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A cyclist riding a Merida gravel bike along a flat, rocky trail

Bike Glossary

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A single chainring drivetrain. This simplifies the gearing, using only one shifter and a rear derailleur. It is often paired with a clutch rear derailleur and narrow wide chainring to keep chain tension high, and avoiding dropped chains.


A variety of mountain bike with 29" diameter wheels. This is the largest mountain bike wheel size. The advantage of larger wheels is that they don't sink as far into holes, so they roll better over rough terrain.


A double chainring drivetrain. It uses a front and a rear derailleur and two shifters to move them. The front 2 chainrings multiply the rear gear ratios, effectively doubling the usable gear ratios.


The Fit, Form, Function, female specific design philosophy. Liv bikes are all built to offer the best possible perfomance for women


A triple chainring drivetrain. It uses a front and a rear derailleur and two shifters to move them. The front 3 chainrings multiply the rear gear ratios, effectively tripling the usable gear ratios.

6000 series aluminium

An aluminium alloy blended with Magnesium and Silicon to create a lightweight and strong metal which is easy to weld. Commonly used for bicycle frames and components. Specific grades include 6061 / 6066 / 6069

7000 series aluminium

An aluminium alloy blended with Zinc to create lightweight, stiff and strong frames. More expensive to produce and harder to work with than 6000 series but with advantageous properties. Specific grades included 7005 / 7075


A mountain bike wheel size where the wheel diameter is 27.5". This is the 'inbetween' wheel size which has become a popular alternative to 26"" and 29"" wheels. This size offers a good compromise of speed, handling and grip.


Specialized's 27.5+ bikes.


Wheel and tyre size found on almost all road and cyclocross bikes and many hybrids.

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Adaptable X12 Hanger - Cube Technology

We optimized our new dropout design based on the Syntace X12 through-axle system, enlarging the area of the frame where the hanger is mounted. We can now fit the longer Direct Mount hangers. Shifting precision and stiffness is therefore improved. With the new design it's also possible to swap the whole contact area of the axle with the hanger should the system be worn out.

Advanced-grade composite

Giant's high-performance carbon frame, using raw composite handcrafted into framesets. The process results in very light, stiff and compliant frames

Advanced Hydroforming - Cube Technology

The new STEREO , FRITZZ and HANZZ models are built using Advanced Hydroforming. Conventional hydroforming processes cannot achieve these custom shapes and technical advantages. As this manufacturing method reduces the number of welds, the weight is reduced while durability is increased.

Advanced Twin Mold - Cube Technology

This technique uses a complete core to provide the perfect frame form during the lay-up process. As with the Twin Mold technology, precise inserts are used to ensure extra strength at high-stress frame points. This combination offers maximum control over fibre orientations during the lay-up and production process. The Advanced Twin Mold high-tech carbon manufacturing process translates to outstanding product safety and quality together with optimum weight and stiffness characteristics.

Aero bars

Specific handlebars used for racing and triathlon, supporting the rider's weight on the forearms rather than the hands.

Aerodynamic System - Cube Technology

Perfect aerodynamics and geometry adjustment characterize this package to the smallest detail the light and stiff Advanced Twin Mold carbon frame with horizontal dropouts is designed for the use of electronic circuit components to minimize air resistance. Battery and cable are hiding elegantly in the framework and also the brakes fit perfectly together with the Aerium Super HPC carbon fork.

Aero position

Position adopted by road racers which is narrow and low for better aerodynamics.

Aero wheel

Wheels where the rim is shaped for better aerodynamics and less drag.

Agile Ride Geometry - Cube Technology

Cube ran innumerable tests to develop the Agile Ride Geometry in series of big wheel bikes. Cube also added the 27.5in wheel size to the very well received portfolio. Three important details lead to the very agile character. Increased fork offsets let Cube achieve the same trail as Cube 26in bikes without having to steepen the head angle, thus maintaining generous toe clearance to the front wheel. Secondly Cube shortened the chain stays without compromising the seat angle. Cube invented a patented construction to mount the front derailleur to give Cube more tyre clearance while keeping a conventional seat angle, leading to a perfect riding position for every rider size. Last but not least Cube kept the BB height the same as on Cube 26in bikes. These measures lead to a natural riding position. Every mountain biker will feel immediately at home on a CUBE 29er or 27.5.

Air shocks

Bike suspension that uses air pressure rather than a coil spring

Air sprung

Mountain bike suspension which has pressurised air chambers instead of springs.


Name of a Shimano-branded hub gear available in eight or 11 speed.


Also known as trail bikes, are built to handle almost everything a mountain biker is likely to enconter on a ride. Usually have 4-6 inches of travel sus.

Allen key

A tool with a hexagonal head used to tighten a great many bicycle bolts. Also called a hex key. Allen-headed bolts of various sizes are currently found on seatposts headsets, stems, saddle clamps, brakes and on many other bicycle components.

Alpha Black

The mid-range proprietary aluminium used by Trek bikes. It is a 6061 aluminium which has been shaped and butted to make it lighter and stronger.

Alpha White

Trek's basic proprietary frame aluminium. It is straight gauge 6061 aluminium.


A strong but light metal used for bicycle frames and components. It is the most common bike frame material. It is strong yet light and doesn't rust, making it an ideal choice for many bike parts.

Aluminium Lite - Cube Technology

6061 aluminium alloy requires a heat treatment for the finished product. It is a stiff, very corrosion resistant, fatigue resistant,high-elongation material suitable for light tubesets with high stiffness.

Aluminium Ultralite - Cube Technology

Very high tensile strength heat-treated 7005 aluminium alloy is developed for the highest requirements. It is very stiff, fatigue resistant, corrosion resistant and has high elongation. Cube's Superlite tubes are triple butted, giving very light tubesets with a high level of stiffness.


Giant's lightweight aluminium frame optimised for great strength to weight ratio.


The process of electronically coating the surface of a metal - usually aluminium - with a hard-wearing, coloured, metallic surface.


ANT+ is a wireless technology that allows compatible devices to talk to each other. In cycling power meters and sensors can be paired to your ANT+ enabled computer or smartphone for real-time data measurements.

Arm pump

Common on long & rocky downhill MTB trails, forearms become tired as your hands grip on to the handlebars and brakes. This is known as arm pump.

Arm warmers

Tight-fitting fabric tubes worn over the arms by cyclists to keep warm. Arm warmers are a versatile item of clothing which can be pushed down to the wrists if the wearer becomes too hot while riding.

Articulated sleeves

Articulated sleeves are pre-cut for a cycling position for more comfort when riding.


Non-competitive cycle events where participants cycle pre-determined distances within a certain time. They are usually devoid of sign posting and some incorporate clues to be found and questions to be answered along the way. Many Audaxs are very long-distance events and are often viewed as a type of light cycle touring.

Auto Flash - Lezyne Technology

Auto on/off power saving technology detects movement.


An automatic solution to help riders set perfect sag. To use an AUTOSAG, over-inflate the positive air chamber so your bike is fully extended, then site on it with the shock fully open. Press the AUTOSAG button and the excess air will bleed out.

AWS (Anti Wrinkle System) - Merida Technology

Due to its technological characteristics, carbon provides designers and developers with many excellent possibilities in bike building usually not offered by other raw materials (e.g. aluminium). The surface structure is visually fascinating – but what does happen inside the frame? MERIDA utilizes specific mould inserts which reduce wrinkling during production considerably. Results: More stiffness and durability but less weight.

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Cannondale's high quality carbon frame material.

Bar tape

Ribbon often made of leather or cork which wraps around the grip end of drop handlebars. You can choose your bar tape in different levels of padding or texture to get the comfort level right for your personal taste.


A bag fixed to the bike handlebar. Barbags are usually secured with an easy to release bracket and clip arrangement so the bag can easily be removed and carried when off the bike. As the barbag is positioned in front of the cyclist, it is often a convenient place to put a map and many have a clear, waterproof pocket on their upper surface for this purpose.

Barrel adjuster

Adjuster placed in a length of gear or brake cable which is twisted to adjust cable tension. There can sometimes be more than one barrel adjuster in a single cable - you should just use whichever one is easiest for you to reach while you work on your bike.

Base layer

In colder months, a short or long sleeved top worn under a jersey and/or jacket. A good baselayer will be breathable, light and close fitting.


Usually the bottom part of chainguide. The bashguard attaches to ISCG mounts around your bottom bracket, and serves the purpose of protecting your chainring from impacts.

Battery Shield Protection - Cube Technology

A specially developed battery cage comes with Cube's new carbon hybrid models which combines all benefits of the Semi Integrated Battery Technology and keeps the battery safe from dirt and impacts. This allows an optical and functional integration of the battery pack into the framework just as the charging possibility in the frame.


Short for bottom bracket.


Bolt circle diameter. The diameter of the circle of bolts on the crank spider which hold the chainrings in place. The crank spider BCD and chainring BCD must be compatible.


Hoop made of steel or Kevlar which forms the edge of a tyre.

Belgian booties

An alternative name for overshoes.

Belt drive

Continuous toothed belt, often made of Kevlar, which is used instead of a bike chain. Belt drives are incredibly hardwearing and have the advantage of never needing to be lubricated. This means they don't deposit oil on the rider's leg. All this makes them ideal for almost maintenance free bikes, such as commuter or city bikes.


An embankment built up on the outside of a turn in mountain biking terrain. A berm can be used to form a line and regain control by rebounding off it.

Bib shorts

A pair of cycling shorts with straps worn over the shoulders to hold them up, like dungarees. Many cyclists swear by the comfort of these over conventional shorts as there is no waistband to chafe. Bibshorts can be undershorts with a padded insert, or unpadded overshorts. Padding is essential for comfort over distance and women's-specific bib shorts take into account biological differences.

Bib tights

A longer version of bib shorts which reach the ankles. Bib tights use straps to keep them from falling down. Perfect for winter to prevent 'corned beefing of the leg'.


Unlike the Penny Farthing, the modern day safety bike (also known as the bike) is actually practical with the introduction of a chain drive that connects the cranks to the rear wheel. Benefits include smaller wheels so you can mount the bike without having to climb and a lower centre of gravity for stability. 

Bike bag

A large, protective bag for transporting a bike. Most bike bags fit the bike in with the wheels removed and the handlebar either turned or detached. Heavy duty bike bags are padded, with plenty of protection for your bike.

Bike computer

A device mounted on a bicycle which shows trip information on an LCD display. Bike computers are usually attached to the stem or handlebar of the bike. They can be wired or wireless, with the sensor attached to the fork leg and activated by a magnet clipped to the front wheel spokes. Computers can measure time, speed, average speed, trip distance and total distance (odometer). More advanced models can also use extra sensors to measure heart rate, calories burned, elevation and more.

