30

Maximum tire width is dependent on two main factors, clearance at the frame/fork, and the width of the rim. As for the frame clearance this can usually be visually inspected and easily distinguished if a larger tire than the present tire will cause issues. Brakes such as V-brakes or cantilevers may also cause clearance problems with some tires so attention ...


18

The problem with the question is not the owner's interest in the answer - it is clearly there. The problem is that the answer has almost no value for the community of this site: most generic bikes are hard to identify to begin with most successful identification will be based on a photo which cannot be used to answer the same question again because ...


17

I started getting seriously into bike work circa 2002 and was lucky enough to come across Jobst Brandt's view of the topic around that time. Since then, most of which time I've spent working as a mechanic, I've observed that the Brandtian observations of the mechanical dynamics at hand are wholly correct, but I don't agree with him on what to do about it. He ...


16

Most questions are based on a need for knowledge about what parts to use or curiosity. The latter do not make suitable questions for SE sites and will normally be closed. For the former, fortunately the bicycle industry is fairly standardized (even if there are many and evolving standards), so knowledge of the bike make/model/manufacturer is rarely helpful ...


15

If a manufacturer found they had a quality problem with a batch of products (e.g. bikes but equally cameras, phones...) the serial numbers would allow identification of the substandard units. If you've recorded the serial number of your bike and a bike thief is caught with bikes in their possession the serial number should help you get it back. This has ...


11

Serial Numbers Bicycles (except children's bicycles) are almost always required to have a frame or serial number. Some manufacturers use a date-code as part of the serial number. For example, a Brompton uses YYMMXXX as their serial code, so a Brompton with a serial number of 1306123456 was manufactured in 2013.06 or June 2013 Surly is another ...


11

I was investigating the source of the document on rim vs tire width in Nate W's answer. I discovered enough new information to warrant writing a new answer. Basically, the maximum tire size that you can fit on your rims is very likely larger than what's specified on the chart. The chart is based on an older specification by the International Organization for ...


10

Tyre Saver Small loop of wire attached so that it rubs continuously on the tyre as it rotates. This brushes off debris and reduces the number of punctures. These were popular mainly in the 1970's and 1980's, with the advent of lightweight puncture-resistant tyres they have almost disappeared.


9

A common use of serial number is to prove ownership. If you don't have the serial number linked to your identity then that is your problem. My shop registers the serial number. If they don't put it on the receipt then force them to write it on the receipt. On a used bike write it down and take a picture with your residence in the background. My local police ...


8

Literature (old catalogues, fan websites, etc.) I managed to date my old Raleigh by finding scans of old catalogues online. That model was only sold in one particular year, but more often you'd get it to within a few years this way. There are many old cycling documents at Veteran-Cycle Club Online Library, including plenty that can be accessed for free. ...


7

Welded Frame A frame made by melting the tubes it is built from at the joins, typically with a similar metal added as filler. Mass produced aluminium and steel frames are almost all built this way as with modern machines it is very fast and cheap.


6

Hoods - Hoods are pretty comfortable, they keep you more upright than the drops while keeping your hands comfortable. Hoods are ideal for flat riding when you're not sprinting. You can use the hoods for out of the saddle climbing more effectively than the drops. Use these most of the time. Tops - The tops are the flat part of the handlebar. Unless you have ...


6

Bonk An expression used by cyclists to describe sudden fatigue or loss of energy while exercising. Also known as crashing, blowing up, or running out of steam/gas/fuel, or empty tank. The phenomenon applies to all endurance sports. In running, it may be called hitting the wall. Glycogen is a form of glucose that our bodies use as fuel. It is stored in the ...


6

Thru Axles / Through Axles These axles secure your wheels to the frame and fork. Historically, bicycles have used quick releases that clamp the dropouts. However, the forces generated by disc brakes can cause wheels to come out of the dropouts if the quick release is not secured properly. Thru axles are an alternative. They insert into the dropout on one ...


6

Brazed Frame see also lugged frame and welded frame A method of joining steel frame parts together by melting brass into the joins between frame tubes. Frames can be fillet brazed or use lugs, which are extra, normally cast steel, parts that the frame tubes slot into before brazing. Lugs make building a strong frame easier, provided you have exactly the ...


