New Bike Assembly

This article is a list of recommended procedures necessary for the assembly of a new bike from a bare frame to a completed bike.


Assembly Checklist

What do I need to know how to do?
  1. Check frame alignment.
  2. Check frame and fork dropouts for alignment.
  3. Install bottom bracket. See cartridge type or adjustable type.
  4. Install cranks. See either spline type or square spindle type.
  5. Install pedals.
  6. Install bars into stem. Snug bar bolts, but do finial adjustment later.
  7. Install headset. See threadless type, or threaded type.
  8. Size and install fork into headtube.
  9. Threadless type - install stem and adjust bearings.
  10. Threaded type - install front wheel and adjust bearings. Wheel acts as a lever when securing locknut.
  11. Threaded type headsets: Install stem and bars. Align and secure both stem and bars.
  12. Threadless type headset bikes- align bars and stem, fully secure both.
  13. Install rear derailleur.
  14. Install front derailleur. Set height and rotation, but double check settings after cables installed.
  15. Install brake and shift levers
    • Flat MTB-type bars: install grips and bar ends, if any.
    • Dropbar types: do not wrap bars. Wait to wrap bars at end of work to keep tape clean
  16. Check true of both wheels. Correct as necessary.
  17. Adjust hub bearings, if adjustable type.
  18. Install rear cassette cogs or freewheel.
  19. Install rim strip, tires and tubes on both front and rear wheels.
  20. Install rear wheel.
  21. Install front wheel.
  22. Install brake housing and cables.
  23. Install and adjust front and rear brakes. See:
  24. Install derailleur housing and cables.
  25. Install and size chain.
  26. Adjust front and rear derailleurs
  27. Install saddle on seat post
  28. Install seat post into frame and adjust saddle position. Fully secure saddle rail binder bolt(s) and secure seat post in frame.
  29. Install reflectors and or lights
  30. Dropbar-type bikes: wrap handlebars.
  31. Don helmet and test ride bike. Readjust as necessary.
  32. After riding the bike, record your riding position. See Road Position, or MTB Position for printable charts.