Bike Rollers

A piece of equipment with a set of rollers, used for training indoors. Helps improve fitness, balance and core strength.

Bite Point

When the brake lever is pulled, the moment the brake pads/blocks touch the braking surface is know as the bite point. Most commonly used to describe disc brakes, can be adjusted on some higher end systems

Bio Fiber Damping Compound - Merida Technology

Using nature as a role model, MERIDA refines the construction of different carbon components successfully with special bio flax fibres, which impress particularly with one interesting feature: highly effective vibration damping. Like rigid carbon forks, the rear stays of road bikes or MTB hardtails turn into genuine comfort wonders when these natural fibres are woven into the per se torsion-resistant carbon matrix.

Bite Point

When the brake lever is pulled, the moment the brake pads/blocks touch the braking surface is know as the bite point. Most commonly used to describe disc brakes, can be adjusted on some higher end systems

Blow off valve

A valve on a lockout fork which will only open when a certain preset impact load has been exceeded. This protects the fork from damage, so the shock is absorbed in the case of a big hit, even if the fork is locked.


Type of small, stunt bike and short for bicycle motocross. BMX was conceived in California at the same time as motocross and involves short, speedy races and some fancy tricks and turns. Massive in the 1980s, with BMXs featuring in ET and the Goonies, the BMX buzz slowly died down but is now undergoing a revival, especially since the London 2012 Olympics. There are different disciplines of BMX, including street, dirt, park, race and flatland.

Boa fastening

A brand of ratchet fastening often used on bike shoes. A Boa fastening is tightened by turning a dial.


Also known as 'hitting the wall', this is a sudden arrival of fatigue and loss of energy. It's caused by the depletion of glycogen stores and can be remedied by carbs or a quick rest. Avoid it altogether by eating plenty of carbs while exercising and learning to pace yourself.

Boost148 - Cube Technology

Boost 148mm technology provides precise handling, on every trail, in every situation. The hub flange moves 3mm towards the outside on both sides. It increases the stiffness of a 27.5? wheel by 14% and, for a 29er wheel, by 21%. The reason is the spoke's wider support in comparison to the 142mm hubs used previously.

Boost spacing

A new standard in front and rear axle widths for mountain bikes. Boost is a 110x15mm front width and 148x12mm rear length. The space between the hub flanges is widened to create a more even wheel dish, making for a stronger wheel as the spoke length and tension is more even. The wider spacing also creates more room for larger tyres.

Bosch eBike Systems

E-bike motors by Bosch. The high capacity batteries and powerful motors of the Bosch eBike systems use pedal assist to increase your power, moving you easier along. The pedal assist is limited to 15.5mph. The motor sits in the middle and lowest part of the frame, where the bottom bracket would be.

Bottom bracket

Bearings which sit at the bottom of the frame and allow the cranks/chainset to rotate freely. There are several types of bottom bracket, or BB, including internal, external, Octalink, square-taper, BB30, BB90 and many others. If you are buying a new bottom bracket, be sure to check it is compatible with both your frame and chainset.

Bottom out

Full compression of the suspension of a fork.


Stopping device on a bike. There are many different types. On road or hybrid bikes rim brakes are common, including cantilever brakes, V brakes and caliper brakes. Mountain bikes often have hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes. More unusual types of brakes are drum brakes and coaster brakes often found on older bicycle styles.

Brake bleeding

The process of replacing hydraulic fluid in disc brakes and hydraulic dropper posts is called bleeding. This removes any air pockets in the system to ensure consistent performance.

Brake bridge

The cross-brace of frame between the seatstays which a caliper brake bolts to. It's also a useful point to fix the top bracket of your mudguards.

Brake cable

Inner wire and outer sleeve which connects the brake lever and brake.

Brake hoods

The rubber covering on the top of road bike brake levers. Hands can be rested on the hoods while riding

Brake hose

Instead of a cable and housing, hydraulic brakes use a hose. This holds the hydraulic fluid in the system, transferring the pressure from the brake lever to the calliper to actuate the brakes.

Brake lever

Handlebar-mounted control for activating the brakes.

Brake Modulation

The control you have over the amount of power that is used for braking. High modulation means a greater control over how much braking force is used.

Braking bumps

A set of small bumps created by riders braking in mountain biking. They are commonly found at the entrance to corners or leading to the edge of steep downhills.


Used in BMX to describe lifting the bike off the ground without hitting a jump. It's very similar to a wheelie, and ideal for getting over obstacles.


Butted tubing means that near the joints there is increased thickness for strength, whilst the rest of the material is thinner and lower weight. A double-butted tube therefore uses two different thicknesses of metal and triple indicated three thicknesses.

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C:68 Carbon Fiber Technology - Cube Technology

CUBE’s highly innovative new C68 carbon fibre technology allows us to build better bikes than ever. Typically, carbon fibre frames are around 60% carbon fibre, with the rest being the resin that bonds the fibres together. By distributing carbon fibres evenly, we can make thinner layers within the frame and reduce the amount of resin. Those fibres are a mixture of Ultra High Modulus, High Modulus Spread Tow and Intermediate Modulus carbon, each chosen for the needs of the particular area of the frame. Nanoparticles within the resin itself allows it to be distributed more evenly when under pressure in the frame mould. The result is a range of frames with 68% carbon fibre – lower weight, higher stiffness, more fun.

C-S Post Mount Disc - Merida Technology

“Chain Stay Post Mount Disc” – this technology is the result of three findings. First, a brake mount positioned within the frame triangle optimally protects the brake from external influences. Second, the caliper is supported by the chain stay and is therefore able to distribute the occurring physical forces in an ideal way. Third, internally routed cables can reach the brake neatly from the chain stay.


The number of revolutions of the crank per minute (rpm) - indicating the rate at which you are turning the pedals. Most cyclists have a preferred cadence and a cycle computer can help you measure yours.

Cadence sensor

A sensor which measures the amount or revolutions per minute (RPM) the cranks on your bicycle carry out.

Caged pedals

Central axle surrounded by a metal cage to support the foot.

Caliper brake

Brake assembly attached to the brake bridge or fork crown by a single bolt.

Cantilever brake

Two separate arms on either side of the rim are linked by a cable over the top of the tyre which pulls them together to brake. Cantilever brakes, or canti brakes, are most commonly found on cyclocross bikes because they shed mud well.


A super-light non-metallic material used to make bicycle frames and forks. Although it's corrosion-resistant and strong, it is prone to damage and more expensive than aluminium.


Stack of gear cogs on the rear wheel of a bike.


Cavitation is a nasty ailment affecting shocks, when air in the system or reduced nitrogen pressure causes bubbles in the damping fluid, resulting in a loss of damping performance.

Centrepull brakes

Type of caliper brake seen on some older bikes where a wire on a central yoke pulls the braking arms together.


A 100-mile bike ride and a milestone in every road cyclist's career. A typical sportive distance which requires stamina, training and preparation. A sportive-specific bike with relaxed geometry is the ideal choice for comfortable endurance riding.


Joined, metal links which transfer power from the chainrings to the cassette/sprocket on the rear wheel. Different chain sizes are needed for cassettes with different numbers of gears. Be sure to choose the right one.

Chain checker

A tool used to check bicycle chain wear. The tool is placed on the chain and markings indicate how worn the chain is and if it needs replacing.

Chain guide

A device that attaches to ISCG mounts or front derailleur mounts and helps to keep the chain from dropping off the chainring. There is often a bashguard as part of the chainguide at the bottom that protects the chainrings from impacts while riding offroad.

Chain stays

Run parallel to the chain and connect the bottom bracket to the seat stays.

Chain tool

A tool used to separate and join bicycle chains. The chain link to be separated is placed in the tool and when you turn a handle it drives the chain pin out. The tool is turned around to drive a chain pin in and rejoin a chain.

Chain wax

A very dry kind of chain lube which is less messy and leaves less residue than other varieties.


A type of group cycling formation often used on club runs. Because it is harder to cycle at the front of a line of riders, the chaingang involves letting the front rider drop back at certain intervals and latch on to the back of the group.


A cover to prevent clothes becoming dirty or trouser legs being caught in the chain. A chainguard is most commonly seen on traditional style bikes or ladies' bikes with low, step-through frames.


Chainrings, cranks and crank spider, which are usually sold as a single unit.


Part of the frame connecting the bottom bracket shell to the rear dropouts. Chainstays run parallel to the chain.


Tool for tightening or removing the cassette from a bicycle. A chainwhip consists of a short section of chain attached to a handle and is used to grip the cassette.


The padding used in cycling shorts and tights. A chamois was traditionally made from leather, but these days is more commonly a foam insert. It cushions your backside, preventing chafing, pressure rubbing and butt pain.

Chamois cream

A preventative measure against saddle sores. It is similar to nappy rash cream used for babies, and forms a barrier between your skin and clothing, keeping out moisture and preventing sores. It can be applied directly to the skin or on to the chamois of your shorts or tights.


A steel alloy commonly used to build bicycle frames. Also referred to as cro-mo. Reynolds is the most common brand of chromoly tubing.


Attachments which bolt to the bottom of cycling shoes to allow the shoes to be clipped into compatible pedals. Cleats come in two-bolt SPD style or three-bolt road-style fitting.


A cyclist who specialises in hill and mountain climbing. Climbers tend to have great endurance and developed muscles for the demands of climbing.

Clipless pedals

Pedals which require a dedicated cycling shoe and cleat to lock the foot into the pedal. The foot is twisted sideways to release the lock mechanism. Clipless pedals can be SPD compatible or road style. There are a few other less-common types of clipless pedal as well with their own specific cleats.

Clip-on TT bars

Extension poles which attach easily to your handlebars so you can achieve a more aerodynamic position on the bike.

Club run

The term for a ride organised by your local cycling club/team, usually following a predetermined route. Some cycling clubs will expect participants to be able to maintain a certain mph.

Clutch derailleur

A rear derailleur with a clutch mechanism that reduces the movement of the derailleur and improves the chain tension. This helps to reduce chains dropping of the chainring.

CO2 pump

A pump which works by piercing a CO2 canister while seated on the tube valve to inflate it quickly and easily. CO2 canisters are very easy to use as you do not need to pump to inflate the tyre. However, they are single use which can make them expensive.


Term used to describe the layout of the brake levers, gear shifters and any remote levers on the handle bars as well as the reach, more comonly used for mountain bike descriptions.


COB (Chips on Board) is a new LED technology that allows multiple LED chips to be packaged together into a single module. When COB lights are on they appear as a single panel.

Coaster brakes

A brake which is integrated in the rear hub of a bicycle. It is engaged by moving the pedals backwards so is also sometimes called a back-pedal brake. Back pedal brakes are sealed and very well protected from the weather.