6

Indexed and Electronic Shifting Shimano introduced Shimano Indexed Shifting (SIS) in 1984. If a bicycle has indexed shifters, then it is model year 1985 or later -- assuming that the shifters and derailleurs haven't been replaced. The first Shimano Di2 electronic shifters were introduced on a production bicycle by Giant in 2009.


6

Ask the Seller/Owner A simple thing if you're receiving a bike is to ask the person selling it. Take their info with a grain of salt though - some sellers may lie to increase the perceived value of a bike. However if someone gives you a bike, they might say "I remember my dad riding this to work in the 80s while I was at school" So this information may ...


5

Cable Pull Many brakes and most derailleurs are actuated by pulling cables. Cable pull is how far the cable moves when the brake lever is pulled, or a shift lever is actuated. For brakes, there are two main standards, short or conventional pull and long or V brake pull. Road bikes have tended to use short pull levers, although current Shimano road brakes ...


5

Dropout In the context of bicycles dropouts are a kind of fork end, where the wheels are attached. Dropouts are employed on most bikes; on some mountain bikes the axles pass through holes at the end of the forks. We often use dropout for any slot to hold the axle at the end of forks, but strictly speaking, a dropout is a fork end where the wheel can be ...


5

Spider The part that connects the cranks to the chain rings. Historically, most spiders have had 5 legs, and the crank arms and the spider are forged as one piece. With some cranks, the spider is constructed independently of the crank arm, and it mounts to a splined mount on the crank. Sometimes, the chainring(s) and spider may be constructed in one piece, ...


5

Lugged Frame also lugs A method of frame-building where at least the major joints consist of frame tubes inserted into castings (the lugs). For steel frames, lugs are hand-made by bending and filing rather than casting. Lugged frames are normally brazed, but can also be soldered (with lead or silver rather than brass) and occasionally glued (the Windcheetah ...


5

Most of the answers are correct, but I want to dispute some relatively minor points made some answers and comments. Riding on the Hoods Writers here are correct that most people are on the hoods much of the time, perhaps even most of the time. @Mac and @juhist are technically correct that the hoods don't offer as much leverage on the brake levers as the ...


5

Pump Peg A pump peg is a small protrusion on a bike frame which is intended to facilitate the mounting of a "frame pump". Depending on the style of the frame, the peg may be positioned to allow the pump to fit on the underside of the top tube (of a standard diamond frame) or on the trailing side of the down tube. The peg is designed to mate with ...


5

Style of Shifter (friction shifter, brifter, grip shifter) Downtube or handlebar mounted friction shifters were common on bicycles until the early 1980s when indexed shifting was introduced by Shimano in 1984 (see Indexed Shifting). Mountain bike trigger shifters were introduced by ... in ... The first Grip Shifters were introduced by SRAM in 1989 for ...


5

Freewheel or Cassette (Freehub) If your bicycle uses a cassette freehub for the rear sprockets, then it was likely made in the late 1980s or later. Shimano came out with the first commercial freehub in 1978 in the Dura-Ace series, but it took about a decade for it to make significant inroads. Like many other technologies, cheaper bicycles (and notably, ...


5

I think an owner should care more about what generation their bike and groupset are from. I've successfully fitted a 2000's 105 groupset to a 1980s steel 10 speed, mostly because the groupset was moved over complete. Had I been mixing an 80s deraileur with a 2000 shifter, that would have been less successful. So there are two motivations for "what year is ...


5

Park Tool Repair says greasing the spindle is 'an option', but says it is to prevent corrosion, rather than having any effect on how the crank goes on the spindle. Slathering grease on is seems like a waste as most is going to get pushed out of the joint.


4

The main function of a serial number is to prove that you own the bike. Just like a VIN number on a car, your serial number helps authorities determine who the lost or stolen bike belongs too. Also, it does help the store you purchased the bike from, as well as the company that made the bike, in keeping track of warranties, who owns the bike, the address ...


4

Q-Factor This is the distance (in millimetres) between the outside faces of your crank arms. Effectively, a larger Q factor means your pedals are further away from the bike's center line, and therefore your feet are further apart. A narrow Q-Factor is considered more aerodynamic, but increases the risk of chaffing the inner thigh on the nose of your ...


4

Dropper Posts Dropper posts are more commonly found on mountain bikes and allow the rider to quickly lower or raise the saddle height using a remote lever (mounted on the bars). Cable-operated and hydraulic-operated designs exist and the cable or hose can be routed either internally or externally to the frame (as the frame allows). A small release lever is ...


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