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Bicycle Glossary - K

 

Kerosene - a solvent for cleaning dirty bicycle parts. Kerosene is inexpensive and readily available, but flammable and perhaps a bit toxic. You might look into non-toxic solvents specially designed for parts cleaning. Kerosene is better than gasoline, which is explosive. Synonym: Degreaser.


Kevlar - A very strong plastic.


Kickstand - An accessory that allows the bicycle to be parked in an upright position. Kickstands are frowned upon by the "cool" riders for three reasons: 1. They weigh a little bit, and therefore bicycles with kickstands are less efficient than those without. 2. Because they stick out only a short distance and cover a very small amount of ground, they can sink into soft surfaces, or allow the bicycle to blow over in a wind, which is tougher on the bike than setting it down carefully in the first place. 3. You can't be an excellent bicyclist unless you make fun of everyone who has a kickstand. 


Kilometer - A unit of linear measurement used in most countries other than America and the British Empire.  A mile contains approximately 1.6 kilometers, and a kilometer is approximately 0.62 of a mile. Click here for kilometer to mile conversions.


Kink - A local bend in a rim, caused by hitting a pothole, curb or stone. Kinks cause caliper brakes to run unevenly, so that when the bike stops, it lurches once for each revolution of the kinked rim.  Since the wheel will tend to skid at the kinked place every time the rider stops hard, the tire will rapidly wear out in one spot. Kinks in chrome-plated steel rims can be repaired.  The kink can be hit back with a hammer, or bent back with pliers.  Wrap cloth around the plier jaws to prevent leaving marks in the rim.  Bending back kinks in aluminum alloy rims is not recommended, because aluminum can crack when it is bent too much.

Kink

 

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