Long Eaton Cycles Logo

Bike Terminology Explained

Frames materials

Hi Tensile Steel

Strong material used to make bicycle frames at all levels.


Strong and lightweight material used on many bicycle frames in the leisure and performance sector of the market. Also known and often described as Alloy.

Carbon Fibre

Very strong and very light material used on high specification bicycles frames generally associated with competition level. Carbon fibre is a material used to produce very high end sports equipment from tennis rackets to the soles of cycling shoes.


Very strong and lightweight steel that will last a lifetime without corroding or deteriorating.


Rigid Forks

Traditional none suspension forks made from either aluminium or steel

Suspension Forks

Provide smooth vertical movement that iron out rough terrain and provide a more comfortable ride, found on bikes at all levels for comfort or performance.

Adjustable suspension forks

Manual adjustment offers the rider the ability to adjust the level of travel depending on the severity of the terrain.

Suspension forks with lock out

Manual adjustment offers the rider the ability to lock the suspension for riding on smooth terrain or the road, generally a feature found on high performance bikes.

Gears and Transmission Shimano

Quality Japanese manufacturer of bike gears and brakes at all levels.


Quality manufacturer of transmission components at all levels.


Quality Italian manufacturer of bike brakes and gears from the mid to high end.

STI / Easy Fire / Rapid Fire

Terms used to describe the way gears can be selected with thumb and fore finger control on the handlebars. Very effective and popular feature on most bikes in the mid to high end sector of the market.

Grip Shift

Rotational gear selector built into the handlebar grip providing precise and smooth gear selection. Very popular on all types of bicycles especially children's bikes and hybrids.

Cassette freewheel.

Rear sprockets that are built into the hub of the wheel generally fitted to mid to high end bicycles and a more efficient gear selection together with offering a considerable weight saving compared with the traditional screw on freewheel.

Sealed Bottom Bracket

Sealed bearings offer protection from the elements and are more durable and less prone to premature wear.


Pedals that clip straight onto the bottom of a cycling shoe generally associated with competition bicycles.


V Brakes

Powerful and strong brakes that are the most effective and popular form of braking on all bicycles.

Cantilever brakes

Individually mounted cable operated brakes providing maximum clearance for mudguards or mud on a cyclo cross bike.

Hydraulic Disc brakes

Brakes operated with the use of brake fluid that are extremely effective in all weathers and riding conditions providing bicycle users with technology associated with motorcycles. Generally only featured on high-end performance models.


Double skin rims Two layers of aluminium on the wall of the rim offer strength on mid to high end performance bikes.

Quick Release wheels / hubs Simple mechanism that allows the fitting of a wheel to be achieved without the use of spanners. This feature is particularly useful when dismantling you bicycle for storage or maintenance.

Handlebars and Stems

Quill stem
Traditional method of securing the handlebar unit in the head tube with the use of an expander bolt.

Adjustable stem
Provides the rider with the ability to adjust the angle of the stem to find a more comfortable riding position.

Ahead stem
Handlebar stem that fastens directly onto the fork column without the use of an expander bolt. This system is lightweight and generally a feature of mid to high-end bicycles.

Seat and Seat posts

Micro adjustable seat post
Combination of seat post and the clip that attaches the seat to the post providing a significant weight saving over the traditional method and ease of micro adjustment.

Quick Release seat clamp
Allows the saddle height to be adjusted without the use of spanners.

We have placed cookies on your browsing device to enable this website to function correctly.
Further usage of this website indicates you are happy for us to do this..
Find out about the cookies we have set and how we use them.