important: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.

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.

Tools

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.

Unpacking

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.

Assembly

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.

Watch the wheel-truing tutorial to see how to de-stress and true the wheels. Then inflate the tires to the recommended pressure and install both wheels on the bike.

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!

Related Links

Recommended Tools

Categories

Discuss this topic in the Bicycle Repairs and Mechanics Forum

Please watch the attached video. I gave a ride to person on my luggage carrier and her jeans got stuck in the chain. Ever since then, my back has been making this "ticking" sound or whatever you can call it, and it feels as if there's a bit of resistant to the pedals and a "locking" motion sometimes. Moreover, the wheel seems to be swinging a bit in the video and it's not turning in a straight cir...

Read more

I am upgrading an 8 year old Scott Solace from the Ultegra 6700 series, have acquired almost all the new components but wondering about the shifters. I have the Shimano Ultegra ST-6703 shifters for a triple. They work on my double crankset with a 10 speed drivetrain. What I am trying to find out is will the 10 speed shifters work with an 11 speed setup? Like I said, the shifters, even though they ...

Read more

FRONT DERALIEUR NOT WORKING

Lastest post 1 week ago

Hi guys, I have restored a 90' Fisher mountain bike. It works perfectly apart from the front derailleur. Gears goes down no problem. They go up from the first to second cog no problem but it is very difficult to make it go to the biggest gear. This is an old SRAM groupset. It is not the cable tension, not the limit screws and not the position of the derailleur on the frame. These are the basic t...

Read more

Help with headset preload

Lastest post 1 week ago

First time adjusting a headset and I'd like to get it right. Brand new giant reign with a carbon frame, that I do not want to damage I finally have the preload set to where there is no play but I'm concerned that it is to tight... Stage 1- obvious play/clunk Stage 2- no clunk, but if I lock up the brake and push and pull hard, I can feel some very slight movement Stage 3 - no play or movemen...

Read more

Rear axle

Lastest post 1 week ago

  20210910_120907(1).jpg (Size: 82.12 KB / Downloads: 27) Hi, i am looking for a rear axle for my Devox felt rear wheel. i cannot find one anywhere, if not is there an alternative...

Read more

Help please! I have tried many things to fix the loud clunking sound in my Meridian trike with no success. We even took the gear hub apart and reassembled it per the suggestion from Schwinn that it probably needed replacing. Many others have suggested something in the rear axle tube is making the noise, but I don't understand the descriptions. Are there videos to watch on this matter? Or is there...

Read more

Choosing a replacement deraileur?

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

Hi all, my rear deraileur got caught in my chain and got pretty mangled. This is my first time replacing a deraileur, and I've found a few good guides on how to replace the part, but how do I actually choose a replacement that's compatible with my bike? Here's some images of my bike (an old Ross) for context: https://imgur.com/a/wNYqQkH Would either of these deraileurs work? And how do I know if ...

Read more

Preamble A sad week for me, as I have been attempting to convert a 2017 GT Transeo 5.0 (in Gunmetal) into a road trainer bike for two years now. I've had so much trouble finding a rigid fork to cover the distance lost from the suspension fork (one that also includes disc mounts—and doesn't make the build look vulgar). I've gone through like 3 or 4 carbon forks, including an ENVE RD, all which w...

Read more

Sram MRX Grip Shift not synching

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

I have a bike which i was given and I've found the Sram MRX grip shift will change gears on my front deraillier but the numbers on the shift don't correspond to the gear the bike is in.In other words when shift is on one the small cog is selected.When I select the middle cog the shift hasn't got to two yet.Its only on about one and a half.And when the big cog is selected the shift is only then on ...

Read more

Clarks M2 lever lose?

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

Hey guys, see the video link below. Trying to help my friend fit some hydraulic M2 brakes but having some problems!  Rear lever is wobbly.  Only my second time doing this but didn't have this problem on my bike Other lever is fine.  I've tried reinstalling the lever as per Clarks' website, but no joy. I've tried to bleed, but not sure that was sucessful, as same problem remains. Any ideas? ...

Read more

BMX integrated headset problems

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

I recently bought a second hand Fit Bike Co frame and purchased a Rant headset to go with it. The integrated bevels for the headset bearings are too shallow for the bearings that came with the Rant headset. Is there smaller sealed bearings that will sit flush in the head tube?   9A475497-E514-40B4-AF32-8435D21C77E1.jpeg (Size: 45.52 KB / Downloads: 9)   9900865D-5E1C-48...

Read more

Hi all, there is lateral play as shown in the video and I’m not sure if it is just the freehub or the wheel bearings too? The hub is a cx22 which came with Cannondale Synapse 2019 and I’m not sure what parts are compatible with the hub. Any ideas what would work or am I (actually it’s my sister’s bike) in new wheel territory? Thank you in advance.   7A3A3C6B-D716-4CDC-AB...

Read more

Hi! I’m new here and I have a GRX810 groupset. I am trying to bleed oil from my rear hydraulic brakes and I got the oil to drain from the calliper hydraulic bleed screw. Now I am trying to push new oil back from the bleed port but I am not able to, the syringe is not moving at all no matter how hard I push. So I have checked the following: calliper is not blocked, oil can flow from bleed sc...

Read more

Bike Bleed Kit & Market Research

Lastest post 4 weeks ago

I'm a former racer attempting to build a business selling bike bleed kits, and I am in this class where we are working on a product/service feasibility assignment. If you're a biker or have some knowledge in the cycling industry, could help me out in taking this quick survey for a business idea of selling bleed kits for bikes, motorcycles, and other vehicles? It involves looking over a one-page ...

Read more

I bought a can of mineral oil from motorex and it came in 250ml aluminium can with big cap, and I need to fill my brake lever with that oil but I don't have syringe or bleed kit. How could I fill it up without syringe or bleed kit and tips? Anything similar to syringe that would work?   54e2f371.jpg (Size: 152.52 KB / Downloads: 88) ...

Read more