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How to Assemble a Mountain Bike - Handlebar and all the Commands

Updated on December 2, 2016

Chapter 3 - Assembling the Handlebar and all the Commands

This hub belongs to a series of hubs about How to Assemble a Mountain Bike.

This stage of the assembling is very important as it will influence the way you will control your bike and all the commands` function - brakes, shifters, suspension lock-out and any cyclo-computer you use.

Everything must be completely aligned and properly tightened for your safety and total control of the mountain bike.

First step - Handlebar

After assembling the stem to the suspension tube it`s now time to mount the handlebar.

Depending on the intended use for the bike you`ll want to choose the right handlebar.

If you are assembling a cross country bike (XC) then you want to have a handlebar that puts you in the right position every time you have to climb and the right choice for that would be a flat handlebar.

On the other hand if you want an All Mountain bicycle then you should go for a riser handlebar which will give you much more confidence on the downhill sections and also a more comfortable position to ride.

How to mount the handlebar into the stem

Second step - Commands (brake levers, shifters, grips, etc.)

After putting the handlebar into place it is time to assemble all the commands.

Depending on the kind of shifters and brake levers you should check which configuration is the best for you (having the brake levers "inside" the shifters or the other way around).

I prefer to have the shifters fixed between the brake levers and the grip, this way I can reach the shifters without difficulty and at the same time reach for the brake lever with two or three fingers.

This setup can vary with different types of brake levers and shifters and I advise you to test both ways to see which one makes you feel more comfortable.

If your suspension has lockout with a handlebar control you probably want to have it "inside" all other commands. But of course this is something you will have to check for yourself.

After having all commands placed into the handlebar it is time for the handlebar grips. There are lots of different grips to choose from.

After trying several kinds of grips I chose to use foam grips from Ritchey as they are the most comfortable I found and even though they do not have any locking system they stay in place no matter how hard you ride.

Install the Shifter Lever on Bicycle Handlebars

Install Break Levers on a Bicycle Handlebar

Shimano Xt St/Br-M775 Front & Rear Kit, Dual Control Shifters & Brake
Shimano Xt St/Br-M775 Front & Rear Kit, Dual Control Shifters & Brake

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You did not understood something or are having some difficulties? Please feel free to ask me, I will try my best to help you out. You can post your questions on the comments box bellow.

How to assemble your mountain bike

Chapter 1 - Assembling the Headset and Suspension Fork;

Chapter 2 - Assembling the Bottom Bracket and Crankset;

Chapter 3 - Assembling the Handlebar and all the Commands;

Chapter 4 - Assembling the Brakes, Front and Rear Gears;

Chapter 5 - Assembling the Seat post and Saddle (soon);

Chapter 6 - Assembling the Wheels and Tires (soon).


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    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 8 years ago from Portugal

      Hi Sandy, thanks for stopping by :)

      Hey jnnfr271, I´m glad you enjoyed it. That´s right, it´s very useful specially if you ride long distances through places where there are no mechanics or bike shops.

    • jnnfr271 profile image

      jnnfr271 8 years ago from Texas

      Thank you for this post. I'm adding it to my favorites for future reference. I'm learning it is a good idea to know how to maintain and do minor repairs yourself.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Nice info.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 8 years ago from Portugal

      LOL, you will never know what you missed... at least until you try ;)

      I can assure you it can be very rewarding to "built" your own bicycle :)

      Thanks for commenting.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Glad mine came assembled :)