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Thread: bike school?

  1. #1
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    bike school?

    i wasn't sure where or how to ask this question.
    lately, i've been thinking about going to bike school. i really want to learn to fix bikes, get certified and possibly work in a bike shop.
    i live in the portland/vancouver area and the bike school that came up most was the United Bicycle Institute and i think someone mentioned they were the cheapest bike school there is.
    has anyone gone to that school before?

    i had a lot more questions but i lost my train of thought.

    thanks,
    Amy

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tapeworm21's Avatar
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    Ask shops if they need a bike builder. Go from there.
    2009 Specialized Tarmac Pro SL SRAM
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  3. #3
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    From the mechanics I enquired with here, several of them used UBI. One of them went to both Barnett and UBI and preferred the latter. Take that for what its worth, as this is "from his word to mine, to you"

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    the bike made me do it oneredstar's Avatar
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    Find the best bicycle mechanic in your area, and try to get a job there. Start by building bikes and slowly learn the trade.

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    Would the bike mechanics let me work with them with no prior experience?
    I didn't even know how to use a bike repair stand until last week.
    I don't think there is any hope. haha

  6. #6
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Bike building is something they'll sometimes take people on for without experience - it doesn't take a lot of know how to do some of the basic stuff, but it saves the more experienced mechanics tons of time and you can learn more as you go.

    Might be good to get on it now though, the spring rush is probably the best time of year to do this.

  7. #7
    n00b Mofopotomus's Avatar
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    That's actually almost the way I got a job in a bike shop this year. Last basically canvassed everybody, went to UBI, volunteered at the CCC (I live in Portland too), and didn't get hired...but I'm a persistent bugger and this year my luck finally came around. Funny thing is that they seemed more impressed with my volunteer work than whatever UBI taught me. That being said I learnt a ton while there and met some amazing people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mofopotomus View Post
    That's actually almost the way I got a job in a bike shop this year. Last basically canvassed everybody, went to UBI, volunteered at the CCC (I live in Portland too), and didn't get hired...but I'm a persistent bugger and this year my luck finally came around. Funny thing is that they seemed more impressed with my volunteer work than whatever UBI taught me. That being said I learnt a ton while there and met some amazing people.
    I actually went to the CCC for orientation in April. I haven't been able to go back since. I'm hoping i will soon though

  9. #9
    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    Bike shop mechanics are poorly paid, so it is in your best interest to not use your own money to pay for bike school. Just learn how to work on your own bike and in the meantime, get a job at a bike shop in the sales department (REI is also a good way to get in). Once you are selling bikes and learning the basics, just be patient and eventually they will start you out putting together bikes for the sales floor. You can learn the rest on the job and if you really like the idea of going to school, the shop might even pay for it. Then some day, when you are cranky about being so poorly paid in spite of your superior bike mechanic skills, you can be surly and rude to customers and skoff at their silly questions. Hah, you say, you don't know the ERD of a Mavic MA3 rim?!?!? What a 'tard.

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    I let you know I'm going on the 28th of this month.
    Jim Bushard

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