Seasoned riders to those fairly new to the cycling world sometimes find it confusing to know what all of the bike parts do. Bike Shop LA's very knowledgeable mechanics are always happy to service your bike when necessary, but it's still a good idea to learn about how some of those widgets and do-dads make your bike go wheeeee.
Of all bike parts, one that really truly does make your bike go wheeeee is the crank. A crank is a circular component of your bicycle drivetrain that converts your legs' motion into your wheels' rotation. As you pedal, the crank turns, your chain moves, and ultimately your wheels move.
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With most bike parts, you have many options and this no different when it comes to pedals.
Platform pedals are the most common form of pedals, and you've almost certainly used them even if you've only ever been on a bike once. They can be used with any type of footwear, within reason. (O.k., maybe don't wear massive 70's platform shoes, for instance).
If you've ever taken a spin class, you've probably encountered toe clips, also known as cage pedals. Cage pedals hold your foot in place on the pedal giving you more pedaling power.
Clipless pedals are the way to go if you plan to invest in cycling shoes. These allow your foot to attach to the pedals.
Just as there are hybrid bikes, there are also hybrid pedals. These offer you versatility and an always ready-to-go-ness of a platform pedal on one side, and an SPD clipless pedal on the other.
Your bike and every bike has a bicycle saddle. I's your seat! Bike saddles do, in fact, get their name from a horse saddle, as both are designed to only take some of your weight (with the rest distributed to other contact points on your bike).
Derailleur gears are best explained by their name. When you shift gears, it causes your chain guide to move from side to side "derailing" the chain from one sprocket onto another, providing more or less resistance to your pedaling.
There are countless types of brakes available for bikes, but the ones most riders focus on are rim brakes and disc brakes.
Rim brakes stop your bike by applying force to calipers on the outer edge of your wheel's rim. Disc brakes move the braking surface away from your rim to a rotor, allowing you much more responsive stopping power.
Now that you've been schooled in some Bike Parts 101, it's time to contact Bike Shop LA for a tune-up or to buy a sweet new ride!