How to assemble a shipped single-speed bike
In order to minimize the chances of damage during shipment, our bikes are shipped partially assembled. Components such as the front wheel, seat, handlebars, pedals and pegs (if equipped) will need to be installed on the bike after you receive it. If you're not comfortable assembling your bike, a local bike shop will normally be able to assemble and adjust your bike for you. Keep in mind that some brands may require that an authorized dealer assemble or inspect the bike after assembly to ensure proper component fitment and validate the warranty.
You will need the following tools to assemble your bike:
- Metric hex keys or "allen wrenches" in sizes 4mm, 5mm and 6mm.
- Metric combination wrenches in sizes 10mm, 15mm, with some bikes requiring 17mm, 18mm and/or 19mm.
- Ratchet, short extension and metric sockets in sizes 15mm, with some bikes requiring 17mm, 18mm and/or 19mm for bikes with axle pegs.
- Cable cutter
- #2 Phillips screwdriver
- Knife or box cutter
- Air pump to inflate tires
Unpacking Your Bike
Your bike ships with all components in a large box. We recommend using pliers to remove the staples on the top of the box, and then prise up the top flap of the box. Avoid using a box cutter as the tires are located very close to the top of the box and are very easy to hit when cutting open a bike box.
- Remove any stray items such as the seat and post, and small parts box.
- Lift the bike by the top tube, up and out of the box.
- Lean the bike up against a wall and use cable cutters or side cutters to remove all zip ties holding the front wheel, handlebars and/or cranks in place.
- Rest the handlebars near the bike, being careful not to strain the brake cable if equipped.
- Using a knife or box cutter, carefully and very lightly score the tape holding each protective cardboard cover on the frame tubes except for the protective cover on the top tube of the frame, and pull the protective covers off.
- Remove any plastic wrapping on handlebars, grips etc.
- Remove the pedals, reflectors, pegs (if equipped) and other small parts from the small parts box.
Install the Handlebar
- Using the appropriate metric hex key, remove the stem clamp bolts (usually four bolts) on the top of the stem (for top load) or the front (for front load).
- Place the handlebars in the stem and rest the handlebar cross-brace on the top tube of the bike frame (the cardboard protective cover left on the tube will protect from scratches). Make sure that the brake cable, if equipped, follows a natural path from the brake lever down and to the left side of the frame.
- Place the top cap on and thread each stem clamp bolt lightly into the stem. Leave the bolts reasonably loose to allow you to swing the handlebars up.
- Swing the handlebars up so that they are in-line with the forks. Make sure the knurled are of the bars is centered in the stem clamp area and tighten the clamp bolts in an "X" pattern - top left, bottom right, top right, bottom left. Ensure the stem clamp is evenly tightened and that neither the top or bottom is closer tothe stem. Verify the bars are centered and at the correct angle, and then fully torque the stem clamp bolts. Note that these bolts must be tightened very securely to prevent the handlebars from moving.
- Loosen but do not remove the two pinch bolts on the side of the stem.
- Loosen but do not remove the single fork compression bolt. Looking down the front of the bike, rotate the handlebars in relation to the forks until the handlebars are straight. Very lightly snug the fork top cap bolt (do not over-tighten, only lightly snug) and then fully tighten the two pinch bolts on the side of the stem. The pinch bolts are what holds everything tight - the fork compression bolt is only to put very light tension on the bearings until the pinch bolts are tightened.
- Remove the last protective cardboard cover from the top tube of the frame.
Install the Front Wheel
- Using the appropriate sized metric wrench (15mm for cruiser, 15 or 17mm for freestyle front wheels), install the front wheel into the fork dropouts and tighten the axle nut, ensuring that the safety washer (if equipped and if not installing any pegs on that axle) is installed into the hole in the fork dropout.
- If installing pegs, do not use any washers between the peg and the frame, as this reduces the stength of the axle and can cause damage to the axle or frame/fork.
