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6 Bicycle Terms


This article is from the Misc Bicycles FAQs, by various authors.

6 Bicycle Terms

To keep this list to a manageable size, terms that are in everyday use,
such as tire, handlebar and helmet are not included. For example, tools
such as Allen wrenches and wire cutters are commonly found at your local
hardware store so are left off the list, but bicycle-specific tools like
spoke wrenches and truing stands are included. Similarly, self-
explanatory terms like "water bottle" and "brake cable" are left out,
and with few exceptions, trade names like Dura-Ace and Campy Record are
not included.

Thanks to the following helpful souls who responded to my request for
corrections, comments and additions: John Forester, Harry Phinney,
Brian Tomlin, Carlos Martin, Andy (ajh), Mark Dionne, Pamela Blalock,
Michael Weaver, David Wittenberg, and Mark ? (who taught me how to spell
"triathlon".) However don't blame those folks if something isn't
right -- I am responsible for any remaining errors! - Alan Bloom

ADJUSTABLE CUP: The left bearing in the bottom bracket. It screws in
and out to adjust bearing free play. See FIXED CUP.

AERO BARS: Extensions that stick out in front of the handlebars to
allow the rider to get into an aerodynamically low position.

AERO WHEEL: A wheel designed to reduce wind resistance.

ALLOY: Aluminum alloy. For some reason, bicycling terminology does not
use the term for steel or other metal alloys.

ALPINE GEARING: Gear ratios, often used on mountain bikes, in which
shifting the front derailleur causes approximately 1-1/2 as big a gear
change as shifting the rear derailleur. See CROSSOVER GEARING, HALF-

ANAEROBIC THRESHOLD: The exercise level where the body begins to switch
from aerobic (oxygen-using) to less-efficient anaerobic processes to
produce energy.

ANSI: American National Standards Institute. They specify one of the
two main standards for helmet safety. See SNELL.

ATB: All-Terrain Bicycle. Another name for mountain bike.

BAILOUT GEAR, GRANNY GEAR: The lowest available gear ratio. Implies a
very low gear, often with a triple crank.

BARCON: Suntour's trade name for their bar-end shifter.

BAR ENDS: Any of various-shaped extensions that connect to the ends of
mountain bike handlebars.

BAR-END SHIFTER, BARCON: A small shift lever that mounts on the tip of
the handlebar. Barcon is a trade name.

BARS: Handlebars.

BEAD: One of the two inner edges of a clincher-type tire. It includes
a strengthening metal or fiber cable to prevent the air pressure from
stretching the tire larger than the rim.

BIKE LANE: A separate lane on a street or road set aside for bicycles.

BIKE PATH: A usually-paved path, separated from any highway, for
bicycle traffic.

BIKE ROUTE: A street or road recommended for bicycle traffic.

BIOPACE: Shimano brand name of a type of oval-shaped chainrings.

BMX: Bicycle motocross. A type of off-road racing over a prepared
obstacle course, patterned after motorcycle motocross. BMX bicycles
look similar to mountain bikes, but have smaller wheels.

BONK: To exercise to the point of depletion of the body's energy
stores, leaving one extremely weak and giddy.

BOTTLE CAGE: A bracket for holding a water bottle on a bicycle frame.

BOTTOM BRACKET: The bearings and spindle, located in the lowest part of
the frame, to which the cranks connect.

BRAKE BOOSTER: Reinforcement of frame or fork around a cantilever
brake to prevent flexing during hard braking.

BRAKE HOOD: The cover for the top of the brake lever assembly on a
bicycle with drop handlebars. It provides a convenient place to rest
your hands when riding in a more upright position.

BRAZE-ON: Any small fitting attached to a bicycle frame (typically by
brazing or silver soldering) for guiding brake and shifter cables or for
attaching water bottle cages, racks or the like.

BREAK A CHAIN: To split a chain.

