, allowing them to rotate freely. Often abbreviated as BBS.
Shifter: Also known as the bicycle shifter, gear control or gear levers, this is the component used to control the gearing mechanisms and select the desired gear ratio depending on the current situation and terrain. It is usually attached to the frame but the location can vary slightly depending on the model of bike.
Seatstay: The seatstay is a bicycle frame tube that runs diagonally downward from the top of the seat tube to the rear dropouts to help stabilise your saddle.
Seat Tube: Part of your bike frame that attaches to the seat stay, keeping the saddle stable.
Saddle/Seatpost: A fairly simple one, the saddle is the part of the bike you sit on. Atop the seat post, it can be adjusted to better fit your height.
If you’d like to learn more about bike parts, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide right here, which covers the frame, chain and tyres!