Bicycle Mechanic - Skills and Training

Skills and Training

The skills involved in maintaining racing bicycles and other specialized bicycles of course go beyond the basics outlined in New York's "occupational brief." Well-known schools offering advanced training for bicycle mechanics include the United Bicycle Institute of Ashland, Oregon and Barnett Bicycle Institute of Colorado Springs. The Park Tool Co., a well-known maker of bicycle mechanic's tools, has an outreach training program called the Park Tool School which is made available at many local bike shops, taught by local bike shop personnel with the assistance of training materials and manuals from Park Tool.

One common avenue for entering the trade is to start as a bike builder or assembler at a local bike shop. This job can range from simply finishing the assembly started at the factory (attaching wheels and handlebars) to more thorough builds in which all systems are re-adjusted to a given level of quality. The range of assembly involvement varies from shop to shop.

In Canada there are a variety of bicycle mechanic training programs, including the BAM (Bicycle Assembly & Maintenance) program in Toronto which has been accredited by the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC) and funded by the Ontario government in Canada. Students in the BAM program complete an 8 week program at the Learning Enrichment Foundation followed by working one week in a local Toronto bicycle shop of their choice proving their skills by assembling new bicycles and fixing old bicycles.

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