Unboxing the Priority Bicycles Eight

The Priority Eight from Priority Bicycles is an eight-speed, commuter-oriented, internal-hub-gear bicycle equipped with a Gates Carbon Drive belt system for low maintenance and never having to worry about a chain.

Mine arrived on Thursday.

Snow was falling the day it was delivered.

Some neighborhood kids and I made the unboxing into an event forever to be known amongst us as The Priority Party. Such an event is not for the faint of heart! Anyone new to assembling bikes should work alone in a quiet place without distractions where you can go at your own speed. 

Similar to what Dave's video instruction recommends, we began with the seatpost. We found and attached the post before even removing the rest of the bike from the box. 

Found the post!

Attaching the post

We've the luxury of a work stand, so our next task was to lift the bike from the box and hang it from the stand. Done right, you can go directly from the box and up into the stand. There's a leg on my stand that gets in the way though, so the kids had to wrestle a bit. 

Prepping the stand...

...and clamping the bike by its seatpost

Then it was easy enough to remove the wrapping, which quickly flooded my office floor. We used a pair of side-cutters to snip all the zip-ties. We didn't want the exposed blade of a razor-knife anywhere near the nice paint job. Scissors are also be a good choice. 

Snipping zip-ties

Removing the wrappings

Unwrapping the bike probably took longer than putting it together. There's a lot of cardboard and foam to protect the paint and to keep things from banging around during shipment. We made sure to remove all that wrapping and padding first, to give ourselves a clear playing field for the assembly.

The Gates Carbon Drive was a hit with the kids. They'd never seen one before. I had to wait in line to ride my own bike, and the kids did Rock/Paper/Scissors over who got the first ride.

Hours later and still not my turn

The pedals got the kids' attention too. Most bicycle brands specify throwaway pedals with bikes like the Eight. Priority Bicycles chose instead to spec some wicked-cool pedals reminiscent of BMX. I love them with flat-soled shoes like skateboarders often wear. 

And if the pedals are not to your taste, I can all but guarantee that any neighborhood kid would be thrilled to have them as a gift. But keep them! Because you'll be the coolest adult rider in the 'hood. 

That smooth front hub will make anyone smile

Neighborhood teens will love your pedals

We put on the handlebars first, to get them out of the way. We didn't want them hanging and banging as we bolted on the front wheel. 

Then it was pedals and fenders. Careful on the pedals! I teach the kids to unscrew them until they hear a small "thunk" from the threads dropping into alignment, and then to tighten them. That procedure can help against cross-threading.

Remember that the left-side pedal is reverse-threaded. You tighten the left-side pedal by turning it in what normally you would think of as the "unscrew direction". 

Garrett knows his way around a torque wrench

One pedal at a time is probably safer...

The pedals should thread in nice and easy. The crank arms on my Priority Eight have some of the best-chased pedal threads I've seen in a while. If you are meeting resistance early, then double-check to be sure that you are not cross-threading, that the pedal spindle is square with the crank arm. We were able to get our pedals turned most of the way in by hand, and then we used a wrench for the final tightening.

The one hitch I'll mention is that we noticed a small amount of rotor rub from the rear brake. That was easy to dial out by moving the caliper, and then there was nothing to do but take the bike for its inaugural ride. Caleb Shelly did the honors, followed by Garrett Walden, followed by Chris Shelly, and then I was last. 

Caleb getting set for the very first ride

The built bike

The Priority Eight is the perfect opportunity for me to see what my friend's new bicycle brand is all about. My daughter rides a Priority Classic. My friend's daughter rides a Priority Start. The Priority Eight suits me due to its more aggressive riding position and the additional gears that are welcome indeed on the hills in and around Munising where I live.


An After Party at Subway was of course obligatory


The Eight is part of a renewed effort toward fitness this summer. Like many office-bound workers, I struggle against weight gain and fitness loss. The Priority Eight is a close-to-zero-maintenance bike requiring no special clothing to ride, and the fenders take away my rainy-day excuse. The Eight is a bike I can just hop on and ride spur-of-the-moment during lunch or whenever I'm able to spare 30 minutes or an hour. That ability to "just ride" is precisely what Priority Bicycles is all about. 

Update: If you have read this far, then you'll find Derrick Story's most excellent review of the bike also worth a read.