BREAKAWAY: Suddenly riding away from a pack of racers, quickly enough
that opponents cannot keep close enough to draft.

BREVET: A long-distance ride to be completed within a specific time.

BUNNY HOP: To hop a bicycle over an obstruction, with the front wheel
leaving the ground first.

BUTTED TUBING: Tubing with a wall thickness that is thinner in the
center and thicker near the ends. It has a better strength/weight ratio
than straight tubing.

CABLE GUIDE: A tube, mounted on the frame, that guides a brake or shift

CABLE HOUSING: Flexible tubing that contains a brake or shift cable.

CADENCE: Pedaling rate, measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).

CALIPER BRAKES: Brakes in which a pair of brake pads bear against
opposite sides of the wheel rim. Sometimes the term is used in
contradistinction to cantilever brakes. See COASTER BRAKES.

CAMPY: A nickname for Campagnolo, a Italian bicycle component company.

CANTILEVER BRAKES: Caliper brakes in which the pivot point is below the
rim and attached to the frame or fork.

CAPTAIN, DRIVER: The front rider on a tandem, who has control of the
handlebars, gear-shift levers and brakes. See STOKER.

CARBON FIBER: A composite material used in making bicycle frames,
composed of carbon fibers embedded in a polymer matrix.

CARTRIDGE BEARINGS: Sealed bearings. They are supposed to be more
water-tight than conventional bearings, but are generally non-
serviceable and must be replaced as a unit.

CASSETTE: A cluster designed to be used with a freehub.

CAT, CATEGORY: The competition level in USCF-sponsored races. Cat 5 =
beginner, Cat 4 = novice, Cat 3 = sport, Cat 2 = expert, Cat 1 = elite.

CENTURY: A 100-mile bicycle ride. See METRIC CENTURY.

CHAINLINE: The path the chain takes between front and rear sprockets.

CHAINRING, CHAINWHEEL: A front sprocket.

CHAINSET: British term for a crankset.

CHAIN SKIP: Slipping of a chain off the sprocket teeth when pedaling

CHAIN SLAP: Banging of the chain against the chainstay. Usually caused
by riding fast over rough terrain.

CHAIN SPLITTER: A chain tool.

CHAIN STAYS: The tubes that connect the bottom bracket to the rear

CHAIN STRETCH: Elongation of a chain beyond the standard .500 inch per
link. It is not really caused by stretching, but by wear in the chain
link bearings.

CHAIN SUCK: 1) Trapping of the chain into the gap between the chain
stay and the chainring due to "sticking" of the chain to the chainring
as it turns. 2) Any of various other conditions that cause a chain to
vary from the proper chainline.

CHAIN TOOL, CHAIN WRENCH, CHAIN SPLITTER: A tool for disconnecting a
chain link.

CHAINWHEEL: A chainring.

CHAIN WHIP: A tool that consists of a steel bar with a short length of
chain attached near one end, used for unscrewing sprockets.

CHAIN WRENCH: A chain tool.

CHROMOLY: A chrome-molybdenum steel alloy used in bicycle frames.

CHRONO BIKE: A bicycle built for time-trial (chronometer) races.

CLEAT: 1) A slotted shoe attachment designed to grip a rattrap pedal.
2) The mechanism on the bottom of a bicycle shoe that locks into a
clipless pedal.

CLINCHER TIRE, WIRED-ON TIRE: A tire that stays on the rim by the tire
bead being captured between the rim walls. While widely used, the term
"clincher" is actually a misnomer: It correctly refers to an obsolete
tire type with extended sidewalls clinched between two movable parts of
the rim. See BEAD, TUBULAR TIRE.

CLIPLESS PEDAL: A pedal designed to lock to a mating device (cleat) on
the bottom of the cyclist's shoe by means of a special spring-loaded
mechanism. Clipless pedals are so called because they replace toe clips
as a means of tying your feet to the pedals. See RATTRAP PEDAL, SINGLE-

CLUSTER: The set of rear sprockets. See CASSETTE, FREEWHEEL.

