How Bicycles Work

Bicycle Parts

In order to talk about bicycles, it's good to start by naming all of the parts. Here's a picture of a typical bicycle:

Bicycle Image Gallery

Bicycles were first introduced in 19th-century Europe. See more bicycle pictures.

Bicycles are made of just a few parts that you can immediately see and identify. The core is the frame. A bicycle's frame is made of metal tubes welded together. Each tube has a name, as shown here:

  • The front fork is the movable part of the frame that holds the front wheel.
  • The wheels - The wheels are made of a hub, the spokes, the metal rim and the rubber tire.
  • The seat and seat post
  • The handlebars and the handlebar stem that connects the handlebars to the frame
  • The cranks and the pedals
  • The brakes, consisting of the actuators on the handlebars, the brake cable, the brake calipers and the brake pads
  • The chain and gears, consisting of the front chain wheels, the rear freewheel, the front and rear derailleur, the shift levers on the handlebars and the cables

That is all there is to a bicycle!