Why bother learning "Bike Anatomy (the parts of a bicycle)?" My bike mechanic at the store will take care of my problems for me. Well think again!
When you're out on the road, 20 miles from home, knowing the parts of a bicycle are essential for simple quick bicycle repairs:
- Your chain jumps several rear cogs when shifting. Turning your "rear shift barrel adjuster" (the one on the right side), on the fly while your cycling, will correct the problem. Where is that adjuster? Which way do I turn it? If it keeps jumping to a larger cog, turn it "in" (counter-clockwise). Do the opposite if it's jumping to a smaller cog.
- In the middle of your ride you note that your chain on your triple jumps from the large chain ring to the small, skipping the middle. Turning the "front shift barrel adjuster" (the one on the left) in a turn (counterclockwise while your in the small chain ring) will take care of it. Where is that adjuster?
- My chain keeps coming off the large chain ring to the outside. Turning the "outer limiting screw" in (clockwise) a quarter of a turn or less while in the small chain ring, will take care of the problem. Where is that limiting screw?
- Where are the "limiting screws for the rear derailleur" and what do they do? Which one prevents the chain from coming off between the large cog on the cassette and lodging between the cassette and wheel? Which one helps line up the cage pully with the small cassette cog?
- Where is the "cage pully wheel?" Turning the "b screw" in (clockwise) will prevent the cage pully wheel from hitting the large cog of the cassette? Where are these items?
At home I notice:
- The brake pads are not lined up with the rim. I can adjust the angle of the brake pad by loosening the "brake mounting bolt". Where is the brake mounting bolt? Do I have to worry about "toe in" (see brake maintenance tips)
- I would like to replace my rear derailleur with one that has a longer "cage" so I can place a cassette with a larger cog. What are the limiting factors, i.e., what will the derailleur accommodate in terms of front chain rings and cassettes (you can find the answers on-line or from the manufacturer)?
- I want a new bike, and I have a very short reach. Should I be asking for a bike with a shorter "top tube" then the stock item at the dealer?
- I would like to order a rear light on-line, but the one I want says: attaches to "seat stay" only. What does that mean?
Knowing the parts of a bicycle is the first step in knowing on the road bicycle repair. Much of the bicycle repair I highlight on this site is for the non-mechanic average cyclist. See Sheldon Brown's bicycle parts Glossary