Questions tagged [parts]

Bicycle components without which it's not a working bike: wheels, brakes, saddle/seat, bottom bracket, derailleur, stem, handlebars, bolts, etc. Also tag with specific part.

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What is the difference between brake cables and derailleur cables?

What is the difference between brake cables and derailleur/shift cables? When I look online for replacement cables I see "brake cables" and "shift cables." From the images they all look the same. ...
npsantini's user avatar
  • 1,907
44 votes
11 answers
8k views

How much does bike price correspond with maintenance needs?

In this question (with this answer) I asked about a commuter bike, which is to be ridden 40 km every weekday, in the city. And apparently for this scenario I can choose either of two possible kinds of ...
ChrisW's user avatar
  • 12k
43 votes
13 answers
178k views

Why would one ever buy a 12-25 cassette when an 11-25 is available?

I was looking at purchasing a new cassette and chain. Looking at the available cassettes for SRAM components, there is a big variety of sizes available: 11-23: 11-12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23 11-25: 11-...
Jake Wilson's user avatar
  • 1,705
43 votes
4 answers
11k views

Building from scratch vs. buying new

What are the pros and cons about building a bike from scratch vs. buying it new?
Gabriel Solomon's user avatar
37 votes
8 answers
35k views

How much do components really matter for a non-competitive rider?

I do not ride competitively, but plan on doing some longer distance rides (30+ miles). I've read that better components are lighter, run more smoothly, and last longer. Out of those three categories, ...
Chris Morris's user avatar
33 votes
6 answers
6k views

What makes a good entry level road bike?

I've been riding a mountain bike for years, but I prefer to go longer distances on paved ground, so I think a road bike would be better. When I ask what is a good bike, I don't need brands or models - ...
xdumaine's user avatar
  • 433
28 votes
4 answers
13k views

What is the foam tube on the top of bmx frame for?

What is the foam tube found on some bmx bikes for? Here's an example: Besides for advertising, I'm guessing its there to save biker's legs when doing tricks, but I could be wrong, because I've seen ...
Bensstats's user avatar
  • 617
28 votes
7 answers
5k views

What should I look for in clipless pedals and shoes?

I am just thinking about investing in some clip-in pedals (and presumably shoes). I want to use them mostly on my older road bike but in the future I might want to move them over onto my mountain ...
sixtyfootersdude's user avatar
28 votes
6 answers
12k views

What bike+equipment for a long daily urban commute?

In the (distant) past I commuted 6 km (more than half an hour) each way, on a cheap bike with big knobbly tyres. Soon I'll have a new commute: 18 km each way, daily. That's much further than I've ...
ChrisW's user avatar
  • 12k
26 votes
5 answers
4k views

Equipping a commuter bike for a 5 mile city commute

My commute is a bit over 5 miles each way through the city. It's not that long a commute; in traffic, it takes about 35 minutes door to door, and I'm never far from public transit that I could use in ...
Brian Campbell's user avatar
24 votes
1 answer
6k views

Random piece of plastic

I have recently purchased a hybrid bike with suspension (not sure if that is relevant to this question). It came with two pieces of plastic. Any ideas what they may be for?
RADAR's user avatar
  • 341
24 votes
2 answers
2k views

Selecting the right crank length

What is the best way to determine the correct crank length for my height and more specifically my leg length?
John Owen's user avatar
  • 353
22 votes
7 answers
4k views

Are Z-shaped cranks a good idea?

I've stumbled across this kickstarter project, which promotes an original shape for cranks: They claim a wider arc of useful push during rotation. While their main point is rendered moot by clipping ...
Agos's user avatar
  • 685
22 votes
6 answers
30k views

Whatever happened to solid bike tubes?

As a child I had solid rubber inner tubes in my bike. They were a pain to get on but after I never had a flat again! Now I've recently started biking again and have had two flats in two days, each ...
JIStone's user avatar
  • 323
21 votes
7 answers
5k views

How maintenance-free can a commuter bike be?

Commuting is hard on bikes, especially when doing it all-year long. Maintenance is essential to assure one can get to work every morning without issues but it takes time and care. Fixed-gear and ...
olliebulle's user avatar
  • 4,119
21 votes
7 answers
16k views

What is the biggest component difference between a cheap road bike and an expensive road bike?

I am shopping around for road bikes now, and I wanted to know what components to look for. I am not talking about the frame, carbon or otherwise, I mean types of shifters, brakes, cranks, rims, etc.
Chris Belsole's user avatar
20 votes
11 answers
24k views

How does a bike's weight affect the overall experience of owning it?

