Below are some of the most common terms you will run into when reading or listening to fixie-related content.

A

Aero bars

Aero bars, sometimes known as triathlon bars, are generally used during time-trial cycling, in which the cyclist fights against the clock alone. Using two extended bars close together to grip onto armrest cushions to wrench the forearms, these bars place the rider in a compact front tuck posture to reduce air drag even more.

Aerospokes

Aerodynamic wheels with typically five or three spokes.

Axle

The shaft around which a wheel, pedal, or crankset turns.

B

Bar ends

These are extensions that can be mounted at the end of straight handlebars to allow for multiple hand positions

Bar plugs

Caps that go on the end of your handlebars to prevent anything from going inside.

Basket

A reciprocal which holds cargo. A basket is typically attached tot the bike

Bearings

Little smooth balls that facilitate mechanical rotation by reducing friction. These are usually made of hardened steel balls in some kind of holder and fit into hubs, pedals, bottom brackets, and headsets.

Bell

An audible device used to get the attention of pedestrians and other cyclists.

Bike box

A box painted (typically in a contrasting color, such as green) at an intersection between the crossing and the white line to indicate where automobiles should stop. Bicyclists may now position themselves ahead of traffic.

Bikelash

A slang phrase (and popular hashtag) for a negative or hostile attitude to cycling and the cycling community.

Bottom bracket

The area of the frame that the pedal cranks are attached. It contains the bearing cartridges that allow your crankset to spin.

BPM

BPM stands for Beats Per Minute, or how many times your heart beats in one minute. It is the fundamental measurement used in heart-rate training using a heart-rate monitor.

Brake pad

Brake Pad: The portion within the brake that provides stopping force and creates friction to slow the bike when the brake is pressed.

Brake cables

These connect the brake hand levers to the brakes clamps. The cables are used to control mechanical brakes.

Brakes

The set of components that clamp onto the wheels to slow their rotation and reduce bike speed.

Bullhorn bars

A type of handlebar that curves away from the rider before rising slightly.

Buterfly bars

These bars, often known as touring or trekking bars, are intended for a range of hand positions for lengthy rides. It also has a lot of storage space for stuff like mirrors, phones, maps, and even bags that you may need on extended travels. 

C

Cadence

The speed and rhythm of the cyclist’s pedal strokes.

Cages

The component of a toe-clip pedal that wraps around your feet to keep them strapped in. Cages are usually metal or plastic.

Carbon fiber

This is one of the lightest frame and component materials. Carbon fiber (often known simply as carbon) is distinct in that it is a cloth rather than a metal. Because the fibers may be oriented in a variety of ways, gossamer weights, remarkable strength, and excellent frame/fork compliance (vibration damping) are possible.

Cartridge bearings

A self-contained and pressed-in bicycle component bearing. It is intended to be easy to replace when it wears out. Covers on sealed cartridge bearings prevent dirt and grit from getting inside and contaminating the bearings and oil.

Chain

The chain links the crank to the back wheel, allowing the bike to move while you pedal. Unfortunately, it’s also that filthy object in the back of the bike that strangely manages to smear a black tattoo on your thigh every time you ride.

Circuit race

A mass closed road cycle event consisting of numerous circuits of a closed circuit, but the length of each circuit or lap is significantly greater, up to a couple of miles each lap.

Crit

In reference to a circuit race or a criterium race.

Criterium race

A bicycle race consists of a set number of circuits on a closed track on public roads that are closed to regular traffic. The race winner is the first person to cross the finish line without being lapped.

Chain ring

Chainrings are the components with the teeth on the chainset over which the chain travels. They may wear out over time but they are accessible to purchase separately. You don’t have to purchase a completely new chainset simply because a chainring has worn out. Chainrings are also available in different colors.

Chain whip

A chain whip is a tool that’s used to hold a cassette in place to prevent it from freewheeling while snapping the lockring loose.

Chromoly

Chromoly (chromium molybdenum) is a steel material commonly used in frames that provides a relatively light yet robust frame with lots of flex.

Clip-in pedals

Pedals that need clip-in shoes. These do not have cages since the shoe clip onto the pedals from the bottom.

Some riders choose this popular two-part pedal arrangement. Part one is a little pedal with a locking mechanism. The second component is a cleat that fits to the sole of a particular bike shoe and binds the foot onto the pedal.

Cog

The portion of the bike with teeth is connected to the rear wheel that the chain runs around.

Condorino bars

Invented in Italy in the 1950s, this handlebar has an unusual form that bends forward and then protrudes straight out. It resembles an oversized bottle opener.

Crank

The term “crank” refers to the whole drive train, including the gears, crank arms, crank spider, and bottom bracket (not including the chain or derailleur).

Crank arms

The portion of the bike the pedals connect to.

Cruiser bars

These sorts of bars, with their great sweep, enable the rider to control the bike while sitting entirely upright.

