How to Assemble a New Bike
Overview of a boxed bike assembly. Shows how to put together a mail-order bike.
These days you can get a great deal on a new bike by ordering online. Today we’ll learn how to properly assemble a mail order bike right out of the box. Since there are so many different types of bikes and components available, I’ll give a brief overview of the assembly. If you’re watching this video on bikeride.com, you can check the links in the text below for more specific instructions.
For this job you’ll need several tools. Ideally you should have a repair stand and a wheel truing stand. Other necessary tools include wire cutters, a set of metric allen keys, a set of metric open-end wrenches, flathead (-) and phillips (+) screwdrivers, cone wrenches, a pedal wrench and an air pump. You’ll also need some waterproof grease, chain oil and a rag.
Open the top flap and carefully pull everything out of the box. Apply some grease to the inside of the seat tube, slide the seatpost in to the minimum insertion mark, grease the threads of the seatpost bolt and tighten it just enough so it will hold the weight of the bike. Then clamp the seatpost in your repair stand.
Remove the front wheel by using wire cutters to carefully snip the zip ties. To save these for future use, cut them just before the head and then pull out and recycle the remaining piece of zip-tie. This leaves you with a short piece of zip-tie that can be used again for odd jobs. Remove the rest of the packaging and either recycle it, or save it so you can box your bike up in the future.
If your headset and bottom bracket have loose ball bearings, open them up and check for grease and adjust as needed. If you have sealed cartridge bearings in these places you can skip this step.
Now we’re ready to install the handlebar. Grease all of the stem bolt threads and shaft if you’re installing an older quill-style stem. Then center the handlebar and tighten the stem bolts evenly so the gap is equal on both sides. Tighten the top cap just enough to hold it in place.
Remove the rear wheel and cassette or freewheel, and open the hubs on both wheels to check for grease. Add more grease as needed and then adjust the hub cones so they spin freely with very little play. See the hub overhaul tutorial for adjustment instructions. Grease the cassette or freewheel’s threads before re-installing them.
It’s a good idea to grease the threads of the crank bolts, chainring bolts, and other bolts that hold accessories like water bottle cages. This will help them repel water and dirt and stop them from seizing up. Grease the pedal threads and install them. Remember that the left pedal always has a reverse thread, so you have to tighten it by turning counter-clockwise.
Set up and adjust your brakes. See the brake tutorials page for set-up instructions on specific brake types. Then lube the chain and adjust the derailleurs. Watch the front and rear derailleur tutorials to see how.
Apply any stickers and/or accessories and then remove the bike from the stand. Adjust your seat height and angle, align your handlebars and adjust your headset. See the headsets and handlebars pages for related tutorials… and then get out for ride!
- Mtn Bike Riders: Mail-Order Bike Assembly
- Park Tool: New Bike Assembly
- Bicycle Torque Specifications
Discuss this topic in the Bike Forums
I recently acquired a used Free Spirit bike, and the serial number is 322 472710. Can the manufacturer of this bike be identified with this serial number?...Read more
Hi guys, I am just recently doing up a small Raleigh chopper I was wondering what type of chopper it is. I think it might be a Mk 1 or Mk 2. The Tyre sizes are Front 11 x 13/4 Rear 16 x 2 Could you please help asap. Cheers Adman...Read more
Can someone kindly identify the bike used in this video? im looking for an exact model if at all possible, Thanks! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwY8YvRSafo...Read more
Does anyone know if the rubber inserts in 'red cleats' can be purchased separately and if they can, where? My cleats are like new, but the rubber has worn down to where the plastic cleat touches the pedal face and creaks. Thanks....Read more
My wife won a 1977 Huffy Sun Country on a local auction. This bike is equipped with a 3 speed hub. I am assuming that the bike was probably never properly maintained. I sprayed Gum-out into the hub to wash out the old oil/grease. My question is what type of oil and how much is needed. I have been thinking of using a light oil such as 3-in-1....Read more
So, I just bought myself a used Specialized shiv tri bike. Took it to the shop, and noticed that the previous owner had installed SRAM 11spd shifters, but kept the original 10spd drivetrain.. Needless to say, it shifts, but not very happily. Is it worth it to upgrade my entire drivetrain to SRAM 11spd? Or should I just bite the bullet and get either Di2 or eTap while i'm at it? Or should I not bot...Read more
Can anyone tell me what the seat post diameter is for this bike? My seat and post were stolen thanks to the quick release adjuster that came with this bike. On the same day as the theft, my rear wheel axle BROKE in two after riding bike for 3 years +- I have had to rebuild the bottom bracket on this bike two times. Thanks,...Read more
It's been a while since I posted here. A little background: Age = 60, I do casual riding for exercise & fitness, aiming to get out several times per week & have ridden about 550 miles this year. My current bike is a 1977 Raleigh Record and I'm the original owner. I've been keeping this bike going and it's in pretty good shape, but I'm getting to the point where I need something where my ...Read more
So once again the teeth on my Mountain Bike pedals gauged my leg. They are good in wet and in climbs, but dangerous. Can anyone recommend good quality rubber edge pedals ? In 9/16 size that are not very heavy. Anyone try these, that's about all I found. http://www.niagaracycle.com/categories/xlc-alloy-comfort-pedal...Read more
Hi guys, I haven't been here for a while. Hope you all are well! Been riding and fishing and crabbing. Well my daughter and I have bought a new to us bike. It was a team bike for Champion Systems. Has all Dura ace 9000 components and a set of 4 month old Dura Ace c50 wheels. I plan on riding it before it gets cannibalized. I hope it is to small or I may have to add it to my stable instead of sel...Read more
Hello, I bought this bike used and I would like to learn more about it. I see it is focus and says something like Race Line on it. A pic of the same bike I found on the web is this: https://www.google.ch/search?q=focus+race+line+mtb&biw=1280&bih=595&espv=2&tbm=isch&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMI8syYrbaBxwIVSLcUCh3kSgYS#imgrc=5P5ykPYMITNAUM%3A but without a susp...Read more
I picked a womans road bike up today and the previous owner robbed the brakes off of it. I have a set of centre pull brakes, that will fit the frame holes and the 27" X 1.25 wheels, and operate when the brake straddle wire is pulled. the front brake should be easy as all I need is a cable stop that fits on the top of the head set and one short cable sheath. The rear brake maybe a little harder wit...Read more
What is the difference between 11r, 10r, 8r, etc. carbon used on different Specialized bikes....Read more
Been toying with the idea of putting MB handlebar shifters on my 85 Fuji. The down tube shifters work fine, but the snick click SIS shifters on my MB are nice with gear indicators. Anyone done this before, not looking to spend big bucks as nothing is broken. Could I keep all the components and just add cables and shifters or will the derailleurs need to be changed too, sprocket cluster?. Looks...Read more