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  1. #1
    Senior Member marvelous's Avatar
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    Barnett Bicycle Institute

    I recently returned from a trip to Colorado Springs where I attended the Barnett Bicycle Institute. I was there for three weeks and took four classes. They were the bicycle assembly and maintenance class, the repair and overhaul class, along with the effective sales of service, and management of the service department. I logged 130 class room hours in this three weeks. The people there were great and we studied together quite frequently.
    The effective sales of service class was to teach the responsibilities and techniques of a service writer. Whereas the management of the service department class was to teach about the service department managers position. I especially liked the management class as it was taught by John Barnett himself. Both classes came with their own books and software. I learned a great deal in relation to fixing bicycles in the assembly and maintenance and repair and overhaul classes.
    We covered most of whats in John Barnett's manual in fact one of the main things they strive for at BBI is to familiarize you with the text so you may better reference it in the future. I did not learn anything about suspension, they have a separate three day class for that.
    I plan on going back next year to finish my education taking the suspension class. I am very pleased with the manner in which they impart the learning on their students which consists mainly of demonstrations immediately followed by labs. There were a few lectures but not too many. We had an average student to teacher ratio in the two mechanically related classes of 5 to 1.
    BBI Graduate

  2. #2
    RT
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    The Weird Beard RT's Avatar
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    I have been considering attending, especially since I live here. My only problem comes not with the quality of instruction itself, but with what I would do with this knowledge afterward. If I were wealthy, I would without a doubt work on bikes for a living. Aside from gaining knowledge to work on my own bikes, I have been unable to justify it :-(

    What are your plans after taking this course?

    P.S. I see your avatar is the USA Hockey logo. Did you get a chance to take a tour of the National office while you were here? I worked there for 5 years >:-)
    Last edited by RT; 11-20-09 at 06:48 AM.

  3. #3
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    It's good to hear feedback like this. I went there in '98 and really liked it. I wonder how it has changed.
    It's not rocket surgery.

  4. #4
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Another Barnett alumnist here. I attended in 2004. At 50, I was the oldest in the class but not by much. There were a couple of guys in their mid to upper 40s, so I didn't feel that out of place.
    The course itself was great, and very well structured. Having some adult skills training experience myself, I recognized the effectiveness of the lecture, demonstrate, do it yourself with immediate feedback format.
    I had a fair bit of experience working on bikes before I went, but lots of the guys,(and one girl) had been working in bike shops for quite some time, and they all felt the training was very useful to them.
    The whole experience was 100% positive. At the very worst, it was a tremendous vacation which I was able to write off because I had a registered business.
    The riding around Colorado Springs is Phenomenal. It took a while for my elderly body to aclimate to the altitude, but I had a blast.
    A couple of years later, my head mechanic and I went to Colorado Springs to take the Sram Technical University course. While I was there, I dropped in to pay a visit to John Barnett. I was impressed that he remembered me among all the faces he sees in a year. A visit with John is always interesting.

  5. #5
    Arsehole PlatyPius's Avatar
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    I had considered going at one point. However, every alumni that I've dealt with in a professional capacity has been a total d0uchebag. One of my former managers was an alumni. He'd been working on bikes for a grand total of 4 years. He'd been RIDING bikes for a total of 4 years. Yet, he felt the need to tell me I was wrong frequently because he was a MASTER TECHNICIAN with a piece of paper to prove it.

    At least once a day he'd ask me how to fix something-or-other that he hadn't seen before. Like removing a powerlink from a SRAM chain....

    Another mechanic I've talked to a couple of times is the same way. Very little experience, but he has that piece of paper, so the rest of us are trash.

    Of course, the same could be said of recent college graduates, too.....

