How to Assemble a New Bike Out of the Box - Moosejaw

How to Assemble a New Bike Out of the Box

So you bought yourself a fancy new bike online. Whether you got a road bike or mountain bike, you'll still need to assemble it. Follow this step-by-step bicycle assembly video and guide to safely and properly put your bike together.

Assembling a bike you bought online is a daunting task, I get it. There are a lot of (literally) moving parts, and it's easy to worry that you won't be installing them correctly or taking the proper precautions as you go. Follow along with the bike assembly instructions video or use the step-by-step outline below as a reference to make sure you're on the right track.

Bike mechanics don't expect you to be the experts, so they go through a detailed checklist before shipment to make sure that the frame, cockpit, derailleurs and more are all installed properly and working according to their standards. What's left is a collection of easy-to-install parts that even a beginner can handle.

The Steps

1.    Get your tools: You're going to need a 5 Newton meter torque wrench, zip tie cutters (or scissors) and a bike multi-tool. Easy as that.

2.    Remove bike from the box: The frame and rear wheel are attached to a cardboard platform to keep them secure. Remove any bike assembly parts not attached to the cardboard and set them to the side (keep an eye out for the parts box, it sometimes hides). Cut the zip ties on the frame, as well as any other parts that were secured to it, and position it so that it's comfortable to work with. You can use the box to hold the frame if you need extra space or height.

3.    Install your handlebar: Give yourself some room to access the stem so you can attach the handlebar. Either move your bike to an assembly stand, or, if you don't have one, you can leave it on the box until you get the rear wheel attached. Use an allen wrench (hex key/allen key) first to remove the front of the handlebar mount, place your handlebars within it, and then replace the front of the mount over top and secure it using the torque wrench. This will ensure that the handlebars are held with the correct amount of force. Be sure to not overtighten.

4.    Install your wheel: Most bikes will come with the back wheel already installed. So, all you need to do is remove the front axle, place the front wheel inside the fork, reinsert the axle and tighten. If you didn't get a chance to purchase an assembly stand between step 3 and now, you can back the rear wheel up against a wall for support as you install the front wheel.

5.    Install your pedal: Keep in mind that pedals are left and right specific. More often than not, they'll be labeled with a tiny “L” or “R.” In the cases where those are missing, you can tell which one is which by looking at the thread direction, which also indicates the direction in which it installs. The right pedal tightens clockwise (threads slope up to the right) while the left pedal is reverse thread (threads slope up to the left). Because they're designed to be left and right specific, they go on the corresponding crank and easily tighten into place.

Take a step back and enjoy your handiwork, because now you're ready to ride. Still have questions, or want to take the pressure out of your hands entirely? Our bike experts can help.

Expert Tips

For those of you lucky enough to live near a Moosejaw bike shop (Birmingham, MI and Grand Rapids, MI), you're eligible for a year of free tune-ups, no limit, when you buy a bike from Moosejaw directly. These include things like wheel truing, installations, bundled services and more. They'll even assemble the bike directly from the box, making this entire article irrelevant for you. I'm glad that I worked so hard on it.

After your 30th ride, bring the bike in so the mechanics can check everything to make sure it's still working as it should be. This is the most common, and most important, tune-up you can get. They'll adjust any cables that have stretched (which happens easily on new bikes) to enhance its performance and make it feel new again.

Once that year is up, or if you bought your bike elsewhere, you can choose any tune-up option from the menu for an additional cost whenever you need it. Is that a, "What if I don't live in Michigan?" I hear? Sorry, but our bike mechanics do, and it's in their contract that they can only travel by bike, so it would take way too long for them to come see you at your house. Keep an eye out for other bike shop openings so you can get in on the action when the time comes.

Whether you're commuting to work, ripping it down the mountain or biking to the bar, the hard part of figuring out how to put together a bike from a box is over. Enjoy the open air and I'll see you on the trails.

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Fun rules and info about the Summer Clearance deal:

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