Naturally, carrying a light bike up the stairs is much more enjoyable compared to a heavier bike. Are there any other aspects of a bike which are affected by its weight? For example, would the weight ...
Mike Mazur's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
40k views

What is the name of the part, often seen on BMX bicycles, that allows an additional rider on the back the bike?

What is the name of the part, often seen on BMX bicycles, that allows an additional rider on the back the bike? It appears to be a set of relatively short but thick poles that go on either side of the ...
confusedanddazedq's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
31k views

What are the benefits of external bottom brackets?

Pretty soon, I plan to replace the bottom bracket on my early 90's Sakae Litage road bike. It takes a standard, English-threaded bottom bracket. Right now I think it contains loose bearings--I was ...
DC_CARR's user avatar
  • 3,860
20 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is there a practical gain from elliptical/oval chainrings?

I have seen competitive (amateur) cyclists with oval chainrings (front). What is the deal? Are they just for showing off, or is there a practical gain from it (different force transfer).
Papuass's user avatar
  • 3,259
18 votes
6 answers
1k views

Does anyone still use the old Brooks-style saddles?

About 30+ years ago I bought my first road bike. It had an old (used) Brooks leather saddle on it, whose design probably dated back to 1900 AD. To anyone who hasn't seen these, they look like a ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 1,305
18 votes
4 answers
16k views

How are these plastic rings used on my Shimano disk brake mount adapter?

I boughtt a Shimano SM-MA-R160 Disc Brake Mount Adaptor for my bike. It came with these black plastic things in the lower right corner of the photo below. I have a bunch and don't know what are they ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 13.7k
18 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can I tell which road bike components/groupsets are better?

Shimano has new models of their groupsets every year but the lines generally keep the same names. This makes it difficult to figure out what year/version a particular bike has. Is there an easy way to ...
Joe Phillips's user avatar
  • 1,337
17 votes
10 answers
19k views

Why is a proper road bike pedal preferred for road bikes?

I've been riding road bikes for a couple of years, but with mountain bike pedals, I've been thinking about switching over to a road bike pedal, but what's the reason? Is the performance improved or is ...
Johan Dahlin's user avatar
  • 2,888
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is this device attached to the seat-tube?

I dug out my late Dad's bicycle. Dad used the bicycle during his medical school days in the late 1940s ... or so. The bicycle has accumulated sufficient rust that it is impossible to identify the ...
Everyone's user avatar
  • 269
17 votes
5 answers
12k views

How can I protect components from being stolen off my bike?

I had my bike locked up properly so that the frame and wheels were secure, but somebody stole the 8 speed and handlebars off of my bike. I don't understand how this can have more than a $10 resale ...
Bozostein's user avatar
  • 363
15 votes
2 answers
6k views

Is there a downside to spoke protectors?

A few weeks ago, the derailer on my touring bike caught on the chain and ripped itself off the frame. (See the link below for more info on the incident.) The spoke protector was cracked in half by ...
Goodbye Stack Exchange's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
9k views

Why is buying a bike as a whole cheaper than buying separate parts and building it?

At least in Indonesia it is. Know why?
user4951's user avatar
  • 267
14 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is this spring between the fork and the frame?

Sometimes on a bike I see a short spring, most often covered in rubber, connecting the fork with the frame: What is the purpose of it? The only thing that comes to mind is stabilising the fork so it ...
Emmit's user avatar
  • 735
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do I need to change my cassette if I can't see any wear?

I bought a new road bike with Campag Athena 11 speed in March last year. To the end of Jan it had covered 9000km. In all that time I hadn't changed the chain because I don't have the Campag tool, and ...
Duncan McGregor's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
9k views

How is stem length (reach) measured?

How is the length of a stem measured? Where does the measurement start and finish?
Martynnw's user avatar
  • 1,407
13 votes
5 answers
785 views

Lock for extremely frequent use

Are there lock products out there specifically designed for easy handling when locked unlocked dozens of times a day? I'm using a normal, chain-based lock at the moment and I'm annoyed because I'm ...
Pekka's user avatar
  • 231
13 votes
4 answers
9k views

Differences between Biopace and Rotor cranks

On mountain bikes of a certain age, "Biopace" chainrings are ubiquitous. These chainrings are (purposely) not circular. It seems that most people today agree that Biopace rings didn't live up to the ...
kevins's user avatar
  • 1,412
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

What are these tiny pieces of metal that came with my Giant TCR Advanced 2?

