Bicycle Mechanics - I just got my first job as a Mechanic. Any tips?
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05-13-10, 06:49 PM
Hey BikeForums! As the title says I just got offered a job at a LBS I frequent and I start tomorrow. I've always done my own maintenance and definitely know my way around all kind of bikes. Just wanted to know if there's anything special to know while working in a shop? Thanks!
05-13-10, 07:05 PM
Save your money in case the job dries up in the off-season.
Sorry, I don't mean to be a negatron--it's just the reality of the business, unless you live in Hawaii or Miami . . .
05-13-10, 07:06 PM
It's only part-time for the summer until I go back to school... :(
05-13-10, 07:12 PM
learn to be fast and efficient. aim for 30 mins for a tune up which includes wheel true, hub adjust, brake adjust, derailleurs, headset. are you providing you own tools?
05-13-10, 07:16 PM
No. The shop has an extensive selection of tools.
05-13-10, 07:28 PM
Learn as much as you can from the senior mechanic(s) if there are any and be honest about what you can, and can't, do.
05-13-10, 07:45 PM
Be on time to work, call if you are going to be late, and have a good time. Way to go!
Don't ever,ever belittle someone's bike as inferior to yours or as a piece of Junk. It may be all they can afford and it could be the best bike they ever owned.
You should have a great time
same advice I give all my new hires. You need to know three things.
Know what you know --- work with confidence.
More important; Know what you don't know --- recognize your limitations, and get help when you're in over your head.
Most important; Know the difference.
Good luck in your new job.
05-13-10, 08:42 PM
be honest about what you can, and can't, do.
Best advice ever. For every life situation. Remember, though, just because you can't do something now, doesn't mean you can't learn how to do it.
05-14-10, 08:44 AM
Ask for help when you're not confident about something. Always. The only problems I have ever had with other mechanics' work is when they dive into something they know they don't have the experience or knowledge to handle. Asking for help before you break something is always better than asking for help afterward.
As CACycling says, if the shop has "guru-type" senior mechanics, learn all you can from them, their experience is invaluable.
FB, as usual, has very good advice.
05-14-10, 08:51 AM
Don't be a "know it all" and always strive to help people. Do the best job you can, and love your work.
The rest will take care of itself.
05-14-10, 09:05 AM
Never pass up the opportunity to give customers small on-the-fly tips about keeping their bike in shape. The money they save and the gratitude you build will come back many times over. I hate to see customers spending money to fix neglect when they could be using it to upgrade their bike instead.
Do not ever skip off-bike bearing adjustment on an assembly or tune-up because the wheel "turns around OK." I have seen far too many wheels ruined by assemblers and mechanics taking shortcuts (and learn how to properly adjust bearings - many mechanics do it wrong).
Be Sherlock Holmes. Mechanics aren't good with their hands as much as they're good with their minds. Use curiosity, logic and analytical reasoning, treating the bike as a system, not just unrelated parts.
05-14-10, 09:18 AM
Spend early free time by memorizing tire-tube sizing combinations, and make it a priority to get as fast as possible at accurately locating the source of a flat and replacing a tube.
Thinking to your future... strive to develop a good or even a great relationship with your employer for future references, and the same with your customers as they may all be potential employers once you've completed your schooling and are looking for employment or even an internship.
Good luck and enjoy the experience.
don't lose or break any tools, keep track of the tools. Since you're working in someone elses space ask where they want things to be and not drift around. ie. don't rearrange anything without asking.
Gistin18- you haved received the wisdom of the Sages. Wow.
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