bike riding

Buying And Assembling Your Bike: Pros And Cons

Parts of a bicycle separated

For most people, assembling a bike is no easy task, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. You will need quite a few specialized tools if you are going to try and tackle assembling your own bike. Slightly more important than the tools, however, is that you'll need a good deal of patience. Not my strong point; like mom used to say, "if I had patience, I'd be a doctor."

So let's look at some of the factors you need to consider and answer a few questions that will help make your bike assembly go as smooth as possible.

  • How much to assemble a bike?
  • How hard and long does it take?
  • Do bikes come fully assembled?
  • Factors to consider when buying an assembled bike
  • What tools do you need?

Let's get started!

How Much To Assemble A Bike?

So you've ordered your bike on the website of one of the world's most reputable brands, and after a month of waiting, your bike has finally arrived. Now it's time to test your assembly skills; buckle up; things could get rocky.

Everything seems to be going well, but 10 minutes in, you finally realize that you're out of your league. Your only option now is to take your bike down to your local bike shop. Bike shops have expert staff and pro mechanics who can have your bike assembled in a jiffy, but guess what, it's not free.

Luckily bike shops don't charge a fortune to assemble bikes, but that being said, the cost will be dependent on the brand and model you purchased and whether it's partially or fully assembled. In my experience, a bike assembly can cost between $40 to $500. Again, depending on your bike and the components you're installing, the price can vary significantly. 

Many local bike shops struggle to make a profit now that the big box stores dominate the industry, so paying them to assemble your bike is a big boost to the local cycling community.

How Hard And Long Does It Take?

A person fixing a bicycle tire

The answer to this question is subjective because, for a skilled and experienced cyclist like myself, it will take much less time than a rookie cyclist. A professional bike mechanic could typically assemble a bike from anywhere between a few hours to a full day. 

Factors that influence how long assembling your bike takes:

  • Type of gearing; mechanical or electronic?
  • Does the bike have rim or disc brakes and 
  • Have you requested specialized components?

If you have an iPhone charging case that you need to attach to your bike, that could also take some time, but they are well worth the wait. There’s nothing worse than heading out for a long ride, and your iPhone battery runs dry. You can make that a thing of the past by purchasing a compatible iPhone charging case to ensure you never lose all your critical ride data again. Use an iPhone charging case with a bike phone mount to be able to keep your phone within view on your rides.

If you are thinking about assembling your bike, you will need to ensure you have the correct tools. If you don't have the tools, you'll need to purchase them, and just a brief warning, they cost an arm and a leg.

Do Bikes Come Fully Assembled?

Many people have turned to purchasing their bikes online with today's fast-paced and modern lifestyle, and many well-known brands such as Trek, Canyon, and BMC ship their bikes either fully or partially assembled.

One significant positive to come out of the plandemic has been the boom in bike sales which has seen the cycling industry at an all-time high. Before the COVID, finding bikes that came fully or even partially assembled was incredibly challenging. The main advantage of buying bikes online is that they tend to be considerably cheaper than your local bike store.

Bike shops don't keep a lot of stock which is the main reason their prices are more expensive, but again, I would encourage you to support your local bike dealer. Trek and Giant dealers offer excellent rates compared to box stores, plus you have the added advantage of getting a bike fully assembled by a pro mechanic.

Factors When Buying An Assembled Bike

Person working on the tire of a bicycle

Anytime you're thinking about parting with your hard-earned cash, you need to take the time to consider a few major factors. The type of bike, the size, shipping and assembly, and service and warranty are a few such factors.

Type of bike

Before purchasing your bike, check that the manufacturer ships bikes assembled. Also, you need to ensure that the brand provides online instructional videos and friendly and professional staff.


Most big brands like Trek, Giant, and Specialized have detailed size charts to help buyers purchase the correct size bike. These charts are an excellent way to guarantee that you don't make a mistake and buy a bike that's too big or too small.

Shipping and assembly

Knowing if your bike comes fully assembled or not is probably the most important factor you need to consider before spending $1000's of dollars. If your bike doesn't come assembled, you'll have to pay extra cash to take it to your local bike shop or try assembling it yourself.

Service and warranty

Service and warranty are two crucial factors to consider. If your bike arrives damaged or breaks a few weeks after delivery, you'll want to know a rock-solid warranty and guarantee cover it.

What Tools Do You Need?

When it comes time to finally assemble your bike, there are a few tools you won't be able to do without. Ideally, you would need a bike and truing stand, but you could get away with it if you didn't have them.

Other tools you'll need are:

  • Allen keys
  • Wire cutters
  • Open-end wrenches
  • Phillips and flat head screwdrivers
  • Bike pump and 
  • Grease 

Some of these tools can set you back a pretty penny, but if you're serious about becoming a good amateur mechanic, you can save a lot of money in the long run.

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