COASTER BRAKE: A brake built into the rear hub that is actuated by
pedaling backwards. Some versions also contain a multi-speed
transmission. See CALIPER BRAKE.

COG: A rear sprocket. (The normal meaning of "cogs" is "teeth," but
bicycle parlance uses "cogs" to mean rear "cogwheels" or sprockets.)

COMPONENT GROUP: Same as group or gruppo.

COMPOSITE: A material consisting of two of more distinctly different
materials, such as carbon fiber.

COMPUTER: A cyclocomputer.

CONE: The cone-shaped part of a bearing that presses the ball bearings
into the race (cup).

CONE WRENCH: A very thin open-end wrench used to adjust hub cones, etc.

COTTERLESS CRANK: A crank that is attached to the spindle with an axial
bolt or nut, rather than with a cotter pin as on older ten-speed
bicycles. Requires a special tool to remove the crankarm.

CRANK, CRANKARM: The arm that connects a pedal to the bottom bracket

CRANKSET: The set of chainrings (front sprockets) and cranks.

CRITERIUM, CRIT: A bicycle race, generally around a short loop on city

CROSS BIKE: 1) A bicycle designed to be used in cyclocross racing. It
typically has a frame similar to a road bike's and skinny knobby tires.
2) A hybrid bicycle.

CROSSOVER GEARING: Gearing in which the chainwheels differ
substantially in size. Small changes in gear ratio are done with the
rear cogs, using the front derailleur when the rear runs out of range.

CROWN: The top part of the fork, that connects the two fork blades.

CUP: The cup-shaped part of a ball or roller bearing within which the
balls roll.

CYCLOCOMPUTER, COMPUTER: A readout that clamps to the handlebars and
indicates speed, distance, elapsed time and sometimes cadence, altitude,
heart rate, etc.

CYCLOCROSS RACING: A type of off-road racing over a rugged, muddy

DERAILLEUR: The assembly that "derails" the chain from one sprocket to
another, in order to change gears.

DEVELOPMENT: The equivalent circumference of the drivewheel, with gear
ratio taken into account. It equals gear inches times pi (3.14159).

DIAMOND FRAME: The traditional frame shape consisting of two triangles.
The front "triangle" (actually a quadrilateral) includes the top tube,
seat tube, down tube and head tube. The rear triangle consists of the
seat tube, seat stays and chain stays.

DISH: The rear wheel hub on a bicycle is off-center from the rim to
make room for the cluster. This is called "wheel dish."

DOUBLE BUTTED SPOKES: Swaged spokes. The spokes are thicker at the
ends than in the middle.

DOWN TUBE: The frame tube that connects the head tube to the bottom

DRIVER: The captain of a tandem.

DROP-CENTER RIM, WELCH RIM: A rim for clincher-type tires with a pair
of shoulders on each side between the rim walls to support the tire
beads. Between the shoulders is a dropped channel to allow easy tire
removal. See HOOK-BEAD RIM.

DROP HANDLEBARS: Racing-style handlebars with curving, swept-down ends
which facilitate a low, aerodynamic riding position.

DROPOUTS: The forward-facing slots into which the rear-wheel axle is
clamped to mount the wheel. The forward slope allows the wheel to drop
out forwards to facilitate changing the tire. See FORK TIPS.

DROPPING A CHAIN: Having the chain fall off a chainwheel (on either

DROPS: The downward-curving portion of racing-style handlebars. You
place your hands here when you want to get aerodynamic for fast riding.

ELASTOMER SUSPENSION: A shock absorber that uses a rubbery material
(elastomer) to absorb the shocks.

ENDO: A fall on a bicycle in which the rear end lifts off the ground
and the rider goes over the handlebars.

ENERGY BAR, POWER BAR: A high-carbohydrate, usually low-fat, food bar
specially formulated for bicyclists. "Power Bar" is a trade name.