D

Deep V’s

Wheels with deeper rims for better aerodynamics and strength.

Decal

Decorative stickers, often meant for outdoor usage. 

Drivetrain

The bike’s ‘drivetrain’ is made up of all the parts that you utilize to push (or pull) the bike along. This may include t he pedals, cranks, chainrings, chain, and cog.

Drop bars

Drop bars are particularly popular among bike enthusiasts because they combine fantastic appearance with mobility. Drop bars typically feature a straight central portion like a flat bar, with each end sloping downwards and towards the rider.

Dropouts

The component of the bike the rear wheel goes onto.

Dry lube

Chain lubricants that do not collect grit and dirt and are ideal for dry riding situations.

F

Fixed gear

A bicycle with no coasting capability is referred to as a fixed-gear bicycle. If you pedal forward, the bike moves forward. If you pedal backward

Fixed gear conversion

A fixed-gear bicycle that has been built out of another bike frame (usually an old road bike frame) (typically an old road bike frame).

Fixie

The same as a fixed gear, but used more loosely.

Flat bars

Flat handlebars are the most common form of bar seen on most bikes. They are distinguished by being fully flat, albeit there is usually a very tiny curve towards the rider. Because of their adaptability, they are highly popular among cross-country cyclists. Because it’s only a straight bar, you can effectively “put a lot of stuff on them” This ease of use also makes steering more predictable and accurate.

Flip-flop hub

A hub that is threaded on both sides. This enables a freewheel hub on one side and a fixed gear hub on the other, enabling the rider to “flip flop” between riding modes.

Fork

The portion of the bike the front wheel is fastened to.

Fork Rake

The fork rake (also called the offset) is the distance between the steering axis and the wheel center. 

Frame

The base that the rest of the bike is based on, not including the forks, stem, seat post, cranks, bottom bracket, or wheels.

Frameset

The frame and fork. Occasionally the stem and seat post might be included aswell.

Free wheel

A wheel that has the ability to coast using a freewheel hub instead of a fixed gear hub connected up to the chain.

G

Gear

Gear refers to the chain/sprocket system that propels the bicycle as you pedal. Also used to denote “equipment,” as in “It’s time to get some more biking gear.”

Ghost bike

Usually, old, abandoned bikes are painted white and placed by a roadside as a monument to a rider who was killed or seriously wounded. It also serves as a reminder to share the road.

Grips

Handlebar grips slip into the sides of the handle bar. They are typically made of rubber to prevent your hands from slipping off the handlebar while riding the bike.

H

H-bars

These bars are available in looped, bent, and standard configurations. These bars provide you with even more hand options, but they make it difficult to place brake levers and shifters.

Head tube angle

The head tube angle deals with the direction of the head tube relative to the ground. On a road bike, the standard head tube is at a 73-degree angle. The steeper (or higher) the number, the less difficult the bike is to steer. And the bike will also be more agile. 

Headset

The portion of the bike that connects to the stem and fork and enables steering.

Headset spacers

Headset spacers, which are small rings of aluminum or carbon fiber that slide onto the steerer tube of your forks, are another of those small, inexpensive but critical bicycle components that play a key role in determining how well your bike fits you and, as a result, how comfortable and efficient your on-bike position is.

Hoops

Rims are sometimes called hoops.

Hubs

The part of the wheel that all of the spokes connect to. A hub can be found on both the front and rear wheels.

J

Jersey

A jersey is a type of bicycle clothing. Jerseys are often brightly colored to increase visibility when riding. They’re also comprised of fibers that drain moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable as you ride. They usually feature back pockets for holding energy, food, equipment, and clothes that you may need or have removed. They also often feature long zippers, which are helpful for keeping cool on hot days.

K

Kickstand

A kickstand is a mechanism fitted to a bicycle that supports it while it is being parked. It’s called a “kickstand” because you kick it up and down with your foot. Fixed gear bike riders never, ever use kickstands on their bikes. You’re either riding it or holding it or leaning it against something.

L

Lock ring

A ring that goes on the rear wheel cog. It prevents the fixed gear cog from moving. Thus, it prevents coasting and enables severe force to be applied without sliding.

Lugs

Lugs are sleeves that are used to connect frame tubes. The tubes are brazed (or occasionally bonded) within the lugs. Lugs strengthen joints while also making it reasonably straightforward to remove the joint if a tube has to be replaced after an accident.

M

Multi-tool

A multi-tool is a tool that combines many tools into a small, portable package that may be used for emergency repairs.

Mustache handlebars

These oddly titled bars are just drop bars with a very little dip.

P

Pedal straps

Pedal straps are similar to a toe cage in that they allow you to pull the pedal in the upstroke, However, unlike toe clips, which attach to the front of your foot, pedal straps go around and over your foot, securing them into place from the sides, rather than the front. Pedal straps are fairly inexpensive and come in a variety of colors and styles, making them excellent for fixie customization.

