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Tips to Get a Job at a Bike Shop

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Tips to Get a Job at a Bike Shop

Old 01-04-09, 03:39 PM
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cyclomaniac
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Tips to Get a Job at a Bike Shop

I have only been riding for about a year but got hooked immediately and am hoping to put in some pretty decent results this spring. I live in a city of about half a million, but there are over 10 bike shops in it, and I would really like to eventually get a job at one of them. To be honest, I have never had a mechanics mind but am good with people and knowledgeable about road bikes. I currently work at a grocery store selling seafood and have became very good with selling products/answering questions through this. While I do not mind my current job, working at a bike shop would be much more enjoyable. I am currently only 15, but will turn 16 in Febuary. Does anyone have any tips/suggestions on how I could better my chances on getting a job? Any personal experiences would be greatly appreciated, as well.

Thanks
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Old 01-04-09, 04:11 PM
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Many shops (like where I work) want their employees to be mechanics and salespeople. If a shop advertises for a sales only position then you're probably as qualified as anyone walking in the door. Once you get a sales job, hang out in the back with the mechanics to pick up as much mechanical knowledgeable as possible. You can also learn more about bikes by working on your bike(s) and your friends bikes.
Being knowledgeable about road bikes is only part of the job. Most shops (except high end shops) sell more hybrids than road bikes.
You generally don't have to know everything about every bike. I'm not the best when it comes to questions about mtn bikes and often have to rely on my coworkers to answer those questions.

Good luck.
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Old 01-04-09, 05:38 PM
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Thanks for the info RonH. Ya, I am practicing with my bike and have a few books on reapairing bikes. Does anyone have any other input?
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Old 01-04-09, 05:55 PM
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if your town has a bike co-op hang out there. you will see more odd problems there in a few days than you will see in a few weeks at a bike shop.

Just start building up bikes- people are impressed if you can build your own bike. start with repairs, and ride a lot. the more you ride, the more you will tear stuff up. the more you tear stuff up, the more you will learn.
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Old 01-04-09, 08:30 PM
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Walk in and ASK for a job. That's really the best advice I know. The worst they'll do is say they have no positions available. Tell them you're really into bikes, but don't know too much about mechanics. If you do get a job, they'll have you doing simple stuff like changing tires, doing brake work, stocking shelves, etc.

And I'm always learning stuff I didn't know I needed to ask on this site: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/

When your bike breaks, always do your own wrenching. Bikes are pretty simple to work on, it just takes time to learn the skills.
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Old 01-04-09, 09:37 PM
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Another one is to volunteer your time. Build a rapport with the manager or owner. That is what I'm trying to do but I'm a 39yr old teacher. Be very enthusiastic, ask questions but also just be quiet and observe if given the chance.
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Old 01-05-09, 09:02 PM
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Tell the owner that he needs you, because he's an idiot who knows nothing about road bikes.

Have a one-night-stand with the boss's daughter and then brag about it with the store salesmen.

Ask to take home the most expensive bicycle in his showroom, in exchange for your future services.

Arrive for the interview with this bike. Be sure to mention that you built it yourself. Tell the owner that you like the bike, but it's difficult to pedal when you shift into high gear.
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Old 01-06-09, 07:40 AM
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Both Nahh and Invwnut are spot on in my opinion. Just ask for the job, and even if they say nope, you have gained from the experience. Good luck. And don't forget to ask again a few months later if you receive a negative response the first time around.
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Old 01-06-09, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by invwnut View Post
Another one is to volunteer your time. Build a rapport with the manager or owner. That is what I'm trying to do but I'm a 39yr old teacher. Be very enthusiastic, ask questions but also just be quiet and observe if given the chance.
HAHAHA! This guy thinks we'll give him a job!!! LOL!

(I talked to Rob the other day, and he isn't against it. Trying to get him "for" it now...)

Hey, my Masi Commuter should be here in a couple of days... you should check it out. Oh, and we have Cervelo S3 frames in stock now. Also cool to look at. What's even more fun is trying to put rear wheels on the frame and seeing which ones won't fit. LOL!
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Old 01-08-09, 09:22 PM
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I was in the bike business for decades, and owned my own shop for 17 years. After years of hiring and interviewing prospects, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn was the aspect that I like the most. Many times I had prospects that had worked for shops already and had lots of experience. Most of them I did not hire because they had like or dislikes different then me and were opinionated on how and why things had to be done. Those that bragged could not do what they said. The best employees that I ever had were those that were upfront and honest and would listen to me. I taught them sales or service and enjoyed their willingness to learn. Go to a shop and ask for a job. Work on your own bikes and , as mentioned above, go help out at a co op. There is plenty of material out there to learn about selling and mechanics. Having a positive attittude and a willingness to learn are the keys to success. Good luck-I think that you will do just fine.
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Old 01-08-09, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jacksbike View Post
I was in the bike business for decades, and owned my own shop for 17 years. After years of hiring and interviewing prospects, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn was the aspect that I like the most. Many times I had prospects that had worked for shops already and had lots of experience. Most of them I did not hire because they had like or dislikes different then me and were opinionated on how and why things had to be done. Those that bragged could not do what they said. The best employees that I ever had were those that were upfront and honest and would listen to me. I taught them sales or service and enjoyed their willingness to learn. Go to a shop and ask for a job. Work on your own bikes and , as mentioned above, go help out at a co op. There is plenty of material out there to learn about selling and mechanics. Having a positive attittude and a willingness to learn are the keys to success. Good luck-I think that you will do just fine.
Excellent advice.

