Check out the Best Fixed-Gear Bikes of 2022.

The 3 most common mistakes made when building a new bike

If this post helps you, please share it!

When it comes to gear, cyclists as a group can be a bit finicky. There are those who would deride anyone not using the newest, lightest, fastest, and most advanced technology, but, for the most part, riders only care about having a good time and making sure everyone else has a great time too. -> The thing is, the primary concern of riders is having a good time, which they achieve by ensuring that others are also having a great time.

We are among those who feel that “the best bike is the one that you ride,” thus whatever motivates you to ride is what we advocate. Even the most well-meaning riders are likely to take a second look at some of the items you’ll see on the road (and ideally say something to help people get on the right track). In today’s post, we will discuss the errors of bad assembly to help you avoid mockery and have a great time!

These difficulties can be prevented by getting your bike assembled by the specialists, as it will help maintain your safety and bike longevity. If you are the do-it-yourself kind, continue reading to prepare yourself against the most common amateur mistakes.

Fixed gear cyclist with tattoos white shirt and headphones riding a black and red fixed gear bike without brakes - why fixed gear bikes don't have brakes
Fixed Gear Cyclist With Tattoos Riding A Black And Red Fixed Gear Bike

Fork your tablecloth towards you.

If you look at the bike tags on Instagram or search for bikes at a large box store, you are sure to find several afflicted with reversed-fork syndrome. Riding a bike for the first time is challenging since it’s easy to mistake reversed handlebars for normal ones, but once you know what you’re looking for, reversed handlebars are impossible to ignore. A flipped-fork can also damage your bike’s reliability, making it fragile in the long term, because of the way it exacerbates the stresses you put on it every time you hit a pothole or ride down a curb.

In general, forks move the wheel forward, increasing the wheelbase and stability. Either way, a fast check is to see if your front brake is behind the fork (assuming you aren’t riding a bike on the level of the Olympics). If it is, your fork is backwards.

The bikes will be shipped with the fork facing backwards to conserve space in the package, but you will have a funky-looking bike if you don’t flip it when you’re assembling it (and probably earn yourself some funny looks too).

If you get lost, simply check official images of your bike’s appearance to make sure you have it aligned properly.

Leaning Saddles

You may encounter this one whenever you are riding with a huge group or with someone who is riding their bike for the first time in a long time.

Bad bike fit problems may be evident by a slanted saddle (or just a lack of flexibility from taking a while between rides). Even though a level saddle is usually the best option, it’s still possible to get saddles that aren’t level. However, it’s a good idea to put a few of them on the flattest settings right out of the box.

It is possible to make slight modifications after getting a few rides in, but you will practically never have to modify the saddle’s tilt. Usually, when it comes to a comfortable fit, you should change the bar height, stem length, or saddle position.

slightly uneven bars

Upside down risers, sharply inclined bullhorns, and flipped up drops are all used to change the fit of bars in an attempt to make them better, but most of the time it’s a misguided move. It’s a piece of cake – just tighten a couple screws and tilt it. In most cases, riders with handlebars out of alignment will actually have an issue with their stem.

For instance, when you need to raise the bars in your suit, the solution is not merely to tip them upwards. By increasing the bars, you’ll be able to keep your touch points satisfied, but your hands will remain level. You should not lengthen your cockpit by flipping the bars backwards, but you may instead make the cockpit more compact by grabbing a shorter stem. Because of the stress on your hands and your own well-being, the bars you use should be typically level.

This configuration is much more prevalent than you may expect, and it is never correct (unless you are engaging in gymnastic cycling).

You can also just turn the stem upside down or slide it up or down a spacer on the steerer tube. Sometimes you may need to spend the money for a new stem (or an adjustable one) or bars with a shorter reach, but having your fit dialed in will save you money (and comfort) in the long run, help prevent injury, and keep you riding longer, so it’s worth the little upfront investment.

That should cover the basics that will prevent you from making the most obvious assembly mistakes. The real question is if you make any hidden faults (not using grease, not knowing which components are reverse-threaded, etc…) so getting your bike built by the pros is your best stress-free solution, but if you can avoid the above issues, you’re off to a great start.

Be sure to read any assembly instructions when putting your bike together and, when in doubt, look around online for some visual backup of what your completed bike should look like. Just don’t judge others too harshly if you spot them slipping up – maybe give them a hand setting it right, so you can both enjoy your bikes to the fullest.

Author avatar - Bradley Knight

Leave a Comment