The Golden Wrench

A blog about bicycle repair and maintenance by the mechanics at Freewheel Bike.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Unboxing a bike.

We have all had the experience of having to ship a bike at some point. Packing a bike into a box can be a difficult experience, making sure that the frame, wheels and accessories are packed safely so no damage will be done. Thankfully any good bike shop will pack your bike up and get it all ready for shipping, but after shipping you might want to reassemble your bike yourself.

First there are some tools and supplies needed. A good multi-tool, a pedal wrench, a rag to wipe your hands with and some good bicycle grease.

 Next open the bike box and inspect the bicycle and packaging for any damage from shipping.

Remove the small parts box along with the seat and seat post.

Remove the bicycle from the box.

Remove front wheel and packaging material from bike. Then Install or rotate the stem straight.

Install or rotate handlebars to proper position.

Install front wheel with either a Quick Release, or bolts. If the front wheel bolts on then using a 15mm wrench place the wheel in the frame and tighten the bolts until tight. If the wheel uses a quick release, then again place the wheel in the frame. Then tighten the quick release. You will know when to stop when you close the lever and the first point of contact is parallel with the ground.

Install seat and seat post. Put a little grease in the frame to lubricate the seat post before installation.

Grease pedals.

Install pedals, making sure to install correct pedal on each crank. It is important to make sure that the right pedal is installed on the right side of the bike, the side with the chain, and the left pedal on the left side. To do this look at the pedal as most pedals will be marked with n "L" for left and an "R" for right. If the pedals are not marked, look at the threads of the pedals, the right pedal's threads will slope up to the right, the left side pedal will have threads that slope up to the left. The pedals will rotate over the top going towards the front of the bike to tighten on both sides. 

Installing the left pedal.

 Installing the right pedal.

Install any accessories that were removed for shipping. Then Double check handlebar, stem and seat position.

Finally check that all bolts are tight. Inflate tires if needed.

Before riding you'll want to perform a quick safety check.
  • Check to make sure that handle bars won't slip under load.
  • Check to make sure that stem won't rotate in relation to the fork under normal riding conditions.
  • Check seat to make sure it is secure.
  • Check to make sure seat post won't slide down or rotate under normal riding conditions.
  • Check wheels to make sure that they will not fall out of bike or slip under normal riding conditions.
  • Spin wheels to make sure that there is no interference.
  • Squeeze brake levers while walking with bike to make sure they have sufficient stopping power.