Bicycle Mechanics - I wanna be a wrench
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I would like to fix bikes, I have a day job but am available on evenings or weekends. Do you suppose there are shops that'd hire someone like me part time. I am currently only knowledgable in the basics, but have a high degree of mechanical aptitude and well, I love bikes. Is there any hope for me or would shop owners only be annoyed by my request for this position?
07-18-04, 02:55 PM
There is a chance you'd get a job, but you'd have to be trained some.
So should I take a course or something?
07-18-04, 06:29 PM
Try to get into a Park Tool School at a bike shop in your area. If you're really ambitious, take a trip to the Barnett Institute. Otherwise, experiment on your own bike until you've mastered most everything.
sounds like the perfect time to exchange some time for knowledge... especially this time of year. hope you don't have plans to go full time. the work is generally enjoyable, scraping by, not so much...
You def could, I dunno about evenings only though. I started at 14, with just basics, and still working. I don't think a class is necesary, but having one on your resume will DEFINITLEY help. I'm going to Barnetts in a few weeks, but mainly to learn more, not just for getting a job. Its a fun experience, but can get tiring physically. I'd say go for it.
Thanks for the replies and encouragement. I'll bone up as much as possible, check into some instructional avenues and see what happens.
07-18-04, 10:22 PM
Fried in grease, want a piece?
I was thinking of doing this very thing and since I work mon-thurs swing shift it may work out.
07-18-04, 11:37 PM
It's deffinetly possible, weekends and evenings are some of the most busy times in a shop so they may appreciate having and extra mechanic around just for those times. Downside is that it takes a fair amount of training to get someone who doesn't know much to be fully capable. One of the biggest things it may depend on is your area. I currently live in a college town so we have plenty of people who want to work in our store so we are able to select only those with previous experience, you would have very little chance here just because of that. Other places don't have that big of a pool of talent to pull from so you would have much better luck a area like that.
If you really want to do it, then go talk to them now. Walking in and telling them that you work on your own bike all the time doesn't mean much to them, I've seen plenty of instances were someone who has worked on there own bike and made it much worse then when they started. Stating something like that has very little pull in a shop. Walking in and saying that your ready to learn to work on bikes, and learn it there way will get you much further. Also, if you plan to do this long term that can help a ton. Shops don't usually like to invest time training someone who is going to leave in a year or so, if you are planning on being in the area for a long time and will stick with it, that can be a great selling point.
I was lucky, I started wrenching when I was 15 in small shop in a small town. There was no one around with experience so they had to train someone from scratch. I was the kid who would go to the shop and just spend hours looking at stuff, they all knew me by name and that was what got my foot in the door. I spent over 4 years working at that shop and it was a great experience. Now I do sales at my current shop, though I wrench when needed. Being a regular at the shop can really help as well. The few times we've considered hiring someone for a position like your talking about it's always been one of our regular customers, someone we all knew, all liked. If you don't know the people at the shop very well, then try to get to know them. Become a regular, someone that they know by name and get along with.
Good luck. Working in a bike shop is the best job I've ever had, I love it. I enjoy going to work every day (well, almost every day:)) and it offers great flexibility for a college student like myself. Works out great that the busiest time in the shop is also the time that I am out of school.
07-20-04, 09:07 PM
sure, you can be a wrench on the weekends! probably be ideal becuase you give the fulltimers the weekend off. i've been a wrench for three years and i was clueless when i started. you dont need to go to a school or any of that BS. i learned 90% of what i know in the first 6 months. you will pick it up so quickly i couldnt imagine needing to take a class.
You can learn most of what you need for a bike shop easily, but if you ever decide to open your own shop, or want to wrench for a pro team, you should really take a class and learn it that way. NOt only will you learn it for good, but you also gain a certification, whcih is nice.
Thanks again guys for the uplifting responses. I hope I get the nerve to try it, I know I would enjoy the work. I'll keep you posted.
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