A toothed gear, also called a sprocket. A cassette is made up of many cogs and a singlespeed bike has only one cog.

Coil shock

Bike suspension that uses coil springs.

Coil sprung

Mountain bike suspension where the shock or fork has a metal coil in it providing the travel.


A brand of tube manufacturer used in bicycle construction. Columbus originally made steel tubing and was the main competitor to Reynolds. The company now produces steel, aluminium and carbon fibre tubing.


Giant's new composite frame technology using performance grade raw carbon material and fibre-reingforced polymer. CoMax frames are up to 10% more compliant and up to 200 grams lighter than comparable aluminium framesets.

Compact double

A chainset often with 50/36 or 50/34 teeth, ideal for novice riders for use in hilly areas where a lower gearing option is necessary.

Compact chainset

A crankset with two chainrings which are smaller than usual to give lower gears. The BCD is usually 110 instead of the more commonly used 130. This allows smaller chainrings to be used. 50/34t is a typical compact chainset size found on many sportive bikes.

Compact frame

Compact frames have a sloping top tube which is higher at the front, to be used with a long seatpost. Compact frames are light and stiff, only come in a few sizes, but tend to fit around 98% of customers.


Carbon fibre bonded with epoxy resin which is used to make bike frames.


The time it takes for your suspension to slow the impact of downward forces.

Compression dial

A dial found on bike suspension allowing the rider to adjust the amount compression damping.

Compression damping

When the rate of compression in a front fork shock or rear shock is slowed down by forcing a hydraulic fluid (eg oil) through a valve when the shock becomes loaded.

Constant Lumens - Lezyne Technology

Innovative lumen management system maintains a consistent lumen throughout the LED’s battery cycle.

Cone spanner/wrench

A cone spanner is similar to a standard spanner but is thin and flat. Cone spanners are used frequently in bicycle workshops for working on hubs and other components that need two of these flat tools working in opposite directions.


The arms which connect the pedals to the bottom bracket axle, which in turn drive the chain.


The shortened phrase for criterium racing.


This is a race involving numerous laps around a short course. Usually held on a traffic-free, closed circuit and also referred to as a crit.


Another term for chromoly.

Cross country

The most common discipline of mountain biking with courses through rough forest paths and smooth fire roads. It has been an Olympic sport since 1996. Courses are categorised as 'easy' or 'moderate' to classify as XC. Particularly tricky trails are all-mountain, freeride or downhill. Races can be as short as 30 minutes to taking a whole day and can be point based or lap based, usually with a mass start and occasionally with a 'Le Mans' start with riders running to their bikes.

Crosstop brake levers

Addition brake levers mounted on the top of drop bars on road bikes. These allow you to brake while your hands are the top of the bars.

Cycle to Work scheme

A tax saving scheme offered by certain employers to help increase the numbers of people cycling to work. Cycles and equipment are then paid for by way of a salary sacrifice.


Discipline of bike racing involving multi-terrain lap courses. Known for being short in length and intense in nature. Due to the unique requirements, a specialist cyclocross bike type has evolved which resembles a road bike but has different cable routing and off-road tyres.

Cyclocross bike

Similar to a road bike but with off-road tyres, extra tyre clearance and lower gears. Weight is important for carrying it over obstacles or up hills. Cyclocross bikes have become popular as multipurpose or commuter bikes.


An organised mass participation ride. Cyclosportives, or sportives, are often held over several distances and are also sometimes called challenge rides. Some sportives are held to raise money for charity.

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D'Aluisio Smartweld

Aluminium frame welding technology that increases stiffness and performance. Less weld is needed at the point of highest stress (where the top and bottom tube meet the head tube). Claimed that a D'Alusio Aluminium frame will outperform a lower end carbon frame.

Daytime Flash - Lezyne Technology

A super bright, high-visibility flash mode developed to increase user safety during daytime cycling.


As seen in the Keirin, this is a small motorbike which sets the pace for a track race. Named after the founder of a French motorcycle company, Roger Derny, but also a pun on the French word 'dernière', meaning 'behind'.


Downhill - a type of mountain bike riding. Tracks are steep, technicaly demanding and require very good bike skills.


Electronic gear shifting system by Shimano.

Diamond frame

The standard bicycle frame design, consisting of an equilateral and isosceles triangle.

Direct Disc Brake Mount - Cube Technology

In contrast to conventional brakes, the Direct Mount brake is fixed by two pivot points. Therefore the brake body is significantly closer to the frame and fork which increases the system’s rigidity and delivers much greater breaking force. In addition, the brake body can be easily separated and adjusted.

Dirt BMX

Common BMX discipline including massive jumps on, you guessed it, dirt. The geometry/size, handlebars and wheels are the same as for freestyle BMXs, but dirt tyres will be more suited to off-road conditions.

Disc brakes

Brakes consisting of a rotor at the centre of the wheel with a caliper attached to the frame with pads which squeeze the rotor to stop the bike. They can be mechanical (operated by cables) or hydraulics (operated by fluid filled pistons and hoses. They are traditionally mountain bike brakes but are now found on hybrids, cyclocross bikes and even road bikes. They are popular because of their excellent stopping power and they do not wear the wheel rim.

Disc wheels

Wheels filled with an entire disc rather than spokes, to minimise drag. These are rarely found on the front wheel of a bike and are only approved by the Union Cycliste Internationale or the International Triathlon Federation in certain races.


'Did not finish. Racing term which does what it says on the tin, really.


'Did not start'. Racing term where a competitor, for whatever reason, does not commence a race.


During larger cycling races adomestiques (French for domestic servant) is the rider who assists his or her team-mates. This can be by drafting to help a leader catch up, carrying food and drink for the leaders, blocking opposing riders from passing and letting a leader with technical trouble have their bike.

Double butted

Butted tubing means that near the joints, there is increased thickness for strength while the rest of the material is thinner and lower weight. A double butted tube therefore uses two different thicknesses of metal.

Double chainset

A chainset with two chainrings. Some double chainsets are compact chainsets, which are designed to have lower gears for easier cycling.

Double Pass welds

A form of welding used in creating aluminium frames, it creates a lighter and stronger frame, with less stress at the weak point

Double wall rims

Double wall rims are stronger than single rims, as they have an extra inside wall. They make the rim less likely to buckle on impact, but are slightly heavier.

Double-sided pedal

A pedal which has an SPD attachment on one side and a flat pedal on the other side. This means they can be used with ordinary flat shoes or with clip-in SPD shoes. Popular for touring.

Double Stop/Down Tube Exit - Merida Technology

Rear suspension often causes problems with the rear shifting cable (e.g. formation of loops, abrasion/friction, undesired shifting) which are caused by movement during compression. Thanks to a double break via special sleeves (“Double Stop”), MERIDA keeps the defined cable length constant. Due to a large cable exit in the down tube, “Down Tube Exit” additionally puts an end to awkward handling of internally routed cables.

Down tube

The bike frame tube which runs from the bottom bracket to the lower end of the head tube in a diagonal line.

Down tube shifter

The original type of shifters used for derailleur-geared bikes which are positioned on the down tube. Down tube shifters are friction shifters and are now largely obsolete in favour of handlebar mounted indexed shifters.


A time trial mountain biking event on a steep downhill course including jumps and obstacles. Fast and furious, and the quickest past the post at the bottom wins.

Downhill helmet

A helmet which covers the whole face and head and is used for downhill mountain biking. Sometimes called a full-face helmet.


Cyclists ride close together and take it in turns to lead. Sometimes referred to as slipstreaming, this is a practice used in road racing but usually banned in triathlon. The overall effect of drag is reduced greatly which can lead to less energy being exerted (although the rider at the front has to put in a fair graft as they are not shielded from the wind).


Anything to do with making the bike move forward, so the bottom bracket, chain, chainwheels, cassette, derailleurs, pedals, rear hub and rear sprockets.

Drop bar

The handlebars found on road bikes which extend downwards and curve back under themselves. They give the flexibility to ride on the hoods, the drops, or the tops.


The slot in the fork or rear stays of a bike frame that the wheel is locked into. The wheel is fitted into place in the dropout with a skewer, often a QR skewer. Rear dropouts can be horizontal, vertical, or track ends.

Dropper post

A mountain bike seatpost which can be raised or lowered while riding without stopping. Dropper posts are controlled by a lever on the handlebars and help you to ride a variety of terrain without having to stop to change your saddle height.

Drum brake

A brake where a cable operates pads which are sealed within the hub casing. Drum brakes work really well in wet and dirty conditions as they are sealed and require very little maintenance. However, they are heavy and require specific hubs so are most often found on utility style bikes.

Dry lube

Bike chain lubricant which is light and leaves little residue. It is best for dry and dusty conditions as it can be washed away more easily than wet lube.

DWR coating

DWR is short for Durable Water Repellent. It's a coating added to fabrics to help water bead up and roll off your garment.

DYAD RT2 shock

A 2-in-1 shock system. Has an ELEVATE and FLOW mode for different riding styles and conditions. Switching between modes will change the sag and geometry of the bike for optimal performance

Dynamo hub

A bicycle hub which can generate electricity to power a light as it rotates. Dynamo hubs have to be built into the wheel and can be heavy, but they supply a continuous source of power so you are never left without lights.

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Easy Mount Kickstand - Cube Technology

The Easy Mount Kick Stand is a new system developed and designed by CUBE. The base of the stand is mounted from below to a fitting plate integrated to the frame and fixed with a through bolt. This kick stand is extremely stiff and solid through the enlarged contact areas between base and frame which gives a stable stand even with loaded panniers.


E-hybrid bikes are modified hybrid bikes with a motor and battery. They're limited to 15.5mph.


E-MTB's are modified mountain bikes with a motor and battery. They're limited to 15.5 mph.


E-road bikes are modified road bikes with a motor and battery. They're limited to 15.5 mph.

Efficient Comfort Geometry - Cube Technology

With specially designed Efficient Comfort Geometry, long distances can be covered easily. Trips with the family, tours with friends or a journey of months - explore the world and life in a new way with Cube's travel series geometry.

Efficient Ride Control - Cube Technology

Cube Efficient Ride Control concept is now also applied to Cube's newly developed 27.5 frames like the AMS 130 and AMS 150. With Efficient Ride Control particular attention has been given to delivering the identical optimum riding experience to every rider, irrespective of body size. Cube designed the linkage geometry on a model-by-model basis so that all frame sizes have the same travel and spring rate curves. In addition, the kinematics have been optimized specifically in relation to travel in respect of sensitivity, drive and no bobbing. For this it was necessary to specially position all rear pivot points. Whether the rider is large or small, with any of these models he will always have the optimum ride experience.

