How to Build a Bike

Some of the beginner may think it is difficult to build a bike by themselves. Here we will teach you step by step!

Before you get started, make sure you prepared all the right tools:

  • Grease
  • Chain tool
  • Allen keys
  • Wire cutters
  • Pedal wrench
  • Hacksaw
  • Nuts/bolts (or headset press)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Bottom bracket tool
  • Screwdriver


Don’t forget the bike parts:

  • Frame
  • Fork
  • Headset
  • Rear derailleur
  • Front derailleur (optional)
  • Brakes
  • Brake Levers
  • Shifters
  • Headset
  • Cable guide
  • 2 x derailleur cables
  • 2 x brake brakes
  • 4' derailleur housing
  • 4' brake housing
  • Cranks
  • Bottom bracket
  • Pedals
  • Wheels
  • Cassette
  • Chain
  • Seat post
  • Seat
  • Seat clamp
  • Brake hangers front / rear if you use cantilever brakes
  • Stem
  • Handlebars
  • Tires/tubes



Step 1: The Seat Post

Insert the seat clamp, then the post. Grease the heck out of the part of the post that will be in the frame to keep it from rusting together. Then put the seat on.

Some may clamp it in the bike stand using the post, it is up to you.


Step 2: Install Headset
Install the headset first. Using a large bolt, some washers and a nut to install the cups. The presses it in to place. There is also another instructible, put on here that details the exact process for this step if you are not familiar.


Step 3: Fork
Put the headset together, grease the bearings, put your stem and any spacers you are going to use on the fork and make a mark with a marker. This is where you are going to cut the steerere tube. NOTE If you have a threaded stem, then just try not to cut it, make it easier, just use some spacers.


Step 4: Cut it Loose
So now you take that fork out and cut it about 3mm below the mark you just made.


I used a steerer tube cutting guide, but you can use a zip tie to mark the spot and cut it with a hack saw. Remeber measure twice cut once, cause you can't stretch a steerer tube.



Step 5: Star Fangled Nut
Now you have to drive in the star fangled nut. I thread it on the bolt. Then use a hammer and tap it in about 1cm.


Step 6: Put It Back Together
Ok, put it back together.


Tighten the top cap until its snug, but not too tight. Then tighten down the stem. You'll check it later.

Step 7: Bottom Bracket
Insert the bottom bracket.


Grease up the threads. The drive side is REVERSE threaded. Don't forget it goes backwards.


Start it by threading it in by hand. Don't use the tool yet.

Step 8: Tighten the Bb
Now its time to use the tool and tighten the bottom bracket. Tighten the drive side, then the non drive side.


The drive side will sit snug against the bottom bracket shell. The non drive side may not go all the way in. But it should go in most of the way.


Step 9: Cranks
Put the cranks on. I am a follower of the "no grease" school of thought when it comes to the cranks. But do what works for you. I tighten the hell out of the cranks, you should to.

Step 10: Pedals
to put your pedals on, grease the threads. On the pedals, the non drive side is reverse threaded. Most pedals use a 15mm wrench to install.

Step 11: Cable Guide
I need to install a cable on the bottom of the bb shell

Step 12: Derailleur
I just put on the rear derailleur. Go slow, make sure you don’t cross thread it here, its just an easy spot for that.


Step 13: Brake
I'll use the middle hole for the spring tension, its a good guess. You might have to use a different hole though. This is a thing based on preference as well as trial and error. But middle is a good choice.


Step 14: Chain
Time to put on the chain. Use the largest gear in the back, and the largest in the front, make sure you have just enough chain to spin smoothly.


Use your chain tool to drive the pin through.


Then use the inner step to loosen the link up by giving it bout 1/8 of a turn.


Step 15: Kinky
If your chain is stiff and looks like this, repeat the last step again to loosen it up.

Step 16: Cable
You need to cut the cable housing for your brakes and shifters.


The key thing here is to make sure you have enough housing so it won't bind and keep your bar from turning all the way. Also make sure it does not interfere with the brakes, thats no good.


See how I have the bars turned as far as they will go and I'm holding the housing against the cable stop? Thats the way to do it.

Step 17: Rear Cable
The rear der needs a small loop of housing, like shown here. Two short and it won't shift all of your gears.

Step 15: Kinky
So you can run your cables to your brakes and derailleur now. When setting the rear one up you want to first set the limits.


There are two screws on the back of the derailleur, the lower one is the inner (biggest) gear and the higher one is the outter, Remember this "Linner Houtter".

By setting the limits you keep the chain from going up into the spokes or down in to space between the dropout and the smallest gear.


Then you can fine tune your derailleur by using the barrell adjuster. The key is to get the teeth on the pulley to line up with the teeth of the gear you are suposed to be in.

Step 19: Knock
So at tis point you should pretty much have a built bike. But we need to make sure the headset is tight. So put the bike on the ground, grab the front brake and move the bike back and forth, do you notice any knock in the headset? If so, loosen the stem, tighten the top cap until the knock goes away, then tighten the stem back up.

Step 20: Test it
You should be ready to test ride it now. Double check everything is tight, check the brakes, the cables, the bar and the stem.


Ride it and have fun!