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Discover Cycling

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 Welcome to DiscoverCycling. We are your cycling specialists, with a commitment to offer our customers the level of service normally associated with a specialist high street retailer combined with the choice and flexibility available at national chain stores.

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  • Bike Components Explained
  

Not sure what a hardtail is? Can't decide between high-tensile steel or carbon fibre? Completely lost when it comes to double-wall, A-head stem or hydraulic disc?

Here are some of the terms regularly used in bicycle descriptions to help you pick out your perfect bike.

Bicycle Frames

High-tensile steel
A strong and durable steel that is heavier than other frames, but stays strong under pressure.
Aluminium
Also known as alloy, a strong and lightweight metal used on many different types of frames.
Carbon Fibre
Very strong and very lightweight material used on higher specification bikes, especially those for competition.
Titanium
Very strong and lightweight metal that lasts a long time without deteriorating.

Forks

Rigid fork
A traditional fork made from aluminium, steel, or carbon fibre, with no suspension.
Suspension fork
Providing a more comfortable ride, the suspension fork provides smooth vertical movement while riding, ironing out rough terrain while you ride. Found on mountain and leisure bikes.
Adjustable suspension fork
A suspension fork that allows for manual adjustment, letting you match the suspension to the severity of the terrain.
Suspension fork with lock-out
A suspension fork that allows for manual adjustment of whether or not you have the suspension while you ride, ideal for switching from the trail to the road.

Gears and Transmission

Cassette Freewheel
Rear sprockets built into the hub of the wheel, offering a more efficient gear selection and considerable weight saving. Primarily fitted to mid and high-end bicycles.
STI / Easy-Fire / Rapid-Fire
Terms to describe how gears can be selected with the thumb and forefinger control on the handlebars. A very effective and popular way of shifting.
Grip Shift
A rotational gear selector built into the handlebar grip for precise and smooth gear selection. Very popular with children's bicycles and heritage bicycles.
Shimano
A brand of bike gears and brakes available on most bikes.
SRAM
A brand of bike gears and transmission components available on mid to high-end bikes.
Campagnolio
A brand of bike gears and brakes available on high-end bikes.

Pedals and Cranks

Sealed Bottom Bracket
Bearings sealed from the elements, making them more durable and less prone to premature wear.
SPD
Pedals that clip straight onto the bottom of cycling shoes. Generally associated with competitive cycling.

Brakes

V-Type Brakes
Powerful brakes that have a "V" shape that stop the wheel by pressing against the rim. The most popular type of brake.
Cantilever Brakes
Individually mounted cable-operated brakes that stop the wheel by pressing against the rim and provide maximum clearance for mudguards. Primarily seen on road bikes.
Disc Brakes
Brakes that stop the wheel by pressing against a disc attached to the wheel's axle. Suitable in all weather and primarily seen in mountain bikes.
Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Disc brakes that use brake fluid to provide an even smoother stop. Generally seen on high-end mountain bikes.

Wheels

Double-Wall Rims
Wheels with two layers of aluminium along the wall of the rim for additional strength and support.
Quick-Release Hubs
A simple mechanism that allows you to fit and replace wheels without using spanners. Useful when dismantling your bicycle for storage, and also used extensively in competitive cycling.

Handlebars and Stems

Quill Stem
A traditional method of securing the handlebars into the head tube by using an expander bolt.
Adjustable Stem
Gives the rider the ability to adjust the handlebars to a comfortable angle.
A-Head Stem
Handlebars that fasten directly onto the fork column without the use of an expander bolt.

Seats and Seat Posts

Micro-Adjustable Seat Post
A combination of the seat post and the seat clip, giving you reduced weight and easy adjustment to find a comfortable riding position.
Quick-Release Seat Clamp
A clamp that allows fast and easy height adjustment or saddle removal without needing spanners.