Electric Bike

Electric bikes are modified standard bikes with the addition of a motor and battery.


Using the front brake to lift the rear wheel off the ground. The opposite to a wheelie.


A type of Endurance mountain bike racing that includes timed DH sections with uphill and XC sections. It's an all-mountain bike discpline.


Mounting points for pannier racks or mudguards onto a bike frame. Can be found on the fork and chainstays of compatible bikes.

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FACT Carbon

Functional Advanced Composite Technology. Specialized's frames are designed and tested based on the needs of the rider experience. The process results in very high quality carbon bikes

Fat bike

A mountain bike with wide tyres, usually up to 5 inches in width; originally developed for use on snow and sand.

Fatty Fork

Front suspension from Cannondale, it's design is extremely lightweight and very stiff (with lockout), highly regarded by XC racers.


The small, metal cap which is crimped onto the end of a gear or brake cable to stop it fraying.

Fixed wheel bike

A bike which has no freewheel, so the pedals must turn as the rear wheel turns. Fixed wheel bikes have just one rear gear cog, giving a single gear. As the rider cannot freewheel, they can also exert a braking force by resisting the turning of the pedals. Riding fixed results in a closer relationship between the rider and the bike, having to have a great control over how fast you're going and avoiding any obstacles, but also less room for mistakes. As it's against UK law to ride without proper front and rear brakes, we'd recommend fitting a front brake on any fixed gear bike.


Fixed wheel bike.


The part of a hub that the spokes attach to. Available in small-flange, low-flange, high-flange or large-flange varieties.

Flat bar

A handlebar formed of a horizontal bar, as found on most mountain bikes or hybrids.

Flat pedal

Pedals which have a simple flat platform and do not allow the rider to clip in with SPD or road shoes.

Flatland BMX

A specialist form of BMX involving intricate tricks on flat surfaces without ramps or other equipment. Riders stand on one or more of the stunt pegs while balancing and spinning the bike in various positions. Professional flatland bikes are short, light and tall for easier spinning although a freestyle bike will do just fine.


A new disc brake mounting standard for road bikes, created by Shimano. 

Flex Stay - Merida Technology

Road bikes and MTB hardtails are deliberately rigid in the rear. This way, they do not only reach low weights but also turn each rider-provided watt into propulsion. Yet a rigid rear end transmits bumps back to the rider as well – this affects the athlete’s performance potential. But not in the case of Merida “Flex Stay” seat and chain stays: Their special design works like a flat spring to absorb surface bumps and reduce vibrations effectively.

Flip Flop Head - Merida Technology

Of course, an aero bike has to offer best possible data in terms of aerodynamics. But at MERIDA, best possible adaptability ranges directly second. Because even superb wind-tunnel data can be useless if the pilot is not able to position her-/himself optimally on the bike and thereby produces an unnecessarily high air resistance. Thanks to the “Flip Flop” head for the saddle, the seating angles of our REACTO and WARP TT can be modified optimally.


The term used to describe the way a large 3" or 4" tyre absorbs bumps on the trail.

Folding bike

A bike which can be folded up for easier transportation and storage. They are popular with commuters using public transport for part of the journey.

Folding tyre

Tyres where the bead is made of a flexible material such as Aramid so they can be folded up when in storage. Folding tyres are usually lighter than their equivalent with more rigid bead.


The process of using heat and pressure to form metal parts. By developing a grain structure in the metal, it makes it stronger in the direction in which it's been stretched.


The part of the frameset holding the front wheel in place. Made up of two blades, the fork crown and the steerer. The fork is attached to the frame by the headset.

Fork arch

The arch that connects one side of the fork lowers to the other, to create extra stiffness and strength

Fork crown

The area where the two blades of a bicycle fork join at the top.

Fork dive

With a suspension fork, when the weight is thrown forward and the fork drops down too far into its travel.

Fork end

A slot in the frame or fork of a bike where the axle of the wheel is attached. A dropout is a variety of fork end which lets you remove the rear wheel without derailing the chain.

Four bar

Rear suspension ststem that isolates chain and brake loads in order to offer fully active travel even while pedaling and braking. Includes Specialized FSR and Giant Maestro systems among others.

Fork lowers

The bottom part of suspension forks, where the stanchions slide into

Forward Geometry

A proprietary design feature of Mondraker bike frames. The front triangle of the frame is made longer, while the stem is made as short as possible, effectively increasing the wheelbase without stretching out the reach of the bike.

FOX Customized Setup - Cube Technology

Sophisticated suspension kinematics are only able to work correctly if the associated shock is properly tuned. Cube researched and found a specific shock setup in cooperation with Fox Racing Shox, using extensive testing for almost every CUBE full-suspension model.

Fox Float

Air suspension forks and rear shocks by Fox Racing for MTB's, they're very light and durable. Travel ranges from 80m to 200mm.


The central structure of a bike, to which everything else is attached. Most commonly diamond in shape, it's made up of the front triangle which consists of the seat tube, top tube, and down tube. The rear triangle is formed by the seat tube, seatstays and chainstays. The material of the frame impacts on the overall weight of the bike, with carbon being very light and steel fairly hefty.

Frame clearance

The space between the tyres and the chainstays, seatstays and fork. If you fit larger tyres, you will have less frame clearance. Make sure you have enough frame clearance for mudguards if you want to fit them.

Frame Safe System - Cube Technology

To protect high-end aluminium frames from damage, they are built with the CUBE Frame Save System replaceable derailleur hanger. The mounting thread is in the hanger and not in the frame as usual. In case of a crash, this hanger can be easily and quickly replaced by a new one.


The collective name given to the frame and fork. It can also include a headset and a seatpost.


The one-way freely rotating component on the centre of the rear hub to which the cassette is fitted. It is the freehub that allows you to freewheel when you stop pedalling on a bicycle.


A discipline of mountain biking similar to dirt jumping and downhill. It includes style, technical features and tricks.

Freestyle BMX

Common BMX involving ramps and street. The geometry/size, handlebars and wheels are the same for dirt BMXs, but freestylers will often use stunt pegs (tubular extensions on the wheel axles) for grinding.

Front derailleur

The mechanical component which moves the chain between the front chainrings when you change gear.

FSP4Link - Cube Technology

The key requirement is for continuously active and fully usable travel, with the rear triangle unaffected by pedalling or especially braking forces. There are a number of ways of achieving this – CUBE favours a four bar design with a chainstay pivot. Here, one of the pivots is located between the dropout and the chainstay, ensuring that braking does not have a negative effect on the movement of the rear wheel. By carefully positioning the remaining pivots, Cube obtain the finest riding qualities for Cube's full suspension bikes both uphill and downhill. This fact is proven by many top test results in leading magazines over the last few years.

FSR Suspension

FSR (Future Shock Rear) Specilazeds suspension system is comfortable and efficient because it isolates chain and brake loads. The tyres maintain contact with the ground a greater percentage of the time; ideal for downhill or XC riding

Full DI2 Integration - Cube Technology

Though the full Di2 Integration the Dura Ace Di2 battery is completely fitted within the frame. The Shimano junction box is placed aerodynamically in the stem which makes charging and servicing a lot easier as it can be done via the junction in the stem. Another distinct feature is that it can be easily dismounted and mounted for transporting the bike.

Full suspension (full sus)

Full suspension mountain bikes have suspension at the front and rear, for a more comfortable ride. There's a suspension fork at the front and a shock at the back.

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Gain ratio

A system for numbering gear values. Calculated by dividing the distance travelled by the bike by the distance travelled by the pedals during one turn of the crank.

Garmin Connect

Garmin Connect is an online training tool for you to store, analyse and share your fitness activities. Garmin Connect works with Garmin devices. 

Gear cable

The combination of an inner wire and outer case which connects derailleurs and the gear shifter on the handlebar. When you change gear with the gear shifter, the changing tension on the gear cable allows the derailleur to move into a new position and move the chain to a different gear.


The collection of cogs, derailleurs and chainrings that makes pedalling harder or easier. Bicycle gearing is the aspect of bicycle drivetrain that determines the relationship between the cadence, the rate at which the rider pedals, and the rate at which the drive wheel turns. The gear of a bike relates to the mechanical advantage of the drive system. The pedals are easy to turn in a low gear but have to be turned fast in order to achieve a high speed. In a high gear, the pedals are harder to turn but they don't have to be turned as quickly to make the bike go fast.

Get loose

Term shouted at racers during a downhill race, telling them to take a corner so fast that the wheels lose traction.


A zip-up sleeveless jacket worn to keep the torso warm while cycling. Gilets are often made of windproof fabric and can be easily removed and stowed in a pocket while riding.


GLONASS is Russia's version of the U.S GPS system to help with navigation. 


Cycling gloves have grips to protect your hands from slipping and padding to prevent discomfort. Putting out a gloved hand to break your fall will do less damage to your wrist than a non-gloved hand. Long or short finger, good gloves are breathable and waterproof.


Slang term used in mountain biking to describe anything considered good.


Short for Global Positioning System, it is a satellite-bassed navigation system. GPS enabled cycle computers offer accurate distance data.

Gran Fondo

Slang term for the smallest chainring on a triple chainset. It's ideal for giving you that extra help getting up hills and is so called because it doesn't have many teeth.

Granny ring

Mass participation cycling events.

Gran Turismo Composite - Cube Technology

In designing the GTC carbon fiber frames, safety and comfort are the main factors. Cube use high modulus fibers for the parts which are stressed the most: the head tube, the seat tube top and the bottom bracket area. That is why the frame still offers flex and comfort resulting from the flexible tubes. Cube's special production process with inner and outer molding forms ensure that the minimum of required material is used, reducing overall weight even with complex frame designs. All GTC frames have of course passed DIN -Plus testing.

Gravel bike

A mix between road and cyclocross bikes, usually with bigger wheels and more relaxed geometry. They are made to take on a greater variety of terrains, without specialising in any one particular surface. 

Gravity Casting - Cube Technology

Gravity Casting takes the development of high-end aluminium frames to the next level. The advanced construction process – involving several post-production steps – moulds liquid aluminium into highly complex frame sections. The motor, cover, battery mount and cable routing combine to form a single module that is always tailored exactly to the bike's intended use. Die casting technology now means that components can be virtually fully integrated into a structure that is specially designed to cope with stress on specific load points and look good at the same time

Gravity enduro

Mountain bike trail centre racing but without any timed uphill sections. Gravity enduro combines the fitness of cross country riding and the technique of downhill racing and is massively popular despite being relatively new. Each race segment is against the clock and the person with the overall shortest accumulated time is the winner. Ideally competed on a mid-travel(140-160mm) full suspension trail bike.


