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How to Build a Bicycle
I will teach you the basics to building a bicycle from purchased parts.
note... I made this guide with photos I already had from various bike builds. in some steps the photos may not be from the same build. you can also do these steps in pretty much any order.
start by gathering tools
choose a frame that suits your needs. for this demo I am building a touring bicycle out of a surly long haul trucker.
first you will install the crown race on to your fork. it comes with your headset. slide it on the fork.
pound the crown race on with a pipe and a rubber hammer. you can also use a screw driver and a hammer if you want to be super DIY.
next we will install our headset
it is best to do this with a headset installation tool. I don't have one, and they are not cheap. I typically use a long threaded rod with washers and bolts on either end to tighten the cups in place.
next we will place the headset bearings in the cups.
BOOM (switched bikes on you). the bearings are in the top and bottom cups.
slide the stem & desired spacers on to the uncut fork to figure out where to cut your fork. there are many ways to figure out correct spacer height, i will not get in to this.
after you have figured out, and marked, where to cut your fork. grab a saw and start sawing.
install your star nut. this also typically comes with your headset. I use a rubber hammer and a screw driver to pound this in to place.
make sure to pound this in nice and straight. it should look like this.
you can now put your stem and spacers back on and tighten them down with the stem cap. see my guide on adjust a thread less stem to do this properly.
grab your bottom bracket
grease the threads and screw in by hand nice and straight on both sides, then tighten with a wrench and bottom bracket adapter tool.
dig up your cranks.
slide the chain ring crank arm on to the right side and the plain arm side on the left, then tighten the bolts in to the bottom bracket.
find your seat post. grease this bad boy liberally down the shaft. an ungreased seat post can sieze up in your frame.
slide it in to the seat tube and tighten it a bit to stay in place for now.
grab your shifters. I am using simple down tube shifters for this build.
plop em on and tighten them.
grab your front deraillieur.
install it on your seat tube. I am not going to get in to specifics on deraillieur adjustments in this guide.
now let's build some wheels! find your desired rims and hubs. use a spoke calculator to get the right length spokes.
grab a hub
slide spokes in on one side skipping a hole between each.
put them in the holes on your rims skipping 3 holes between each spoke. (I am not going to get that detailed on this process for this guide)
flip the wheel over. plop more spokes in the same way on the other side
do the same as before. it will look like this.
ummm presto! I skipped some steps... but eventually you make wheels. maybe I will do a wheel builder guide at some point.
do the same process and make your front wheel
get some tubes, tires, and rim tape.
start with your rim tape. I like velox.
install it all the way around your rim. make sure to line up the valve hole with the hole in the tape.
put on your tubes and tires. see my guide on changing a bike tire for more info on this.
grab your cassette
find where it slides on to your rear hub
pop it on. tighten it down with a cassette installation adapter and a wrench.
find your handlebars. I am using some bullhorns.
get some brake levers. I am using bar end levers.
install the levers on to your bars.
grab a saddle
put that bad boy on. (oh yeah, you can put your wheels on too).
get some break cables and cable housing
run the cable housing from your levers and tape them along the bars with electrical tape.
after your cables are secured to your bars, install your bar tape.
grab some pedals
install them on your cranks. remember, the right side is righty tighty. the left side is lefty tighty.
install your rear deraillieur.
grab a chain
put it on. (I am not going to get in to establishing chain length for this demo).
run your shifter cables from your shifters to your deraillieurs.
get some brakes!
install your brakes (I am not getting in to adjusting, or installation of brakes in this guide)
you like fenders? go get some.
and put them on!
toe clips? I highly suggest them.
put them on!
you want to carry things on your bike do you? get a rack!
get some panniers and put them on
pick out some sort of skull and affix it to your rear fender.
YOUR DONE! ride your bike to the desert
ride your bike in the mountains
ride your bike to the ocean!
Check out other guides by this author!