How to Assemble an Adult Cruiser Bicycle

 

This checklist contains important information regarding bicycle assembly and safety. It is intended to be a convenient general reference only. It is not intended to be a complete or comprehensive manual covering all aspects of bicycle assembly or safety.

 

Tools you will need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Box Wrench
  • Hex Wrench
  • Regular Wrench
  • 14 mm wrench
  • Phillips head screwdriver

Step 1

You will need a screwdriver, a box wrench, and a hex wrench to complete this step.

With the wheel removed, position the front fender so the fender bracket is behind the fork crown.

Align the hole in the bracket with the hole in the fork crown.

Place a washer on the screw and insert through the crown and bracket. Place a second washer, then a hex nut on the screw, and tighten until secure.

Seat the front wheel axle completely in the fork dropout slots, making sure the wheel is as centered as possible between the fork legs.

Place a clip retaining washer on each side of the axle, and secure the hooked ends inside the small holes on the fork dropouts.

Insert the end of each fender brace over the clip retaining washers and loosely replace the two axle nuts.

Center the wheel and tighten each axle nut gradually and evenly by switching sides until both are secure. If the wheel is not centered, loosen the axle nut on the side with the smaller gap, shift and hold the wheel on center, and re tighten the nut.

Step 2

You will need a wrench to complete this step.  Release the brake when present, and loosen the wheel axle nuts enough for the fork ends to fit.

Seat the axle completely in the dropout slots with the washers on the outside.

If the washers have hooks or steps, place them inside the small holes on the fork dropouts.

Center the wheel and tighten each axle nut gradually and evenly by switching sides until both are secure.

 

If the wheel is not centered, loosen the axle nut on the side with the smaller gap. Shift and hold the wheel on center, and retighten the nut. Make sure to refasten the brake when present.

Step 2A: Attach Front Wheel with a Quick Release Clamp

Some tread patterns are directional and need to face a certain way. Make certain the front wheel is oriented correctly.

Locate the quick-release skewer and remove the adjustment nut, outer spring, and washer.

With the quick-release lever on the opposite side of the chain, slide the skewer through the front wheel axle, replace the outer spring with its smaller end toward the wheel, and loosely thread the adjusting nut onto the skewer.

 

With the brake released, seat the axle completely in the fork dropout slots, keeping the wheel as centered as possible.

Hold the quick-release lever in an open position and hand tighten the adjusting nut until some resistance is felt.

The correct tension is achieved when the lever requires a firm hand to close but is not forced.

With the handle closed, spin the wheel to be certain that it is centered and properly seated. Make sure to refasten the brake when present.

Step 3: Attach Bolted Seat

You will need a 14 mm wrench to complete this step.

Apply grease to the outside of the seat post.

Loosen the seat clamp bolt and insert the seat post far enough into the seat tube so that the minimum insertion mark cannot be seen.

Align the seat with the top tube of the frame and tighten the bolt until the clamp holds the seat post firmly in position. Adjust the seat height as needed for alignment, rider fit, and comfort.

Step 4: Attach Pedals

You will need a 15 mm open-ended wrench to complete this step. Pedals are directional and conveniently marked with an L for left and R for right.

The R pedal should be matched to the right-hand crank arm on the chain side of the bike and is threaded in a clockwise direction.

The L pedal should be matched to the left-side crank arm and is threaded in a counterclockwise direction.

Start threading each pedal by hand, two to three turns in the correct direction on the appropriate crank arm. Then, wrench tighten.

Step 5: Adjust Linear Pull Brake Cable Tension

You will need a 5 mm hex wrench to complete this step.

Check that the brake cable is seated in the brake lever.

Squeeze the brake arms together with one hand until the pads touch the rim.

With the other hand, pull the cable and insert the end of the noodle into the carrier.

Loosen the cable anchor bolt so that the cable moves freely.

Pull the cable through the anchor until the left brake arm sits about 1/8 of an inch from the rim. While still holding the cable, move the right brake arm until it reaches the same distance from the rim and tighten the cable anchor bolt completely.

Check the brakes are centered to the wheel. If the gaps between the pads and the rim are not the same on both sides, loosen the anchor bolt and adjust until even.

Step 5A: Adjust Linear Pull Brake Arm Tension

You will need a Phillips head screwdriver to complete this step.

Look at the brakes over the tire to see if they are centered.

If the gaps between the brake pads and the wheel are not even on both sides, this will need to be adjusted. Make sure the wheel is centered.

Squeeze the brake levers to test operation, then start with the arm closest to the rim or the arm that is moving improperly.

In small increments of one-quarter to one-half turns, rotate the brake arm screws in the appropriate direction to move them in or out. Clockwise rotation moves the pad away from the rim, while counterclockwise moves the pad closer.

When the pads are at a 1/8-inch gap on both sides, check the centering by squeezing the brakes. If the brake arms do not move evenly, they may need to be fine-tuned through a series of adjustments.

Step 6: Adjust Brake Pads

You will need a 5 mm hex wrench to complete this step.

Brake pads should be evenly centered on the rim. To adjust, loosen the bolt and reposition the pad. Retighten the bolts.

Step 7: Adjust Rear Derailleur

You will need a wrench and a Phillips head screwdriver to complete this step.

With the rear gear shifter set to the largest number, disconnect the rear derailleur cable from the anchor bolt, and place the chain on the smallest sprocket.

Adjust the high limit screw so the guide pulley and the chain are vertically lined up with the smallest sprocket. 

Pull the cable taut, reconnect it, and tighten the cable anchor bolt.

Now, with the rear shifter set to gear 1, place the chain on the largest sprocket and adjust the low limit screw in quarter-turn increments until the guide pulley and chain are vertically lined up with the largest sprocket.

If it is difficult getting the chain on the largest sprocket, turn the low limit screw counterclockwise to move the chain closer to the wheel.

To test, shift through the gears, making sure each gear is achieved quietly and without hesitation.

If there are issues, fine-tune the cable tension by rotating the barrel adjuster in the appropriate direction to move the derailleur cage closer to or away from the bicycle.

Fine-tuning may take a series of adjustments.

Step 8: Adjust 1-Bolt Handlebar

You will need a hex wrench to complete this step.

Loosen the handlebar binder bolt and center the handlebar to the bike.

When present, make sure the brake and shift cables are routed properly around the handlebar so they are taking the smoothest path across the bike with no snags or twists.

Retighten the binder bolt until the handlebar is firmly secured.

Step 9: Inflate Tires

Identify the correct tire pressure as indicated on the tire sidewall.

Remove the valve cap and secure the pump to the stem. Inflate to the correct tire pressure. Securely replace the valve cap.

Step 10: Adjust Reflectors

You'll need a Phillips head screwdriver to complete this step.

Check and confirm the front and rear reflectors are installed correctly, facing either directly forward or backward and perpendicular to the road's surface.

The front, white reflector should be mounted on the handlebar and the rear, red reflector mounted to the seat post.

Once set, your men's or women's cruiser bike will be ready to hit the road! Don't forget to check our safety guides for tips on how to properly fit your bike helmet, hand signals and more. Enjoy riding through the neighborhood, cruising on boardwalks and everywhere in between.