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How to Build a Bike from a Box - Bike Assembly Guide

Learning how to build a bike can be a daunting task, with every intricate part of the bike eliciting head-scratching questions. This is why we always recommend bringing your bike to the qualified mechanics at an evo store location or La Familia partners. If this is not possible, please consider your local bike shop and their staff to build your bike professionally. We want your riding experience to be the best it can be! Starting off with a properly built bike will ensure a great ride and lasting performance.

That said, it's not always possible to have a professional mechanic build up your bike, and some riders prefer the experience of building their own bike. That's why we've put together this guide to assembling your bike out of the box. Here at evo, we ship our bikes as fully built as possible to minimize the delay between you and the trails - this means we'll just be covering how to build a bike out of the box, not a ground-up build from a raw frame.

Tools You Need To Build Your Bike

  • Metric Allen Wrenches
  • Torx Wrench Set
  • Pedal Wrench
  • Side Cutters or Scissors
  • Torque Wrench
  • Shock Pump
  • Bike Grease and/or Carbon Paste
  • Bike Stand
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1. Unboxing and Preparation

Carefully open the box. Pull out any loose items.

Carefully pull out the bike (be sure to NOT pull it out by the saddle). Cut zip ties and remove packaging.

Save all packaging until your bike has been built and you are sure you are happy with it. Hub endcaps can get caught on the piece of protective plastic or cardboard.

2. Adjust Your Bike Seatpost

Install seatpost.

Adjust seatpost to desired height using the bolts at seat tube collar. Use proper torque indicated on seat collar.

With the dropper post in extended position, clamp bike in stand. Dropper post should be in extended position whenever not in use.

3. How to Install Bike Handlebars

Remove the stem faceplate.

Carefully detangle cables if necessary.

Unpack handlebar from its box and position it in center of stem.

Move to desired angle and proceed to next step.

Re-install faceplate.

Place faceplate back on stem and tighten to appropriate torque - be sure not to overtighten. Take note - some stems require the top bolts to be tightened first.

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4. How to Install Your Bike's Front Wheel & Brakes

Install front wheel.

Position fully into dropouts. Be sure to insert with brake rotor on left side and aligned with caliper when installing.

Your front wheel will have a thru axle (TA) or a Quick Release (QR) skewer.

Thru axles ship screwed into the thru axle holes on fork. Unscrew and install the front wheel, then slide the axle through the hub and tighten.

If your front wheel has a QA, the skewer will ship in the parts box or be on the fork. Open the lever fully, hold the nut still. Spin the lever to tighten until snug, then back the nut off 1 full turn and close the lever.

There should be resistance when closing but not so much that you cannot close it fully. If the wheel slides from side to side, check to see if the hub end caps are installed. They may still be in the protective plastic discs in the packaging.

Check brakes by squeezing the levers. They should not feel spongy or pull to the handlebar. Adjust brake lever position to personal preference using Torx (SRAM) or Allen (Shimano) wrench.

5. How to Install Bike Pedals & Check Shifting

Check pedals for left and right. Most bikes do not ship with pedals.

Apply grease to pedal spindle threads. Using your pedal wrench or allen wrench, tighten the right side pedal clockwise, and left side counterclockwise. Do not overtighten.

Check shifting.

Start in the highest gear (smallest ring in the rear) and pedal forward while shifting gears. The shifter should change gears for each click.

6. How to Check Bike Tires & Suspension

Your bike may have tubeless wheels.

Consult the mechanic’s notes in the box for your bike’s specific setup. Preferred tire inflation can vary greatly between riders. A good starting point is inflating tires to recommended pressure indicated on tire sidewall. Many riders with tubeless setups run lower tire pressure than a tubed setup.

Fork & Shock Setup

Consult manufacturer for specific models’ recommended sag and pressure settings. Use a shock pump to adjust based on these recommendations.

Consult evo's Suspension and Sag Setup Guide for more details.

7. How to Install Front Bike Fender (Optional)

8. Enjoy Your Ride!

If more adjustments are needed, please call one of our stores to speak with a service mechanic. We’re happy to help. If test riding a bike, please use pavement (driveway/neighorhood) instead of local trails, which may cause damage to the bike. We cannot accept a return after a bike has been ridden on dirt trails. 

How to Adjust the Fit on Your New Bike

  • Brake levers and saddle ship in neutral positions (45° for levers, 0° for saddle). These can be adjusted for personal preference if desired.
  • When sitting on bike with the dropper post in the fully extended position, you should be able to make full leg extension at the bottom of your pedal stroke but not need to dip your hips side-to-side to reach full extension.
  • If you feel like your knees are too high into your chest, or vice versa, try raising or lowering the seatpost at the seatpost clamp.
  • If you feel that you have too much pressure on your palms, try raising the stem a spacer or two.
  • Always set the sag on your mountain bike suspension.

Learn More With Our Other Bike Guides:

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This is evo. We are a ski, snowboard, wake, skate, bike, surf, camp and clothing online retailer with physical stores in SeattlePortlandDenver, Salt Lake City, Whistler, Snoqualmie Pass, and Hood River. Our goal is to provide you with great information to make both your purchase and up-keep easy.

evo also likes to travel to remote places across the globe in search of world-class powder turns, epic waves, or legendary mountain biking locations through evoTrip Adventure Travel Trips. Or, if you prefer to travel on your own, check out our ski & snowboard resort travel guides, and mountain bike trail guides


Still have questions? Please give our customer care team a call at 866-386-1590, Customer Care Hours. They can help you find the right setup to fit your needs.