FAIRING: A large windshield mounted on the front of a bicycle to reduce
wind resistance. Often used on recumbents.

FEEDER BAG: A bag of food carried by long-distance racers.

FERRULE: 1) A short bushing that attaches the end of a cable housing to
a cable guide. 2) A socket in the wheel rim into which the spoke nipple

FIXED CUP: The bearing on the chainring side of the bottom bracket.

FIXED-GEAR: A drive system which lacks a freewheel, meaning you can't
coast. There usually is only a single gear ratio.

FLOAT: The amount of foot rotation available on a clipless pedal.

FOLDABLE TIRE: A clincher tire with non-metallic Kevlar beads. It
folds for easy storage but is more difficult to change.

FORK: 1) The pair of tubes (blades) that connect the front wheel to
the steer tube. 2) The entire assembly, including the steer tube,
crown and blades.

FORK TIPS: The tips of the fork blades that contain the slot into which
the front wheel axle is clamped to mount the wheel. See DROPOUTS.

FRAME: The structure, usually made of tubing, that forms the foundation
for a bicycle.

FRAME PUMP. A tire pump that mounts on a bicycle frame. Usually
implies a full-sized pump (as opposed to a mini-pump.)

FRAME TABLE: A sturdy fixture used to straighten and shape bicycle

FREEHUB, FREEWHEEL HUB: A wheel hub with a built-in freewheel.

FREEWHEEL: 1) The ratchet mechanism that allows the rear wheel to turn
without turning the pedals. Necessary to allow coasting. It can be
part of the hub or part of the freewheel cluster, depending on the
design. 2) A freewheel cluster. 3) A cluster, with or without a

FREEWHEEL CLUSTER: A cluster with a built-in freewheel.

FRICTION SHIFTERS: A shifter in which the gear shift lever moves
continuously: lever position determines which gear you are in. See

GEAR CAPACITY: In a front derailleur mechanism, the maximum permissible
difference in number of teeth between chainwheels.

GEAR INCHES: The equivalent diameter of the drivewheel, with gear ratio
taken into account. For example if, in a particular gear, the front
chainwheel has twice as many teeth as the rear sprocket, then gear
inches equals twice the wheel diameter. See DEVELOPMENT.

GEARING, GEAR RATIO: Generic term to refer to the ratio between pedal
and wheel rotation. The term "gear" is not a synonym for "sprocket,"
even though both are wheels with teeth. A gear mates only with another
gear; a sprocket mates with a chain.

GRADE: The steepness of a hill, measured in per cent. Equal to feet of
vertical rise per hundred feet of horizontal distance.

GRANNY GEAR: A bailout gear.

GRIPS: Rubber or plastic sheathes that cover the handlebars where you
place your hands.

GRIP SHIFTER: A shifter in which the gear is changed by twisting the

GROUP, GRUPPO: The collection of most components required to turn a
frame into a usable bicycle. Generally includes the front/rear
derailleurs, front/rear sprockets, crank, bottom bracket, headset,
hubset, chain, brakes, brake and shift levers and sometimes the
seatpost. Not usually included are the wheels/tires, pedals, saddle,
fork, stem and handlebars.

HALF-STEP GEARING: Gear ratios, used mostly on road bikes, in which
shifting the front derailleur causes approximately 1/2 as big a gear
change as shifting the rear derailleur. See ALPINE GEARING, CROSSOVER

HEAD ANGLE: The angle of the head tube, measured from the horizontal.

HEADSET: The bearings inside the head tube that support the steer tube.

HEAD TUBE: The frame tube that supports the steer tube, and thus the

HIGH WHEELER: An "ordinary" bicycle (which see).

HOOD: Brake hood.

HOOK-BEAD RIM: A rim for clincher tires with a hooked rim wall. The
hook prevents the bead from being pulled over the rim wall by the air
pressure. Tires are easier to change than with drop-center rims.

HUB: The center part of the wheel, including the spindle.

