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  1. #1
    Genius FlatMaster's Avatar
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    Would a bike shop hire me?

    I'm movig to Huntsville AL pretty soon and I need a job. I've done all my own maintence on my road bike for about 3,000 miles. I've saved and rebuilt two mountain bikes. I really enjoy doing this bike maintence and learning new things about bike mechanics. Is this personal experience enough to be hired at a decent bike shop given that the're hiring? I have a BS already.
    Ride or Die

  2. #2
    drain brammaged jimmyr's Avatar
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    Good luck on the job search! Since I have started my riding career (about 3 months ago, ha!) I deal with Bicycles Etc. They are always professional and helpful, which I really appreciate being a n00b. There's another one in town, which I won't name, but I found them a bit snooty and elitist for my taste.

  3. #3
    Philologist
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatMaster View Post
    I'm movig to Huntsville AL pretty soon and I need a job. I've done all my own maintence on my road bike for about 3,000 miles. I've saved and rebuilt two mountain bikes. I really enjoy doing this bike maintence and learning new things about bike mechanics. Is this personal experience enough to be hired at a decent bike shop given that the're hiring? I have a BS already.
    One of the mechanics at my favorite LBS in Birmingham told me he started out that way. He kept buying tools and fixing his own bikes for fun, and one day realized he had a complete toolkit and the knowledge and experience to use it, and thought, "Hey, why don't I get a job doing this?" I don't know the details of how he got his first bike shop job, though.
    s ofereode, isses swa mg. ("That passed away, this also can.")
    from Deor, in the Exeter Book (folios 100r-100v)

  4. #4
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    I really like Bicycles Etc as well. I bought my bike at another shop in town, but that is only because Bicycles Etc doesn't have used bikes very often. There are a quite a few bike shops in town though. I do wonder why you want to work at a bike shop if you have a BS.

  5. #5
    Senior Member melville's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amacemon View Post
    I really like Bicycles Etc as well. I bought my bike at another shop in town, but that is only because Bicycles Etc doesn't have used bikes very often. There are a quite a few bike shops in town though. I do wonder why you want to work at a bike shop if you have a BS.
    So is any shop, because they are going to hire you at close to minimum wage. Eventually you are going to have to choose between paying your student loan or getting bulk ramen noodles and you'll start looking for work in your field. Shops know this. I think the word is 'overqualified.'

    That said, I've worked with grad and Phd students at bike shops, but their student loans are on deferral. I've also worked with engineers who got sick of making war toys and formally trained chefs. Anything can happen.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Crank57's Avatar
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    I used to live in Huntsville, "Rocket City". One of the few towns in the USA where you can't make jokes about something being rocket science or a person being a rocket scientest, because maybe they really are. I knew a guy when I was in high school there, Butler High, class of 68, who was an engineer and got tired of the rat race and quit NASA, went on a cross country bike tour, then either started or went to work at a bike shop, outdoor type sporting goods place. It was call the Outdoor Omnibus I think. Might still be there; was a few years ago.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sangetsu's Avatar
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    Working in a bike shop is fine if you like bikes and don't need money. Pay is dismal, to say the least, and the benefits are generally about the same. You'll find more opportunity for advancement at any fast food restaurant, not to mention free or discounted meals.

    I did my time in a couple different bike shops on different coasts. The jobs were part time while I was going to school. They paid enough for food and rent, but not enough for tuition or even gas for my car. I enjoyed the work though, and I accumulated a collection of interesting bike stuff while I was there.

    If you want to make money in the bike business you need to own your own shop (and you won't make all that much as an owner), or get a degree in engineering or a certificate in welding and metal fabrication and go to work for a manufacturer.

    Your odds of getting an entry level bike shop job are good. Most shops don't pay well enough to pick and choose. Now that Christmas is approaching, shops will be looking for people to assemble cheap kid's bikes. These are the easiest to put together, you won't be let near any expensive bikes until you put in your time putting together the Barbie and Barnie training-wheel equipped models. Just make sure the parts are lined up right and tighten the snot out of every nut and bolt. Get them as tight as you can, and then tighten them some more. Kids are tough on bikes, and the shop owner will give you the evil eye every time a kid's bike with a twisted handle bar or seat is brought back by a pair of annoyed parents.

    Have fun!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    October is not a good time of year to be looking for a bike shop job. Most bike shops are cutting back on help during October.

  9. #9
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    October is not a good time of year to be looking for a bike shop job. Most bike shops are cutting back on help during October.
    down here that's when all the snowbirds start coming down! shops seem to be quite busy as of late (am also seeing a triple increase in the number of regular bike commuters going past the house)... have a friend who's a part-time wrench and now is when he gets calls to come in for morning work more often...

    a sample of one, TIFWIW...

    i guess it's where one lives?

