Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-16-05, 11:56 AM   #1
brendanmcgrath
killing time
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Gainesville, FL
Bikes: motobecane mirage conversion, unknown rain bike, sea green track frame that i built(my only bike thats actually fully functional)
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
working with bikes for a living

i was just wondering if anyone here actually works with bikes for a living and what kind of degrees/experience they have. i'm currently pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering and i'm hoping to somehow make cycling a big part of my life. any experience, ideas, comments, suggestions? just trying to get an idea of what people are doing. thanks a lot!
brendanmcgrath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 12:00 PM   #2
48x16
Geriatric Member
 
48x16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Bikes: Surly CrossCheck
Posts: 485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I work fulltime for a mountaineering company and part time as a wrench. I feel like the two go well together (outdoorsy type ****) and I am content. I have a mild interest in building custom frames which I may pursue some day. I really can't speak for anything involving designing frames/engineering type **** though.
48x16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 12:39 PM   #3
*new*guy
ambassador of good will
 
*new*guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NOVA
Bikes: many.
Posts: 2,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I applied for an Art Director position w/ Specialized once... does that count for anything?
*new*guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 01:11 PM   #4
chimblysweep
dc pirate, 4evah.
 
chimblysweep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: seattle
Bikes: several. blue. fun.
Posts: 3,193
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I work days in the labor movement, and 15 hrs/week in a bike shop. I actually really enjoy my time at the shop and I love the employee discount (ka-ching!). But I'd be lying if I didn't admit to feelin pangs of jealousy when the messers pass me when I'm walking out to get lunch in my stoopid suits.

Actually, the main thing keeping me from quitting this nonsense to messer is the health insurance bit-- I checked and since I have a nasty health history, decent coverage would cost me a ton.
chimblysweep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 01:12 PM   #5
jayrooney
some dude
 
jayrooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NYC
Bikes:
Posts: 797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The big guys like cannondale and specialized are always looking for engineers etc.
They've got job postings on their site all the time.
http://www.cannondale.com/company/jobs/en_index.html

they're looking for a suspension design engineer right now.
Cannondale Bicycle Corporation is in need of a design engineer to join our Research and Development group in Bethel, CT.* Duties include developing suspension dampers from conception to production.* The ideal candidate will have strong Pro Engineer skills, a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, and in-depth knowledge of suspension assemblies.* Candidate should be self-motivated and have the ability to handle several concurrent projects.* Knowledge of Finite Element Analysis is desired.
jayrooney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 01:48 PM   #6
dwj444
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 106
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a grad student right now and a part-time salesman and grease-monkey in a shop. I do school 3 days a work, work three days a week, and rest on Sunday. It's a good life. The employee discount is the way to go. As far as degrees go, I have plenty already and more on the way, but nothing to do with bikes. Everything I know, I've leared from people who've done this longer than I have, and care about their work. Pick it up that way, and add your training to it, you should have a good start.
dwj444 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 05:57 PM   #7
jim-bob
hateful little monkey
 
jim-bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: oakland, ca
Bikes:
Posts: 5,274
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I spent about eight years in bike shops, as wrench, salesman, manager, whatever was necessary. Then I moved on to doing 'art' for a living (yeah, that's a laugh).

I miss the bike shop sometimes, but I really like not having to have roommates anymore.
jim-bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 06:13 PM   #8
white lobster
Easy like Sunday morning
 
white lobster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Bikes:
Posts: 296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I worked in shops for years and then, after several completely un-bike-related years in graduate school, I wound up right back in the bike industry, except on the supplier side this time. I do miss wrenching in the shop, mostly since it's the only thing I really feel competent at.

One problem with the bike biz is that there tends to be a lot of employee recycling, and it can be tough to land a job unless you've worked in the industry before. Be persistent, and get a job at a bike shop in the meantime. A mechanical engineer who also has lots of shop wrench experience will be a tempting candidate.
white lobster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 06:37 PM   #9
ridefixed
XX
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: SSNY
Bikes: a white one and a brown one
Posts: 40
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by brendanmcgrath
i was just wondering if anyone here actually works with bikes for a living and what kind of degrees/experience they have. i'm currently pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering and i'm hoping to somehow make cycling a big part of my life. any experience, ideas, comments, suggestions? just trying to get an idea of what people are doing. thanks a lot!
I work in the CNC shop at Serotta. Cycling is a huge part of my life, and working in the industry is very rewarding. I will preface my comments by saying that you should by all means get your degree, but that it will not replace the need for hands-on, non-academic experience. We get quite a few engineering grads that come in for interviews, but none of them have - in the words of the venerable N. Dynamite - "skills". You will do yourself a lot of good in the long run if you work for a year or two (or more), on the production floor. Trying to get by on hourly wages may not sound like the most logical step after graduating with an engineering degree, but I assure you, it will pay off. Working for a small builder is advantageous, because you will learn about every aspect of framebuilding, and it is all under one roof. Working at the big companies is sometimes better financially, but that is about it.
I hope this is helpful.

