If you’re new to the sport of cycling or have recently taken it up after years of not riding a bike, we know that it can be intimidating and overwhelming to learn about bikes or get back into riding. Like everything else, bikes have changed quite a bit over the years, electric bikes are a great example of that evolution. If you’re old school, you might remember the days of 8 speed steel frame road bikes with downtube shifters. Nowadays, road bike frames are usually made of carbon fiber or aluminum alloy. Eleven or twelve speed gearing is standard on professional road racing bikes. On higher end bikes, electronic shifting is quite common now, but they do cost significantly more than mechanical shifting.
Over the years, frame styles have also changed to better align with the many different riding disciplines that exist. For the sake of simplification, we will use “frame style” to talk about different bike geometries. If you’re not aware, bike geometry is the actual measurements of each part of the bike frame and the way the bike frame is curved or angled at different points in the bike frame. Road bikes now have aerodynamic, endurance, and triathlon frame styles. Mountain bikes have different geometries for cross country, trail, and downhill type of riding. And it gets even more complicated with the recent popularity of gravel riding and cyclocross racing.
Regardless of frame style and geometry, the basic parts of a bike frame are all very similar. In general, a bikeframe has a top tube, which is the main structural part of the bicycle, it has a head tube, down tube, bottom bracket shell, seat tube, seat stays, and chain stays (see image). A frame and fork sold as a combination are referred to as a frameset.