There are some cool pics over on NPR.com this morning by Todd McLellan of things taken apart, including this one of a bicycle. The images are from his new book Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living. Check out his interview here along with a cool video of Todd disassembling and placing items for his photographs. More photos on his website, or if you’re in Chicago, see the photos from the book on display at the Museum of Science and Industry. Really exploded view of a bicycle after the break.



  1. Brendan on

    The late Sheldon Brown once claimed that there are more parts in a bicycle chain than in the rest of the entire bike. Anyone care to count them up?

  2. nick on

    Brendan- A 10 speed Ultegra chain is commonly sold as a 116 link chain. I believe that that count is the number of pins, as opposed to a link being the complete inner and outer plates, so that means that 1 link= 1 pin, 1 roller, 1 set of (inner or outer) plates, so a 116 link chain is 4*116 pieces, 464 parts in total.

  3. captain derp on

    well, for a single “unit” of chain, you’ve got 2 outer plates, 2 inner plates, 2 pins, 2 rollers, and sometimes 2 bushings. so 8-10 individual components per single unit of chain. multiply that by the total # of links in a chain… arbitrarily let’s say a chain is 50 units of chain, that’s 400 individual components.

  4. captain derp on

    from the man himself….


    “An old-style bicycle chain has ten parts per link. The typical 57-link chain used on the average multispeed bike had 570 parts, more than the whole rest of the bicycle put together. There were 114 outer plates, 114 inner plates, 114 rollers, 114 rivets, and 114 bushings.

    The major revolution in chain design has been the introduction of the bushingless chain. The first of this type was the Sedisport (now made by SRAM), and it has acquired such a good reputation that other manufacturers have copied the design.

    Bushingless chains have only eight parts per link. You cannot tell by looking at a chain on a bike whether it is of bushingless design, because the bushings are hidden by other parts of the chain. The bushings can only be seen if you disassemble the chain.”

  5. the dude on

    i think there is something wrong with his tubes. they shouldn’t be so square. perhaps a new standard on the horizon, square50b

  6. David French on

    Depending on what the parts are on it, a modern full suspension MTB can have over 700 parts which make it up. Not including the individual parts of the chain.


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