Bikish – the language of cycling

So, I’m getting pretty into this cycling lark, but there are a few things that still baffle me. Cycling, like many other hobbies, has a language of its own, and experienced participants use it freely without really thinking about poor beginner like me who don’t know their cranksets from their cassettes and their bar ends from their bottom brackets.

I’ve been looking into new bikes and doing some maintenance so I’ve been struggling myself. The component manufacturers don’t help by naming equipment in the same sort of way that car manufacturers give names to cars. How am I supposed to know the difference between Sora, Tiagra, Ultegra, 105, Dura Ace and so on, easily, without having to research it all the time? Surely there’s an easier way?

And sometimes things are known by different names. I still haven’t worked out if a crank is different from a crankset, or a chain different from a chainset. There’s subtle differences between hubs and axles, and it’s not clear whether I can replace just one, or just the other, or if I always need to replace both. There’s seat stays and seat posts, which are very different. It’s all very confusing!

Anyway, here’s a useful article that has helped me a little.

My original intention for this post was to list some cycling terminology that I’ve learned the meaning of and try to keep that up to date, but that’s a bit of a waste of time as there are plenty of resources out there that have already done it. If you’re reading this on the internet then look it up on Google, Wikipedia, or your information source of choice.

In the meantime, I’m continuing my learning.