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Has anybody attended Park Tool School classes?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Has anybody attended Park Tool School classes?

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Old 03-15-04, 11:45 AM
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on2wheels
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Has anybody attended Park Tool School classes?

My LBS is offering the Park Tool School classes. It's 4 2 hour sessions and costs $75.00. Have any of you taken these classes? I'm looking to pick up enough knowledge to do most of the maintenance on my road bike. Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old 03-15-04, 11:51 AM
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One of the shops by me offers the first one for like 35 bucks which is changing tires, adjusting brakes etc. THe second class is 100 which goes into wheel truing etc. I dont need the first one and it would be a waste of my time and money but they will not let you take the second without taking the first.
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Old 03-15-04, 02:19 PM
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I've always been handy with tools and really wanted to learn to wrench the bikes myself. I took one introductory seminar at the LBS and came to the conclusion I could learn it faster on my own.

The Park Tool website has great how-to instructions and any bind I can't figure out gets quickly answered in the mechanics forum. I might also add that I have a second bike to "experiment" with as far as learning the procedures. I've done everything but build a wheel.

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Old 03-15-04, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by on2wheels
My LBS is offering the Park Tool School classes. It's 4 2 hour sessions and costs $75.00. Have any of you taken these classes? I'm looking to pick up enough knowledge to do most of the maintenance on my road bike. Any feedback is appreciated.
I took the Park Tools School and it was very valuable for me. While I am extremely competent with tools (ex-USAF aircraft mechanic and gunsmith) I am very hands-on and learn much better in a see/do environment. The book given at the school is the Park 'repair manual', the same as on the 'net. There were no qualifications about taking one class before the other, and having the shop mechanic right there to answer my many questions was extremely beneficial. What you will get out of it will be up to you, what I got out of it was the ability to build, maintain and tune our family bikes (6 plus a tandem). I'm now learning how to build wheels, and that's a long road.\

I think a side benefit of taking the Park Tools School is that you are building a better relationship with your mechanic and LBS. They'll realize that you're genuinely interested in your bike, and will I think treat you better.
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Old 03-15-04, 07:34 PM
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Park Tool School

I just finished Park Tool classes. They cost me seventy five dollars and I got a twenty percent discount on parts and tools. The way they did it at my LBS was you took your own bike in and gave it a full tune up. Total disassembly/reassembly. There were three students in the class, myself included and we had an instructor and an assistant. They were very patient and fielded all questions(no dumb questions). One of the really interesting things was as we had an instuctor and an assistant we were sometimes shown more then one way to do things. The most interesting part though was at the begginning of the class. They didn't tell you how many sessions there were going to be. I asked the instructor how many classes were included. His response was that there were seven chapters to be covered. We could run though it in three hours, but you wouldn't learn anything. We will take as long as we need for you guys to learn the material, so the length of the class depends on you the student. I thought that was really awesome and he was true to his word.
I am at least somewhat mechanicly inclined, but with what I paid for my road bike, I wanted to make sure I was maintaining it correctly. I learned a ton in this class and will now do almost all my own work. There are a couple things still best left to the shop. If your going to invest what I would consider to be big dollars in your bicycle you owe it to yourself to take the class even if you have no intention of doing your own work. At the very least you will know whats going on with your bike and when you do take it in for service you'll be able to tell the bike mechanic whats going on.
I highly recommend this class.

Jim
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Old 03-16-04, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Swimjim
...... If your going to invest what I would consider to be big dollars in your bicycle you owe it to yourself to take the class even if you have no intention of doing your own work......
Jim
Well said!
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Old 03-16-04, 06:59 AM
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Thanks for the positive feedback! I will definitely take these classes in the near future. I especially would enjoy the class if they let me work on my own bike.
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Old 03-16-04, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by on2wheels
Thanks for the positive feedback! I will definitely take these classes in the near future. I especially would enjoy the class if they let me work on my own bike.
I took the class last September (two sessions, four hours each) and they do let you work on your own bike.
Great class.
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Old 03-24-04, 11:08 PM
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Ok, I'm in week two of the Park Tools class, and it's great. The only caveat is that if you've never heard the mechanical terms of stuff, and you've never taken your bike apart, you may not catch everything. I certainly don't catch everything he's talking about. There are definitely some times when I'm hanging on by a thread there, but other times, I feel like I'm getting so much. Next Saturday (in April), they're going to have a wheel building class and he said we were welcome to come and take the class and learn to build a wheel. Then he said it would be repeated in three weeks, and we could take it again if we felt like it. The Park Tool class I'm taking is three weeks, two times a week for two hour sessions each day we go. Plus, he does a Saturday morning bike class for these kids, and he said if we wanted, we could come in on Saturdays and continue getting hands on experience as long as we wanted. I'm not sure if I'm up to going down there on Saturday mornings- I love not having anyplace to have to be Saturday mornings, but it's nice to know that I could go there if I needed to.

I've also requested a class on how to change the chain and cassette and how to do maintenance on the chain. I think he'll throw it in. He was very receptive to the idea.

I don't think I'll be working at Performance as their lead mechanic once I'm done with the class, but I'll never walk into a bike shop naive about bikes anymore either, and I'll be able to communicate my problems effectively with my mechanic, and I'll be able to do some repairs on my own too. I would recommend the class for anyone who gets the opportunity to take it.

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Old 03-25-04, 07:45 AM
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Worry not Koffee, removal and maintance of the chain and cassettes is a standard part of the course. At least the one I took. We spent a good deal of time on both. We were also given a book as part of the course which was put out by Park tool. We were asked to read the chapters to be covered prior to class. This helps you learn the terms the mechanics use and greatly demystifies thier universe. Enjoy the class.

Jim
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Old 03-25-04, 08:29 AM
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I'm not mechanically inclined but had a fairly easy time stripping down and rebuilding a bike. I bought the necessary tools and a great book with lots of diagrams.

I'll be the lone voice of disent and say that in my humble opinion, the class really isn't necessary.
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Old 03-25-04, 09:08 AM
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Nope never did hands on for 8 plus years.
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Old 03-25-04, 12:30 PM
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Koffee - Where in Chicago are you attending the Park Tools classes?
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Old 03-25-04, 12:33 PM
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You have to contact Christopher from the Park Tool website. They have his info there. His workplace is out on the south side at 21st and Kedzie.

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