Pedals

Pedals are the surfaces where you rest your feet wheil you bike. Pedals are typically made of plastic pedals composed of nylon, polycarbonate, or carbon-reinforced plastic. You may also find metal pedals as well.

Pinch flat

A flat tire is produced by riding over a rock or pothole, bottoming out the tire, pinching and puncturing the tube against the rim. It is also known as a “snakebite” because it generates side-by-side incisions in the tube that look like a snakebite. A typical reason is riding with insufficient air pressure.

Porteur bars

Porteur bars are similar to cruiser bars. This sort of bar is intended to hold front-mounted bike racks.

Presta valves

Presta Valves are small diameter tire valves that are often used on more costly bikes.

Pursuit bars

A type of bike handlebars that provides a wide range of hand positions for a comfortable and quick forward position.

Pursuit race

A track cycling event in which cyclists start on opposing sides of the track and race a predetermined distance (4K for men, 3K for women). The racer who completes the distance in the shortest amount of time wins. 

R

Reach

The reach refers to the horizontal measurement of the frame from the center of the bottom bracket to the top-center of the head tube. This helps determine how long the frame is.

Rims

The outside part of the wheel that the tire goes on. Rims are sometimes called ‘hoops.’

Riser bars

A type of handlebar that is often wider than flat bars. Because they enable the rider to be more upright, these handlebars are often used in trail riding. Riser bars are the most common type of handlebar.

Road bike

A bicycle with drop-style handlebars, small tires, and a very light frame and components designed primarily to ride swiftly and effectively on paved roads.

Roadie

A road bike cyclist. Typically very competitive and very enthusiastic about road bikes and nothing else.

S

Saddle

A saddle is a formal terminal used in reference to a bike seat.

Salmoning

This term refers to riding in the opposite direction on a one-way bike lane.

Seatpost

The part of the bike the saddle is attached to. A seat post is which are inserted inside the frame’s seat tube. The Seatpost allows you to adjust the height of the saddle.

Spokes

Sprocket

A sprocket is a basic mechanical wheel with teeth or tiny slots which are meant to revolve and interact with the links of a chain or belt.

Stack

the stack refers to the vertical portion of the bike when measured from the center of the frame up to the top of the head tube. This helps determine how tall a frame is.

Step-Through Frame

Traditionally, these bikes were developed for women because they allowed for mounting while wearing skirts and other dresses.

Stem

The portion of the bike the handlebars connect to.

T

Tape

Handlebar tape is wrapped around drop bars for grip and comfort.

Tire

The tire is the portion of the bike’s wheel that touches the road.

Tire lever

A tire lever (sometimes called a tire spoon) is a tool used to aid in the removal of a tire from the rim.

Toe cages

Toe cages, also referred to as toe cages, are frames that attach to the front of platform pedals and surround your toes. They allow you to pull the pedal in the upstroke, giving you a more controlled, powerful, and efficient stroke. Some toe cages come with adjustable straps to secure your foot. Toe cages should not be confused with pedal straps.

Toe clips

Pedals that have cages on them that the rider may strap their feet into. Same as toe cages. See toe cages.

Track bike

A track bike is a bicycle that is used for racing on a velodrome. It resembles a road bike, except it has just one gear, no brakes, and no coasting capability.

Track stand

A common way to stay upright without coming out of your clip-on pedals.

Trail

The trail is best described as the tire patch behind the steering axis. Its size is determined by the head tube angle and fork rake. A smaller trail means a bike with better handling. A bike with a lot of trail is going to be better for high speeds.

Tri-spoke

Tube

The part of the wheel that holds the air.

V

Velodrome

A slightly inclined, oval track used for track bike racing. Velodromes are typical I wooden, features 45-degree embankments on each end, and are 250 meters in circumference.

W

Weight Distribution

Make sure your weight is distributed correctly on a bike. Under ideal circumstances, 45% of both a bike and rider’s weight should be distributed on the front wheel. The remaining 55% should be on the back wheel. You can check this on any type of scale.

Proper weight distribution is crucial for optimal performance. Too much weight on either wheel makes it difficult for a bike to turn and/or climb.

Whatton bars

These handlebars are often seen on penny-farthing bikes. They are made in such a manner that riding a penny-farthing isn’t a complete suicide mission by enabling the rider to fall feet first in the event that they need to bail.

Wheelbase

The wheelbase is the horizontal distance between the two wheels of a bike. It is measured by determining the distance between the center of the two wheels. A long wheelbase is ideal for high speeds but can get in the way otherwise. The front center isn’t as crucial as other bike measurements. It is more of a nice-to-know measurement. This measurement can help judge toe overlap between bikes. 

Wheels

Bicycle wheels are the big circular part of the bike. A bike wheel will typically include the whole. Wheel assembly, including the tire, tube, spokes, rims, and hubs.