Becoming a successful bike mechanic requires bike repair know how. Whether your goal is to become the go-to bicycle mechanic guru or you’re just looking to save on expensive bike shop repair fees, you need to know more than how to turn a wrench. You need training and you have a few choices.
About Bike Repair Schools
School types vary from industry respected trade schools with multiple courses offering bike mechanic certifications upon graduation to local bike shop schools and organizations offering simple how to training classes. Let’s explore those choices, things to consider along with the positives and negatives of each.
Bicycle Maintenance Schools
Bike mechanic trades school certifications are like the equivalent of a college degree in the biking industry. If you are looking to land a job as a bicycle mechanic or simply looking to add impressive qualifications to your resume, a bike mechanic certification will make the biggest impact.
You often attend anywhere from a couple of days to two weeks or more depending on the length of the course and the number of courses you select. Courses usually range from an introduction to bike repair to the more advanced bike classes such frame building and welding classes.
For example, two of the largest and most popular biking building and repair schools are United Bicycle Institute (UBI) and Barnett Bicycle Institute (BBI). These facilities are dedicated to bike building and maintenance.
To give you an idea on cost, both schools costs are very competitive. Attending the 5 day 40 hour Introduction to Bicycle Maintenance Course at UBI runs about $950.00. Over at BBI, their introductory course Bicycle Assembly and Maintenance, a comparable introductory course, is also 5 days or a 40-hour course is around $999.00.
So choosing between the schools may be less of a cost consideration and more of a geographic decision. Make sure to consider not only the cost of attending the school but also required books and materials plus the cost of travel, housing, and food expenses while you are away from home. So unless one of these schools is right in your backyard, most likely you’re coming out-of-pocket a couple thousand when it’s said and done.
Is it worth it? Absolutely. If you can spare a week and have a couple thousand dollars to cover the expense of attending a bike mechanic school, I highly recommend it. It’s worth the investment.
Bike Shops and Local Organizations
Local bike shops and community organizations are usually less structured and may offer a completion of training certificates for simply attending. It is difficult to gauge the quality of the instruction as it will vary. Usually, their classes cost less and odds are you have one local to you which reduces travel cost as you can return home daily.
Costs can range from a few hundred dollars or less at a bike school. Often you can find local biking enthusiasts putting on a training class or public events at community centers offering classes for very little. They are often available after hours or on weekends. For those of us on a budget and with busy schedules, these may be a great option.
Bicycle Maintenance Schools, Courses and Classes
|Arizona||Bohemian Bicycles||Bicycle Framebuilding School||5602 E. Linden Street, Tucson Az 85712||(520) 344-3413|
|California||Bike Kitchen||Cooperative Bike Shop||650H Florida St|
San Francisco, CA 94110
|Colorado||Yamaguchi||Bicycle Framebuilding School||P.O. Box 25|
Rifle, CO 81650
|Colorado||Boulder Bicycle School||Bicycle Shop Repair Classes||3380 Arapahoe Ave|
Boulder, CO 80303
|Colorado||Barnett Bicycle Institute||Trade School||2725 Ore Mill Road #23|
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
|Illinois||Bicycle Guild||Trade School||140 Harrison Street,|
Oak Park, IL 60304
|Massachusetts||Broadway Bicycle School||Bicycle Shop Repair Classes||351 Broadway|
Cambridge, MA 02139
|Massachusetts||Bikes not Bombs||Bicycle Shop Repair Classes||18 Bartlett Square|
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
|Minnesota||Freewheel Bike||Bicycle Shop Repair Classes||834 10th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407||(612) 238–4447|
|Oregon||United Bicycle Institute||Trade School||3961 N. Williams Ave., Suite 100|
Portland, OR 97227
|Oregon||United Bicycle Institute||Trade School||401 Williamson Way|
Ashland, OR 97520
|Oregon||Outer Rim||Bicycle Shop Repair Classes||10625 Northeast Halsey St.|
Portland, OR, 97220
Bike Repair Books
There are some really great bike repair books available to purchase. While books and manuals are great for reference, nothing beats seeing the procedure in action.
Online Bicycle Repair Videos
As with anything else in life, decisions often come down to cost and free time. If either of those are a factor, bicycle repair classes may not be an option. Don’t give up hope. There is no reason you can not be a self-taught.
With instructional videos, you can learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace all from home. Videos have the advantage of being able to view it in action as often as needed. Dave Delgado of DIY Bike Repair put together one of the largest and greatest collection of quality instructional bike repair videos and manuals available online.
He covers topics from introductory bike maintenance to advanced repair topics. There are over 200 instructional bike repair videos. You can scour the internet for bicycle repair videos all day long, but you will not find as comprehensive and complete set as what he offers. It’s over 10 hours of instruction and covers hundreds of topics.
Dave’s DIYBikeRepair Sample Video:
After viewing these bike repair training videos, you should feel confident doing day-to-day preventative bike maintenance, tune-ups and even advanced repairs.