Slippery substance used to lubricate most bike parts. Commonly used on ball bearings, grease keeps everything running smoothly and your bike working efficiently. As they say in the musical, Grease IS the word.


A part of the bike other than the wheels (usually stunt pegs) slides along a rail/ledge/ramp edge.


A covering for the end of a flat handlebar to give purchase and comfort while holding on. Grips are commonly made of rubber, plastic or leather.


The collective name of the mechanical parts of a bicycle. The three main brands are Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.


A reinforcement welded or brazed to one or more tubes of a frame to strengthen an area of high stress.


A component which allows you to spin the handlebars 360° without cables getting in the way. Perfect for pulling whips or barspins.

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Edging ahead of someone you are riding alongside in a group ride, causing the groups to get faster and faster. It is considered bad form on a club run.


A gear shifting system by Truvativ which replaces the front chainrings with an internally contained gearbox system. It is comparable to a hub gear system, but to replace the front chainrings rather than the rear cassette. It is sealed from dirt and weather making it a very low maintenance system.


The part of the bike you hold onto up front. Handlebars can be road-style drop bars, mountain bike-style flat bars, riser bars, butterfly bars, North Road and many other types.


A waterproof cycling jacket. A hardshell jacket is typically a bit less flexible than a softshell, but the best ones are windproof and breathable as well as being waterproof.


A mountain bike which has a front suspension fork, but no rear suspension shock.

Head tube

The bicycle frame tube that is vertical at the front of the bike. The head tube has the fork protruding from the bottom of it and the stem and handlebars from the top. Bikes with a longer, or taller, head tube usually have a more upright position for stable, comfortable geometry.


Component containing the rotating bearings that allow the fork to move in the head tube. Headsets come in many different sizes and types, but many bikes have the most common 1 1/8"" size. Older bikes often have a 1"" headset. Internal, external and integrated headsets are different types and describe where the bearings are positioned in relation to the head tube.

Headset press

A workshop tool which presses headset cups into the top and bottom of the head tube. A headset press makes sure the tight-fitting cups are seated perfectly evenly, without damaging the head tube.


The angle of the heatube on the frame. A slacker headangle will create a more relaxed steering, making for a more stable bike on descents, but will adversely affect climbing ability. A steeper headangle creates a sharper steering bike, which is better for climbing but not as stable on descending.

Heart rate monitor (HRM)

An electronic monitor which detects heart rate and is useful for training. Heart rate monitors are often worn as a wristwatch or as a band around the chest.

Hex key

A tool with a hexagonal head used to tighten a great many bicycle bolts. Also called an Allen key.

HFS (Hydro Forming System) - Merida Technology

The mechanical TFS process works from the outside to the inside. In contrast, the complex Hydro Forming System shapes the frame by pushing hot oil under hydraulic high pressure from the inside to the outside. Utilized alloy: Prolite 66 aluminium.

High-low adjuster screw

A pair of screws on a derailleur which limit its movement in either direction. They must be set correctly when a new derailleur is fitted to make sure it works properly.

High Performance Aluminium - Cube Technology

For high end bikes Cube use High Performance 7005 Aluminium alloy which has a very low density combined with high strength due to the alloy elements and the hardening heat treatment. By triple butting or even quadruple butting (as in the REACTION , HANZZ and AERIUM models) to give different wall thicknesses in one tube, aluminium tubes are reinforced where required and made lighter where possible. In this way, Cube succeed in getting material where its needed most. In addition Cube use special tube shapes, manufactured with hydroforming technology to better cope with directional forces. The low density and high strength as well as the butting and the hydroforming technology enable Cube to make high performance frames with an ultimate level of stiffness.

High-modulus carbon

Frame building carbon consisting of smaller, denser fibres for a better quality frame.

Hole shot

The rider in the lead going into the first turn after the start of a mtb race.


Shimano cranksets that use a hollow forged construction that increases stiffness, while keeping weight reasonable.


The rubberised body of a drop bar brake lever which is stationary when the brake lever is moved. They make a comfortable hand rest on road bikes and using them is described as 'riding on the hoods'.


HRM is short for Heart Rate Monitor. These monitors track your heart rate to give you real-time data on the physiological impact of your exercise


The central part of a bicycle wheel. The hub is joined to the rim by spokes. Most modern front hubs are 100mm wide, but rear hubs vary depending on their type and purpose. Most road bike rear hubs are 130mm and mountain bike rear hub spacing is most commonly 135mm.

Hub gears

Internal planetary gears which are sealed in the rear hub of the bike. The advantages of hub gears are they are very low maintenance and durable. They can be heavy, though, and all the weight is concentrated at one point. With hub gears there is no need for derailleurs, a cassette, or more than one chainring. Popular brands are Sturmey-Archer, Rohloff and Shimano's Alfine range.


A practical, flat-barred bike suitable for many purposes. Hybrids often contain a mixture of mountain bike and road bike technology.

Hydraulic disc brakes

Operating in a similar way to car disc brakes, these use a caliper attached to the forks near the dropout which slow or stop the bike when pressure is applied to the brake handles. Pressure is then transferred via fluid to calipers, which force the brake pads onto the discs (rotors) and the friction produced causes the bike to slow/stop. More stopping power can be gained by using soft compound pads although they won't last as long, whereas harder compound pads last longer and are suited to muddy and wet conditions.


A method of shaping bicycle frame tubes, particularly aluminium ones. A fluid is pumped through the mould as the metal is shaped, so the frame material is distributed evenly. This makes the frame stronger and lighter, helping to eliminate weak spots.

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Indexed gears

Gears which are controlled by a ratchet mechanism which allows each gear to 'click' into place. Indexed gears have largely replaced friction gears.

Inner cable

The wire which forms the centre of a brake or gear cable. It is surrounded by an outer cable which it works in conjunction with to control gears or brakes.

Inner tube

The circular rubber tube with a valve which is fitted within a clincher tyre and inflated. Inner tubes are available in different sizes and you must make sure you have the right size for your tyres.

Integrated Modular Carrier - Cube Technology

The Integrated Multi Carrier is a complete new development by CUBE. The bicycle rack becomes an integral part of the frame, adding to the rigidity of the chassis. Through a specially designed modular construction, the rack is expandable in many ways. Bags, carrying systems and boxes can be mounted easily and safely for secure, convenient load carrying.

Integrated Post Mount - Cube Technology

The post mount rear brake system is found on all carbon fiber frames and top aluminum full suspension models. Two bolts and the IS adpater aren’t needed anymore, and fewer parts means less weight. In this case Cube save 30 grams. This may not sound a lot. But there's potential to save weight in every detail.

Intelligent Power Indicator - Lezyne Technology

Integrated power and charging indicator.

Internal cable routing

When brake and shifter cables are routed inside the frame as opposed to connected outside the frame.

International Splined Interface Standard

A type of bottom bracket. ISIS bottom brackets appear similar to Shimano's Octalink, but the two component standards are not compatible. An Octalink BB has eight splines and an ISIS has 10.

IS mount

A type of brake mount on a bike frame and fork. An IS, or international standard, mount usually has a brake-specific adapter fixed to it so the brake caliper can be correctly fitted, rather than on a post mount where the caliper if fitted directly to studs, or posts, on the frame and fork.

ISCG mounts

Three mounting holes around the bottom bracket that allows for chainguides to be fitted.

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A cycling top. Jerseys can be short sleeved or long sleeved and made from a variety of materials, including polyester and merino wool. Choose a jersey that is right for the temperature in which you will be cycling and that has good wicking properties to keep you comfortable.

Jockey wheels

The small cogs which the chain is looped round in the rear derailleur.

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K-Mount Drop-Out - Merida Technology

Specifically designed Merida brake-disc dropout for aluminium frames with integrated mounting possibility for HEBIE rear kickstands. For optimal torsion stiffness also during tough braking 


Keirin racing is a type of motor-paced cycle racing where track cyclists sprint for a victory after a controlled-speed start behind a motorcycle, known as a derny. Races are around 2km long. Riders must remain behind the pacer for a certain number of laps, getting faster and faster, before the pacer leaves the track 600-700 metres from the end. At this point the cyclists sprint. The winner's speed is normally around 43mph.


Trademark name for a tough, durable, synthetic fibre used in bicycle clothing and components. Kevlar is commonly used to add puncture protection to tyres, but it is also sometimes used to add strength to clothing and shoes. Belt drive bicycles often have a Kevlar belt.


The spring-loaded stand of a bicycle. It is so called because it is kicked down to lean the bike against it.

Knee warmers

Tubes of fabric, usually Lycra, which cover the knees to keep them warm while cycling. It is important to keep the knees warm as they are more prone to injury if you cycle when they are cold.

Knobbly tyre

Tyres for mountain biking which have rubber knobs to help them grip better off road.

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The process of layering sheets of carbon fibre when creating a carbon bike frame.


Local bike shop. A good LBS will be able to give you expert advice on whatever type of riding you do and have a great selection of cool things to buy. Tredz is the LBS for South Wales.


Cannondale's innovative suspension technology. A Lefty Fork has just one leg, rather than two, making is far lighter and stiffer than other front spension options. The Lefty is also very strong and smooth which is why racers love it as well making innertube changes quicker.

Leg warmers

Tubes of fabric, usually Lycra, which cover the legs to keep them warm while cycling. They are worn with shorts and if the rider becomes too hot they can roll them down or remove them easily.

Lever blade

The part of the brake lever that is in contact with your hands


Compression damping cut-off locking the fork at either a fully or partially compressed height.


A feature on suspension and shock forks that allows the suspension to be 'locked'. Very useful on flat or smooth terrain.

Low profile (lo-pro)

A bike with a 700c rear wheel and a smaller 600c or 650c front wheel. Lo-pro bikes were used for time trialling and pursuit track racing.


Slippery substance used on a bicycle chain.


Connecting pieces which are used to join together steel and sometimes carbon bike frames. Steel lugs usually have a pointed design but are sometimes made into decorative and complex shapes.


The brand name for spandex, a stretchy fabric which is frequently used in cycle clothing.

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A track cycling relay race. It is named after Madison Square Garden in New York where the event originated. It was first invented to get round rules laid down to stop cyclists involved in six-day events from becoming dangerously exhausted. These days the race is much shorter and is an Olympic event, but still consists of one rider resting while the other races.


Middle-aged men in Lycra. A term fondly used to describe gentlemen of a certain age who embrace the cycling culture enthusiastically. Nothing to be ashamed of!


A mountain bike axle standard created by SRAM which resembles an oversized quick release. Maxle axle widths can be 15mm or 20mm.

