How To Set Up A New Bike | Maintenance Monday

How To Set Up A New Bike | Maintenance Monday


– I have just got my hands
on this new Orbea Orca Aero. Yeah, believe me. I do know how lucky I am. But I thought I would talk
you through the process of setting a new bike up to
your own personal preferences. It’s not a regular everyday
occurrence, I grant you, but you may borrow one from
me or you may hire one. So, it’s definitely a
useful skill to have. (energetic music) The first thing I do when
setting up a new bike is to get my saddle position sorted. Now, the centre point for all
bike fit measurements is here. So, the bottom bracket. And therefore, everything
that you do relates to this. So, the first thing is to
get my saddle height sorted and that is nice and straightforward. So measured from the
centre of the crank spindle to the top of the midpoint of the saddle. I’m looking for 777
millimetres, since you asked. (laid back music) Then we get our lay back sorted. So, that’s how far back
you have your saddle in relation to, yes, you
guessed it, the bottom bracket. So, to find that measurement is a little bit trickier
than your saddle height. You need a completely level floor and then a completely vertical wall. You then measure,
horizontally, from the centre of the bottom bracket back to the wall and then subtract the distance from the tip of that
saddle back to the wall. That will give you your
lay back measurements. (laid back music) So, my saddle is now
in the right position. So, that’s going to stay
fixed there, no matter what. So, we’re going to turn our attention to the next contact point, which is, of course, the handlebars. And the first thing
we’re going to do here, is to actually get the drop right. So, that’s the difference
in height from the saddle to the handlebars. And to find it we measure
vertically from the saddle to the floor, this time,
not the bottom bracket axle, and then do the same at the handlebars. Then to actually move
that stem up and down, to change the height of the handlebars, we just simply replace spacers. So, from either below to
above, in order to lower it. Or from above to below,
in order to raise it up. And if you can’t get your
bars at the right height, then I’d suggest firstly that you may well have
go the wrong size frame. If you’re convinced that
your frame is right, then, unfortunately, it is
going to be new stem time. (relaxed music) Now, as you can see, I’ve got
a little bit of extra work to do to cut down that steerage. But, we’ll not let that hinder us for now. The next measurement that we need to do is to check the reach. So, the distance from
the tip of the saddle to the centre of the handlebars. Now, given that, that
saddle position is fixed, as we’ve already learned, the only way to actually adjust the reach, is to buy a new stem, unfortunately. But, before you rush out and order one, there is one other thing that may well have an effect on that. (bass music) Bar and lever position. You see, you can get totally
obsessed with stem length. Or at least some people can, anyway. But actually, it might
not mean all that much depending on what type
of handlebar you’ve got. Because actually, the really
important contact points, like the lever hoods and
the drops, may vary by as much as two to three
centimetres depending on whether you’ve got a compact handlebar or a traditional type of drop bar. All those different things. So actually, before you
go and order a new stem, you need to check that
the important things are actually in the right place. So, for me, luckily, these are. But, what I do need to do,
is now reset the lever angle because I like a really
nice flat transition from the top of the bars to the lever. And as you can see, that
one’s pointing up slightly. Unfortunately, to move them is
a little bit labour intensive. You need to unwrap the
handlebar tape, very carefully, as far as the lever clamp there. Then you loosen the
bolt in the brake lever, move it down slightly
to the desired position, and then re-tape it back up. And unfortunately, a bike
is never gonna feel right until you have your lever hoods in the right position for you. (bass music) The bike nearly feels like
mine now but not quite. So, I always go to the brakes to make sure they feel as I want them to. Generally speaking, I
seem to like a little bit more lever pull, so more
squeeze on the brake, than the average mechanic
who sets up the bikes. So, as you can see, not much there. What I’m gonna do is
loosen the cable cinch bolt and then get like a millimetre
of serve cable through, so then I get them feeling as I want them. (upbeat music) Okay, so the bike now feels like mine. But, before I roll out the door on it, I’ve got to do that all
important bolt safety check. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d
trust the Orbea bike mechanics, who set this up implicitly. But, at some point, you kinda
got to take responsibility for your own bike. So, with a trusty torque wrench in hand, I’m gonna go over all the important bolts to make sure they are cinched
up just the right amount. And even if you discount safety, it’s actually just really annoying having something come loose
on your inaugural bike ride on your new steed. (bass music) All that’s left to do
now is pump up my tyres. Now, of course, the
correct pressure for you depends on your body
weight and also the roads that you ride on. But for me, on these 25
mm continental tyres, I’m gonna go for 75 PSI or about 5.2 BAR, front and back. Nice and soft for crappy British roads. So that is how you make
a bike feel like yours before you even turn the pedal. Now, unfortunately, before I
can be seen in public on this, I do have a little bit of
homework to do, obviously. I need to cut my steerer tube. If you need to know how to do that, we have a video on that already. So click just down there
to see exactly what to do. Do make sure you subscribe to GCN as well, before leaving this video. And then, one last thing
for you to maybe check out, once you’ve finished this one,
is the video just down there, which is a little bit more information about those, all important,
bike measurements.