If you order a direct-to-consumer bike, as I did, your bike will be shipped directly to you in a box in multiple pieces.
Without the skills or confidence to assemble the bike on your own, this might leave you wondering:
Do bike shops assemble bikes?
Bike shops assemble bikes of all kinds, from kids’ bikes to e-bikes to professional race bikes. If you purchase a bike from a bike shop, they’ll most likely build it for free. However, if you are buying your bike elsewhere, your local bike shop may still be able to build it for you for a nominal fee.
Let’s get started.
Do Bike Shops Assemble Bikes? (When You Buy from Them)
Bike shops offer many different services, including bike builds. And since bike shops sell bikes, they almost always include assembly for free if you purchase your bike through them. They may also include a safety check, a bike fitting, and sometimes free tune-ups with your purchase.
Bike shops will probably also have a guarantee on their work, as well, so you can feel confident riding the bike you just purchased. And bike mechanics generally have lots of training and experience with building, fixing, and checking a variety of bike models. They also have all of the tools and spare parts that might be needed.
They’ll take care of everything, so you don’t have to worry if your new bike is put together correctly. For this reason, it’s very convenient to purchase your bike from a bike shop and have them build it for you.
Plus, you can often purchase from their online store and have the bike ready and waiting for you when it is time to pick it up. Your local bike shop will also have lots of parts and accessories on hand, so if you need a Garmin mount, a speed sensor, pedals, or a water bottle cage, you can purchase them right away and have the mechanic put your accessories on for you while you wait. A nice bonus if you want to get everything set-up at once.
And while it’s great that they can assemble the bikes they sell, what if you purchase your bike online from somewhere else?
What If You Didn’t Buy the Bike From Them?
If you didn’t purchase your bike from your local bike shop, don’t worry. Most bike shops will put together your bike for you anyway. However, if a bike shop assembles a bike that you purchased somewhere else, they’ll most likely charge you a fee for the labor.
First, you’ll need to schedule your bike assembly just like you would schedule your bike to be serviced. Then, you will need to get the bike to them either by having it shipped directly to them or by having it shipped to you and then dropping it off at the shop.
You’ll want to call ahead and make sure they can fit you into their schedule. Otherwise, your bike will just be sitting around.
A trained mechanic will unpack your bike and build it for you. They’ll also check your gears, do a safety check, and make sure all the necessary parts are there.
If you need any additional services, they can do that, too. For example, if you wanted to upgrade your tires to tubeless or put on a different seat, the mechanic could easily do that for you. Additional upgrades may incur extra charges, though.
So although most bike shops will build any bike for you, you might be wondering, how much do they charge?
How Much Do Bike Shops Charge for Bike Assembly?
On average, you’ll pay anywhere from $75 to $150 for a bike shop to unpack a bike from a box and build it. However, if you purchased the bike directly from the shop that is doing the assembly, then this fee is usually waived. Some bike shops will charge a little more, some bike shops may charge less, especially if it is a child’s bike.
When you get a new bike online, the bike will arrive in a large box, and the shop will carefully unpack it. Then they will put on the wheels and attach the handlebars. Next, they’ll put on the saddle, check the breaks, the shifters, and make sure everything is running smoothly.
When you pick up the bike, you can also schedule to have it fitted for an additional fee. However, they may adjust the saddle height for you for free.
To give you a better idea of what you might spend on a bike assembly (assuming you purchased the bike elsewhere), check out the example prices from real bike shops below:
Sample Bike Shop Prices
|Build from Box
|The VeloShop Emmaus, Pa
|$75 per hour
|Bicycle Habitat New York, NY
|$80 – $150
|Kozy’s Cyclery Chicago, IL
|$45 – $149.99
|Bikes Palm Beach
|Mike’s Bikes Palo Alto, CA
You can see from the chart above a few examples of how much some actual bike shops will charge to assemble bikes. Of course, the price varies depending on your location and how complex of a bike build you are asking them to do.
For example, in Pennsylvania, a generic bike build out of the box will cost $85. But if you are looking to have a bike custom built from the frame up, it will cost $75 an hour plus parts.
Keep in mind that a shop might need to charge extra if things are already broken on the bike or if you need to replace or upgrade parts. However, most bike shops are looking for repeat customers. They want you to be happy with their work, and they want you to come back regularly for service so that they will treat you and your bike well!
If you want your local bike shop to build your bike for you, you can ask them for an estimated cost when you call to schedule it. Then, they’ll be happy to help you get everything you need for your new bike.
Is Paying for Bike Assembly Worth The Money?
Paying for bike assembly is worth the money if you aren’t very mechanically inclined, if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, or if you’re just nervous about getting something wrong. If you don’t have the tools required, the price of assembly may even be partially offset by what you’d save by not buying those tools.
On the other hand, if you are handy, have all the tools, and can follow an instruction manual, you could save the money and put the bike together yourself. This call really depends on you, your experience, and your comfort level. Good luck with the new bike!