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Old 09-26-06, 07:17 AM   #1
ikaraus
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Rapair classes

I'm a wrench/manager/do it all at a small shop north of Boston. I've been toying the idea of starting some repair classes over the winter. I was thinking small size - we have 3 stands, so 3 students to one teacher at a time. Start with the basics, maybe a two or three part class. I know Park has a program, or maybe just do our own. I wanted to get some feedback on what everyone thought....

Have you ever done anything like this before? How was it, did you learn a lot?

What would you pay? I'm not looking to gouge people, but we have overhead and need to run this place. What would you consider a fair price an hour for professional hands on teaching with a trained and certified mechanic?

Any tips or suggestions you may have?

Thanks for the input. Hopefully I can put something together that benifits both our customers and us.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:51 AM   #2
slim_77
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In Chicago we have many different organizations that provide special interest classes in like yoga, fencing, baking and people are charged like $45/class (1-3 hrs)

I'm not a mechanic, but you may want to consider hosting targeted cycling classes. For example, beginners: repairing a flat, lubing/cleaning the chain, adjusting the seat...for an hour, I think people would pay $15...if you include a patch kit or some kind of product with your ad on it...may be a nice touch. Moderates, wheel/spoke adjustment/replacement, derailer basics, rider geometry...this is more complicated and may take business away so $20/hr for a 1 hr class--toss in a cheep spoke wrench. And "advanced", the basics of a build: bottom bracket, cranks, cogs/ratio, chain line...This is more problem centered and would require more of your time, so $25/hr...toss in a cycleing cap with your ad on it. Also, work out a structure to work with a person to build a bike themselves...same price ($25/hr and supervise their work in your shop; use your tools and make sure they don't loose a finger...)

word of mouth will boost business and

I suppose more foot traffic through a store would increase
promote it at schools/universities, cafes, parks etc...pick a day a week (sunday) in the am then pm.

I am tossing out fees based on what a reasonable person may pay...that being said, I probably would have paid that much for each. If you/ your staff have a nice personality that will create even more loyal customers...

Great idea...good luck! Oh, mind the sun.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slim_77
word of mouth will boost business and

I suppose more foot traffic through a store would increase
...sorry about the edits I failed to catch.
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Old 09-26-06, 03:51 PM   #4
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About a year ago I was definitely in the market for some classes. I wanted to build up a bike from components to understand it better, experiment with different components, and build enough confidence to be relatively independent. I took the Park Tools 'overhaul' class and it was perfect: two Saturdays - the first we stripped everything from the frame, repacked some bearings, and the second Saturday reassembled everything (lucky me - no extra pieces!). Just two of us plus the manager/wrench at this LBS. I think I paid 150-175, and I think it was worth every penny - being able to pepper this guy with questions (plus his jokes were good). I later bought a frame off ebay, but I bought the gruppo and everything else from the same LBS because I knew they would help if I encountered a problem. By the way, the prior year I had taken the "basic" class which was changing a tire, adjusting derailleurs, brakes, etc. -- also pretty good, but not as involved as I wanted (I think this was 50-75 for a couple evenings).

I may not be a good test case, because lots of posters here prefer to discover things on their own, or don't want to spend money, but for me, this was the way to go (the bike turned out well, by the way), and I thought it was money well spent (plus I like to support my LBS).

There are some areas that were missing from thse classes, though. Wheels (mentioned only briefly) - I would like to build a set or two, and bike fit (proverbial quest for me), plus maybe some esoteric stuff. I think there might be quite a bit of interest.
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