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Old 02-28-05, 10:35 AM
  #1  
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Question for opinions:

1) Should a local bike shop or big box retailer be required to show at least bike mechanics certification for their mechanics?

2) Should a bicycle mechanic require licensure?
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Old 02-28-05, 10:45 AM
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Not unless there is some regulatory body, and a significant increase in mechanics' salaries. You wanna pay car repair rates for bike repair??? My ASE certified car mechanic charges $60/hour.
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Old 02-28-05, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by demoncyclist
Not unless there is some regulatory body, and a significant increase in mechanics' salaries. You wanna pay car repair rates for bike repair??? My ASE certified car mechanic charges $60/hour.
Given the recent Walmart lawsuit filed, perhaps that would be better. It may very well be forced in the future. It could certainly go a long way to increase mechanics salaries.
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Old 02-28-05, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by wpflem
Question for opinions:

1) Should a local bike shop or big box retailer be required to show at least bike mechanics certification for their mechanics?

2) Should a bicycle mechanic require licensure?
Certified by whom?

Lisenced by whom?

At what cost to the customer?
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Old 02-28-05, 11:29 AM
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Can't say that I really care; I only let people that I actually know and trust work on my bike.
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Old 02-28-05, 12:57 PM
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The person who cuts my hair has to have a license (OH) and I would bet there is more liability in fixing a bike.
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Old 02-28-05, 01:01 PM
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There are certification programs from the service schools, and I can get a USCF mechanics liscence, but it is $270 and comes out of my pocket, and it won't make me a better mechanic.
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Old 02-28-05, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
There are certification programs from the service schools, and I can get a USCF mechanics liscence, but it is $270 and comes out of my pocket, and it won't make me a better mechanic.
Completion of a certification program will make better mechanics out of nearly everyone, I realize there are some exceptions. It also enhances ones marketable. It is also useful credential in the event of a product liablity lawsuit again the firm you are working for.
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Old 02-28-05, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Ebbtide
The person who cuts my hair has to have a license (OH) and I would bet there is more liability in fixing a bike.
Indeed, thank you for making that point.
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Old 02-28-05, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wpflem
Completion of a certification program will make better mechanics out of nearly everyone,....
How does that work if a MS or Phd program turns out morons?
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Old 02-28-05, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wpflem
Indeed, thank you for making that point.
It also legitimizes the occupation/profession/trade/whatever.... (with all due respect to the "wrench").

How many "my LBS mechanic is moron" posts do we need to read to figure this out? In all seriousness, being a bike mechanic is not all that technical. Fun, cool, and it makes ends meet-yes. But you should at least have to be a MECHANIC. Trouble is, most every mechanic thinks he knows what he is doing....present company excluded
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Old 02-28-05, 08:07 PM
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My buddy's wife works as a store manager for Target - they will not sell a bike unassembled. The manufacturer has a rep come in and assemble EVERY bicycle before it's sold. That way they (Target) aren't liable if the wheel falls off on the first ride.

PJ
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Old 02-28-05, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
There are certification programs from the service schools, and I can get a USCF mechanics liscence, but it is $270 and comes out of my pocket, and it won't make me a better mechanic.
Gotta agree with the Right Reverend, There are only two schools and I had a guy who went to one and was going to be my competition. He couldn't even adjust a front deraileur on a new bike. He went out of business in 6 months.

There are shops where the work is done correctly and bikes assembled with care and attention to detail. There are those that do crap work. Certification and or regulation will do little to change this, keep me from litigation, increase business, result in higher wages, but more likely would result in increased prices for the consumer. with little or no increase in service or reliability. You know where to take your car and where not to and both places have some sort of certified mechanics. You should know where to take your bike too!

Jude, Bike Shop Owner and Certifed a Chief Mechanic by his loyal customers and 25 years of doin' it.
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Old 02-28-05, 08:59 PM
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In aviation there are similar stories. We are much closer watched than the bike industries, but the scenario is similar. There are 3 of us in my hangar that are unliscenced, but we see it as a formality as long as there is one with a liscnece to sign the forms off. We know our stuff and trust eachother's work, as well as we have all been through the same schooling(but the FAA cert is almost 400 bucks after schooling). I plan to get the liscnece because it adds credentials and 4 bucks/hr to my pay, but it in no way makes me a better wrench.
We have also seen liscneced card carrying mechs cause planes to crash for no other reason than stupidity, so I hold the opinion that skill is more the student than the teacher.
That said, I would go for a USCF cert if I had the opportunity, just to try it. An uncertified shop is in no way frowned on by me, but a cert does raise the bar of expectations. I think the box stores should at least require a trained mech to inspect the work of the lackeys before delivery to the customer.
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Old 02-28-05, 09:12 PM
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Unlike mtbikerinpa, we(bike mechanics) can get certified from every source there is and will not affect an experienced mechanics employability or income one bit. Hopefully if I spent a week at a school, I would learn something new. But if I were going to spend that kind of money, and in this industry, it WILL come out of you own pocket, I would choose a frame building class, where I could get my moneys worth (And as far as that goes, I have done quite a bit of welding, brazing and fabrication, but not much on stuff as small as bike frame, so even that would not be a new experience)
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Old 02-28-05, 09:21 PM
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I dont see why you would need a license, the other day i went to go get my flat fixed (i dont waste my time when i can waste 2$ for labour on somthing i could seriously screw up on my rear derailur) the kid who was about 15 put my tire on wrong, and loose to, i fixed it, but make sure you dont screw up cause it will haunt you for a while if its a big thing, i know this and im 12.... lol
 