Mech hanger

The part of the dropout that the rear mech or derailleur attaches to. Because it is quite a vulnerable area of the frame, many bikes have a replaceable rear mech hanger so if it is damaged, the whole frame isn't a write-off.

Mechanical Disc Brakes

Mechanical disc brakes work by brake levers which act on cables to move the caliper. This forces brake pads against the rotor on the wheel.

Memory Mode - Lezyne Technology

The light remains in the output setting it is switched OFF in.

Microadjust seatpost

A seatpost where the saddle angle can be adjusted by tiny increments, usually using a pair of bolts in the seatpost clamp.


A small, portable hand pump for carrying with you while cycling.


Fingerless cycling gloves which provide padding as well as warmth.


A type of step-through bike frame where the top tube is replaced with a pair of narrow tubes. The two tubes run all the way from the head tube to the rear dropouts, passing either side of the seat tube.

Monocoque frame

A carbon frame which is formed as a single external shell, with no internal supporting sections. This is as opposed to a carbon frame built from several joined pieces or tubes.

MOR Optics - Lezyne Technology

MOR (Maximum Optical Reflection) lenses are optimized to maximize LED output, beam pattern and lumen efficiency.

Mountain bike

A bike designed for tackling rough terrain. They are built of strong material to cope with climbs and rugged ground. Rigid mountain bikes don't have suspension. Hardtails have a front suspension fork. Full suspension bikes have a fork and a rear shock. Design varies depending on the type of riding, with specific bikes for trails, downhill, enduro or XC. They are available in 26”, 27.5” (650b) and 29er wheel sizes.


A flexible guard that is fixed to the bottom of a mudguard to stop water and grime spraying up from the bike wheel.


A curved attachment that fits over each wheel to stop water and mud from being sprayed upwards. There are various types of mudguards for different types of bike. The most common have stays which bolt onto eyelets drilled in the bike's frame and fork.

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NACA Fastback Profile - Merida Technology

The special “NACA Fastback” tube profiles of Merida WARP TT and REACTO base on the evaluation of data which were collected during comprehensive wind-tunnel tests (with and without pilot simulations). Particularly at the down-tube, seat-tube, and seat-stay sections, the drop-shaped tube designs with their cropped rear ends prove to be optimal in aerodynamic respect. This way, the essential factors of stiffness and aerodynamics can be combined ideally.

Nano Matrix Carbon - Merida Technology

Carbon bikes are often subject to considerable strain. To increase the quality of the used material, MERIDA utilizes this premium technology: the epoxy resins are enriched with special nano-particles to strengthen the matrix of the carbon composite. This way, the impact resistance of the final construction is increased successfully by up to 40%. “Nano-Matrix Carbon” refines all MERIDA high-end carbon bikes.

Narrow wide chainring

A single chainring that uses alternates between a sharper narrow tooth profile and a thicker tooth profile that matches the shape of the holes in the chain. The purpose of a narrow wide chainring is to reduce the risk of chains dropping of the chainring. 


A tiny, threaded, metal cylinder which attaches each spoke to the bike's wheel rim.


A sheath fitted over a brake cable to allow it to turn a corner, usually so it can reach the brake.

North Shore

Elevated wooden trails made of interconnecting bridges or logs used for mountain biking. It is named after the North Shore area of Vancouver, Canada, where it originated.

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Onepiece Design - Cube Technology

Welded joints in high-quality aluminum frames are specially finished via this method and create the impresssion of seamless tube design. This generates the visual effect of moulding and ensures high load bearing capacity.

Open bath

Flowing oil used in a suspension damping system which acts as a lubricant. It is more reliable and tolerant of or oil leaks than cartridge oil flow, but it is harder to control.

Opposite threaded

A pair of screw holes which are threaded in opposite directions. On bicycles, these are found on the pedal cranks and the bottom bracket. The left pedal screw in anticlockwise and the right pedal screws in clockwise.

Optimal Drive Position - Cube Technology

The “engine” is the critical part of an Ebike because of its weight and its junction to the regular drivetrain. These factors present a real challenge for the frame design. This is why CUBE developed an innovative new frame construction for the new Ebike generation: simultaneously being the cradle for the electric motor, the pivot for the rear link and the seat of the shock eyelet, the very complex area of the bottom bracket is made of two forged halves. The groove in the front section together with the specially formed down tube is home for the power pack which in this way has a very low position in the frame triangle. The positive outcome is an extremely low center of gravity supporting an agile riding characteristic while achieving a super rigid bottom bracket area.

Outer cable

The lubricated casing around the central wire in a brake or gear cable.

Overdrive Race Mode - Lezyne Technology

An alternate race mode that toggles between super bright (Overdrive) and Economy only.


Stretchy shoe covers made of water and wind resistant fabric which protect cycling shoes and keep the feet warm.

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A bag which connects to the rear rack of a bicycle. Usually they are used in pairs, with one on either side of the rack.

Park BMX

BMX discipline that involves using skate parks.

Pedal thread

Where pedals screw into, with the right-hand pedal tightening clockwise and the left pedal tightening anti-clockwise. The reverse thread on the left is so the pedal force cannot loosen the bottom bracket or pedal.


Where the feet are positioned on a bicycle. There are several different types of pedal. Flat pedals where the feet are just balanced on top and clipless pedals where specialist cycling shoes are clipped into the pedals and must be detached by angling the foot sideways to release.


A pedelec is another term for an electric bike where the cyclist's pedalling is assisted by an electric motor.


The 'pack' of riders formed in a race for strategic and aerodynamic purposes. Similar to the formation of birds in flight, the shape will change to allow the 'pack leaders' a rest.

Penny farthing

A bicycle with a large front wheel and a small rear wheel. Also called a high-wheeler or a boneshaker. These were the first machines to be called bicycles.


The points at which the frame parts and rear shock of a mountain bike are connected and can move.

Planetary gears

The gearing found in an internal hub gear, consisting of outer gear cogs rotating around a central, or sun, gear cog.


A point in training or weight loss where a cyclist's progress levels off.

Plus bike or 27.5+

Bikes that have larger tyres, between 2.8-3.0". These tyres, when mounted on 27.5" wheels, create a similar height to 29" wheels. They offer greater traction and 'float' over rough terrain. They also add an extra level of bump absorption. 


A platform used to elevate the winner of a cycling race. A podium usually has three steps, for first, second and third place.


A RockShox lockout lever that's attached to the handlebars and uses a cable to remotely activate the lockout on the forks.

Position sensitive damping

Damping which changes as a suspension fork moves through its stroke.

Post mount

An easily adjusted disc brake mount which uses twin threaded posts perpendicular to the brake rotor.

Post Mount Disc - Merida Technology

Hassle-free alignment and easy installation made possibly by “posts” at the rear dropout. Adaptable to different disc sizes thanks to the utilization of differently dimensioned adapters. Found on Merida bikes.


A power meter brand which produces power meters that are fitted within the bike's hub.


Additional pressure which is applied to a coil or air spring, increasing the load that is needed to start it moving.


A valve on the inside of a tyre used for inflation purposes. It has a small nut at the top which needs to be unscrewed to allow air in or out. Commonly found on road bikes but can feature on some mountain bike tyres.

Prolite 66 - Triple Butted Aluminium - Merida Technology

Triple Butted Aluminium MERIDA’s premium alloy is an extremely durable and light aluminium of high-end quality. Triple-butted wall thicknesses result not only in exciting frame designs: First of all, they offer an optimum Stiffness-to-Weight (STW) ratio.


Tyres are labelled with psi (pounds/square inch) to indicate the amount of air that needs to be pumped in for optimal inflation. Road bike pressure should be around 100psi whereas MTB tyres tend to be more around the 60-70psi mark.

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Power meter manufacturer that makes power meters that are positioned within the bicycle cranks.

Quick release

An easy to undo mechanism for securing bicycle wheels and seatposts. A rod has a thread and nut on one end, with a lever operated cam on the other.


A bicycle chain link which can be undone without breaking the chain with a chain tool. The chain can be rejoined again over and over through the same means.

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Race BMX

Less common BMX type, built for speed. These bikes have a light but strong frame, which is usually made from aluminium, light wheels with 36 spokes, a high ratio single gear and a single rear brake. There's usually padding on the handlebars, stem and top-tube to help protect the rider as falls at high speed can do some serious damage.

Race Link - Merida Technology

This is Merida's rear suspension which we have optimized for Cross Country oriented riding and the modern world of 1x drivetrains. It is a single-pivot with linkage system, has a super light carbon rocker (only 80 grams) and allows for light, efficient rear ends whose kinematics totally eliminate pedal-bob when set up with 25% sag. Sensitive in the beginning, with a stable platform in the middle and progressive in the end – RACE LINK works masterfully in challenging uphills and downhills.

Racelite 61 Aluminium - Merida Technology

A superbly solid and light alloy originally from the aerospace sector. MERIDA subjects this aluminium to an additional heat treatment. Thanks to double-butted wall thicknesses, it perfectly lends itself to the production of light and stiff frames.


A cyclist who enters competitive events.


A structure fitted to a bicycle above the rear wheel to carry luggage. Cyclo-tourists and commuters often use a rack as it is more comfortable than a rucksack. Rack packs and panniers can easily be fitted to a rack.

Rack pack

A bag which is the right size and shape to be easily secured to a rear luggage rack of a bicycle.

Radial spoking

A spoke pattern where the spokes go straight outwards from hub to rim with no crossover. This spoking pattern is not suitable for any sort of hub brakes and is only used on front wheels.

Rear derailleur

The mechanical drivetrain component which shifts the chain between different sprockets on the cassette.


The return part of the fork stroke on a mountain bike suspension fork.


Red, orange or white plastic item which is engineered to reflect light and glow when an external light source such as a car headlight hits them. You are required by law to have a white one on the front of your bike, a red one on the rear and orange ones on your pedals.

Remote lockout

A lockout for a mountain bike fork which can be controlled with a switch on the handlebar.


A brand of chromoly tubing used in bicycle frame manufacturer. It comes in different wall thicknesses and weights and the higher the number, the lighter and more expensive it is.


The circle of metal around the outside of a bicycle wheel. The rim is connected to the hub with spokes.

Rim brake

A brake which works by pressing on the wheel rim. Cantilever and caliper brakes are the most common types and they are found on road bikes, hybrids and cyclocross bikes.

Rim tape

A liner which is stretched over the inside surface of the wheel rim. It stops the inner tube from pressing into the spoke holes and puncturing when it is inflated.

Riser bar

A type of flat handlebar which is bent upwards a little at either end.

Road bike

Bike with thin wheels and a drop handlebar, designed for speed. Typical features include narrow tyres to reduce rolling resistance and drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position. There are several variations of road bikes, including race bikes, triathlon/time trial bikes, sportive bikes, cyclocross bikes and track bikes.

