Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Good enough to work in a shop?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Good enough to work in a shop?

Old 07-16-05, 01:26 AM
  #1  
Hanzo
Softcore Cyclist
Thread Starter
 
Hanzo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 474
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good enough to work in a shop?

How does a person know if they are good enough to work in a bike shop?

I've always done all my own (and my free loading friends) repairs and upgrades since my bmx days and I find it quite fun. A few days ago I spent most of the afternoon swapping the drivetrains (BB, brakes, brifters, whole nine yards) between my two road bikes. It really wasn't necessary but I just liked one frame more than the other, wanted the better gruppo on it, and figured what the heck. It went really smooth and now both bikes are just dialed. After all that I started to think, man, I'd love to do this all day, at least compared to the lame stuff I do all day at my job now.

Should I pursue this? Should I apply at local shops and see what happens? Is there some things I should know to not make a complete fool of myself? Any current mechanics have tips on how they got started?
Hanzo is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 01:38 AM
  #2  
seely
The Rabbi
 
seely's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,125
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Just apply and be honest with your experience and confidence... you learn as you go in a lot of shops... you will probably start out roughing in new bikes and doing minor repairs.
seely is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 06:29 AM
  #3  
sydney
Senior Member
 
sydney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 9,428
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hanzo
How does a person know if they are good enough to work in a bike shop?

Is there some things I should know to not make a complete fool of myself?
Don't pick your nose.
sydney is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 07:41 AM
  #4  
rmfnla
Senior Member
 
rmfnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La La Land (We love it!)
Posts: 6,301

Bikes: Gilmour road, Curtlo road; both steel (of course)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 271 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by sydney
Don't pick your nose.
__________________
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
rmfnla is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 09:06 AM
  #5  
wpflem
www.getafolder.com
 
wpflem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Santa Fe & Gallup, New Mexico
Posts: 400

Bikes: Brompton T6, Trek 3700 Moutain Bike, Dahon Boardwalk 6

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's particuarly worthwhile, I think, to get in a few course hours at a place like Barnett's Bicycle institute prior to looking for work as a professional bike mechanic. I've recieved many applications for bike mechanics from those who profess to have some expertise derived from working on their own bikes. I am much more impressed when someone has taken the time to complete at least a week of formal bike mechanics. Plus, it shows the individual is motivated and has a certain level of committment. Attending such a course in anticipation of going into the bicycle business was of enormous benefit to me.






Originally Posted by Hanzo
How does a person know if they are good enough to work in a bike shop?

I've always done all my own (and my free loading friends) repairs and upgrades since my bmx days and I find it quite fun. A few days ago I spent most of the afternoon swapping the drivetrains (BB, brakes, brifters, whole nine yards) between my two road bikes. It really wasn't necessary but I just liked one frame more than the other, wanted the better gruppo on it, and figured what the heck. It went really smooth and now both bikes are just dialed. After all that I started to think, man, I'd love to do this all day, at least compared to the lame stuff I do all day at my job now.

Should I pursue this? Should I apply at local shops and see what happens? Is there some things I should know to not make a complete fool of myself? Any current mechanics have tips on how they got started?
__________________
Celebrating Bicycling
The Past, Present, and Future

https://www.sfbikes.com or https://www.getafolder.com/
wpflem is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 09:07 AM
  #6  
froze
Banned.
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Posts: 4,761

Bikes: 84 Trek 660 Suntour Superbe; 87 Giant Rincon Shimano XT; 07 Mercian Vincitore Campy Veloce

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
How old are you? You said BMX days would that make you at least 30? Bike wrenchs don't get paid well at all, most wrenchs are minimum wage to the most I heard was $12 an hour. If your looking for another career because your retired and just want something fun and stress free then I can relate to that, and wrenching bikes could be the ticket.
froze is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 09:17 AM
  #7  
Hunter
NOT a weight weenie
 
Hunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As far as I know we all got started like you did. Everyone starts somewhere. The guy that trained me saw I was genuine in my pursuit and gave me a shot, I have been doing it every since.
Hunter is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 09:50 AM
  #8  
mtbikerinpa
Shimano Certified
 
mtbikerinpa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: PA
Posts: 1,848

Bikes: 92 Giant Sedona ATX Custom

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
In a lot of smaller shops, they look for attiude and trainability. I got my jobs at the car restoration shop and the aircraft shop by just striking up conversation with the service managers. So far, resume, while being useful was not what landed me the spots. How much is barnetts, btw? As a racer and custom builder I have wanted to do it for a while.
mtbikerinpa is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 10:13 AM
  #9  
rmfnla
Senior Member
 
rmfnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La La Land (We love it!)
Posts: 6,301

Bikes: Gilmour road, Curtlo road; both steel (of course)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 271 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by mtbikerinpa
In a lot of smaller shops, they look for attiude and trainability. I got my jobs at the car restoration shop and the aircraft shop by just striking up conversation with the service managers. So far, resume, while being useful was not what landed me the spots. How much is barnetts, btw? As a racer and custom builder I have wanted to do it for a while.
No offense, Sarah, but I cannot imagine any straight male turning you down for anything...

