Mountain Bike Anatomy (Mountain Biking Series)

Mountain Bike Anatomy

Today I will begin a mountain bike series, finally moving away from hiking. This post will cover the parts of a mountain bike and I will post some pictures so everyone can see the part before we move on to other aspects.

My current mountain bike
This is a GT Karakoram, my current bike

The Frame

The first part of the mountain bike is the frame.  All other parts of the bike attach to the frame.  Frames come in different materials like steel or aluminum.  In addition, frames come in various angles, which influence what style of riding the bike should be used.  Making sure your frame is the right size and a good fit is one of the most important parts of comfortable riding.   There are is a science about sizing, but one of the keys is a slight bend in your foot when at the bottom of a pedal stroke.   

Mountain Bike Frame
The Dark Portion is a Bike Frame


The second big part of a mountain bike is the wheels.  Wheels attach to the frame and come in various sizes from 26in to 29in.  The wheel can be further divided into rims, hub, and the tires.  Rims are the metal portion of the wheel, come in various widths, and are made from different metal alloys.  The weight put on the rim is distributed using spokes, the little metal bars that that crisscross the inside of the rim.  Spokes are held in place using “nipples”, which are metal tubes that connect the spoke an rim.  The hub allows the wheel to freely spin around the axle, which is attached to the frame.  The rubber part of the wheel is the tires.  The tire has little nubs that provide traction.  Tires can be inflated with an inner tubes and many are now “tubeless”.  In addition, the degree of tire inflation can affect how smooth the ride is.
Different parts of a mountain bike wheel
Wheel Anatomy

 If anyone can think of any information I left out on a part please share it. 

Jarrett Morgan


  1. You did not mention type/brand of bike you own. Where do you ride? Nm

    1. My current mountain bike is a 2012 GT Karakorum. I actually haven't been able to ride any trails since moving back to Texas, but I am going to the Mission Hike & Bike trail today.


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