  10. #10
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Sure. And this is Spring in Australia. Many Northerners forget about the difference a few degrees of latitude can make.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  11. #11
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crank57 View Post
    I used to live in Huntsville, "Rocket City". One of the few towns in the USA where you can't make jokes about something being rocket science or a person being a rocket scientest, because maybe they really are. I knew a guy when I was in high school there, Butler High, class of 68, who was an engineer and got tired of the rat race and quit NASA, went on a cross country bike tour, then either started or went to work at a bike shop, outdoor type sporting goods place. It was call the Outdoor Omnibus I think. Might still be there; was a few years ago.
    Last time I used the "Rocket Science" line on a Huntsville engineer he corrected me by saying, "Rockets ain't science; they're physics!"

    I got tired of the L.A. rat-race a few years back (well, more than "a few" ) so I applied for a job at a Santa Barbara bike shop. Because I knew bikes and had a degree (ME) they started me as an assistant manager. They even had me build a new bike to prove that I could handle a wrench (and they insisted on every part being checked and adjusted; excellent new-build policy). I moved up to manager in a few months and did that for a few years until I got tired of living in paradise with no money (even managers don't make much).

    Go with your strengths and good luck!
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  12. #12
    on your left.
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    You probably have enough experience. but really, with the work you put into getting a bs do you really want to make close to minimum wage and have bad (if any) benefits? I'd get a "real" job and have fun biking on the side.
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  13. #13
    Genius FlatMaster's Avatar
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    Well, I'm moving there for grad school. I just wanted a job till the symester starts and possibly build bikes on weekends.
    Ride or Die

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    i know the shop down the street here wants you to have completed formal training and 3 years experience b4 they will hire you. the sad thing is, is that i have no "formal" training and this shops mechanics had to ask me how to do something. good luck!

  15. #15
    Resident Seaballer DogsBody's Avatar
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    It seems this thread is a pointer towards a problem we have: A constant (with growth these days) within our societies that does not pay those who work within it well enough.
    While a "carded" Bike Mech may not be able to expect the same type of wage that many other Trades receive: One should be able to expect a decent living wage (especially if one works in an Urban Shop that services bikes for a large cross-section of Cyclists).
    Hmmm. A new Lobby?

  16. #16
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    How about a new Union Chapter?
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  17. #17
    Senior Member melville's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogsBody View Post
    It seems this thread is a pointer towards a problem we have: A constant (with growth these days) within our societies that does not pay those who work within it well enough.
    While a "carded" Bike Mech may not be able to expect the same type of wage that many other Trades receive: One should be able to expect a decent living wage (especially if one works in an Urban Shop that services bikes for a large cross-section of Cyclists).
    Hmmm. A new Lobby?
    If I were still in the biz in the big city, I'd be earning a living wage. Out here in the country, in a college town, my 10+ years of big city experience have gotten me minimum wage offers. One difference I see is that I could count on 6+ hours a day with a wrench in my hands in the city, where here it appears I'd have an hour or two from what I've seen of the volume at my LBSs. The other difference is, being as it's a college town, I'm competing for the job with people who don't need to support themselves and their families. You know, people like the OP. For that reason I'm sitting on my mechanics' hands a bit until my wife's career takes off and she makes me a kept man. Any day now.

    FlatMaster: Glad to hear you're in grad school, and therefore your student loans will be in deferral. If you can get work in a bike shop, take it. The best job with the worst pay you'll ever have! Remember to watch for sale prices on the ramen noodles. I've seen them get as low as 8 cents a pack bought in bulk.

  18. #18
    Resident Seaballer DogsBody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    How about a new Union Chapter?
    F. ederated
    U. nion
    (of)
    M. echanics
    (for)
    B. icycling
    (and)
    L. egworkers
    E. nclave
    ???????????? A shot in the dark with sunglasses on.

  19. #19
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    Don't any of folks know how to get a job....You start hanging around there,ask alot of questions,bug the crap out off them(be nice).They will either hire you....or call the cops.That's how blue collar people think,myself included.

    That's how I used to hire kids(someone willing to learn) in my shop.
    Last edited by Booger1; 10-27-08 at 07:17 PM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatMaster View Post
    Well, I'm moving there for grad school. I just wanted a job till the symester starts and possibly build bikes on weekends.
    I'm sorry to have to say this, but you spelled "maintenance" as "maintence" and now "semester" is spelled "symester." And you're going to grad school?!?!?!?!?!

  21. #21
    Genius FlatMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monk View Post
    I'm sorry to have to say this, but you spelled "maintenance" as "maintence" and now "semester" is spelled "symester." And you're going to grad school?!?!?!?!?!
    I do physics, not spelling
    Ride or Die

  22. #22
    !@#$%^&*()_+
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    and if you spell things (equations) wrong in physics then bad things can happen

    learn to spell

    slacker

  23. #23
    Resident Seaballer DogsBody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatMaster View Post
    I do physics, not spelling
    This post is just...sad.

  24. #24
    I live in a bicycle. smovlov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by climbinrocks View Post
    and if you spell things (equations) wrong in physics then bad things can happen

    learn to spell

    slacker
    Mathematicians aren't known for their spelling and grammar. That's why they go into math.
    I think further therefore I go farther.
    1979 Motobecane Le Champion, 1972 Schwinn Super Sport, 1985 Nishiki Cresta GT

  25. #25
    Ridin' Hard. planyourfate's Avatar
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    BikeHacks has a job search button on their site. Check it out.

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