HUBSET: The front and rear hubs, including the spindles and sometimes
the skewers.

HYBRID: A bicycle with characteristics of both road and MTB types.

HYPERGLIDE, HG: A Shimano trade name for a system that allows easier
shifting. It uses small ridges or ramps on the sprockets to lift the
chain into place.

INDEXED SHIFTER: A shifter with a click stop for each gear position.

INDEXED STEERING: A detent or grainy feeling in the headset bearing.

INTERVAL TRAINING: Training with short periods of very intense

JERSEY: A bicycling shirt, often emblazoned with team logos and
advertisements. Usually includes pockets in the back.


KEVLAR: A tough plastic material used to make tires or tire liners. It
is supposed to resist punctures.

LAW: League of American Wheelmen. A long-time national bicycling club.

LOCKRING: A screw-in ring that locks a bearing (for example, the
adjustable cup) in place.

LONG-CAGE DERAILLEUR: A rear derailleur mechanism that can handle large

LOOPOUT: A bicycle maneuver in which the front wheel lifts off the
ground and the rear wheel revolves underneath, toward the front. A
wheelie gone bad.

LUG: A short angled tube used to join and reinforce two or more tubes
of a bicycle frame.

MADISON RACE: A team track race with only one rider per team at a time,
switching off tag-team style.

MASSED-START: A race in which competitors start at the same time (as
opposed to a time trial.)

MECH, MECHANISM: British term for a derailleur assembly.

METRIC CENTURY. A 100-kilometer bicycle ride. See CENTURY.

MIXTE FRAME: A bicycle frame with a lower than normal top tube.

MMC, METAL-MATRIX COMPOSITE: A high-tech frame material that consists
of a base metal (usually aluminum) mixed with particles of ceramic or
other high-strength material.

MOGUL: A bump in the road or path.

MONOCOQUE: A (usually carbon-fiber) bicycle frame molded in a single
piece, rather than made from tubing, as in a conventional bicycle.

MOUNTAIN BIKE, MTB: A bicycle intended for riding off-road. An MTB
usually has a heavy-duty frame, fat (often knobby) tires, upright
handlebars, and a longer wheelbase, lower top tube and greater
clearances than a road bike. See ROAD BIKE, HYBRID.

NIPPLE: A spoke nipple.

NORBA: National Off-Road Bicycle Association. Sponsors off-road races.

from before the turn of the century with a very large front wheel driven
directly by the pedals. See SAFETY BICYCLE.

PACELINE: A group of bicyclists riding close together in single file to
reduce wind resistance.

PACING, PULLING: Leading a paceline or peloton.

PANNIERS: Bags that attach to the sides of a bicycle for carrying

PELOTON: A group of racers riding in a close-spaced pack.

PENNY-FARTHING: An "ordinary" bicycle.

PRESTA VALVE: A special air filler valve used on most high-pressure
bicycle tires. It is thinner than Schrader-type valves.

POWER BAR: A trade name for an energy bar.

PULLEY: A tension roller.

PULLING: Pacing.

PURSUIT: A type of track racing in which two competitors start at
opposite sides of the track.

Q-FACTOR: The horizontal distance between the outside faces of the
crankarms measured at the pedal holes.

QUICK-RELEASE BRAKES: Brakes with provision to easily open up the
calipers for quick wheel removal.

QUICK-RELEASE LEVER: A lever used on wheel hubs, and sometimes
seatposts, which replaces the locknut for easy, no-tool removal or

RACE: The groove in a bearing in which the ball bearings roll.

RACK: 1) A frame that attaches over the rear (and sometimes front)
wheel for carrying objects or attaching panniers. 2) A mounting rack
for carrying a bicycle on a motor vehicle.

RAKE: The distance between the front wheel spindle and an imaginary
line extending through the center of the steer tube. It is determined
by the amount of curve or offset in the fork blades.