Old 02-28-05, 09:23 PM
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You'd be hard pressed to find a certified bike mechanic in NYC.

2 of the best shops I know hires racers from the Dominican Republic as their mechanics. At Toga, one of the mechanics, Sergio, raced at the Barcelona Olympics (he's the surly Argentinian guy). They aren't certified for crap but they know bikes.

Plus, if you had certification, it won't mean you'll be paid any better.
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Old 02-28-05, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by pjbaz
My buddy's wife works as a store manager for Target - they will not sell a bike unassembled. The manufacturer has a rep come in and assemble EVERY bicycle before it's sold. That way they (Target) aren't liable if the wheel falls off on the first ride.

PJ
Anyone know the policy at Walmart?
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Old 02-28-05, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
Unlike mtbikerinpa, we(bike mechanics) can get certified from every source there is and will not affect an experienced mechanics employability or income one bit. Hopefully if I spent a week at a school, I would learn something new. But if I were going to spend that kind of money, and in this industry, it WILL come out of you own pocket, I would choose a frame building class, where I could get my moneys worth (And as far as that goes, I have done quite a bit of welding, brazing and fabrication, but not much on stuff as small as bike frame, so even that would not be a new experience)
At least some bike shops send their personnel to bike school. I just sent one person. I may send another this summer. I obviously think it is worth the couple of grand it cost me to do that (one week only: salary, lodging, tuition).
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Old 02-28-05, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ultra-g
You'd be hard pressed to find a certified bike mechanic in NYC.

2 of the best shops I know hires racers from the Dominican Republic as their mechanics. At Toga, one of the mechanics, Sergio, raced at the Barcelona Olympics (he's the surly Argentinian guy). They aren't certified for crap but they know bikes.

Plus, if you had certification, it won't mean you'll be paid any better.
My experience is that young racers DON'T know that much mechanically about bikes. There are exceptions, but it definitely is not the rule.
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Old 02-28-05, 11:01 PM
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"At least some bike shops send their personnel to bike school. I just sent one person. I may send another this summer. I obviously think it is worth the couple of grand it cost me to do that (one week only: salary, lodging, tuition)."

Not many do. If you have an inexperienced guy, why not. If I could take a $50 test and get certified I would, I am not spending a week, doing rote adjustment of headsets and hubs to take a test. I spent a year in tech school(3.8gpa) worked as an equipment mechanic for ten years and as bike mechanic for three, back to equipment for three, and now back to bikes for four so far(At the only place that ever kept track my repair rate was 99.6%). The only thing we don't do is major frame repair, i.e. tube replacement. My rep is good enough that a former world champ interupted my dinner( I can't make it through a meal even at home) tonight to drop off his Record Prince because he dosen't want any one else to touch it. That is enough certification for me.
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Old 03-01-05, 07:16 AM
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^
We could go to Barnett's; last I heard if you paid your monies that's your certification.
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Old 03-01-05, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Waldo
^
We could go to Barnett's; last I heard if you paid your monies that's your certification.
That is very inaccurate.
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Old 03-01-05, 06:26 PM
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Two guys I worked with went there at separate times and both said there were guys there that flat-out never showed up and couldn't wrench for anything that got their certifications. That's all I'm going on...
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Old 03-01-05, 07:11 PM
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Certified by who?

Any person or group can say anyone is certified. If I hold a clinic at my house I can give out certificates.

I have big problem with the certification in my profession. The certification body isnt regulated by any Government agency yet our malpractice insurance company will not cover us unless were 'certified'. My arguement has always been, "whats keeping me from starting my own certification exam?" We are currently seeking state licensure. Our lincensure is going to have wording that says that you must be 'certified'. If licensure is going to be mandatory why do we have to be a member of a voluntary organization? (the certification board)

Licensure protects your profession from others. If bicycle mechanics become licensed it means lawn mower mechanis cant fix bikes. 'Licensed' by the USCF is just fancy wording.
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