True to their word, it's only a little blemish in the paint here or there.
Is it really 50% off? I couldn't find a comparable bike on the internet. There is actually not much out there about this bike at all. But I was drawn to that sweet Shimano Nexus 8 hub. And the one person who did seem to write about it at length in her blog, Jacqueline WayneGuite, really did a nice job. But that's it. Sure there's a forum posting here or there, but it's not much.
I received the bike. I went on to assemble it. OK, I'm not a bike mechanic. The bike was mostly assembled. But there was still quite a bit of work to do. I really should have documented the whole experience, but all I can offer you is what I have from memory. Now Bike Direct offers very little in the form of instructions. They do offer to sell you a video and some tools, but you actually already get the tools with the bike (at least when I bought mine) and the video seems to be a generic bike mechanics course of sorts; not specific to my bike, so not what I was looking for. So all you have left are those few instructions and some sample photos of the bike. That's lame. I don't know if there's much interest in more detailed instructions, so I won't break it down step by step (and it's too late anyway). But in an effort to reduce suffering in this world, I'll share what I've learned.
- Remember this picture (from Bikes Direct), as it is your only real source of information about what goes where on the men's bike (I really wish it were higher resolution) -
- The first thing you are told by the instructions is that you should install the front wheel first. You can if you want to, but you will need to remove it pretty much immediately. Why? Because you got a Windsor Kensington 8, which comes with the front rack and a front fender. You can't install those with the wheel in the way, so you should install both of those first. I hope you kept that plastic widget that protected the tip of the fork (called the dropout), otherwise you'll may be scraping the dropout on the floor, which is not a good thing to do.
- Might as well setup the stem and handlebars before you do anything. You don't need to tighten them yet, but it might give you more control over the fork to set it up.
- You will need to remove the front brake to install the fender and the front rack. My advice is to put on the fender first and then the rack. Install them one at a time onto the dropout first and then unscrew the brakes (you'll need a 5.5 allen wrench I think). Run the brake screw through the rack first and then the fender. Reinstall the brake, but don't tighten it until you put the wheel back. It should all look like their photo at Bikes Direct -
- After you put the wheel back, you can tighten and use your finger to make sure there's some space between the rim and the left brake pad (left if you are facing the bike, that's the side shown in the picture above)
- I don't know if you can tell, but the top rail in the pic is right against the brake there.
- You have to put together a few pieces to that this setup working. First mount the rack to the rear wheel dropout.
- You can put together the pieces for the top connectors and screw them onto the rack (keep them loose), I think they face out in this pic. I
- think you should flip that little widget on the brake up so that you get some slack, because putting in the two rails is going to be tight. You can thread the rails through those connectors and then mount them to the frame. That left hand rail may be a challenge. As you can see in the picture, it goes through the inside of the brake, not the outside. Also, those connectors may scrape the paint on those rails a lot. I don't know how to prevent that, and I found out too late that they did that.
- To keep the rail from obstructing the break, set the rack to where you want it and then squeeze the two rails together on the end away from the frame. Tighten everything, the screws to the connectors, the screws connecting the rack to the frame. Flip down the brake to make it taut. Make sure that it works and that the rail is not keeping it pressed against the rim.
Now you should be done and can ride that sweet sweet bike. Despite the hours of work, figuring this stuff out, and bitching that I have to do this figuring out, I have to say it's a sweet deal to have one of these at the price you get them.
I hope it helps. Cheers.