Road pedal

A clipless pedal which uses a three-bolt fitting to attach to road shoes. Popular types of road pedal are Shimano SPD-SL, Look, Keo and Speedplay.


A very traditional type of bicycle typical of the first half of the 20th century. Roadsters have made a comeback in recent years as a practical fashion statement.


a popular brand of hub gear.


An obstacle on a track which is rolled over instead of jumped.


An indoor training tool formed of rotating cylinders which you balance your bike on and cycle over to remain stationary. Turbo trainers are a little more stable, but rollers are closer to the feeling of actually being on the road.


The technical term for the ground debris thrown up while cornering.


A flat metal disc which the caliper presses against to brake in a disc brake set-up.


A racing cyclist who is considered a good all-rounder.


Revolutions per minute. Used by cyclists to measure cadence.

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S-FLEX - Merida Technology

“S-Flex” technology, the REACTO shines with a seating comfort which is outstanding in this segment. With its elastomer window, the aerodynamically optimized seat post absorbs surface bumps very effectively. In this way, “S-Flex” saves the REACTO rider’s power reserves efficiently also over long cycling distances.


The part of the bike you sit on. It's crucial to get the right saddle to make sure cycling is a comfortable experience for you.


A type of tyre inner tube valve found on many bicycles. It is often referred to as a 'car-type' valve and consists of a cylinder with a pin in the centre to release pressure.


Mountain biker slang for any kind of good riding.

Seat Stays

The tubes in the frame that connect the top of the seat tube to the dropouts.

Seat tube

One of the tubes that makes up a bicycle frame, extending from the bottom bracket to the seatpost. The seatpost length is normally the measurement quoted in bicycle frame sizing.


A ring-shaped clamp which fits around the seat tube and tightens it firmly onto the seatpost to hold it in place. A seatclamp can be done up with an Allen bolt or a quick-release lever and you must make sure you have the right size seatpost for your frame.


A small, wedge-shaped bag which is fitted under the saddle to hold essential tools.


A component which fits into the seat tube and has a clamp on the top to hold the saddle. The seatpost can be set at different heights to get your bike fit right.


Part of the bike frame which joins the seat tube and rear dropouts. The seatstay extends diagonally downwards at the rear of the bike.

Semi Integrated Battery - Cube Technology

With this special construction method Cube took the battery and mounted it partially integrated it into the down tube to keep it well protected against mechanical damage from stones and other impacts. Cube positioned the extra weight of the battery and drive unit more centrally towards the bottom bracket for an extremely low centre of gravity. The result? The bike handles great on the trails and delivers a relaxed and natural ride that will make you forget the motor is even there. The sportive, integrated and agile look is a positive side effect.


Type of tyre often fitted to hybrids that is smooth enough for lower rolling resistance, but still has some tread for extra grip.

Shallow drop bar

Type of drop bar or road handlebar where the drops are not as deep. Shallow drop bars are ideal for riders with smaller hands or people who find it hard to ride on the drops. They are ideal for touring and commuting as they provide an extra hand position for comfort which does not pull the rider into the same kind of extreme racing posture as regular drop bars.


Levers mounted on the handlebars which are used to change gear. On mountain bikes and hybrids, thumb shifters, sometimes called rapidfire shifters, are common. Bikes with a drop handlebar usually have drop bar shifters, called STI shifters if they are made by Shimano.

Shimano Steps motor

E-bike motors by Shimano. The high capacity batteries and powerful motors of the Shimano eBike Steps systems use pedal assist to increase your power, moving you easier along. The pedal assist is limited to 15.5mph. The motor sits in the middle and lowest part of the frame, where the bottom bracket would be.


The suspension in the rear of a full-suspension mountain bike. The shock can be coil or air and can have different levels of travel depending on use.

Shock pump

A tool used to increase the pressure in an air shock on a full suspension mountain bike to increase the preload.

SIngle Pivot

A suspension design that uses a single main pivot to activate the suspension.The simplest suspension design available.


Bikes with just a single gear and a freewheel for coasting. Singlespeeds are simple and great fun to ride, taking cycling back to. Just one gear? Actually, this makes everything a whole lot easier, with no gears to worry about, less maintenance required and a lighter and more streamlined bike.


Narrow mountain biking trail which is only wide enough for a single bike.


Metal rod which fits through the wheel axle and dropout to attach the wheel to the bike. A skewer can be quick-release or bolted.


A tight-fitting material cap that is usually used to keep your head warm during colder months, and is made to fit under helmets.


Smooth tyres designed to lower rolling resistance and make a bike faster.

Smooth weld

Frame construction where joins are hidden to give a seamless finish. Particularly used in aluminium frames to give a high-end finish which can imitate carbon.

Smooth Welded - Cube Technology

This elaborate procedure with doubled weld seams has two advantages: On the one hand, it improves the firmness of the weld seams and minimizes the load peaks on the tube welds through energy flow and on the other hand, it helps the frame to a better and more organic look due to the smooth and hardly noticeable welds.


Type of cycling jacket made of soft, warm, flexible fabric. Softshells are comfortable and breathable but often not as waterproof as a hardshell. Some softshells are also windproof.


Metal rings placed under the stem of a bike to make the front end higher.

SPD pedals

Shimano Pedal Dynamics, which is Shimano's clip in pedal system. The term is synonymous (think Hoover and vacuum cleaners) with clips/shoes although there are different varieties available.


Shimano's brand of road cleat, pedal and shoe system. SPD-SL cleats fit to shoes with three bolts.


Bike races on small, oval tracks where the bikes have no brakes or gears. It can get quite rough and tumble and is a great spectator sport.


A hand-like structure attaching the crank arms to the chain rings via specific chainring bolts. Some chainsets have five bolts, but most these days have four.

Split Link

A method of joining the chain. Used by some manufacturers, namely SRAM, and has the advantage of being able to re used so that the chain can be removed (for cleaning etc.) and replaced without any loss in strength.

Split & Slide Dropout - Cube Technology

The SPLIT function allows the frame to open at the rear dropout to enable a drive belt to be mounted. The SLIDE function at the horizontal adjustable dropout allows wheel adjustment and chain/belt tension to be made easily without having to readjust the disc brakes. Adjustment screws avoid readjusting the wheel and ensure perfect function and durability.


Thin metal strut which joins the wheel rim and hub. The spoke is hooked with a stopper at the hub end and threaded for the spoke nipple at the other. There are many different spoke patterns for different purposes.

Spoke key

A tool used to tighten or loosen the spoke nipple to increase or decrease spoke tension.


A non-competitive mass participation road bike event, with a relaxed atmosphere on a set route. The emphasis is usually on finishing, with many events being long distance. It's the cycling equivalent of a marathon - more of an occasion than a race.

Sportive bike

A light, durable and comfortable style of road bike with plenty of climbing gears. The rider position isn't as low or hunched over as on a traditional road bike, as sportives are more about distance than speed.

Spring rate

The load needed to compress the suspension fork of a mountain bike.


A cyclist who specialises in being explosively fast over fairly short distances. Sprinters have plenty of fast-twitch muscle fibres into their legs and come into their own at the end of a race.


The cogs at the rear of a bike's drivetrain. A singlespeed bike has just one sprocket, while the cassette of a geared bikes is made up of many sprockets.


A pair of safety wheels attached to either side of a child's bicycle to stop them falling over sideways. The day the stabilisers come off is usually something of a landmark family event.

Stack and reach

A way of measuring and describing bike size and fit. Stack is the vertical measurement from the bottom bracket centre to the top of the head tube. Reach is the horizontal measurement from the top of the stack measurement to the top of the head tube.


The tubes which the lower legs slide up and down on. Different treatments can be used on the surfaces which increase smoothness and reduce stiction.

Star nut

A star shaped nut that is hammered into a fork's steerer tube. This nut is used with the top bolt of the headset to compress together the bearings for a secure fitment.

Stealth dropper post

Dropper posts that are connected to a handlebar remote through an internally routed cable (or hose).

Stealth Ready - Cube Technology

Dropper seat posts are getting more and more widespread, but to integrate them optimally in the frame, they have to be factory fitted. With the Stealth Ready frames, it is possible to build in a dropper seat post with internally routed cables, which besides the clean look, helps prevent any cables getting jammed. The exit of the cable on the frame – if not required – will be sealed with a cover for protection.


A common frame building material, particularly used for traditional or classic style bikes.


What your handlebars are attached to.


A jump where the landing is higher than the launch point.


Shimano Totally Integrated - Shimano's brand of combined brake and gear lever for drop-bar road bikes. STI levers are operated by moving the entire brake lever sideways to change gear in one direction, with a smaller lever beside it to change gears the other way.

Sticky bottle

Dubious practice in bike racing where a rider collects a bottle from the team car but holds onto it for rather too long, benefiting from a bit of a tow.


Friction between the lower and upper fork legs making the fork reluctant to move over bumps. Sticky friction.


Phenomenally popular GPS-based programme that allows cyclists to track their progress and compete against each other. You publically rank your position on 'segments' to display a leader board of other cyclists who have completed the same segment. The leaders of each segment earn a KOM or QOM crown (king or queen of the mountain).

Street BMX

Light and tough BMX to tackle tricks. Features include smooth tread tyres for better grip, a rear brake detangling system (gyro) so the handlebars can be rotated 360°, and two or four stunt pegs for grinds on rails or ramps. Riders will often raise their seatpost to give better control and choose a frame with a shorter rear end to make riding obstacles easier.

Stunt pegs

Tubular extensions on the wheel axles used in BMX for 'grinding', where a part of the bike other than the wheels slides along a rail/ledge/ramp edge.


The lieutenant in a cycling team who sacrifices his own glory to work for the good of the team. Super-domestiques and domestiques must ride on the front to keep the leader out of the wind, do a lot of tiring, hard miles and collect food and bottles from the team car.

Superman position

A time trial riding position developed by Graeme Obree. The Flying Scotsman won the individual pursuit at the 1995 World Championships using this position, which involves having the arms extended far forward, like Superman.


The sprung fork and shock on a mountain bike that compress and rebound when the bike moves over uneven terrain.

Suspension fork

The front fork of a mountain bike which contains either a coil or air shock to compress and rebound over rough ground. Popular brands are Manitou, RockShox and Fox.

Swap outs

Rear dropouts which can be changed and swapped over to give different types of dropouts. For instance, to change vertical dropouts to horizontal dropouts so a bike can be changed from geared to singlespeed.


Part of the rear suspension on a full suspension mountain bike which connects the rear axle to the shock.

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A completely level or flat jump on the track.


A bicycle built for two.


Japanese brand of cro-mo frame tubing and bicycle components.

