Road Bike Maintenance : Learn the Parts of a Road Bike

Road Bike Maintenance : Learn the Parts of a Road Bike


Although visually, on first glance, road bikes
seem to be completely different beasts than mountain bikes, there’s really quite a few
similarities in the way that you operate them and the way that you work on them. One similarity
is that they all use quick release wheels, just like you’d have on the rear wheel on
the front wheel of most of your mountain bikes, where you just flip a lever to take things
off — it’s not a cam action — I mean, it is a cam action lever, not a wing nut. Another
similarity is that although the way you actuate the shifters is different — on these road
bikes you have multiple sort of pivoting levers that are also brake levers that allow you
to shift — you can see here by moving the whole brake lever in, it gets me an easier
gear in the back. So, as you can see, nice dirty chain there. And then if you watch me
shift the other lever, the black lever here, that gets me a harder gear. As you can see,
I’m tapping the black lever and the bike is shifting down into that harder gear. So, the
big lever, which is also the brake lever, shifts up, and the smaller lever shifts down.
So that’s how the derailleur system works on one of these Shimano-equipped bikes. It’s
the same technology that you’d have on a Shimano-equipped mountain bike. In fact, a lot of the parts
are interchangeable. I could use these shifters for the mountain bike shifter if I wanted
to — I mean a mountain bike derailleur. I can use this derailleur with a mountain bike
shifter if I wanted to. Another thing that’s a similarity on these bikes is the cogs are
interchangeable as long as you have the same number of speeds. Most road bikes use ten
speeds in the back now, which is funny. I mean, people are used to hearing ten speed
and thinking of the old ten speed road bike, which had ten speeds in total. And now you
have ten speeds just in the rear, and either a double or a triple chain ring. Other things
that are similar — probably if you find the saddle comfortable on your road bike, you’re
also going to find it comfortable on your mountain bike, and vice versa. And, depending
on how serious of a road rider you are, if you spend more time on your mountain bike
like I do, you’ll find that you can use your cross country mountain bike shoes in a mountain
bike pedal. I mean, this pedal serves just fine as a road pedal — it’s very minimalist.
And for the most part the whole concept behind setting up a road bike is the minimalism
— going with as little equipment as you need to really have the most reliable, lightest
weight machine.