How to Build a Bicycle

I will teach you the basics to building a bicycle from purchased parts.

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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.

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start by gathering tools

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choose a frame that suits your needs. for this demo I am building a touring bicycle out of a surly long haul trucker.

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first you will install the crown race on to your fork. it comes with your headset. slide it on the fork.

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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.

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next we will install our headset

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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.

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next we will place the headset bearings in the cups.

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BOOM (switched bikes on you). the bearings are in the top and bottom cups.

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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.

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after you have figured out, and marked, where to cut your fork. grab a saw and start sawing.

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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.

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make sure to pound this in nice and straight. it should look like this.

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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.

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grab your bottom bracket

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grease the threads and screw in by hand nice and straight on both sides, then tighten with a wrench and bottom bracket adapter tool.

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dig up your cranks.

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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.

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find your seat post. grease this bad boy liberally down the shaft. an ungreased seat post can sieze up in your frame.

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slide it in to the seat tube and tighten it a bit to stay in place for now.

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grab your shifters. I am using simple down tube shifters for this build.

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plop em on and tighten them.

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grab your front deraillieur.

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install it on your seat tube. I am not going to get in to specifics on deraillieur adjustments in this guide.

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now let's build some wheels! find your desired rims and hubs. use a spoke calculator to get the right length spokes.

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grab a hub

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slide spokes in on one side skipping a hole between each.

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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)

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flip the wheel over. plop more spokes in the same way on the other side

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do the same as before. it will look like this.

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ummm presto! I skipped some steps... but eventually you make wheels. maybe I will do a wheel builder guide at some point.

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do the same process and make your front wheel

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get some tubes, tires, and rim tape.

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start with your rim tape. I like velox.

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install it all the way around your rim. make sure to line up the valve hole with the hole in the tape.

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put on your tubes and tires. see my guide on changing a bike tire for more info on this.

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grab your cassette

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find where it slides on to your rear hub

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pop it on. tighten it down with a cassette installation adapter and a wrench.

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find your handlebars. I am using some bullhorns.

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get some brake levers. I am using bar end levers.

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install the levers on to your bars.

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grab a saddle

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put that bad boy on. (oh yeah, you can put your wheels on too).

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get some break cables and cable housing

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run the cable housing from your levers and tape them along the bars with electrical tape.

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after your cables are secured to your bars, install your bar tape.

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grab some pedals

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install them on your cranks. remember, the right side is righty tighty. the left side is lefty tighty.

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install your rear deraillieur.

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grab a chain

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put it on. (I am not going to get in to establishing chain length for this demo).

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run your shifter cables from your shifters to your deraillieurs.

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get some brakes!

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install your brakes (I am not getting in to adjusting, or installation of brakes in this guide)

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you like fenders? go get some.

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and put them on!

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toe clips? I highly suggest them.

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put them on!

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you want to carry things on your bike do you? get a rack!

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install it!

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get some panniers and put them on

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pick out some sort of skull and affix it to your rear fender.

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YOUR DONE! ride your bike to the desert

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ride your bike in the mountains

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ride your bike to the ocean!

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