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Bike Gear Terms

By Jo 4 years agoNo Comments

Too many terms, too much jargon! This will help.  Bike gear terms is a reference of bike gear, what the gear is and its purpose.  This is an active reference that will grow as we introduce riding gear within The goRide Way

If you want to know more about a certain piece of bike gear – like do you need it, how it should fit – then check out the related links.



Bike Bell

Beep Bicycle Bell, Owl, goRideWhere?  Ideally a bell would be attached to your handlebar as close as possible to the handlebar grip of your left hand.  This means you can reach it with your thumb without letting go and your right hand is free to steer and do any hand signalling.

Why?  Essential for safe riding.  A bell gives you presence in your environment.  It announces that you are approaching in traffic situations, for pedestrians or for passing other riders.  A traditional ringing bike bell is instantly associated with a bike.

Links:  Bike Bells & Bike Lights,   Bike Bell Buying Guide

Shop – Bike Bells


Cell phone mount/Map mount

Where?  Usually in a central position along your handlebar so you can easily see it to read the information you need.

Why?  If it’s important to you to know where you are going.  If your cellphone has a GPS you can make maps of where you are going, your speed, your distance, etc and compare your progress over time.  Check out two popular apps Map My Ride and Strava.  For bike touring or orienteering races a map mount on the handlebars is used to view the map while riding.  Your cellphone can also be used like a stopwatch if time is of relevance.  Make sure you have strategies for wet weather use.

Child Bike Seats

What are they?  A childs bike seat can be attached to your bike so that you can carry/pull/transport your child or children with you as you ride your bike.  There are many options on the market – please see the list below.

Why do you use it?  To share the riding experience with your child, to begin to teach them about riding and how to do this in different environments, as a form of transport and/or a form of family fun and adventure.

Links – Bike Seats for Kids – What are the options? & Biking with Babies on Board

Carrier seat. Riding with kids attached. goRideBike Seat – on rear

This seat sits above the rear wheel of your bike attached to a carrier or the seatpost.  Age range 1 to 5yrs.

Shop – Kids Bike Seats




Yepp Mini mounted onto normal handlebar stem. goRideBike Seat – on handlebars

This seat sits on the handlebars of your bike.  Age range 1 to 4yrs.

Shop – Kids Bike Seats



doLittle mid mount kids bike seat. goRideBike Seat – on top tube/mounted bar

This seat is attached to your top tube or some brands provide the mounted bar where a straight top tube would be.  Age range 1 to 4yrs.

Shop – Kids Bike Seats




Yepp Trailer. Kids bike seat, goRideBike Trailer

Trailers are attached to the back wheel of your bike.  Age range 1 to 6yrs




Rear cargo bike. Riding with kids attached. goRideCargo Bike

Seats or trailers are attached at the front or back depending on the design.  Age range 1 to 10yrs+.




Tailgator. Riding with kids attached. goRideTailgator

The tube is attached between an adult and childs bike – seat post to handlebar stem.  Age range 4 to 8yrs.



Stylish tandem bike - fun with older kids.


The second seat is a part of the frame of this bike.  Age range 8 to adult depending on style of bike.




Otago Rail Trail extender bike Sam goRideTrailer Bike

A trailer bike sits behind an adult bike and is attached to the adult riders seat post.  Age range 4 to 8yrs+.






Where?  Usually in a central position along your handlebar so you can easily see it to read the information you need.

Why?  Using a sensor and a magnet that is attached to your front wheel spoke the computer will give you speed and distance readings.  Also time.

First Aid Kit for Biking

Compact First Aid Kit for Bikers

What is it? A compact, portable version of a basic first aid kit

Why do you use it?  Taking a first aid kit when you ride with kids or in remote areas ensures that you are being responsible for your own safety

Links – Basic First aid kit for bike injuries,    First Aid & Emergency Kit for Bike Touring,   First Aid Supplies Buying Guide

Shop – Bike First Aid Supplies


Handlebar Bags

Handlebar bag. Handlebars. goRide

What is it?  A bag attached to your handlebars.

Why do you use it? Handlebar bags are great for access to “stuff” quickly. So for around town jobs or when bike touring – think food, cellphone, map, wallet, hat, extra clothing all in an easy to access position.


