9 Easy Steps To Building Your Own Sled
Here is a list of what you’ll need:
Front derailleur (optional)
2 x derailleur cables
2 x brake brakes
4′ derailleur housing
4′ brake housing
brake hangers front / rear if you use cantilever brakes
Insert the seat clamp, then the post. Grease the heck out of the part of the post that will be in the frame to keep it from rusting together. Then put the seat on. Install the headset first. I install the cups using a large bolt, some washers and a nut. The presses it in to place. Grease the cups up, then press the race on. I bang it on with a adjustable wrench.
Ok, put the headset together, grease the bearings, put your stem and any spacers you are going to use on the fork and make a mark with a marker. This is where you are going to cut the steerer tube. NOTE: If you have a threaded stem, then just try not to cut it, make it easier, just use some spacers. So now you take that fork out and cut it about 3mm below the mark you just made. I used a steerer tube cutting guide, but you can use a zip tie to mark the spot and cut it with a hack saw. Remember measure twice cut once, cause you can’t stretch a steerer tube.
Now you have to drive in the star fangled nut. I thread it on the bolt. Then use a hammer and tap it in about 1cm. Ok, put it back together. Tighten the top cap until its snug, but not too tight. Then tighten down the stem. You’ll check it later. Insert the bottom bracket. Grease up the threads. The drive side is REVERSE threaded. Don’t forget it goes backwards. Start it by threading it in by hand. Don’t use the tool yet.
Now its time to use the tool and tighten the bottom bracket. Tighten the drive side, then the non drive side. The drive side will sit snug against the bottom bracket shell. The non drive side may not go all the way in. But it should go in most of the way. Put the cranks on. I am a follower of the “no grease” school of thought when it comes to the cranks. But do what works for you. I tighten the hell out of the cranks, you should to.
Put your pedals on by greasing the threads. On the pedals, the non drive side is reverse threaded. Most pedals use a 15mm wrench to install. I am using cantilever brakes. So I’ll use the middle hole for the spring tension, its a good guess. You might have to use a different hole though. This is a thing based on preference as well as trial and error. But middle is a good choice.
Time to put on the chain. Use the largest gear in the back, and the largest in the front, make sure you have just enough chain to spin smoothly. Use your chain tool to drive the pin through. Then use the inner step to loosen the link up by giving it bout 1/8 of a turn. You need to cut the cable housing for your brakes and shifters.
You can run your cables to your brakes and derailleur now. When setting the rear one up you want to first set the limits. There are two screws on the back of the derailleur, the lower one is the inner (biggest) gear and the higher one is the outer, Remember this “Linner Houtter”. By setting the limits you keep the chain from going up into the spokes or down in to space between the dropout and the smallest gear. Then you can fine tune your derailleur by using the barrel adjuster. The key is to get the teeth on the pulley to line up with the teeth of the gear you are supposed to be in.
So at this point you should pretty much have a built bike. But we need to make sure the headset is tight. So put the bike on the ground, grab the front brake and move the bike back and forth, do you notice any knock in the headset? If so, loosen the stem, tighten the top cap until the knock goes away, then tighten the stem back up. You should be ready to test ride it now. Double check everything is tight, check the brakes, the cables, the bar and the stem.
Ride the bicycle you just built to the nearest store that sells sleds and purchase a sled.