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lillycoyote's avatar

Can someone help me with a couple of issues I'm having with assembling my bicycle?

Asked by lillycoyote (24835points) February 13th, 2011

It’s hardly even assembling really; I just have to put in the seat, install the handle bars (the gear and break cables are already installed, including on the handle bars), attach/install the front wheel and then put on the pedals.

So, the seat is in, the handle bars are “provisionally” installed but I know they should probably be lined up with the front fork as close to perfectly as is humanly possible, so …

1st question: Is there some method or technique to ensure that the handle bars are properly aligned other than just eyeballing them? That doesn’t seem very precise plus every time I try it, it seems off one way or the other.*

After the handle bars, I am supposed to install the front wheel so:

2nd question: The instructions tell me that prior to installing the front wheel I need to:

“Squeeze front brakes together, at the same time lift the brake noodle out of the brake noodle housing.”

Yes, you guessed it. What the heck is a brake noodle? What does it look like? How do I identify it? If know what it looks like I can lift it out of it’s housing.

Or we can go the other way. How do I identify the brake noodle housing? Then I can probably assume that whatever it is housing is the brake noodle.

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13 Answers

chyna's avatar

This is why I pay the extra 25.00 to have things assembled. I can never figure it out on my own. Good luck!

lillycoyote's avatar

@chyna I ordered it from Target; it’s a bike they only sell online so it had to be shipped my house and I’m usually pretty handy but I seem to have lost my edge in the DYI department. I called my local Target today and they said they would assemble it for me but I have to bring it to the store. I’ve taken all the nicely packed pieces apart and hauling a half assemble bicycle to Target and then hauling it to the back of the store to where the sporting goods are, that’s like ¾ of mile, it’s a big store:-), bigger some days than others I’m convinced. That seemed like kind of hassle so I’m giving it another shot. It’s not that complicated, it’s just getting everything to line up and translating some of the bike speak that is giving me trouble.

chyna's avatar

I bought bookshelves once and the holes weren’t lining up. I called my brother to borrow his drill to drill more holes. He came over to see what I was doing and noticed I had the shelves upside down. Holes lined up when he turned them over. I would’ve just drilled new holes. I have no patience for that stuff.

lillycoyote's avatar

@chyna Well, thanks for keeping me company here on the thread, at least. It looks like I’m going to have to take matters into my own hands so I’m off to at least google this noodle thing.

crisw's avatar

I presume the directions were written in China! It should be the brake cable, I am sure.

Mamradpivo's avatar

My best advice would be to search for a YouTube video on how to assemble a bicycle. That’s how I learned how to do most things I can do myself.

Option two would be to take it to your local independent bike shop and ask them to assemble it for you. That would give you the comfort and security of knowing it was assembled by someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.

Allie's avatar

Noodle. You release it to open the brake so you can fit the tire past the brake pads since they are closed.

john65pennington's avatar

Okay, here is the latest dope on bike installation from a guy that has made many.

First, the handlbars. They do not look correct because the front wheel should be installed first. This way, you have a correct alignment, between the front and rear wheel, to judge from. Adjust the handlebars according to your height and eye level on the road.

Second, I have never heard of a brake noodle before. It must be the breaker arm that hangs down by the rear wheel of you bike? Is that correct? Let me know.

lillycoyote's avatar

Thanks guys! I really appreciate the help. Together I think we can do this.

@Allie, Thanks. I’ve identified the “noodle” but what exactly is the “housing” that I am supposed to “lift” it out of? Do you know? I don’t see anything that can be lifted, exactly. There are things that can be unscrewed and taken apart but not really lifted. And I went to the brake manufacturers site and there specs don’t use the same descriptions as the instructions.

@john65pennington Thanks for the info about installing the handle bars after the front wheel. That should do the trick, if your bike guy says it will do the trick, I guess. :-)

The noodle is real!!

And there is one of these things around the end of it. I thought that was the housing.

@crisw The bike was made in China. Whoever wrote the instructions is reasonably fluent in both English and bike-geek-speak but the instructions seem to have printed in shop staffed by people with genetically engineered, superhuman, mutant magnifying eyes because I can read the text with my magnifying glass but I can’t get a clear sense of what the illustrations are illustrating even with with the glass. I may need to find my jeweler’s loop. My eyes are even older than I am, I’m afraid. What I need a seeing eye dog with opposable thumbs and a a knack for things mechanical. Is there a breed for that?

Anyway, thanks so much everyone. I think I am going to pack it in for the night and try again tomorrow when my head is clearer.

woodcutter's avatar

Looks like they want you to temporarily disconnect the front brakes in order to make them wider so the tire will clear them. You might be able to just let some of the air out of the tire first then air it up after you have it in place if you don’t feel like taking stuff apart. The eyeball method was all I used when getting the handlebar straight it always seemed straight enough. An easy way to tell is when you are riding it. They will definitely feel and look crooked when you are hanging on to them even if they are off slightly.

lillycoyote's avatar

@woodcutter That’s what’s confusing me. There doesn’t seem to anything that would prevent me from putting the front tire on the way the bike’s brakes are now and were right out of the box. Maybe they put in a little extra effort at the factory and whatever the instructions are telling me to do has already be done.

I will certainly make sure that my first excursion on the bike is on a long stretch of level ground and not the hands off, careening down hills at frightening speeds kind of stuff I did when I was younger. And, since I bought this bike specifically because it’s got a smaller frame that’s better for shorter woman, I can always do some Fred Flintstone braking if style braking if it comes to that, because I finally have a bike that I can sit on and my feet touch the ground!

woodcutter's avatar

Usually the brake pads are very close to the rim when they are not being applied. The tire most of the time is fatter than the rim and won’t squeeze past the pads. So what it’s sounding like there is either the brakes are already loosened up for that reason or they are just really slack and won’t work well when all is assembled. More fine tuning will probably be needed to tighten up the brakes right after all is together. in the old days we just loosened the clamp that held the end of the cable and pulled the excess slack through the clamp and re tightened.

lillycoyote's avatar

Thanks again everyone, but I think I’m good to go now. Only time will tell if I really should have had someone who actually knows what they’re doing assemble the bike for me… but… I wouldn’t say I had an epiphany exactly, more like a “Duh!!!” moment, but while squatting down to screw in the right pedal, the rear break was right there in front of my face and I thought “Mmm, that looks just like the front brake.” So I just have to make the front break look and work like the rear break and I should be in business.

Thanks to all.

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