Hi, I though this could be helpful for some people who are new to MTBR or even MTB.
Kinda throw in what I've learned while being new here and to mountain bike.
Feel free to correct or add
So here's some basic definitions and/or explanations of many terms people could encounter on the forums and some basic components descriptions...
- MTBR : eMpTy BeeR
- LBS : Local bike shop
- FS : Front suspension bike or now more commonly used as Full Suspension bike.
- HT : Hard tail bike, now more used to describe front suspension only bike then FS, because Hard tail bikes were introduced before full suspension bikes.
- SS : Single Speed bike.
- Niner : Name of a company who manufacture bike that are builder around 29" diameter wheels. Also used to describe 29" wheel bikes.
- BB : Bottom Bracket, where the crank axle is attached to the frame.
- SAG : Percentage of the bike travel that should be used when simply siting down on the bike. It's used to help adjusting suspension settings to prevent full compression on big hits and too stiff suspension adjustments.
- RD : Rear derailleur, or also rear der.
- FD : Front Derailleur, or also front der.
- 20 QR & 15 QR : Heavy wheel axles that are 20mm and 15mm diameter that the dropout clamps on.
- QR : Quick release.
- Canti : Cantilever brakes.
- Shock measurement example : 9.5 x 3.0 shock with 350 x 2.8 spring
9.5 is the measurement in inches between the 2 mounting point of the shock, aka eye to eye measurement.
3.0 is the stroke of the shock, so the shock can retract of 3 inches when fully compressed.
350 is the rate of the spring in lbs per inch, so the spring needs a force of 350 lbs to compress itself by one inch.
2.8 is the stroke of the spring, in inch, that the spring can compressed by the designated spring rate.
So the shock is 9.5" eye to eye, have a stroke of 3" and use a spring that can be compressed to 2.8" by apply force at a rate of 350 lbs per inch.
- Tire size example : 26x2.1 the tire is made for a 26" diameter rim and has a maximum width of 2.1" when inflated.
- Hex key : Hexagonal screwdriver tip use for hexagonal head type screw, aka Allen key.
- Small, Medium and Long cage : Lenght of the rear derailleur cage.
- Drive train setup example : 1x9 or 2x10, or 3x9 are common drive train setup. 1x9 is 1 crank ring with 9 cogs cassette, 2x10 is 2 ring crank with 10 cogs cassette and 3x9 is 3 ring crank with 9 cogs cassette. May vary.
- Crank measurement example : 22-32-42 175mm. 22-32-42 are the number if teeth on each ring if the crank, the smaller (inner) ring has 22 teeth, the medium (middle) ring has 32 and the bigger (outer) ring has 42. 175 mm is the length of the crank's arms from the BB axle to the pedal axle.
- A to C or Axle to Crown length is the measurement of the distance between the wheel's axle and the crown of the fork, basically used to ensure good geometry when choosing a fork (suspension or rigid).
- Rigid : Usually used to describe a bike that does not use suspension components.
- Ti : Titanium
- CF : Carbon Fiber
- Cromo or Cr : Metal named Chromolium, which is a grade of steel that is more adapted to frame between alu and steel applications... lighter then steel, but stronger then alu.
- MUP : multi use path.
- PC : Use in paint context for Powder Coat.
- RAW : Type of finish for metal, commonly for frames, but also components, which is to completely remove any paint or color to get the metal to it's original finish prior to the factory paint or coating. Can also be polish to have a mirror like finish.
- Mech and hydro or mechanical and hydraulic : 2 different types of brake system, usually disc brake. Mechanical brake use cable pull to actuate the caliper (disc brake) or the brake post (v-brake, canti). Hydraulic brake used fluid power to push the pistons inside the caliper to move the braking pad against the rotor (disc brake), or against the wheel's rim (sort of hydro v-brake).
- DH : Downhill. Type of riding that consist in a gravity based trail setup where the main goal is to complete the descent in the faster time or to enjoy it to the max by taking high risk in cornering and jumping. This type of bike generally use 200mm of travel or more and weight between 34-38 lbs.
- FR : Freeride. Type of riding that came from DH riders who wanted a more solid, maneuverable bike that can be used without lift assistance and perform better at slower speed. This type of bike generally use bigger frame, 160 to 180 mm travel and usually weight more then a DH bike, from 36 to 40 lbs. This bike can be pedaled up hill easier then a DH one, but is not totally appropriated for pure DH, as the rider position and travel is more for all around jumping and big hits at slow speed instead of fast, purposed made bike trails.
- AM : All Mountain. This type of riding was introduce to designate a new kind of extended travel trail bikes, as AM bike use about 140mm to 160mm travel with lighter frame to maximize the climbing efficiency and provide safe and fun descents while being able to go on about any kind of rough terrains. This kind of bike can weight between 27 lbs and 34 lbs, depending on the travel amount and if using a carbon frame and other high end components.
- XC : Cross Country. This type of bike was first introduced as a front suspension bike, or hardtail (full rigid XC bike also exist before and now) and is designed for light to medium trail riding with an ability to handle road riding with ease. Those bike usually use about 80 to 120mm travel, while extreme XC bike might use up to 130mm, which make them more of a trail bike then XC bike. This bike can weight less the 20 lbs (front suspension or rigid) and up to 27 lbs (full suspension). Low end ones can get over the 27 lbs limit with low end components and frame.
