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Subject: Re: help w/ bicycle terminology
Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.misc
Message-ID: <HGb%a.12102$>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 20:48:39 GMT

Zoot Katz <> writes:

>> Maybe not "technical terminology", but colloquial.

> Additionally, the smallest of three chainrings is sometimes called a
> "granny gear" or more rarely, "fairy gear".

> The terms "chainring" and "chainwheel" are acceptably interchangeable
> though technically they are sprockets

> Sprockets at the rear are also called cogs.

I'm not a fan of bicycle jargon, most of which is a type of lingo that
young people use to differentiate themselves from others, the
uninitiated.  In that vein, a cog is a tooth on a cogwheel.
Bicyclists often call the whole cogwheel a cog.  A sprocket is a
special cogwheel used with chains.  In English the expression "he's
only one cog in the machinery" implies insignificance.  In bicycle
jargon he would be a larger component.

We inherited the bottom bracket from England, the home of the first
bicycle as we know it today (the Rover) and the shaft connecting the
cranks is a spindle although it could as well be an axle since both
have nearly the same dictionary definition.  The difference usually
being whether the part rotates or has rotating parts running on it.
Again, neither is specifically one or the other.

Shafts that turn with wheels or ones on which wheels rotate are
equally referred to as axles.  Lathe spindles are a rotating part of
the machine no different from BB spindles.  Pedal spindle/axle seems
to be used both ways.

Most BB spindles run in ball bearings that ride on cups threaded into
the BB shell, the part of the bicycle frame to which down-, seat-, and
Chainstay tubes are fastened.

These components are shown in:

Shimano wants you to search a bit but under Catalog, parts are shown
and named.  Campagnolo wants you to learn Italian.

Jobst Brandt
Palo Alto CA

Subject: Re: Straightening a bent Dura Ace crank arm
Message-ID: <LdQ3b.16601$>
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 22:12:59 GMT

Chalo Colina writes:

>> Can't we just say "crank".  Where did we get this "crank arm" or
>> "cranks arm set" yet?

> How would you propose to distinguish between a single arm and the
> pair or the assembly?  How would you distinguish between a single
> arm and a one-piece crank?

Just as you did in that paragraph.  We have right cranks and left
cranks and both cranks and Ashtabula cranks and Shimano right cranks
w. spindle and left cranks.

> I think common usage in this case reflects the amount of distinction
> most folks feel they need to make themselves correctly understood.

A crank is a crank and adding arm sets is like the guys with the
sedans with spoilers on the trunk or Porsches whose trunk lid opens at
40mph.  It's gratuitous verbiage that sounds like more than it is.

> In automotive circles, the term "crank" is used interchangeably with
> "crankshaft", though technically speaking those are not the same
> thing.  I've never heard anybody complain about that.

So?  This ain't cars and just because they have their problems doesn't
make ours any better.  It's like cog in bicycling.  It sounds so much
more IN than sprocket or chainwheel which say more than cog, which is
one tooth on the afore mentioned devices.

Webster's:  COG

1 : a tooth on the rim of a wheel or gear

> What I find confusing is this "chainset" business from Old Blighty.
> There are no chains in a chainset, oddly enough.

Yes but it rings so much more like bicyclese than cranks or crank
assembly.  Set theory has taken over.

The news is full of these enhanced words, roadway instead of road,
weather system in place of weather, heavy traffic conditions instead
of heavy traffic, rain showers instead of showers...

Jobst Brandt
Palo Alto CA

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