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Whether you are just beginning or a longtime lover of riding bikes there comes a time when we will all have to do a little maintenance on our trusty two wheeled friends. Not everyone is familiar with the talk at a bike shop and at times terms like cog, cassette, headset, and spindle may just sound like another language. So, what do we do when we have to call a local shop for advice or maybe even email ZiZZO customer support if we are having a hard time with the “lingo”? Hopefully this week's blog (part 1) will help demystify the sometimes-confusing world of “talking bikes” as we try to keep it simple and to the point.
Cog/Cassette/Freewheel/Sprocket- The cluster you see on the rear wheel that the chain rides on with the multiple teeth can be called a few things. The most common ones are cog, freewheel, cassette, sprockets, and gears. The individual “rings” are the sprockets. If you want to research the difference between freewheel and cassette there is plenty of info is out there but essentially, they perform the same duty just designed different. Cog is a general term for that part and most likely will get you by talking about that part of the bike.
Drivetrain- The drivetrain consists of the parts that help you to move the bike. Chain, pedals, cranks, chainrings, cog and derailleur all are parts that make up the drivetrain. It typically includes one or two derailleurs, mechanisms that change gear when actuated at the shifter.
Wheels- From inside out the wheel consist of a hub (with axle inside), spokes, spoke nipples, rim, rim tape, tube, and tire. If it is a rear wheel then you will generally have a cog or at least one sprocket if it is a single speed. All ZiZZO’s come with a plastic disc that fits between the last gear of the cog and the spokes and is called a “spoke protector”. Some ZiZZO models have a nut to secure the wheel to the bikes frame and some have a “quick release skewer” like our Liberte. That skewer goes through the hub and tightens and clamps down on the opposite side. If you hear someone say the rim is “out of true” that means there is some wobble and may need the spokes to be tensioned by tightening them at the spoke nipple. There are plenty of videos on how to do minor adjustments yourself but this might be left for your local bike shop tech.
Brakes- So what kind of brakes do you have? Are they V-brakes, cantilever, disc, or caliper? Oh boy, this one sound complicated but I promise you it’s not. ZiZZO uses V-Style brakes on all our models. Some companies call the V style “direct pull” or “linear-pull” so don’t let that confuse you. Within this brake system is the cable that goes through the “cable housing” that connects the brake levers that are on the handlebar down through to the “cable noodle”, quick release, and connecting to a cable clamp bolt. When the brake levers are squeezed the cable pulls the brake pads in to the side of the rim causing them to rub and slow you down. The left brake works for the front wheel and the right for the back. This is pretty standard and actually is a law in the USA but not in other countries.
I hope these few examples might help when you find yourself "talking bikes". We will have more next week in part 2