Building the Priority 600

Following are some photos and thoughts from my unboxing and building of the Priority 600 belt-drive, gearbox-driven bicycle from Priority Bicycles. If you're building the 600, be sure to watch Dave Weiner's Priority 600 Assembly video on YouTube. It's twenty minutes well spent. 

Today was fantastic for working outside. I rose early, and setup in the backyard.

Job #1 was to fish out the seatpost and use it to hang the bike from the workstand. And Dave is spot-on in his video about needing to tighten the hex bolt on the seat clamp.

Side-cutters or scissors. Carefully (!) snip away the zip-ties. Be sure to catch the front wheel when you cut it loose. Keep metal and especially sharp edges away from the paint.

It's much easier to work with all the packing material out of the way.

I took extra care to gently (!) unwrap the tape from around the electrical connector. Then I pulled and discarded the spacers from the brake caliper and fork dropouts.

This handy tarp kept the small parts organized and ready to hand.

It's a nice touch to keep the top and bottom gaps in the kickstand clamp -- sideways in this image -- more or less the same when you tighten the bolts. 

Take note of the directional arrows indicating the direction of rotation on the disk rotor. I tightened the rotor bolts in a star pattern, and torqued each bolt to 7 newton-meters.

Don't spin the wheel yet! Because, spokes! (I almost made that mistake).

The power connector will rotate until you clamp the quick-release tight, so keep an eye on the connector and hold it where you want it -- behind the fork leg is good! -- until you clamp the wheel into place. 

My bike was one of those with the stem pointing backward, so I loosened the two clamping bolts on either side of the stem and spun the stem around to point forward. Then I attached the handlebar assembly.

Dave's video instructions got me through installing the light and front fender. I did redo a zip-tie, choosing to tie all four cables together so as to keep them from hanging in front of the light.

There is a sweet spot with fender-stay bolts where they will clamp just tight enough to hold position while being loose enough for you to slide them by hand. Finding that sweet spot helps fender alignment go faster.

Pretty certain I spent more time obsessing over fenders than on any other part of the build. Work slowly. Be patient. Don't be afraid to bend the stays a bit if you need them to pull one direction or the other.

I did a quick caliper alignment to eliminate the barest of "ka-ching" sounds. I almost didn't bother.

The pedals were the last part that I attached. They went on just like Dave shows in the video, and I even had a bit of grease laying around to dab on the threads like he suggests. Dave says in his video to "put as much leverage as you can into the pedal", but I feel it's safer to pay attention to how much force he's actually applying. There's a point I look for when the threads bottom out hard, and resistance spikes way up.

Is it straight? It is now! I'm so picky...Happy with the alignment, I evenly tightened the stem bolts, taking care to alternate between them as I brought them to an even clamping pressure.

The hash marks help with getting the bar centered in the stem. Center the bar, rotate it up or down to  preference, tighten all four faceplate bolts evenly, and keep the gap more or less the same top and bottom.

I like my brake levers inboard so that only my index finger touches. I made that and a few other adjustments -- like saddle tilt -- for comfort.

Eh, voila! The Priority 600. Here you see it on the old rail grade near the Anna Marsh during my 20-mile shakedown ride. It is just one of the places the bike and the tires can take you.

Once again, I heartily recommend watching Dave Weiner's Priority 600 Assembly video on the Priority Bicycles YouTube channel if you are building your own Priority 600. The bike is too expensive to not take 20 minutes for watching the build instructions.