- CX : Cyclocross. (old European off road racing format, bikes can be practical for roads and easy trails)
- Slope-style (SS) : Sort of Dirt Jumping and FR cross, going for big tricks.
- Chainline : Alignment of the chain between the front ring and rear cog. Often use in SS.
- Lefty : Fork developed by Cannondale that only use the left side portion of the fork in order to make it lighter and reduce friction and stress on the fork when compressing during a turn.
- Stem dimensions example : Threadless 1" 1/8 by 90mm with 6° rise and 25.4mm clamp.
The "threadless" stands for a steerer tube that do not attach to the frame, but hold in the headset by the stem clamping on it and the top cap compressing the assembly. "Threaded" mean that the steerer tube contains outside threads at its top end for a threaded headset to engage the threads and hold the tube in place. Both type cannot have the same components, so you must use "threadless" only parts with "threadless" tube or only "threaded" parts with "threaded" tubes. Anyway, both cannot even be put in place together. (adaptor may exist for particular cases)
1" 1/8 is the steerer tube diameter in inch. The most common size in MTB is the 1" 1/8 and can be available threaded or threadless. Other common size is 1" and mostly use for road or non-offroad intended bikes. The steerer tube is where the stem is inserted over and bolts tighten it in place.
90mm is the length of the stem, measure from the middle of the steerer tube hole to the middle of the bar clamp hole, because the clamping sizes may vary. The length is measure by total flat distance and not by horizontal distance because of angled stems.
6° rise is the rise in degrees of the stem. More common is 6°, but stem without rise are also called squared, flats or 90° angled.
25.4mm is the diameter of the handlebar that can be clamp on the stem. The 2 sizes are 25.4mm or 31.8mm. MTB mainly use 31.8mm, as it is stronger, but both are used all across the bike industry.
Forum language :
- IMO : In My Opinion
- IMHO : In My Honest Opinion
- TY : Thank you
- Rep : Reputation
- Repin' : To add or deduct reputation, mainly used when adding reputation more then deducting it.
- Neg rep : Negative reputation
- Pos rep : Positive reputation
- Rep Power : The amount of reputations points you can give or deduct to/from a member each times.
- Reputation points : For each 100's reputation points, you get a green square, plus one more point of rep power. If your reputation goes under zero points, then you have a red square.
- IDK : I don't know
- IDC : I don't care
- OP : Original poster, used in a thread discussion to refer to the author of the thread instead of naming it.
- OT : Off topic, when the thread's discussion is not directly related to the original topic of the thread.
- AFAIK : As Far As I Know.
- YMMV : Your Mileage May Vary.
- BS or bs : B u l l s h i t.
- OTB : Over the bars, usually referring to a crash situation while riding.
- PITA : Pain In The A s s
- CL : Might refer to CraigList, free online classified website.
- FTW : For The Win.
- ATW : All The Way.
Edit : Now I will also add a quick fact list... And new stuff for the upper list will be listed under the edit in the list. Forum slang will also be separated. New definitions and info add by members posting them will be added here when possible.
Quick facts :
- SRAM and Shimano shifter and derailleur are mainly not compatible together.
- Do not remove factory lube from a new chain, just wipe off excess with a rag when getting dirty.
- The left side pedal's threads (non-drive side) are reverse threads.
- 1/2" pedals threads are mainly for BMX use. 9/16" threads are more common for MTB and road use.
- You cannot fit a wheel that is bigger or smaller then the frame was designed for is using v-brake or canti, as the brake post will not match the rim. Use disc brake, coast-lock, drum brake or no brake.
- Brake cable housing is bigger then shifter cable housing. same for cables.
- Do not touch disc brake's rotor with bare hands or any oily/greasy surface to not contaminate them.
- Read the instructions. Before you mess up.
- Use the proper seat post diameter ton ensure good fit and prevent damage and injury.
- Seat post should be inserted at least to the minimum insertion length and better if long enough to go past the seat tube - top tube junction of the frame to ensure maximum strength and prevent frame fatigue.
- Put a protector on the chainstay of your bike to prevent the chain from damaging it. A simple inner tube can be wrapped around with zip ties.
- A chain tensioner or chain guide is a must for any aggressive trail riding or DH/FR.
- You can use a FSA crank with a Shimano chain and a SRAM cassette, it doesn't matter as long as everything is designed for the same setup, such as 7 speed, 8 speed, etc.
- Do not use grease to lube the cables and housing... teflon based lube is the best and good quality housing and cable are often pre-lubed.
- Learn how to change a flat before going out on the trails. And bring a pump with the spare tube.
- Tire often have rotation directions, so be careful when installing them.
- 26" inner tube can stretch to accomodate a 29" rim in worst scenario case.
- Use the right tools for the job. Bike and hammer rarely work well together.
- When installing a new fork, be sure to remove the crown race from the old one to put it on the new one, otherwise your headset will not be complete and serious injuries can result.
- Take it to a pro before it get worst. And expensive.
- You can leave your bike dirty, but your drive train should never be. Cleaner bike = less problem on trail and longer life of components.
- A bike is made to resist force coming from front to rear, not from side to side, so consider this when carrying it on car or trailer.
- When installing a seat post, gently lube the seat tube with light grease, such as lithium or white grease to prevent scratch and grinding. Do not use grease on carbon seat post, unless specify.
- Zip ties are always useful, so carry some along when you go for a ride.
So there's might be plenty more, but that's all I get for now.
Hope you enjoy and happy reading through the Mountain Bike Review Forum
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Thread: MTBR Glossary