Assembling the bike
I recorded the entire build and assembly of the bike on video which you can see below. Following these are some additional points and thoughts.
The first video below is a short 5 minute version and then I have split the longer version into two parts, which you can also view below
Below is the short version, which can also been seen here
Below is part one of the longer version. If can’t view below try here
And here is part two. If you can’t view part two below try here
What did we find when we assembled the bike?
- The front forks come out of the box facing the wrong way and there is nothing in the instructions to tell you to turn them. In my view this is the main reason why so many flat-pack bikes are fully assembled with the forks still facing backwards. If you happened to go into a store and the display bike also had its forks facing backwards – and perhaps you also saw the same thing in a catalogue, on a website or TV advert – why would you think any different?
- The headset was rusty straight out of the box. You can see this in part one. Lewis suspects the headset was already rusting when it was painted and then fitted to the bike. As you can see in part two of the video the paint flakes off very easily. This is not good, regardless of how much you spend.
- The supplied spanner was made of cheese. As you can see in part one of the video Lewis applies very little pressure to the spanner whilst fitting the front wheel, yet the spanner bent and became useless. We used a professional torque wrench to tighten the front wheel to the correct setting as supplied in the instruction book. There is very little chance that you could get the wheel bolts sufficiently tight enough using the supplied spanner. This clearly represents a safety issue.
- The seat post is not long enough. This bike is designed for riders with an inside leg measurement up to 35 inches, yet the seat post is clearly not long enough to give taller riders a decent amount of leg room. Secondly, because the seat post is so short there is very little of it inserted into the frame, especially when it is set at maximum height. This will place additional forces on both the frame and seat post which could cause either of these to bend, crack or snap. Again this is a potential safety issue.
- The tyres were only partly inflated. The front tyre had 10psi and the rear 15psi. The tyres should be inflated to 40 – 65psi. This is usual practice for new bikes delivered to retailers, however most bike shops will assemble the bike for sale and this will include inflating the tyres. Clearly if you buy the bike flat-pack without it ever being touched by the retailer and you don’t own a pump or know anything about bikes, you are going to assume these tyres are ok to ride. Low pressure tyres will have an impact on ride quality, steering and braking. Next time you are in the street see how many people are riding with tyres at very low pressures. Is this choice or ignorance?