The Art of Assembly

An ode to the proper bike build

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Any muppet can pull a bike out of a cardboard box and get it rolling. To do so, however, is to miss a grand opportunity. Doug Hamilton, the owner and operator of Black Peak Cycles in New Zealand, explains why he begins his pro builds by stripping down each brand new bike to its bare frame.

“When a bike is brand new and comes out of the box from the factory.” says Hamilton “there’s a huge amount of performance locked away in that bike–in the suspension performance, in particular– that has never been realized…. Many, many bikes come from the factory highly restricted in the suspension movement. To free up those bearings and replace the lubricant with really high-quality lubricants…makes the bike roll smoother, makes it pedal easier and increases the efficiency, which means you put less energy into the bike to make it go the same speed.”

While I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never, say, repacked a brand new pair of Shimano hubs, I still appreciated this video, which goes a long ways towards illuminating the zen of wrenching.