How to Assemble A Bike: A Handy Guide for Beginners

Assembling a new bike is not as easy as you think. With so many moving parts, you might find yourself struggling to install each part correctly.

Now, you don’t have to be an expert to know how to assemble a bike. All you need is a list of tips and the right tools and you should be able to put your bike together with no issues.

With that, check out the step-by-step guide below:

Take your bike out of the box

Position the box upright. With a large flat-head screwdriver, make sure that there are no staples in the box lid. If you find some, remove them first before taking out your bike.

If you ordered your bike online, shipping may require the handlebars and the front wheel to be removed. If that’s the case, make sure to take them out one at a time.

As much as possible, store the packaging. You might need it in case you need to send the bike back.

Have the right tools ready

Assembling a bike doesn’t require complicated tools. The ones you’ll need are probably already in your garage.

Take note that some brands and retailers include the basic tools when sending out bikes. If yours didn’t come with a set, you’ll need to prepare:

  • A pump
  • Bike grease
  • Allen keys
  • Carbon assembly paste (just in case your bike came with carbon parts)

You may also want to have a torque key or small torque wrench ready before you begin assembling your bike.

Now, why do you need a carbon assembly paste?

It has this gritty texture that gives an extra grip. It helps make tightening bolts easier, particularly when applied with the right amount of force.

Install the seatpost

Before you do this step, it’s important to check the material. If your seatpost is metal, apply grease right in the inside diameter of the tube. If it’s carbon, apply a small amount of carbon assembly paste to the area.

Once you’ve coated the inside diameter of the post, insert the seatpost and clamp it. Don’t worry about the saddle height. You’ll be able to adjust the part later.

Take a clean rag and wipe off any excess grease or paste.

Connect the handlebar

Some bikes, particularly the latest models, have handlebars attached to the stem. They’re made as a single piece.

If that’s the case with your bike, refer to its manufacturer’s manual. This will help make sure that you install the part correctly.

Once in place, check the torque setting and tighten the stem bolts. Remember to check the bars first before cutting them.

 

For bikes with a traditional stem and handlebar set up, you’ll need to remove the plate first. It’s that piece that holds your handlebar and stem together.

Next, insert your handlebar and tighten your face place bolts following the required torque setting. Ensure that the bots are evenly tightened.

Check the bolt at the topmost part of your stem and tighten it. Do this step until you feel resistance.

Once you are done with that, you can straighten the stem until it lines up with your front tire. Clamp the stem bolts evenly according to the required torque setting of the manufacturer.

Go ahead and install the front wheel

Bikes have two kinds of axles.

The first one is called the thru-axle. It bolts the bike’s wheel right into the threads in the frame or fork.

The second one is the quick-release skewer. This type involves a narrow skewer passing through the wheel. It’s typically fixed in place by a nut found on the threaded end.

To install the front wheel, all you need to do is insert it into the fork. You may need to consider the type of axle on your bike when doing this step.

Prep your tires

First, see the recommended pressure range. You’ll find this piece of information on the tire sidewall.

Once you have an idea of how much pressure your tires need, start inflating them.

A road tire can handle 80 to 130 psi. On the other hand, a mountain tire can hold between 25 to 50 psi. If you have hybrid tires, they can hold between 40 and 70 psi.

Before you inflate your tires, remember to remove the plastic cap covering the end of the valve. Unscrew that tiny locking nut you’ll find at the top.

If you give it a few taps and you find it moving, you should be able to feel and hear some of the air coming out. Take note that

Install the pedals

Pedals are generally left and right specific. Most of them are labeled with a tiny “R” or “L”.

If your bike’s pedals don’t come with these bales, you can tell which one is why by taking a closer look at the direction of the thread. This also lets you know the direction in which the pedal installs.

You can tighten right pedals clockwise while left pedals have reverse threads.

Adjust the height of your saddle

If you are a new cyclist, the easiest way you can find your saddle height is by using the heel-to-pedal method.

To do it, you need to sit on your bike. Place your heel on your pedal and try pedaling backward. Do this until you’re able to reach the 6 o’clock position and your knee is completely straight.

If you find that your knee is a bit bent, increase the height of your saddle. Be sure to do it in small increments. In case your heel loses contact with your pedal, then lower your saddle bit by bit.

Do a final check

Perform a final check right before you take a ride on your bike. Take a final look to see if the gears are properly indexed or if there are any loose parts.

Riding your bike will also allow you to check if you’ve adjusted the saddle height properly.