RANDONNEUR: A long-distance bicycle tourist, especially one who
participates in Brevets.

RATTRAP PEDAL: An all-metal double-sided pedal with toothed front and
rear bars to grip the bottom of the rider's shoe. See SINGLE-SIDED

RECUMBENT BICYCLE: A bicycle meant to be ridden in a supine position.

RELAXED GEOMETRY: A bicycle geometry that emphasizes comfort and
stability, achieved by such features as: a smaller head-tube and seat-
tube angle (measured from the horizontal), ample trail, and extra
clearance between the wheels and the frame.

RIM: The outer part of a bicycle wheel that supports the tube and the

RIM TAPE, RIM STRIP: A strip of plastic or cloth placed inside a
clincher-type rim to protect the tube from sharp spoke edges.

RINGS: Chainrings.

ROAD BIKE. A bicycle designed for riding on the road. It has swept-
down "dropped" handlebars, narrow tires and a light frame with
relatively tight geometry. Once known as a "ten speed," most now have
14 or more gears. See MOUNTAIN BIKE, HYBRID.

ROAD RASH: Abraded skin caused by a crash.

ROLLERS: A type of training stand in which the rider must maintain his
balance to keep the bicycle upright.

ROOSTER TAIL: 1) A spray of mud or water slung off the rear wheel in
wet conditions. Prevented by fenders. 2) The muddy streak on the back
of the rider's jersey caused by 1).

SADDLE: A bicycle seat.

SADDLE SORE: An abrasion, boil or pressure sore caused by contact with
the saddle.

SAFETY BICYCLE: Modern-style bicycle with a rear chain-driven drive
wheel the same size as the front wheel. See ORDINARY BICYCLE.

SAG WAGON: A motor vehicle used to pick up tired riders in an organized
bicycle ride.

SCHRADER VALVE: Type of air filler valve used on automobile and some
bicycle tires. See PRESTA VALVE.

SEAT POST: The removable tube that the saddle mounts onto.

SEAT STAYS: The tubes that connect the rear wheel to the top of the
seat tube.

SEAT TUBE: The frame tube that connects between the top tube and the
bottom bracket. The seat post inserts into the top of the seat tube.

SEW-UP TIRE: Tubular tire.

SHIFTER: A lever or other mechanism operated by the rider to shift

SINGLE-SIDED PEDAL: An all-metal pedal with teeth on only one side,
used with a toe clip and strap. See RATTRAP PEDAL, CLIPLESS PEDAL.

SINGLE TRACK: An off-road trail only wide enough for a single bicycle
to pass.

SKEWER: The portion of a wheel quick-release mechanism that extends
through the hub axle.

SNAKEBITE FLAT: A flat tire caused by pinching the tire and tube
between the rim sidewalls and a rock or other obstruction. It usually
causes two parallel punctures in the tube that look like a snake bite.

SNELL MEMORIAL FOUNDATION: An organization which develops standards for
safety helmets. Defines one of the two main standards for bicycle
helmets. See ANSI.

SPIN: To pedal with a high cadence.

SPINDLE: The axle in the bottom bracket to which the cranks connect.

SPLIT/BREAK A CHAIN: To disconnect a chain link so the chain may be
removed from the bicycle.

SPOKE KEY, SPOKE WRENCH: A small wrench for adjusting spoke tension by
turning the nipple.

SPOKE NIPPLE: The flanged nut that threads onto the end of a spoke to
attach it to the rim.

SPROCKET: One of the toothed wheels that mesh with the chain to
transfer power from the cranks to the drivewheel. Bicyclists generally
use the term to refer only to the rear sprockets.

STACK HEIGHT: The thickness of the top and bottom headset bearings. It
is the distance from the top of the top bearing lockring to the bottom
of the bottom bearing, minus the head tube length.

STAGE RACE: A race in which a different course is traversed each day.
The winner is the racer with the lowest total time.

