The bicycle, as any other vehicle, consists of different parts which fulfill different functions, coordinated and essential (most of them) for its functioning. Each element has its own function. It is useful o thoroughly know the function of each element when choosing a bicycle because knowing the parts will give us a better understanding of everything. Next we will explain each of the bicycle’s components and their basic function.
Frame or chassis: It is the structure that supports and gives rigidity and strength to a vehicle. The chassis is the car’s skeleton that keeps each part united, supporting the weight, and the blows and giving it a particular shape as regards both its aesthetic aspect and the functional sense (e.g. its capacity to withstand wind).
The chassis can be made of wood, iron, steel or alloys. Wood is no longer used, except for furniture. The material used to manufacture the chassis depends on the quality, price, function, and type of vehicle.
The frames consist of tubes and beams united one with the others. As regards bicycles, the usual shape is the triangle, though there are other shapes.
Fork: It is the steering piece that supports the front wheel. Forks can be static or have suspension.
Wheels: Wheels have a rubber tire that contains a tube of the same material in it, a rim (a metal ring in which the tire is fixed), a central hub (that keeps the wheel united to the frame) and the spokes, which unites the hub to the rim. Generally, there are spokes. Lighter bikes have fewer spokes and those which withstand greater weight (for example tandem bikes or the ones used for delivery) use more spokes. Spokes can be set in two ways: tangentially or radially, according to the manufacturer’s criteria.
The size of the wheels conforms to standard ISO 5775. In general terms, both the wheels for adults’ bikes and for mountain bikes are 26 inches whereas those of the racing bikes are 700C. Folding bikes, due to comfort and efficiency reasons, and child’s bikes, due to a height need, have smaller wheels; they are between 14 and 24 inches.
Mechanic group: They are the traction elements of the bike. It is made up of the chain, gear changes, sprocket wheels, chain wheels, cranks, hubs and pedals. The chain transmits the force that comes from the thrust of the pedals to the hub of the back wheel. The gear changes function to modify the type of force and the pedaling frequency. Harder gear changes move the chain to a smaller sprocket wheel making each whole pedaling produce a greater movement of the wheel. That is why lighter gear changes are used when going up a slope.
Brakes: Generally, there are two: one for each wheel. Brakes are on the handlebar and the back brake is the most frequently used one. Some bikes with fixed sprocket wheels do not have brakes on the handlebar, but they use coaster brakes; that is to say, by making force on the pedals on the opposite direction.
Handlebar: It is the bike’s steering wheel. There is a great variety of handlebars: plane, chopper, v handlebar, etc. The shape of it depends on the position you want take when riding a bike.
Saddle: It is where the cyclist sits. The saddle’s absorption will prevent you from getting lesions or bruises while cycling. Its height can be regulated.
Stem: This item unites the handlebar to the frame. With it you can regulate the height of the handlebar to have an erectus position.
Besides these constituent and essential elements in a bicycle, there are others that are not so essential and that have become very popular. Among them we can mention: fenders, lights, luggage carrier, bottle carrier, back and front absorption, bicycle pump, stand, bell and speedometer.
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