PS. I worked at a shop for seven years, and my major was math.
ridefixed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 07:05 PM   #10
s2sxiii
All Things Go
 
s2sxiii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: dayton, oh
Bikes: 01 bianchi pista, custom. 04 felt f-15, full record.
Posts: 1,053
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I work at TWO bike shops right now, very minor mechanical stuff, mostly sales. 6 days a week. Also, i graduated law school on friday. I take the bar in july.
s2sxiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 07:10 PM   #11
legalize_it
legalize bikes
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: bucks county, PA
Bikes: too damn many
Posts: 1,250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
full time mechanic. was nearly an electrical engineer, 1.5 semesters away from graduating before dropping out. a lot happier as a wrench than my brief stint interning as an engineer and being a student. ill probably regret dropping out someday, but for now im happy and thats what counts.
legalize_it is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 07:59 PM   #12
lilHinault
.
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: .
Bikes: .
Posts: 3,094
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Legalize_it I run into two kinds of engineers in my biz, those who are burned out, and (a small minority) those who have found some way to become self-employed and use some of their school-taught engineering skills, but are mostly self-taught (engineering school diploma only is a "license to learn" about real-world engineering). So don't feel bad!
lilHinault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 08:25 PM   #13
legalize_it
legalize bikes
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: bucks county, PA
Bikes: too damn many
Posts: 1,250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
wow, thanks a lot lilhinault. that makes me feel pretty good because i do plan to become self-employed someday.
legalize_it is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 05:32 AM   #14
Bikeophile
BIG RING
 
Bikeophile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hamilton (Formerly Toronto)
Bikes:
Posts: 786
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As an engineer, perhaps you can design the next great bike, hub, crank, frame, etc...
Bikeophile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 06:09 AM   #15
brendanmcgrath
killing time
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Gainesville, FL
Bikes: motobecane mirage conversion, unknown rain bike, sea green track frame that i built(my only bike thats actually fully functional)
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
wow, thanks a lot guys. legalize it, that's exactly whats happening to me although i do know i'll stick it out. the couple of places that i've interned at i just can't see myself dedicating 30 years of my life to. has anyone heard of seven cycles? it's in watertown ma.
brendanmcgrath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 06:11 AM   #16
BostonFixed
Banned.
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 4,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by brendanmcgrath
has anyone heard of seven cycles? it's in watertown ma.
Seven Cycles is HOTT! Try to get a job there, then maybe you can build your own ti frame....
BostonFixed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 02:19 PM   #17
DiegoFrogs
Senior Member
 
DiegoFrogs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Helsingborg, Sweden
Bikes: Centurion and Carlton touring bikes, junky Helkama city bike
Posts: 2,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
That's one of the issues that I have right now... most of the "get her done" people that I know in industry aren't formally educated, because engineers 40 years ago didn't have to go to school. They do now, though. Generally, however, the people who come up with concepts for things who can think about physical phenomena in a conceptually abstract manner. I think it's a good thing to have a fair balance of both of those tucked away in your pannier.

I've personally gone from studying Architecture for 2 years, to Civil Engineering for 2 years, to math and general engineering with a focus on materials in the past year, switching schools in the process and having many jobs. I've just about "seen it all," and I'm only 3 credits from graduating. That being said, I'll be thrilled to get any challenging job... It doesn't have to be with Cannondale (whose engineering offices are actually fairly local to me), or with bicycles, or even in an engineering field.

Many college graduates with degrees in things end up transplanted into other fields, or using their degrees for jobs that require "any degree." This probably happens primarily because of the availability of jobs. That being said, I'll take anything I can get.
DiegoFrogs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 02:50 PM   #18
jnbacon
Proshpero
 
jnbacon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Bikes: Fixed Surly CrossCheck, Redline Conquest Pro
Posts: 712
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Istanbul_Tea has posted answers to his frame builders questionaire from many well-known frame builders. http://istanbultea.typepad.com/large...builders_.html A good overview of perspectives on frame building as a job.
jnbacon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 04:43 PM   #19
crust & crumb
members only
 
crust & crumb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: in a field, mostly.
Bikes:
Posts: 911
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnbacon
Istanbul_Tea has posted answers to his frame builders questionaire from many well-known frame builders. http://istanbultea.typepad.com/large...builders_.html A good overview of perspectives on frame building as a job.
thank you for directing me toward such a wonderful resource with regards to fabrication. a good bit insightful for the prospective frame builder.
crust & crumb is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:50 PM.