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.


Getting Started

What do I need to know how to do?

The following is a fairly comprehensive list of procedures necessary for the assembly of a new bike from a bare frame to a completed bike. Although your particular bike may be in a more assembled state, it may still be useful as a reference.


Assembly Checklist

  1. Check frame alignment.
  2. Check frame and fork dropouts for alignment.
  3. Install bottom bracket. See Bottom Bracket Standards and Terminology for an overview of bottom bracket styles.
  4. Install cranks.
  5. Install pedals.
  6. Install bars into stem. Snug bar bolts, but do final adjustment later.
  7. Install headset. See threadless type, or threaded type.
  8. Size and install fork into head tube.
  9. Install the stem and adjust the headset:
    1. Threadless headset
    2. Threaded headset — stem installation / bearing adjustment
  10. Install rear derailleur.
  11. Install front derailleur. Set height and rotation, but doublecheck settings after cables installed.
  12. Install brake and shift levers
    • Flat bars: install grips and bar ends, if any.
    • Drop bars: do not wrap bars yet. Wait until the end of work to keep tape clean.
  13. Check trueness of both wheels. Correct as necessary.
  14. Adjust hub bearings, if adjustable type.
  15. Install rear cassette or freewheel.
  16. Install rim strip, tires and tubes on both front and rear wheels.
  17. Install rear wheel.
  18. Install front wheel.
  19. Install brake housing and cables.
  20. Install and adjust front and rear brakes. See:
    1. Rim Brake:
      1. Linear Pull Brake Service
      2. Dual Pivot Brake Service
      3. Cantilever Brake Service:
        1. Smooth Post
        2. Threaded Post
    2. Disc Brake
  21. Install derailleur housing and cables.
  22. Install and size chain.
  23. Adjust front and rear derailleurs
  24. Install saddle on seat post
  25. Install seat post into frame and adjust saddle position. Fully secure saddle rail binder bolt(s) and secure seat post in frame.
  26. Install reflectors and or lights
  27. Drop bar bikes: wrap handlebars.
  28. Don helmet and test ride bike. Readjust as necessary.
  29. After riding the bike, record your riding position. See Road Position, or MTB Position for printable charts.