- Identify the left and right pedals by the letter stamped on the end of the pedal spindle. The left pedal is reverse thread. Installing the right pedal on the left arm or vice versa will damage the pedal threads and may void the manufacturer warranty! Imagine riding your bike, and the crank arm on your left side should have the left pedal installed onto it, the crank arm on your right gets the right pedal.
- Apply a small amount of grease to the pedal threads. This prevents them from becoming seized and hard to remove later.
- Hand-thread each pedal onto the crank arm. Remember that the left pedal is reverse thread. If it is difficult to thread the pedals onto the arm, STOP and verify that you are using the correct pedal for the side of the bike you're working on.
- Using a 15mm open-end wrench, firmly tighten the pedals. Remember that the left pedal is reverse thread.
Installing Seat and Seatpost
- Using your finger or an old tooth brush, apply a layer of grease to the inside of the seat tube where the seat post will slide into. Alternatively, you can apply the grease to the post itself, however some grease will be scraped off when installing the post and need to be wiped off with a rag. Greasing the inside of the frame tube will prevent this. Failure to grease the seat post/tube will almost certainly cause the post to seize inside the frame and require the use of an air hammer and several thousand pounds of force to remove. Do not neglect the grease at this point.
- Remove any packaging from the seat and seat post and slide the post into the frame approximately halfway, being careful not to allow the post to slide all the way or it may be difficult to remove. Use a 5 or 6mm hex key (depending on model of bike) to moderately tighten the clamp bolt on the frame once the seat is straight.
Air Up Tires
- Check the sidewall of the tire for the recommended tire pressure and use a hand pump, floor pump or air compressor to inflate the tires to the recommended range.
Note: It is recommended to adjust rim brakes after you have inflated the tires, as the rim will expand slightly with air pressure.
- Using a 5mm hex key for linear-pull brakes (cruisers) or a 10mm wrench or socket (freestyle bikes), loosen the brake pad fixing bolt on one side.
- Squeeze the brake lever while ensuring the pad is positioned in the center of the rim braking surface, and then tighten the fixing bolt while grasping the pad to prevent it turning while tightening. Observe the pad as you apply and release the brake lever. The pad should not touch the tire and no part of the pad should be exposed beneath the rim.
- Adjust the brake pad again if necessary. Repeat on the other side. If the brake lever travels too far before the brakes engage, loosen the cable pinch bolt on the brake arm, pull a small amount of cable through, tighten, and re-check the leverl pull.
- Clip the end of the cable so that about 2" of extra cable is present after the pinch bolt, and place a cable crimp over the end. Lightly pinch the cable crimp with pliers.
- If this process is presenting difficulties, try watching a more in-depth tutorial here or take your bike to your local shop for the final brake adjustment.
To adjust the "centering" of the brake arms, the procedure differs by brake arm style:
U-Brakes (freestyle and limited cruiser bikes)
To adjust the centering, use either a 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 or 17mm or adjustable wrench to fit the spring shroud, and a 5mm hex key to fit the pivot bolt. Hold the spring shroud from turning, and loosen the pivot bolt. You will feel the spring tension on the outer spring shroud. Turn the wrench on the shroud small amounts and check the centering of the brake arms. Once satisfied and while still holding the wrench in that position, tighten the pivot bolt.
Linear pull brakes (SE cruisers, mountain bikes, and others)
Locate the spring tension adjuster screw on the side of each brake arm near the pivot, and use a #2 Phillips screwdriver to make 1/2-turn adjustments to the brake arms - tightening this screw will place more spring tension and thus pull that arm away from the rim with more force, loosening the screw will relax the tension and allow the arm to move closer to the rim.
- Finish assembling your bike by installing any reflectors and accessories as you wish.
If you have any questions about the assembly process, please give us a call or contact us here and we'll walk you through any step in the process. Remember that your local bike shop will also be able to provide the services of trained professionals to ensure the proper assembly of your bike.