Welcome to the MadeGood.bikes complete guide to bicycles; how they work and what they are. We've tried to make it as simple as possible to navigate, and have as much information for those new to cycling as we do for lifetime bicycle connaisseurs. It's comprehensive, easy to understand and always up to date.
The frame is the most significant part of almost any bike. It defines what the bike can used for, not only from its own character but also by dictating what other components can be fitted. A classic bike frame is made from tubular metal in the form of two triangles but it can take many forms, and be made from a range of materials.
Broadly speaking there are two major wheel sizes – 700c for road bikes and 26 inch off-road wheels. However there are a whole variety of older, less common wheel sizes and of course fold up bikes have much smaller wheels altogether. Repairing a puncture is not an emergency! It’s a basic procedure that every cyclist should be able to to perform, but doing it correctly involves more steps than many people realise. Wheel building is often seen as the most artful skill in bicycle maintenance, and separates the professionals from the amateurs but that doesn’t mean you should consider it out of reach. Truing a slightly misaligned wheel is a cycle maintenance job that almost any cyclist can perform.
Brakes come in a variety of designs depending on the age and style of your bike. Rim brakes offer more modulation but have less stopping power, so are more suited to riding on the roads. Disc brakes can provide huge amounts of stopping power so are best suited to off road riding, although ‘V’ rim brakes are also well suited to mountain biking. All brakes use a friction system to stop the movement of the wheel, so regular checks of the contact pads should form part of your regular cycle maintenance.
Friction gear systems are a lot simpler to adjust, because the movement of the derailer cable can be modulated as you ride, every time you change the gear- they require less cycle maintenance. Modern index shifting systems are a little more complicated because each ‘click’ must release the exact right amount of cable to allow the derailer to move the correct distance to move the chain from one gear to another. Setting up and adjusting a derailer is not difficult and requires only basic tools, but there is a methodical procedure to follow.
Many bicycle accessories are available to enhance the riding experience, or simply to minimise the stress that can sometimes come with cycling when things go wrong.
Whether out on a ride or at home, some products are obviously more essential than others. Choosing the right kit that suits your riding and maintenance routine is something worth spending time considering.