  6. #6
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    I went to UBI, not Barnett's. And currently work in a bike shop as lead mechanic. Experience beforehand? Zero bike shop experience. Worked on bikes for decades at home, but never professionally. Definitely worth it to me--part of what got me a job and subsequent advancement. But it was a complete lifestyle change--took about a 50% pay cut to do it. The pay is worse, but the intangibles and perks that make it worth it. Sanity, I bike to work so heath too, schwag, BIKES AND PARTS AT DISCOUNT!!! Money's tight, but I'm loving what I do for a change...
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  7. #7
    Senior Member marvelous's Avatar
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    Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Toddorado View Post
    I have been considering attending, especially since I live here. My only problem comes not with the quality of instruction itself, but with what I would do with this knowledge afterward. If I were wealthy, I would without a doubt work on bikes for a living. Aside from gaining knowledge to work on my own bikes, I have been unable to justify it :-(

    What are your plans after taking this course?

    P.S. I see your avatar is the USA Hockey logo. Did you get a chance to take a tour of the National office while you were here? I worked there for 5 years >:-)
    I plan on opening my own shop
    BBI Graduate

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius View Post
    However, every alumni that I've dealt with in a professional capacity has been a total d0uchebag.
    I suspect that there's a lot of people out there that are different than you that you might be temtped to insult like this. I doubt that they all went to BBI.
    It's not rocket surgery.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    I went to UBI, not Barnett's. And currently work in a bike shop as lead mechanic. Experience beforehand? Zero bike shop experience. Worked on bikes for decades at home, but never professionally. Definitely worth it to me--part of what got me a job and subsequent advancement. But it was a complete lifestyle change--took about a 50% pay cut to do it. The pay is worse, but the intangibles and perks that make it worth it. Sanity, I bike to work so heath too, schwag, BIKES AND PARTS AT DISCOUNT!!! Money's tight, but I'm loving what I do for a change...
    schwag? I wouldnt consider that a bonus at all.
    I hope you'd be able to get the good stuff.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chop61's Avatar
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    I went to Barnett, and I don't think I'm a ******bag. I didn't have much experience, that's why I went. I liked the way the classes were structured, how you got to switch partners so you picked up great tips from the other students, and if there were deadweights then you weren't stuck with them too long. I like that it teaches a system of checklists. Very helpful, especially when it comes to liability.

    I have the little piece of paper, but quite frankly it can't set up a front derailleur properly, that's up to me.
    When I was young I prayed to God for a new bike. Then I figured out God didn't work that way, so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness.

  11. #11
    Arsehole PlatyPius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chop61 View Post
    I went to Barnett, and I don't think I'm a ******bag. I didn't have much experience, that's why I went. I liked the way the classes were structured, how you got to switch partners so you picked up great tips from the other students, and if there were deadweights then you weren't stuck with them too long. I like that it teaches a system of checklists. Very helpful, especially when it comes to liability.

    I have the little piece of paper, but quite frankly it can't set up a front derailleur properly, that's up to me.
    Not all Barnett graduates are d0uchebags. All Barnett graduates that *I* have *worked* with are d0uchebags. (That would be 3)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius View Post
    Not all Barnett graduates are d0uchebags. All Barnett graduates that *I* have *worked* with are d0uchebags. (That would be 3)
    I'm not trying to be a d-bag but your post did seem to imply some cause and effect relationship which was your reason for not going. I'd hate for your opinion of those three BBI graduates to deter others from going. If you're not a d-bad going in, you won't be one coming out.
    It's not rocket surgery.

  13. #13
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    I went to BBI in 1996.I took the course so I could fix my
    own bikes.Interesting to hear that John was teaching
    when I was there I saw him maybe three times.

  14. #14
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remnant777 View Post
    I went to BBI in 1996.I took the course so I could fix my
    own bikes.Interesting to hear that John was teaching
    when I was there I saw him maybe three times.
    John was 100% hands on the whole time I was there. He was one of three trainers that were fully involved the whole time.
    His employees are somewhat transient, so how much he is directly involved may depend on how much confidence he has in the current crop.

  15. #15
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius View Post
    Not all Barnett graduates are d0uchebags. All Barnett graduates that *I* have *worked* with are d0uchebags. (That would be 3)
    D0uchebaginess is in the eye of the beholder.

    Kam

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