Last year I bought a 2016 Giant TCR Advanced 2. With the documentation in a small plastic bag came these two small pieces of metal with a spongy sticker on them. One is slightly curved the other is ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 663
12 votes
7 answers
3k views

What are the most basic parts of a bicycle which cannot be upgraded over a period of time?

After reading this question: Cheap MTB with future upgrades v/s costly fully ready MTB, I myself had a question. What are the most fundamental parts of a bicycle? What are the things which we have to ...
kartlad's user avatar
  • 393
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is this stamped metal piece that fell out of a new hydraulic shifter?

I’m finishing setting up a new bike, and right as I finished bleeding and shifting around the left shifter (r7025), this little stamped steel bit fell out. It’s about 11mm in diameter and 0.5mm thick....
Ben's user avatar
  • 123
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is this rubber ring around the top tube for

I have seen these on a few bikes. What is the purpose :S
will's user avatar
  • 904
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why are foot-long pedals not widely used?

A lot of effort and resources go into making cycling shoes stiff, presumably to keep the foot in a suitable shape and spread the force across the sole. It seems like it would be possible to achieve a ...
bdsl's user avatar
  • 532
12 votes
1 answer
576 views

Understanding MTB Pedals

This question is bugging me for a very long time. Look at the picture below. Notice the area I have denoted with red circles. What is that? Does it represent something? Maybe something like position! ...
Starx's user avatar
  • 2,958
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is this part that came with my eggbeater pedals?

I bought some second-hand Crank Bros Eggbeater pedals. They came in the original box, apparently with all the bits except the cleats. (That's fine. CB cleats are effectively a consumable.) One of the ...
Michael come lately's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Gates CDN - frequent belt failures

update at the bottom I ride a belt drive bike fitted with a Gates CDN front sprocket (on the crank), a CDN belt and a CDX rear sprocket. Around the 2200km/1400mi mark, the CDN belt failed and teeth ...
user4520's user avatar
  • 563
12 votes
1 answer
9k views

Chart for bicycle component quality?

I'm not very familiar with all the different component groups available and wondered if there's a chart that ranks their quality (or price). So I'd know that Shimano 105 is the same level as SRAM ...
obelia's user avatar
  • 1,116
11 votes
6 answers
17k views

What kind of bicycles do they ride in the Tour de France?

I've been looking at a lot of the coverage of the Tour de France. All of the attention is on the cyclists, and no attention whatsoever on the cycles. Even in photographs or videos, they are so far ...
Apreche's user avatar
  • 1,148
11 votes
3 answers
18k views

Benefits and drawbacks of Dropper posts?

From what I've seen, the last couple of years saw a new product type come into light, and since its inception it has started to appear on bikes (such as this one, this one, or this one) as a stock ...
Saxman's user avatar
  • 708
11 votes
3 answers
60k views

How do I choose a bicycle fork?

I'm putting together a bicycle on a budget from a frame I was given and various parts from a bike with a broken frame. The only part of any expense that I really need is the fork, and I want to get ...
Gazzer's user avatar
  • 251
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

What's the name of the piece that holds the fender on (pic attached)

What's the name of this part that holds the fender on? (the back piece between that the rod from the fender is going through) I've lost one but for the life of me can't seem to find what to search ...
paullb's user avatar
  • 213
11 votes
3 answers
21k views

Can a 10-speed mountain bike chain be used on a 10-speed road bike?

I would like to use a Shimano Deore XT Chain CN-HG94 on my road bike. Are there any differences between roadbike chains versus mountain bike chains that prohibit this? Sample Road Bike Chains: Dura ...
Bengt's user avatar
  • 325
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is it a good idea to buy second hand bike model that has been discontinued?

I am a new rider looking for a road bike. I found a deal to buy second hand 2017 Orbea Avant M40 size 51 for $800. I see that this model is discontinued by Orbea. Will it be a problem to find parts ...
user47370's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
4 answers
5k views

Can a counterfeit Shimano chain be used on an authentic Shimano drivetrain?

I unwittingly purchased a fake CNHG901 HG-X11 chain for my Shimano 2x11 M700 groupset because my original chain already had 0.75 wear. I was naïve to think that I'd actually get a legitimate chain ...
SEBASZCHAN's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is it okay for my rear derailleur to be as "compressed" as this when in the lowest gear on the bike?

Recently replaced the cables on this old road bike. When indexing the cable I notice how compressed this derailleur is and the two cogs are almost touching - it certainly doesn't look right to my ...
Antonio's user avatar
  • 101

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