Building A Custom Bike From The Frame Up

In this post we’ll share everything you need to know for building a custom bike from the frame up, including step by step instructions and a list of all parts and tools needed to make it happen. This bike is a Niner Bikes JET 9 RDO, built up with Shimano XTR and Fox suspension.

Step-by-step instructions:

1. Install headset bearing cups using bearing press (tool #1)
2. Install dropper post internal routing using internal routing kit (tool #2) and cable cutters (tool #3)
3. Insert dropper post into frame — don’t worry about connecting it to the cable yet 3. Place bike in stand (tool #4)
4. Install shock
5. Install crown race on fork with race setter (tool #5)
6. Measure steer tube length (make sure to include the headset, spacers and stem) and mark with a paint pen (tool #6)
7. Remove fork
8. Cut fork steer tube with pipe cutter (tool #7)
9. File steer tube with flat file (tool #8) and/or pipe reamer (tool #9)
10. Install star nut with star nut setter (tool #10) and hammer
11. Install headset, fork, spacers and stem (grease on everything except stem)
12. Install handlebars (with carbon prep if carbon)
13. Install from brake caliper
14. Measure (mark with paint pen — tool #6) and cut front brake line with brake cutter (tool #11), insert new bark (tool #11) and reattach to lever with adjustable wrench (tool #12) — don’t forget the rubber cover, nut and new olive
15. Do same for rear brake
16. Install rear derailleur housing
17. Install chain guide (if you have one)
18. Install bottom bracket (tool #13)
19. Install chain ring with chain ring tool (tool #14) and centerlock tool (tool #13)
20. Install crank with crank arm tool (tool #15)
21. Install rear derailleur, shifter and cable
22. Install rotors (tool #13), cassette (tool #16 and adjustable wrench) and tires (don’t forget your tire insert and sealant) — check out this video for a trick to seat tubeless tires with a floor pump ( )
23. Install your wheels
24. Measure, cut (tool #17) and install (tool #18) your chain
25. Adjust your rear derailleur ( ) 26. If necessary, cut down your handlebars (tool #19)
26. Install grips, saddle and pedals
27. Bleed your brakes (tool #20)
28. Center your brakes
29. Set your saddle position
30. Set your suspension sag (tool #21)
31. GO RIDE (don’t forget to burn in your brakes and lube your chain)

Here are the tools and parts we used

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General tools:

Hex keys:
Tire levers:
Carbon paste:
Measuring tape:
Blue towels:
Brake cleaner:
Floor pump:
Rag (use an old t-shirt)

Specialty tools:

1. Bearing press:
2. Internal cable routing tool:
3. Shimano TL-CT12 cable cutter:
4. Feedback sports bike stand:
5. Crown race install tool:
or section of 1.5″ PVC pipe:
6. Paint pen:
7. Pipe cutter:
8. Flat file:
9. Reamer:
10. Star nut install tool:
11. Shimano TL-BH62 brake cut and set tool:
12. Adjustable wrench:
13. Shimano TL-FC36 BB/center lock tool:
14. Shimano TL-FC41 chainring install tool:
15. Shimano TL-FC18 crank arm tool:
16. Cassette tool:
17. Chain break tool:
18. Quick-link chain tool:
19. Hacksaw with carbon cutting or carbide blade:
20. Shimano TL-BT03 brake bleed tool:
21. Shock pump:


Niner JET 9 RDO frame:
Chain guide:
Brake adapters:
Dropper post lever:
Cable set:
180mm rotors:
Centerlock rings (usually come with rotors):
Dropper post:
Headset spacers:
Valve stems:
Power meter:
Thru axle:
Seat collar clamp:
Bottle cage: