Sometimes we learn funny names for things that aren’t at all accurate or communicable.

Just like our 10(or 20, or 30)-year-old selves might need to learn some proper names of the human anatomy, the bike is oh-so similar.

If you’re like me, you’re okay with having a beginner mind, but you might also want to have a basic vocabulary to help build your bike literacy.

Few things are more empowering than knowing what the hell you’re talking about.

Here are a few diagrams to help you name the thingie, doohickey and whoosy-whats-it on your bike.

It is important to note that not all parts will appear on all bikes. Yes, that can be confusing.

1. Aaron Kuehn’s Bicycle Typogram is a fantastic learning tool that merges art with form.

Aaron Kuehn’s Bicycle Typogram is a fantastic learning tool that merges art with form.

2. Look closely at Jim Langley‘s image, but don’t get overwhelmed.

Thanks Jim Langley for this image!

3. Smile Politely describes Veloplexity as “the complexity of bicycle design as determined by the rider’s own taste and the conditions in which the bicycle will be used.” This image is like the love child of Aaron Kuehn and Jim Langley.

This image is from Smile Politely’s article titled “Veloplexity.”

Once you’ve used these three images to triangulate the nomenclature of bike anatomy, why not put your learnins to the test? Whattaya know?

Name that component, thanks to Casanovas Adventures!


Bottom line: You don’t have to pass Bike Anatomy 101 with an A+. You don’t have to be perfect, and you won’t learn every name for everything. It will be confusing to see different bike styles with different components. You will get mixed up, and that’s juust fine, but knowing is half the battle.

Q: What part did you not know the “proper” name for?

Let’s chat in the comments section below.




By | 2017-04-15T20:00:14+00:00 August 20th, 2015|bicycle, bike, maintenance|1 Comment