STEER TUBE, STEERER, STEERING TUBE: The tube that goes through the head
tube and connects the fork to the handlebar stem.

STEM: The tube that connects the handlebars to the steer tube.

STOKER: The rear rider on a tandem. See CAPTAIN.

SUSPENSION FORK: A fork with shock absorber(s).

SUSPENSION GEOMETRY: Frame geometry designed to accommodate a
suspension fork.

SUSPENSION HUB: A ruggedized hub designed to be used with a suspension.

TANDEM: A bicycle built for two (or more) riders, one behind the other.

TECHNICAL: A term used to describe difficult off-road trails that
require good "technique" to traverse.

small idler sprockets in the rear derailleur.

TEN SPEED: An older name for a road bike, so-called because most road
bikes used to have 10 available gear ratios.

THIRD HAND: A tool to hold the brake calipers together for easy brake

TIGHT GEOMETRY: A bicycle geometry that emphasizes speed and
maneuverability. The opposite of relaxed geometry (which see).

TIME TRIAL: A bicycle race in which cyclists race against the clock
rather than directly against each other. Racers start set times apart
and are prohibited from drafting each other.

TIRE LEVERS, TIRE IRONS: Little crowbars used to help remove a clincher
tire from the rim.

TOE CLIP: A plastic or metal holder for straps that tie your feet to
the pedals.

TOP TUBE: The top, horizontal frame member which connects between the
head tube and the seat tube.

TOUR DE FRANCE: The most famous bicycle race in the world. It covers a
couple thousand difficult, mountainous miles and extends over a three
week period.

TOURING: Traveling long distances, usually over more than one day.

TOURING BIKE: Compared with a standard road bike, a touring bike has a
sturdier frame, more extended, relaxed frame geometry, and clearance and
braze-ons for fenders and racks.

TRACK BIKE: A bicycle built for track racing. It is generally built as
light as possible, with a fixed gear and no brakes. (A brake may be
added for riding on the road.)

TRACK RACING: Racing over a short banked oval course, as in a velodrome.

TRACKSTAND: The act of balancing a bicycle without apparent motion, by
means of small forward-and-backward movements.

TRAIL: The distance between the point where the front wheel contacts
the road and the imaginary point where the extension of the steer tube
would meet the road. In other fields, this is called "caster."

TRAINER, TRAINING STAND: A frame that converts a bicycle into an
exercise (stationary) bicycle. Allows training indoors in bad weather.


TRIATHLON: A race combining swimming, bicycling and running.

TRICK: 1) Hi-tech or snazzy (of a component). 2) Acrobatic (of bicycle

TRIPLE CRANK: A crankset with three chainwheels.

TRUING A WHEEL: The process of making a wheel truly round by adjusting
spoke tension by rotating the spoke nipples.

TRUING STAND: A fixture for holding and measuring a wheel while it is
being trued.

TUBE: 1) A piece of tubing, usually part of the frame. 2) The tire

TUBULAR TIRE, SEW-UP: A tire in which the casing is sewn shut around
the tube. Rather than using a wire-reinforced bead gripped by the rim
wall, as in clincher tires, tubular tires are glued to a wall-less rim.

U-LOCK: Type of secure lock to protect against bicycle theft. The "U"
is made of case-hardened steel that is hard to cut.

USCF: United States Cycling Federation. Sanctions bicycle races.

VELODROME: A stadium for bicycle racing, usually in the shape of an
oval, with heavily-banked turns.

VO2 MAX: A person's maximum oxygen intake rate.

WELCH RIM: A drop-center rim.

WHEELIE: Riding a bicycle with the front wheel continuously off the

WIRED-ON TIRE: A clincher tire.

WORKSTAND, REPAIR STAND: A frame that holds a bicycle off the ground
for convenient repair.

YELLOW JERSEY: The jersey worn by the current overall leader during the
Tour de France.

700C: A wheel size used on road bikes of approximately 700 mm (27.6
inch) diameter, including tire


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