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Old 09-04-10, 07:37 PM   #1
RobE30 
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Covering the basics

I've been playing with, breaking, repairing and riding bikes for close to 25 years in some way shape or form. Recently I returned to cycling and have gotten many co-workers either newly interested or rekindled a lost love for cycling.

To my question; people have been asking me to teach them basic bike maintenance and repair. What exactly is "basic"? I know flat repair and tire change should be included but how in depth do I go?

Also, some are also offering to pay me for a class or two (some have mentioned $15-$20). Our local co-op charges quite a bit more.... Thoughts on that?

What else should I include? Thanks for any ideas
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Old 09-04-10, 07:45 PM   #2
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airing up tires, flat fix, brake adjust, chain lube, how to use a QR, maybe some derailleur basics
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Old 09-04-10, 07:48 PM   #3
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The potential "students" ride everything from a Trek MTB, to a new roadie (brifters, which I have no experience) to an early 80's World Sport.

As far as d/r basics, what were you thinking?
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Old 09-04-10, 07:50 PM   #4
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I find that the curriculum tends to arise naturally. Some are interested only in fixing flats. And some are interested in more advanced things, but time runs out, or they're not ready to learn more advanced stuff. I think you should make a long list of various repairs. Order them according to importance and ease, giving more weight to important than ease. Make the list longer than you have time for. You'll stop before you're done.

Hard to say what to charge. I'd like to earn $60 an hour doing bike stuff. So if I have three attendees, I could charge each of them $20 per hour. But I made a lot less than that in the class I taught this summer. It was four two-hour sessions (eight hours), and I got paid (by the Adult School) only $120. I had a partner, so if I had taught it alone, maybe I would have gotten the whole $240. But I did it as a labor of love.
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Old 09-04-10, 07:55 PM   #5
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Thanks Tom, that sounds like a good way to plan it.

I think 2-3 hours should be enough to cover the top 3 or 4 issues that seem to arise; Flat repair, q/r basics, getting the chain on right and brake adjustments.

Thanks for the ideas so far, keep em coming!

Oh, I offered to do the class for nothing but, they insisted on paying me.... I just want to get more people out riding and having fun
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Old 09-04-10, 07:57 PM   #6
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Teach them:

1. Air up tires at least weekly, and check daily. The "squeeze test" will indicate whether or not further check is needed.
2. Fixing a flat -- have the tools and supplies, they will fit in a seatbag. Spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, proper tool for wheel removal.
3. Lube the chain. How to do it.
4. Adjusting saddle/stem height (on threaded-headset bikes, the proper bolt to loosen/tighten).
5. If derailleur-equipped, teach them WHAT TO LEAVE ALONE until they get better at it!
6. Ride WITH traffic. Learn and obey laws.
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