SOLVED: How to assemble a boxed bicycle

How to assemble a boxed bicycle for the 1st time

I just received a question from a customer who is new to cycling and received his new bike in a box. He wants to know how to assemble his bicycle. There are one of two options. Either take it to a local bike shop for them to assemble. Or have a go yourself. It’s that easy. And only takes a few minutes.

Video: See how to assemble your bike — because a picture is worth a 1000 words. Below is a typical example of how your bike will be packed and all you need to know about how to assemble it, sans all the tools mentioned as a requirement…

Assembling your boxed bicycle in 1-2-3 steps

These days there are so many large bicycle boxes in circulation that it is most like that your rear wheel stays on during transit and only the front wheel and pedals were removed for boxing; and the handlebars turned. Let’s have a quick look at each one:

*Top tip: before you begin, keep I mind that if your bike has disc brakes then you want to avoid squeezing on the brake levers until the wheels are snugly fitted in place. Because if you do pull the brakes beforehand then the calipers will close onto each other, and it sometimes take some doing (preferably with a plastic tyre lever or similar) to wiggle them open again.

Right, onto assembly:

1. Put back your front wheel

Front wheel goes on with either the quick release axle or the thru-axle. The former is usually packed separately, either bubble-wrapped into a bundle together with the pedals; or in a box (as Cyclelab often does, or in one of their bags). Or if you have a thru-axle, it usually stays in the front shock (or fork).

So, all you have to do is position the front wheel in place and insert the axle and tighten it. Either with the quick-release skewer or with a hex key for a thru-axle. No special tools needed: just your hands or your standard cycling multi-tool – the one that looks like a Swiss army knife and should be in your tool bag… 😊

3. Turn or attached the handlebar

The handlebar is often turned or if it still doesn’t fit in the box, loosened at the front of the stem. Meaning you have to undo the 4 bolts with a hex key and position the handlebar inside. Now tighten those same 4 bolts again. Quick and easy. Those bolts should often be torqued to around 5 or 7nm, but finger tight should do. Just avoid overtightening them, especially in the case of carbon bars and stems.

3. Pedals go on last

Pedals are usually marked LEFT and RIGHT and they tighten towards the front of the bike and loosen towards the back of the bike. This means even if you don’t tighten them enough, they shouldn’t fall out. Because you pedal in the direction of tightening them, clever.

Just make sure they are threaded in nicely before applying too much pressure with either a large hex key or pedal spanner as you don’t want to strip the thread – but whether they go in correctly should be very easy to judge as when they are skew it won’t go all the way in to the point where you can actually tighten it.

Just like that

And there you have it. Assembly takes around 10 minutes. Now keep the box or dump the packing material. Onto the next one.

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