Remember working in a bike shop is a customer service job. I've hired scores of people to work in CS jobs in my career (not a bike shop, but no matter) I almost always prefered people who were friendly, enthusiastic about the work, listened, and had little experience. My theory, You can teach a person to do the work, you can't teach someone to be friendly.
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Old 03-30-14, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jacksbike View Post
I was in the bike business for decades, and owned my own shop for 17 years. After years of hiring and interviewing prospects, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn was the aspect that I like the most. Many times I had prospects that had worked for shops already and had lots of experience. Most of them I did not hire because they had like or dislikes different then me and were opinionated on how and why things had to be done. Those that bragged could not do what they said. The best employees that I ever had were those that were upfront and honest and would listen to me. I taught them sales or service and enjoyed their willingness to learn. Go to a shop and ask for a job. Work on your own bikes and , as mentioned above, go help out at a co op. There is plenty of material out there to learn about selling and mechanics. Having a positive attittude and a willingness to learn are the keys to success. Good luck-I think that you will do just fine.
Hi, my name is Jesse. I just did about 70 hrs of Park Tool School bicycle mechanics. I had a really great time learning. You have the most greatest advice that you can give someone looking for a bicycle shop job. I for one am looking as well. I am honest and hardworking with the desire to learn and listen to what one has to say. I am open minded and patient.
Thank you
Jesse
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Old 03-31-14, 12:20 PM
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I have never had a mechanics mind but am good with people and knowledgeable about road bikes.
Pure sales job what you seek maybe Cars will pay better

Maybe you are a good website designer and tech guy they pay 4x as much for that than bike mechanic.

a Tipped waiter makes more too ..

note how many people post about their online parts buys , they wont come in to help you earn your income.

so It stays at near Minimum .. & none offered health care benefits ..

sales as a inside rep in a Distributor-Wholesaler may offer some track up the management path..
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Old 03-31-14, 12:32 PM
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Can you get a reference from your current job?

Just something to say you are reliable. A lot of bike shops are not that big. If someone who can wrench comes in they may take a chance regarding reliability. But they won't for a starting position for a 16 year old. If you can show you are reliable it could make the difference.
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Old 03-31-14, 09:26 PM
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When talking to the owner/manager be honest about your abilities, be enthusiastic and show a willingness to learn. Communicate well with the rest of the staff, everyone is looking for team compatibility. If you have good people skills from your other job, make sure that they know that by being friendly. If I were hiring you, I understand that most young adults don't have knowledge on all types of bikes but you should be knowledgeable about the bike that you have and some basic bike maintenance.
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Old 04-01-14, 09:07 AM
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I am 16, and like you, I'm looking for a job at a bike shop as well. I tried ~4 times at various bike shops near my house, but none hired me. I was able to find out about a local co-op, and started volunteering there in May of last year. I absolutely love it, and I've been volunteering there ever since. I've been voted on the the board as an official member, and now have a key to the place, so I can go in whenever and work on my own bikes. I'd suggest looking for a co-op and getting some volunteer experience in a bike shop, and then see how your luck changes.

Best of luck,
Josh
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Old 04-02-14, 11:20 AM
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Hang around the bike shop,become friends with them,watch and learn,help if they let you.......Then pester them for a job until they hire you or call the cops.....

Over the years I have hired many a kid that hung around my shop showing interest in working on cars or engines.The top thing in MY shop for a kid these days to get hired is.....LEAVE YOUR PHONE AT HOME! If your phone so much as rings at my shop,you'll have plenty of time to play with.... AT HOME!

I myself was hired by the shop I now own,doing just that.I worked on Sat. for FREE to learn about machine work.Cleaned alot of heads,buffed alot of valves and turned alot of brake drums.Then I pestered the owner about a job until he gave up and hired me.

Been downhill ever since.....

Last edited by Booger1; 04-02-14 at 11:42 AM.
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