Tube – sits inside the tyre, the tube comes in different sizes to match the size of your tyre. Your tube size is embossed on the side wall of your tyre. A spare tube should be carried as part of your Essential Tool Kit.
Links – How to buy a Bike Tube
Schrader valve – The fat valve found on the tube. The valve protrudes through the rim. The valve lets air in and out of your tube
Bike Seat & Parts
Shop – Womens Bike Saddles
Seat Dropper – You are looking at the red button in the photo. Good placement is just inside your handlebar grip either left or right side so you can reach it with your thumb. Why do you use a seat dropper? To change your seat height in a hurry, while you are still moving along on your bike. A dropper is a mountain biking development and is great as the terrain changes to get you in the best possible position on your bike.
Seat Post/Seat Post Clamp – the seat inserts into a tube on the frame of your bike via the seat post and is held in place by the seat post clamp. The position of the post in this tube determines the height of your seat.
Seat Protector – also known as seat cover – protectors are designed to add padding and shield your existing bike seat. Protectors come in many different designs and are a great way to add personality to your bike
Seat Tilt – Your seat can have a neutral, forward or back tilt. Tilt directly effects where you transfer your body weight into the bike. You should have a tilt that allows your body weight to go through your sit bones not your pelvic bone or soft genital tissue.
Suspension Coils – some seats have seat rails (see above) that end in coils. Coils are designed to absorb some of the bumps and impacts from the road/trail making your ride more comfortable.
What are they? Brake levers when pulled towards your handlebar engage your brakes, bringing you to a stop or slowing your speed down.
Where? Next to your handlebar grips usually about an inch in – see photo – or on drop bars where you grip most often. They can be rotated around the handlebar tube so need to be positioned where your wrists are relaxed and feel natural. When you sit on your seat and place your hand onto the handlebar and fingers onto the levers everything should be in line and comfortable. You need easy reachability in a hurry.
What are they? Shifters change your gears on a bike. Pulling them in or pushing them out will allow your pedalling to become easier as you adjust to a change in terrain or weather (a hill or wind, slowing you down). Shifters are normally operated by your thumb and index finger so for ease of use are placed within easy reach of these things – right behind the brake levers.
Why? As with brake levers it’s all about ease of use and reachability. It should feel quite natural to shift gears and once you get to know your bike it will become a reflex action which is great when you need to shift in a hurry.
What are they? As the name suggests this mechanism is housed within the grips on flat or raised handlebars
Why use them? Ultimate ease of use simply twist the grip that you are already holding and it will change the bikes gears for you. The only draw back being that you need a bit of wrist strength so not great for children and those of us with wrist issues.
Where? Your grips should be wear your hands want to hold onto the handlebars – typically at the end of the bars for flat bars. Tape will usually be used on drop bars and tri bars and will cover most of the handlebar, to give you lots of gripping options.
Why use them? You need to be able to put your hands where you can maintain a comfortable relaxed A shape position. For more on correct riding posture see Chi Riding Tip 1.
What is it? Bike handlebars have these goals; steering, proper position of your hands and a platform for you to mount all kinds of important things.
Links: Maintain your “A” Whatever the Handlebar Shape.
Flat Bar – quite simply flat bars give you more stability because they are wider and your body position is more upright (compared to drop bars).
Riser Bar – Risers will have anywhere from a 15 to 50mm rise from the centre to where your hands are placed giving a more natural feeling to your grip as the bars rise to meet your hands.
North Road Bar – named after the North Road Cycling Club in London, these are the ultimate in round town comfort allowing a very upright position while riding.
What are they? As the name implies these are handlebar extensions that are placed on the end of your handlebars and curve forward and slightly up
Why use them? For an additional hand placement option and some people like the slightly different angle of pull it achieves when you need to climb something steep or get out of your seat to sprint.