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For the bikeshop employees

Old 08-30-11, 06:53 PM
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For the bikeshop employees

I'm not sure if this is the best forum but it seemed appropriate here. What are some of the names you have heard non cyclists use for bike parts? Such as someone calling a cruiser bike a "truck" instead. Or a derailleur a "gearbox". I'm compiling a list of all the crazy names and their real meanings and wanted to see what you guys have heard.
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Old 08-30-11, 07:22 PM
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Seat pole.
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Old 08-30-11, 07:26 PM
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I've heard lots of good ones but my favorite is when a guy came in and wanted new "bladders" put in his tires.
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Old 08-30-11, 07:45 PM
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Here people are coming from around the world to ride the Oregon coast,
English is often not their native tongue , noted several.. German and Korean ,
and one who had some significant birth related injuries who was unable to speak ,
but a professional Engineer in Canada.
he used his laptop computer to communicate.
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Old 08-30-11, 07:53 PM
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Here in New York we hear all sorts of names. My all time favorite is "monkey". After getting the customer to point one out we figured out the progression. "Derailleur" becomes "gorilla" which we knew, and later by extension "monkey".

Also a rim could be anything - a wheel with or without the tire, but rarely was a rim. Every time someone would ask for a rim we had to work a process of elimination, before figuring out that they wanted a rim, you know with the middle and rubber on it. Which brings up the customers who walked in looking for rubbers. No we weren't a drug store, you know rubbers for to stop the bike.
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Old 08-30-11, 08:22 PM
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Nice. Keep 'em coming
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Old 08-30-11, 08:23 PM
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"S" = rear derailleur.
"515" = SIS or Shimano Integrated System
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Old 08-30-11, 08:24 PM
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"Gooseneck" = stem. I'm pretty adept at rolling with their lingo and gradually shifting over to the correct terminology as the conversation progresses.

But yeah, wheels, tires, and rims often get their names used interchangably. "Pedal" sometimes ends up meaning "crankarm" or even a whole crankset too.

"515" = SIS or Shimano Integrated System
Oooo, classic!
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Old 08-30-11, 08:29 PM
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My parents call drop bars "ram horns." Is that a generational thing? (I'm 21.)

Everthing drivetrain related seems to be summed up as "gears." Front gears, rear gears, etc.

Derailers are often called shifters. I really cringe when I hear "forks" to refer to a bicycle fork. Even worse is "rear forks." OP: check out craigslist. It's full of gems.
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Old 08-30-11, 08:46 PM
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One of the hardest parts to translate is a "stick" which might be a shaft, aka axle, or if they want more than one might be spokes, but in fact could be anything long and thin. Screws could be either male of female, as in I need the screws that hold the wheel on.

Ont the nicer side, I miss "butterflies", such a pretty name for wing nuts, which were along with quick releases were also called "knock offs".
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Old 08-30-11, 09:19 PM
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Many customers refer to their toeclips as cages, causing me to wonder why the thing that holds their water bottle could be causing foot discomfort.
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Old 08-31-11, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
.. .. Even worse is "rear forks." ...
That may be a language thing, for those who have English as their 2nd language. The direct translation from the proper and well established name in Swedish for instance would indeed be rear fork. Not forks though.
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Old 08-31-11, 05:14 AM
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Have a friend with a department-store bike who refers to his left grip-shifter as a "tension". The shifter has the word "tension" imprinted upon it. So he "shifts gears" with his right hand and "changes tension" with his left.
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Old 08-31-11, 05:53 AM
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Mispronunciations are a favorite too. I won't go into too much detail since I have trouble with the names of some French and Italian companies...

We carried Bianchi bikes and customers would butcher that name all day long. Banshee, Bankee, Biyancheye, etc...
We also had Giants. The best was when a customer was looking at one and asked how those Jee-yon-taye bikes were... (You know, that new French company...)

Giro helmets were another one...
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Old 08-31-11, 07:34 AM
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Forgot this one too...
"Baskets" can either mean bottle cages or toe clips.
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Old 08-31-11, 07:48 AM
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"Handlebar elbow" (stem)

"Bearing ball beads" (ball bearings)

"Pedal arm" (crank arm)

"Rim lever" (quick release)

"Water bottle nuts" as in "I need a water bottle clamp because my frame doesn't have water bottle nuts." (braze on bottle bosses)
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Old 08-31-11, 08:50 AM
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Transmission (apparently referring to the whole assembly of shifters, cables, and derailleurs)
Gear selector or gear changer (shifter)
Crank bearing or pedal bearing (bottom bracket)
Neck (stem)
Handles (grips)
U-bars (road drop bar)
Thing

I've also heard the "pedal arm" one, and I also think it's funny on this forum when Brits call a derailleur a "mech"
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Old 08-31-11, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
Have a friend with a department-store bike who refers to his left grip-shifter as a "tension". The shifter has the word "tension" imprinted upon it. So he "shifts gears" with his right hand and "changes tension" with his left.
Reminds me of a German exchange student in a Summer music workshop who kept asking me where to buy an "onoff". He told me he was using one of the American's "onoffs" and wanted to get his own. I told him I had no idea what an "onoff" was. Finally, the American was around and the German showed me his portable CD player, on which the only printing was near the power button (On/Off).
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Old 08-31-11, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I've also heard the "pedal arm" one, and I also think it's funny on this forum when Brits call a derailleur a "mech"
Haha, me too This is what I think of as a 'mech, a la my username:

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Old 08-31-11, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Transmission (apparently referring to the whole assembly of shifters, cables, and derailleurs)
Gear selector or gear changer (shifter)
Crank bearing or pedal bearing (bottom bracket)
Neck (stem)
Handles (grips)
U-bars (road drop bar)
Thing

I've also heard the "pedal arm" one, and I also think it's funny on this forum when Brits call a derailleur a "mech"
My red face moment when getting back into cycling over here, was to go into a bike shop and talk about the "mech". It was as I looked up from the "mech" into the puzzled faces of the mechanics, that I realized, (realised), I was talking a foreign language
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Old 08-31-11, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by fosmith View Post
"S" = rear derailleur.
"515" = SIS or Shimano Integrated System
Ever hear the "710" joke?

https://www.superlaugh.com/1/oil.htm
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Old 08-31-11, 09:50 AM
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Parker Tools = Park Tool

My old boss (not at a bike shop but he rode bikes too so we talked about them frequently) used to say that all the time. Drove me nuts.
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Old 08-31-11, 10:02 AM
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"Thingy"

Means whatever isn't doing what it should be doing.
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Old 08-31-11, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Haha, me too This is what I think of as a 'mech, a la my username:
I just figured you were a British hardcore single-speed and IGH enthusiast.
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Old 08-31-11, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
Ever hear the "710" joke?

https://www.superlaugh.com/1/oil.htm
I love to tell that story to anyone who happens to be around me when I'm changing my oil or looking at someone's engine.
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