Bicycles have evolved over the ages and the modern bike has more and different components than its earlier models. There are many types of bikes on the market and designs can vary. There are road bikes, track bikes, mountain bikes, time trial bikes, city bikes, racing bikes and BMX bikes to name a few. With all of the different styles and functions, most bikes have a basic build. We can break down the basic build into different sections of the modern bike.

The Wheel

The wheel is composed of the tire, spokes, rim, hub, and valve. The earliest bike wheels often made of wood or steel did not have tires. Today’s tires either have a tube that is filled with air or a tubular tire that is glued to the rim.

The Front Set

The front parts of the bicycle are made up of the handlebar grip, head tube, shock absorber, front brake, and fork. The design of the handlebar can vary depending on the design of the bike and its function. The grips can be made of cork, cloth, or rubber.

The Frame

The upper part of the frame contains these parts including the top tube, the down tube, the seat tube, the seat stay, and the chainstay. The saddle seat and the seat post are extensions of the upper frame. The middle part of the back frame includes rear brakes, cogset, and rear derailleur. The lower part of the frame has the front derailleur, chain, chainrings, pedals and crank arm.


Hardware used to assemble are bearings, wingnuts, cotter pins, ferrules, locknuts, master link, and nipple.


Bikes can be detailed with accessories that can be for extra safety or extend the use of the bike. A bell for the handlebars, a basket to attach to the front of the handlebars, a basket cage to hold a water bottle, or a braze on that can help with cables or hold a tire pump. Safety accessories include toe clips, rear reflector, a light mounted on handlebars, a side view mirror, and a hub dynamo that is a generator mounted inside the hub to provide power to the lights and other accessories.

There are custom builders of bicycles that can fabricate a bike to fit specific needs. Having a basic understanding of the construction of the bicycle helps communication between the owner and the builder or repairer of the bike.