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MTB New Bike Assembly Common Issue

New Bike Assembly

A typical new bike delivered from doesn’t need much to hit the trails. With some basic tools and a bit of skill you’re on your way. You’ve got a fresh BikeCo Build. New Bike Assembly shouldn’t be intimidating.

(so, the modern work from home means this video is in the yard, with my bike “standing in” for a new rig. Obviously your new bike will be cleaner, not have broken spokes in the back wheel, etc! haha. Also, I wouldn’t suggest grass if avoidable to minimize searching for things you might drop…)

Check out the video then read the post for more details.

Most of our builds ship broken down as shown. Loose fork, typically front brake attached to fork. Wheels off (typically without sealant in them. but if it’s transported without mountain passes sometimes with sealant.). Pedals off. Rear derailleur unmounted.

If you’ve build a bike before then reassembling one of our builds is pretty easy. Let’s go through the steps.

New Bike Assembly


Some basic tools are needed. For my bike I needed: 4mm & 5mm Allen. T25 Torx. Cassette tool (for One-Up EDC Stem Cap). Pliers for cassette tool and to remove valve stems. 8mm Allen for pedals. A floor pump. Finally a suspension pump for fine tuning.

If I was really setting up my new bike, not reassembling my current one… I would have a pad and pen too. This way I could not my suspension settings or any modifications I made from the delivery sheet.

Hang the Fork & Mount the Bars

Ensure that you have all of the headset bits where you can get them as well as the stem cap and bolt along with whatever tools you might need.

In my case I have the One-Up EDC tool in the steer tube so I needed a cassette tool to tighten the stem cap.

Insert the fork, add the headset top cap assembly, then spacers below the stem, followed by the stem, spacers on top and finally the stem cap and bolt.

Lightly tighten the stem cap bolt and stem.

This just needs to be snug enough to hold the fork in place. You will adjust the headset and torque the stem with the bike on the ground.

As a note, there will be one way you rotate the bar and stem that has the cables cleanly routed. If you spin it the wrong way, or too much, the cables get super wonky, look ridiculous and probably won’t work. The right way is pretty apparent. As is the wrong way…

Mount the Brake

Route the brake line appropriate and mount the lever.

In my case I needed a T25 torx for the Magura brake bolts. Magura brakes are torqued as follows: top bolt (Magura M logo is always right side up on the clamp by the way) is tightened all the way down. The bottom bolt is torqued to create clamping force. Not all brakes are this way, but the modern Magura are.

Add Sealant, Inflate & Install Front Wheel

I think the headline above kind of clears all that up right? If your bike was shipped without sealant you can remove the valve cores and easily add it with a syringe or funnel.

Remember to splash the sealant around in the tire to help it seal. (I think I did this in the first take which was incomplete due to the landscapers coming… but forgot to do it in the second take)

Mount Rear Derailleur on Hanger, Install Rear Wheel

This is the #1 question from clients. There are tabs on both the derailleur hanger and derailleur that need to “mate” or “mesh” for proper function. The derailleur’s tab is drawn counter clockwise onto the derailleur hanger tab. This provides the proper resistance and location for the derailleur.

The assembly can however be installed incorrectly. Now, as you saw in the video typically it’s sort of hard to do. So, if you get where its very hard to install your derailleur take a breath and take a look. It might be rotated wrong.

If you continue a couple things happen. First, you get frustrated (I was super over it trying to do it wrong for the video hahaha). Then, you finally get the bolt to grab. You tighten it down. AND NOTHING WORKS. What the hell right? Why is my chain too long? How did they test ride it? Frustration! (totally understandable –  no one wants to have their new rig not working 100% or not get 100% of the service they paid for!)

Well, then there are the emails and phone calls. But, 99.9% of the time after looking at photos or facetime or whatever it’s that the derailleur is rotated too far forward.

Remove it and reinstall it with the tabs mounted correctly. That is the fix. Your chain length is back to normal. Shifting works! (although as it breaks in you may need a couple barrel adjustments)

Doing it the wrong way is hard on the hanger. If you look closely you can see the shiny ring around the first thread. That’s damage to the hanger from trying to get the bolt to grab while it was misaligned. Much more thread issue than that means a new derailleur hanger. Which probably means a delay in your first ride…

Install Pedals

Remember one is left hand and one is right hand thread. Don’t cross thread them it sucks. They both tighten “forward”. Conversely they loosen “backwards”.

Adjust Headset, Torque Cockpit

Now that the bike is on the ground adjust the headset.

Next align the bars and brake and torque the stem as well as brake appropriately.

Here’s a link to a video / write up on Headset Adjustment.

Check the suspension setup and give the bike a test ride. Make sure you bed in the brakes before you go shredding…

Hopefully this helped you with your new bike assembly. As a BikeCo client you have access to our team for any of your questions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Here are links to a variety of content that will help you get the most out of your new rig after new bike assembly:


Pre-Ride Check

Pre-charge your pump for the best setup

Chain Lube Best Practices

Extend your Drivetrain’s Life

Common Question on DT Swiss Wheels

We’ve had a lot of questions on DT Swiss Spacers. The DT Swiss wheels ship with a protective plastic insert to protect the wheel, bearings, spokes, etc. However, the spacer is quite a tight fit.

DT Swiss Rear Hub As Shipped with Spacer


DT Swiss rear hub as shipped (without Cassette or Brake Rotor).

DT Swiss Rear Hub Incorrect with Shipping Spacer


A very common issue – when you remove the protective spacer the hub spacer stays attached.

DT Swiss Rear Hub Assembled Correct


Shipping spacer correctly removed with hub spacer installed.


DT Swiss Front Hub Assembled Correctly


Front DT Swiss Hub with inside and outside hub spacers installed correctly.