How to set up your built boxed bike

Here at Halfords, we wanted to show you how to properly set up your pre-built bike so that you can start riding as soon as possible. In this video, our expert will talk you through the steps you’ll need to follow.

What you’ll need

Before you get started, make sure you’ve got all the right tools:

  • Bike grease
  • Allen keys
  • Wire cutters
  • Spanners and sockets: 9-15mm

If you’re missing anything from this list, you can find them on our website.

Shop bike building tools

Step-by-step guides

First, you need to identify whether you have a Quill stem bike or a Threadless stem bike:

  • Quill stem bikes feature a one-piece stem construction with a single bolt on the top.
  • Threadless stem bikes have a stem that features multiple parts and bolts.

Quill stem

Handlebars

  1. Unbox your bike and ensure that the pedal box is set to one side. Always make sure to file your Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) form away safely.
  2. To align your handlebars, remove the top plug if there’s one fitted.
  3. Loosen the top bolt using a hex key. Once loose, rotate the handlebars anti-clockwise so they’re at a 90-degree angle with the front wheel and the stem facing forwards.
  4. Make sure that the fork is the correct way around. This usually means that the rim brake is on the front of the fork, or if it’s a disc brake then it will be on the left.
  5. Look for the minimum insertion mark on the quill stem. Insert the stem far enough down so that this isn’t visible.
  6. Once you’re confident that the handlebars are positioned correctly, tighten the single top bolt with a hex key until it’s firm.
  7. To check the handlebars are firmly tightened, face towards the rear of the bike and hold the front wheel between your legs. Try twisting the handlebars – if there’s any movement, the bolt will need further tightening.
  8. Place the plug back onto the single top bolt (if there’s one fitted).

Pedals

  1. To attach a pedal, apply grease along its thread (the bit that you will be screwing in).
  2. Place the screwable point of the pedal into the correct slot and tighten anti-clockwise. Start by threading the pedal in by hand and make sure that you don’t force it. Then use the flat sides to tighten it further with a 15mm spanner anti-clockwise, again making sure not to force it.

Tyres

  1. Check the pressure of the tyres – the advised pressure range is provided on the tyre sidewalls.

And with that, your Quill stem bike is good to go! Just remember that you can always get a Free Bike Health Check from your local Halfords store and we’ll always be happy to assist you with any bike servicing needs.


Threadless stem

Handlebars

  1. Unbox your bike and ensure that the pedal box is set to one side. Always make sure to file your Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) form away safely.
  2. To align your handlebars, remove the top plug if there is one fitted and loosen the top bolt using a hex key.
  3. Using a hex key, loosen the two clamp bolts situated below the top bolt.
  4. If your bike has dropped handlebars, loosen the front bolts facing forwards on the top of the handlebars, allowing the handlebars to rotate as the bolts loosen. Make sure to loosen the bolts in an ‘X’ shape, starting with top left, then bottom right, then top right, then bottom left.
  5. Once loose, rotate the handlebars anti-clockwise so that they’re at a 90-degree angle with the front wheel and the stem facing forwards.
  6. Make sure that the fork is the correct way around. This will usually mean that the rim brake is on the front of the fork, or if it’s a disc brake then it will be on the left.
  7. Once the handlebars are positioned correctly, tighten the single top bolt until there’s resistance. It’s important to check that there’s no play in the headset. You can do this by turning the wheel sidewards with the front brake on and rocking the bike. If there is play, you’ll need to tighten the top bolt a little more before moving to the next step. If it’s okay, tighten the stem bolts until firm.
  8. To check the handlebar is firmly tightened, face towards the rear of the bike and hold the front wheel between your legs. Try twisting the handlebars – if there’s any movement, the bolt will need further tightening.
  9. For dropped handlebars, you’ll need to set the handlebars in the correct position and tighten the front bolts. Make sure to tighten the bolts in an ‘X’ pattern, starting with top left, then bottom right, then top right, then bottom left.
  10. Make sure to test the dropped handlebars to check there’s no rotational movement.

Pedals

  1. To attach a pedal, apply grease along its thread (the bit of the pedal you’ll be screwing in).
  2. Place the screwable point of the pedal into the correct slot and tighten anti-clockwise. Start by threading the pedal in by hand and make sure that you don’t force it. Then use the flat sides to tighten it further with a 15mm spanner anti-clockwise. Some pedals need to be tightened from the other side of the screw and you can do this with a hex key.

Tyres

  1. Check the pressure of the tyres – the advised pressure range is provided on the tyre sidewalls.

And with that, your Threadless stem bike is good to go! Just remember that you can always get a Free Bike Health Check from your local Halfords store and we’ll always be happy to assist you with any bike servicing needs.


If you need any additional help, particularly with brakes and gears, check out our Cycling Help & Advice section for a wealth of information.