Taped seams

For clothing to be full waterproof they must have taped seams to prevent water seeping through these areas and wetting your clothes underneath. 

Tapered Steerer - Cube Technology

This steerer tube design is stiffer than a conventional straight steerer and yields a more secure ride feel even in difficult terrain. Minimal flex at the front of the frame means the greatest possible steering precision. With the larger steerer, the forks become more rigid. At the same time weight is saved due to the absence of bearing shells as the lower bearing is fully integrated into the head tube. On all of CUBE carbon models the upper bearing shells are also directly in the frame, so that once more a few grams are saved and the energy transfer is very direct.

TFS - Techno Forming System - Merida Technology

Thanks to its low weight, aluminium still holds a strong position in frame manufacturing. Innovative shapes that go beyond just round tubes can be realized by the mechanical TFS moulding process. Utilized material: Racelite 6061 aluminium.


A riding technique used in a chaingang or club run that means everyone takes a turn on the front. The lead rider moves aside to allow the second rider to take up position at the front, then drops back to latch onto the wheel of the rearmost rider.

Time trial

A type of road racing in which each competitor races against the clock. Known as the 'race of truth'. Has spawned highly specialised wind-cheating bikes and matching accessory technology to help shave off seconds.


A metal used for framebuilding and components. Titanium is not used as often as other materials as it is very costly. However, it has a beautiful finish, is strong, light and can be worked similarly to steel.

Toe clips

A cage or straps attached to a flat pedal to hold the rider's foot in place. They are most common on track bikes.

Toe overlap

A problem with some smaller bicycles or larger-footed cyclists where the rider's toes overlap with the bicycle's front wheel. This can cause wheel and foot to connect as the wheel turns to round a bend, which can cause a crash in the worst case scenario. The problem is sometimes exacerbated by the use of mudguards.

Top tube

Bicycle frame tube which joins the head tube and seat tube. The top tube is the uppermost tube of the bicycle frame.


Measurement of turning force used to measure how tightly a bolt is done up. When tightening bolts on a bike it is best to always use a torque wrench to tighten them correctly and avoid damage.

Torx key

A tool similar to an Allen key but with a profile of a six-pointed star rather than a hexagon. Torx keys tend to get more purchase than Allen keys and can sometimes be used to undo Allen bolts where the head has become rounded out.

Touring bike

Bicycle used for long-distance trips. Touring bikes usually have a drop handlebar but are much sturdier and therefore heavier than other road bikes. They often have a triple chainset to give extra gears for long, steep climbs. They are fitted with luggage rack to carry lots of cargo and are most commonly built with a steel frame so they can be easily repaired.

Track pump

A bicycle pump which has footboards to stand on and an upright handle to pull up and push down on to inflate the tyres. Also called a floor pump.

Trail Motion Rocker - Cube Technology

The Trail Motion Rocker features optimized leverage ratios for every bike and intended use, giving fast reacting yet stable suspension in every situation. The computer-designed one piece rocker construction gives maximum stiffness for the best suspension performance while still being extremely lightweight.


In bicycle suspension, travel is the total distance that the wheel can move up and down, with respect to the frame. Found in short, mid and long varieties.

Trekking bike

A tough, long distance bike. Trekking bikes differ from touring bikes by being much more rugged and often having flat or 'butterfly' handlebars for an upright, comfortable position. They carry a lot of luggage and are extremely durable with thick tyres.


A participant in the sport of triathlon. Has to be physically fit, disciplined and a glutton for punishment.


A sport combining swimming (usually open water), cycling and running. One of the fastest growing sports due to its extreme demands, it requires lots of training in all three disciplines.

Triathlon bike

Light, fast and aerodynamic, triathlon bikes are built for extreme speed. Carbon is the preferred material of choice.

Triple butted

Butted tubing means that near the joints, there is increased thickness for strength while the rest of the material is thinner and lower weight. A triple butted tube therefore uses three different thicknesses of metal.

Triple chainset

A chainset which has three chainrings. Triple chainsets are usually found on mountain bikes, but also on some hybrids or even road bikes. They are designed to give the greatest possible spread of gears. The smallest chainring on a triple chainset is known as the granny ring.


Time trial.

TT bike

Time trial bike.


Team time trial.

Tuned Drive Position - Cube Technology

Unlike the conventional position of the Bosch drive unit in the frame, Cube rotate the motor by between 8° and 31°, depending on the bike's intended use. This allows the chain stays to be connected lower down on the frame and thus drastically minimises chain slap. The length of the chain stays can also be optimised as a result. The sportive and agile look is a positive side effect.

Turbo trainer

An indoor training device where the rear wheel of the bicycle is attached to the turbo trainer and raised from the ground so the bike cannot move forward when pedalled. Turbo trainers provide resistance via magnets, fluid or air pressure.

Twin Chain Stays - Cube Technology

There are two advantages of twin chain stays With an Ebike the new drive loads demand additional frame stiffness that twin chain stays can deliver. At the same time this construction offers the perfect way mount a protective chain case in a stable and way.

Twin Mold Technology - Cube Technology

The Twin Mold technique uses re-usable cores during the lay-up process to ensure precision frame moulding. Special inserts guarantee optimum ply orientation during the production process to add extra strength at frame points subject to higher loads. This improves the safety of the product and delivers outstanding stiffness characteristics.


The rubber tube that fits around a wheel, accompanied by an inner tube inflated with air. Tyre tread varies in design and widths go from skinny for road racing to thick and chunky for winter stability.

Tyre clearance

The gap between the tyre and the rear chainstays or front fork. Make sure you have sufficient clearance if you want to fit mudguards.

Tyre levers

Tools to prise the tyre away from the wheel in order to change an inner tube in the event of a puncture. Often sold in packs of three and made of plastic or metal. Easier to use than teaspoon handles.

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U brake

Another version of caliper brakes. U brakes have L-shaped arms crossing over the tyre, with the left brake shoe operated by the right side of the transverse cable. U brakes have pivots directly above the rim rather than below it.


Union Cycliste Internationale. The world governing body for sports cycling which oversees international competitive cycling events.


The second highest level Shimano road groupset, with the name deriving from ULTimate + inEGRity.


Cyclists' padded underwear. Undershorts are worn next to the skin with no conventional underwear beneath them. They have a padded insert to protect the rider from painful saddle sores caused by sweat or pressure. A pair of undershorts is a vital garment if you plan to cycle any reasonable distance.


A fork on a mountain or hybrid bike where there is no need for a separate crown as the blade upper ends bend together and attach straight onto the steerer.

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V brake

Linear pull brakes with two parallel arms joined by a wire. When the brake lever is applied, the wire pulls the top of the parallel arms together forming a 'V' shape. Most commonly found on cheaper hybrid bikes.


The one-way opening in an inner tube for pumping air in. To let air back out, the valve must be released.


The name of the track used for racing in cycling. It consists of very steep banks for multiple circuits at lightning speed.

Visual acuity

Visual acuity is the measure of your central vision and your ability to clearly identify the detail and shape of objects.

Virtual Pivot Kinematics - Merida Technology

MERIDA’s in-house “Virtual Pivot Kinematics” is a suspension chassis with a virtual pivot point. You will find VPK in the mountain bike models ONE-FORTY and ONE-SIXTY where it ensures that the bikes of the 145 and 160 and travel category combine outstanding small bump sensitivity, big hit capability and convincing drivetrain and braking neutrality in every imaginable situation.

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The flexible mesh of fibres which is covered in resin to build a carbon bicycle frame. Sometimes the weave is left visible on the finished frame for a pleasing appearance.


The area where bicycle frame tubes are joined together. Welds can be smooth, neat and almost invisible, or built up with reinforcing material for extra strength.

Wet lube

A type of chain lubricant most commonly used in winter as it sticks to the chain better in wet weather. In dry conditions it is not so good as it is sticky and tends to attract dust.

Wet Paint Surface - Cube Technology

On polished, brushed aluminium and all HPC frames, the logos and graphics are applied in multi-layer wet paint. Cube use this surface treatment technology mainly to save weight.


The round things on the bottom of your bike. Wheels come in different sizes. 700c is the most common size for road and hybrid bikes. Mountain bikes tend to have 26"" 27.5"" (650b), or 29er wheels. A new and better set of wheels is probably the biggest yet most straightforward upgrade you can make to your bike.


The distance between the ground contact points of a bicycle. Essentially it is the horizontal distance between the front and rear dropouts.

Wheel dishing

Wheels are centred between the ends of the hub axles. Because of disc brakes and rear gearing, some wheels are dished to have spokes that are longer on one side than the other. 


Stunt move where the front wheel of a bike is lifted from the ground.


Cycling jacket which is windproof.

Wishbone stays

A bicycle seatstay which starts as a single tube at the seat tube before dividing into two at the brake bridge, thus resembling the shape of a wishbone. Wishbone stays are often touted as stiffer and lighter than conventional dual seatstays.

Woman Like Series (WLS) - Cube Technology

Our new WLS models come with different wheel sizes for different frame heights. The 14 and 16" frames have 27.5" wheels, the 17,19 and 21" frames are built as 29ers. Depending on body height, every woman gets the perfect riding character and geometry. The models of our Woman Like Series feature a compact frame geometry with shorter top tubes and longer head tubes, giving a riding position that is more upright than on the men’s models. This riding position relieves the pelvis and offers more comfort. The top tubes of the WLS mountain bikes are lowered, making the bike more comfortable and safe to mount and dismount.


A large piece of workshop equipment that allows you to clamp your bike into it at a convenient height to work on it. A workstand is a very worthwhile investment to anyone working on their bike at home and far easier than turning your bike upside down.

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X12 Through Axle - Cube Technology

In this system, a cone is used to form a play-free connection. It is only necessary to tighten the axle from one side. The position of the wheel is done by an insert in the right-hand dropout which is secured by a bolt. The main advantages of the Syntace system are quick and simple changing of the wheel, reliable position of the brake disc and higher stiffness of the rear of the bike. This allows the assembly to be made lighter than a conventional through-axle.

X-Taper Headtube - Merida Technology

Externally butted headtube with a mighty 1.5” steering bearing at the bottom and a weight-saving 1 1/8” one at the top; installed together with a matching tapered steerer fork. Results: Superb stiffness and precise steering performance. Found on Merida Bikes


Cross country - a type of mountain biking and racing which is carried out over a varied mix of terrain.

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Yamaha motor

E-bike motors by Yamaha.The high capacity batteries and powerful motors of the Yamaha eBike systems use pedal assist to increase your power, moving you easier along. The pedal assist is limited to 15.5mph. The motor sits in the middle and lowest part of the frame, where the bottom bracket would be.

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