Bikes Direct Bike Assembly Checklist


Pretty much every Tiny Fix babe gets asked for bike recommendations constantly. I’m personally actually kind of bad at them (unless you’re also five foot one and allergic to shifting gears), and a big reason why is that when you ask someone how much they’re looking to spend they generally say “$300-$500.” That sort of budget generally allows for one of only a few options: a used bike from Craiglist, something refurbished from West Town, or…a Bikes Direct bike.

While we’ll always scream SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BIKE SHOP at the top of our lungs, these options are all fine and dandy. Our very own Tiny Fixer KC has been tooling around town on a black rainbow flake Mercier Kilo TT from Bikes Direct for years. However, Bikes Direct bikes (which are basically all slight variations on the same bike) do require assembly. I found an excellent answer on Ask Metafilter by user spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints detailing everything his shop checks when a customer pays them to assemble a Bikes Direct bike, and he graciously allowed me to share his checklist with you.

Things to Check on Your New Bikes Direct Bike

  • spokes at proper tension (they never are)
  • wheels true (after bringing spokes to proper tension)
  • hubs adjusted (almost always tight)
  • bottom bracket has LocTite (usually dry or just shop grease)
  • cranks installed with proper torque (gotta remove cranks to remove bottom bracket)
  • chainring bolts at proper torque
  • pedals installed with grease (will probably come without pedals or just one pedal installed, so buy some grease and a pedal wrench)
  • freewheel threaded on tightly (usually not an issue, sometimes they’re loose)
  • rear wheel installed, chain tensioned, tire brought to pressure, rear brake adjusted (pads almost always need to be aligned to rim and caliper centered)
  • front wheel installed, brought to proper pressure, front brake adjusted
  • cables/housing free of kinks. cables properly capped (usually not a problem)
  • headset properly adjusted (almost always tight)
  • bars properly installed, stem bolts greased, brought to proper torque (typically ships with bars off stem, so gotta do this anyway, again, grease is your friend)
  • brake levers at proper angle (we set up at 45 degrees, it’s a personal preference)
  • seat tube honed, lightly greased
  • seat post inserted, clamp brought to proper torque (which will be changed anyway when the customer picks up the bike)
  • saddle clamp tight (usually not a problem)
  • reflectors properly installed (CPSC law, or at least that’s what we tell everyone, liability thing)

  • test ride (whoooo!)
  • check hubs, cranks/bottom bracket, headset again to see if they loosened during test ride, check wheel trueness, adjust as needed

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