Handlebar Basket


What is it?  A basket that attaches to your handlebars.

Why do you use it?  Handlebar baskets are a great option for small shopping trips to allow you to carry “stuff” on your bike and not on your back.  Quick access to a wallet, your camera or a map…


Handlebar Bag for kids

Balance bike handlebar bag goRide

What is it? Similar to the adult version but more portable and fun.

Why do you use it?  To add another layer to your childs riding giving them a place to carry special things – toy, treasures, food, drink…

Links – A Handlebar Bag for Kids





round style bike helmetWhat is it?  A Bike Helmet is worn on your head to protect it. In many countries this piece of equipment is a legal requirement for riding.

Why do you use it? Helmets are designed to protect your head on impact.

Links –  The Essential Guide to Helmets – Components and how they work,  The Essential Guide to Helmets – A helmet that works for you, How are you wearing your helmet?

Shop – Kids Bike Helmets

Helmet Parts

Essential guide helmets components foam liner goRideBuckle

Helps to fasten the straps of the helmet. The type of buckles vary between helmets, some claim to be anti-pinch such as a magnetic buckle this can be helpful if having to put on young children. Buckles need to be strong enough not to fail in an impact.



Essential guide bike helmet bugnets goRideBugnets 

The nets located in the vents of a helmet to help keep out the bugs.




Foam liner of a bike helmetLiner

Inner foam part of the helmet. The important part where the energy of the crash is managed. Generally made of EPS Expanded Polystyrene.This type of foam does not recover after an impact and is why it is recommended you replace your helmet following an impact.


Occipital fastener of a bike helmetOccipital Stabiliser/Fastener 

Help adjust the fit of the helmet so it is snug on your head. There are different mechanisms for rear stabilsers e.g. a dial or slider, they all have the same purpose of adjusting the fit over the rear of the head known as the occiput.


Visor of a bike helmetShell

The outer hard part of the helmet. It helps to keep the helmet together during an impact.

buckles and straps of a bike helmetStraps

Help keep the helmet in the correct position on your head. Check to make sure there is no fraying and the straps are secure in there attachment to the helmet and buckles.



The holes through the shell and liner of a helmet. The liner acts as an insulator so vents give you airflow and stop you getting hot and sweaty under the helmet.



Visor of a bike helmetVisor

Designed to help protect you from the sun and the rain. Some helmets have them others don’t. Some are designed to be attached and detached. Sometimes the visor makes up the shape of the mold.




Night riding set Blinder road front and rear v 3 goRideWhat is it?  A portable safety device designed to illuminate your surroundings and increase your visibility.  They are made in both white and red beams and can come in different settings e.g red flashing is a great rear light for on road use.

Why use it?  Visibility – for both you and your bike.  Lights let people know where you are and should be used during the day and at night.  It is law in NZ to use both a front and rear light – 30 mins before sunset to 30 mins after sunrise.

Shop – Bike Lights

Links – Bike Light Buying Guide

Padded Riding Short

What is it?  A piece of clothing designed to be worn while riding a bike.

Why do you use it?   Padded riding shorts will assist you with comfort and protection while seated on your bike.  They are usually made out of lycra and a synthetic fabric blend with a sewn in chamois and come in a range of lengths.

LinksFancy Pants – why wear padded riding shorts?

Womens Bike Pants Buying Guide  Kids Bike Pants – do they need them?

Shop – goUnders for Kids


womens bikepants baggiesBaggies

Mountain bike shorts.  These riding shorts have an internal liner with chamois.



Chamois of bike shortChamois

The padded part of your bike shorts.  The chamois is designed to add protection in all the right places without creating bulk.  It is moisture wicking, anti-bacterial and without seams that would cause chaffing.

Padded Bike Shorts


Lycra Bike Shorts

Traditional fitted bike shorts made with lycra. They come in different lengths above the knee, below the knee or full length.




Thanks for reading. Used together our stories and resources support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related goRide Resources:

Bike Part Terms
Bike Tool Terms
Bike Riding/Skills Terms

goRide is a shared journey, so we would like you to assist in guiding it along the way. Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback are welcome. Thank you for being a part of the goRide Way

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