The Re-Cycle Shop

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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Wheel Axle - The threaded rod that goes through 

the wheel hub on which the bearings sit and 

allows the wheel to spin freely.

Bottom Bracket Axle - The metal rod that goes 

between the two pedals through the bottom of the 

frame. There are three different kinds of bottom 

bracket axles, a tappered axle, a straight notched  

axle and a sealed cartridge axle. The pedals attach 

to this axle.

Bottom Bracket - The bottom bracket is the 

lower part of the frame that houses the axle to 

which the pedals are attached.

 Bottom Bracket Bearing Cup - Round metal 

threaded cup that threads into the bottom of the 

frame and holds the bearings on which the 

bottom bracket axle rotates.

Ring Bearings - These are ball bearings that are 

held in with a metal ring. They are used in the 

wheels, bottom bracket and head sets of the 

less expensve bikes. The more high end bikes 

have a loose bearing system.

Loose Ball Bearings -Ball bearing for a bicycle 

are steel balls that  are used with a axle cone 

and bearing cup to spin the axle freely. 


As with the ring bearings they are used in 

the wheels, bottom brackets and head sets. 

Loose bearings require one or two more 

bearings than the ring bearing for the same 

application, but the loose bearing system runs 

much smoother. It is the bearings

that must be well lubricated.

Axle Cones - Are tappered threaded steel. They 

thread on to the axle and are used to hold ball 

bearings against the cups. They are also used

to adjust  the free spinning of the wheel,

 bottom bracket or head set.

Wheel Cup -The wheel cup is a cup shaped part 

of the hub and axle assembley. 

The hub assembly also holds the spokes, 

 The ball bearing sit in the cup and the 

 axle cone keeps them in place. 

These two components allow the wheel to 

spin freely. 

Headset - The headset is the front portion of the frame that 

holds and attaches the handle bars and the front forks. 

 There are two types of headsets, threaded and non threaded 

 Both are very good and contain bearing seats, bearings

 and cups.

Brake Bosses - Brake bosses are attached to the front forks 

and rear frame that hold on the brake 

assembly. These are used with what is known as the V-Brake 

style, as pictured. There are also cantilever brakes and side pull 

brakes. There are also disc brakes. Some disc brakes use a 

brake fluid and other a cable.

Rear Gear Cluster  - The rear gear cluster is 

mounted on a freewheel or the gear cluster itself 

 free wheels. It is mounted on the right side of 

the rear wheel and will have a various number of 

gear rings. The chain moves through the rear 

derailleur and that is what moves the chain up 

and down the gears.

Rear Deraillleur - This is the mechanism that move the 

chain up and down the rear gear cluster. It must be 

adjusted properly for smooth shifting.

Front Derailleur - This is the mechanism that move the 

chain up and down the gear rings that are attached to the 


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