__________________
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
rmfnla is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 12:47 PM
  #10  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 30,133

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1536 Post(s)
Liked 523 Times in 305 Posts
Originally Posted by Hanzo
How does a person know if they are good enough to work in a bike shop?
How good are you at working with crappy stuff? If you can make the customer happy and not take all day doing it, that's the test. In all of the shops that I've worked in it seems like most of our repair work was on department store bikes and the lowest cost bike shop bikes. It really makes me appreciate working on anything with decent quality components.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 04:09 PM
  #11  
rmfnla
Senior Member
 
rmfnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La La Land (We love it!)
Posts: 6,301

Bikes: Gilmour road, Curtlo road; both steel (of course)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 271 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
How good are you at working with crappy stuff? If you can make the customer happy and not take all day doing it, that's the test. In all of the shops that I've worked in it seems like most of our repair work was on department store bikes and the lowest cost bike shop bikes. It really makes me appreciate working on anything with decent quality components.
So true; I seem to remember the only time I got to work on a really good bike was when I was messing with one of my own!
__________________
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
rmfnla is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 06:02 PM
  #12  
Brian
Senior Member
 
Brian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Between the mountains and the lake.
Posts: 16,681

Bikes: 8 bikes - one for each day of the week!

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Hanzo
After all that I started to think, man, I'd love to do this all day, at least compared to the lame stuff I do all day at my job now.

As a bike mechanic, you'd have to be doing it for the love, and not the money. As someone has already mentioned, you need to know how to get the crappiest crap working well, not just XT or Ultegra. If you can work magic on junk, you'll do fine. Go ask at a local shop, to see how they do their hiring.
Brian is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 06:20 PM
  #13  
Anthony King
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Irving, TX
Posts: 406
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hanzo
How does a person know if they are good enough to work in a bike shop?

I've always done all my own (and my free loading friends) repairs and upgrades since my bmx days and I find it quite fun. A few days ago I spent most of the afternoon swapping the drivetrains (BB, brakes, brifters, whole nine yards) between my two road bikes. It really wasn't necessary but I just liked one frame more than the other, wanted the better gruppo on it, and figured what the heck. It went really smooth and now both bikes are just dialed. After all that I started to think, man, I'd love to do this all day, at least compared to the lame stuff I do all day at my job now.

Should I pursue this? Should I apply at local shops and see what happens? Is there some things I should know to not make a complete fool of myself? Any current mechanics have tips on how they got started?
Go for it--you sound like you know enough to start out. I started out assembling the new boxed bikes at local shops a few months ago. I don't think I then know quite as much as you do at present when I started.

As many others have noted, be prepared to work on a lot of cheap, made in Taiwan bikes. You won't get paid much, but the empolyee discount makes up for it a little bit. Good luck.
Anthony King is offline  
Old 07-16-05, 11:02 PM
  #14  
king koeller
BIKE MECHANIC
 
king koeller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 185

Bikes: 1975 Full Campy N.R. Centurian Super Lemans,1984 Focus Vintage pre susp. mountain, hardtail,suntour xc sport, many treks, diamondbacks, and, 1950' crusier J.C.Higgins,triex (road) and kakakura silk (road)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's always better to love your work than to hate your job.
Remain true to yourself and let no one get in your way.
Do what you love, and love what you do!!
If you truely love your job, you can put up with old crusty customers who give you hell, and are super critical about everything you do or don't do.
Good Luck!!
king koeller is offline  
Old 07-17-05, 05:54 PM
  #15  
anonymouse99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 259

Bikes: Trek SU200, Trek 7300 FX (Spouse's)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If any part of your experience in bikes is from online forums and the like, I'd leave that off your resume since I've noticed bike shops are not too crazy about online-anything.
anonymouse99 is offline  
Old 07-17-05, 08:21 PM
  #16  
rmfnla
Senior Member
 
rmfnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La La Land (We love it!)
Posts: 6,301

Bikes: Gilmour road, Curtlo road; both steel (of course)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 271 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by tgarcia2
If any part of your experience in bikes is from online forums and the like, I'd leave that off your resume since I've noticed bike shops are not too crazy about online-anything.
"Resume"? Dude, it's a bike shop, not IBM.

When I went for my first LBS gig the owner asked me how long it would take me to build a wheel.
I asked him if the spoke length was already known or did I need to calculate that myself.

He hired me on the spot.

If you know, you know (you know?).
__________________
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
rmfnla is offline  

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


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.