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Becoming a mechanic...

Old 09-20-10, 01:00 PM
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Becoming a mechanic...

I was wondering how some of the mechanics on here got their start.I was recently laid off but have always worked on my own bikes,friends bikes,bike flipping as a hobby,etc.,but never considered it as a possible career direction until now.Though I have no bike shop experience,I have the mechanical inclination and many of the basics that I have learned from previous jobs (welding,using tools at every job I've ever had).So I was wondering if any of the mechanics on here had any suggestions for someone considering bicycle mechanic as a possible path? Is UBI a good option? Book suggestions?Any help is appreciated.
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Old 09-20-10, 02:07 PM
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Go into automotive and diesel mechanics , you may be able to raise a family on that. Bike shops don't pay squat.
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Old 09-20-10, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by swapmeet
I was wondering how some of the mechanics on here got their start.I was recently laid off but have always worked on my own bikes,friends bikes,bike flipping as a hobby,etc.,but never considered it as a possible career direction until now.Though I have no bike shop experience,I have the mechanical inclination and many of the basics that I have learned from previous jobs (welding,using tools at every job I've ever had).So I was wondering if any of the mechanics on here had any suggestions for someone considering bicycle mechanic as a possible path? Is UBI a good option? Book suggestions?Any help is appreciated.
Yup owner is the only way to make it pay.
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Old 09-20-10, 04:22 PM
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you will think you know a lot now but working on your own stuff and working in a shop is different. all i can say is send in lots of apps to shops and hope someone give you a chance. here in boston the season is ending so no chance of hiring until feb/march. you will start off assembling bikes plus tune up most likely. do quality work when you assemble these bikes, show pride in your work. do it fast and efficient show them you can make them money. new bikes are much easier to work on than dirty ones. you will learn a lot about work flow and efficiency when doing them.
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Old 09-20-10, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by reptilezs
you will think you know a lot now but working on your own stuff and working in a shop is different. all i can say is send in lots of apps to shops and hope someone give you a chance. here in boston the season is ending so no chance of hiring until feb/march. you will start off assembling bikes plus tune up most likely. do quality work when you assemble these bikes, show pride in your work. do it fast and efficient show them you can make them money. new bikes are much easier to work on than dirty ones. you will learn a lot about work flow and efficiency when doing them.
edit*

Last edited by hamanu23; 09-20-10 at 04:42 PM. Reason: my comment was redundant
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Old 09-20-10, 05:57 PM
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Start selling Asian bikes-in-a-box on the internet. That is where the money is.
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Old 09-21-10, 07:45 AM
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Do it part-time or as a fill in until you can get a better job.

Bike shops = low pay and long hours in the peak season. Saturdays and evening hours are usually mandatory. Forget about any time off as most shops are understaffed. If you think you're going to be a mechanic that gets to hide in the back and work on bikes all day, think again. You'll be answering the phone and manning the sales floor as well and if the shop does fitness equipment, expect to do service calls, deliveries, and maintenance on that as well.

Customers are another kettle of fish and I'll let someone else chime in on that - as we get alllll kinds. Everything from the nicest people in the world that just want to buy a new high end bike to pain in the @sses that are angry because it's going to cost $200.00 to fix their Wal-Goose that their kid trashed in a few weeks - and everything in between. Maybe we need a "Customers suck" sticky thread...

The job can be quite enjoyable in spite of all this. I do it because I like the people I work for, I like working on bikes, and most of the customers are good people. The discounts on bike goodies is an added bonus. It's a fun job in small doses but when it turns into 45-50 hours a week, the fun factor disappears pretty quick.
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