The purpose of the Modern Cycle Component section of the Pedal Barn website is to offer an explanation of how cycles work, what is fundamentally important about their design, and how this is relevant to the different requirements and preferences of individual cyclists.

We are approaching this section of our website from the standpoint of sharing information. Many websites offer information only in context with marketing products. We prefer to provide an explanation of how modern cycles work, whilst avoiding pointing explicitly at particular brands. We mention brands, particularly those that manufacture the parts most commonly seen in factory cycles or components, and as examples of a component, but we try to avoid offering preferences in this section of our website because we consider it unhelpful.

Marketing is a powerful tool. Its purpose is to shout “Buy Me”. Many people quite like to be marketed at. They like to be told what brand to buy. Sometimes its easier to just go with it. We all do it. With cycles, because they are products that are mechanical in nature, and constructed of many parts that all have a bearing on how the product performs, there is a huge potential for manufacturers to market their brand of component. As the object of the exercise is to “Buy Me”, the language and imagery can be misleading and sometimes confusing.

Let’s by-pass all that. Let’s concentrate on describing how a cycle works and what the areas and components of a cycle actually do. Armed with this basic knowledge, we can then go forward and make an informed choice when it comes to purchasing a cycle.

This section of the website will grow over time. If a particular area of a bicycle does not appear yet to occupy a page or two on the website, please bear with us. It will appear.

The Frameset

The Drive Train

The Chainset. The basics.

The Rear Mech. The Basics.

Front Derailleur or Front Mech

The Bottom Bracket. The Basics.

The Cassette. The Basics.

The Chain. The Basics.

Gear cables. The basics.



The Handlebar and Stem

The Saddle

The Rider


The Frameset. Sub-sections are – The frame, the headset (bearings), the front forks, front and rear shock absorbers, and seat posts.

The Drive train. Sub-sections are – The gear system, the bottom bracket, the crank, pedals, the chain set and the chain.

Wheels. Sub-sections are – Rims, spokes, the hub, wheel bearings, tyres and inner tubes.

Brakes. Sub-sections are – V-brakes, Caliper brakes, Cantilever brakes, disc brakes.

The handlebar. Sub-sections are – Drop bars, flat bars, risers, traditional bars and stems.

The Saddle. Sub-sections are – Road bike saddles, Hybrid saddles, Mountain bike saddles and traditional saddles.

The Rider. Sub-sections are – Relationship between rider and cycle type. Riding experience and component quality. Riding experience and correct cycle set-up.