What is a Bike Mechanic?
Bike mechanics are the doctors of your bicycle. They work in bike shops, small or big, on races with athletes, in major retailers etc. Bike mechanics are the ones who answer the questions about your bike concerns and make strange noises disappear.
They can diagnose the issues of your bike, assess the damage, and provide technical expertise on how to repair bikes. Bike mechanics can fix defective and damaged bike parts or upgrade the bike as you desire. They ensure that your bicycle fits your skill level, frequency, and physiological condition.
They also are the people you go to in case you want to purchase a new bike. With their expertise, they can give you advice on the type of bike you need. They work with a variety of customers and help them with their bikes on a day-to-day basis.
What are the Skills Needed to Become a Bike Mechanic?
On a daily basis, the following tasks will be carried out by bike mechanics:
- Assembling and disassembling of different types of bikes
- Building or truing wheels
- Replacement of drivetrains
- Changing of derailleurs
- Overhauling of headset
- Changing bike brakes, brake levers, and shifter levers
- Changing bike cables
- Tuning up bicycles
These skills are learnt slowly, and require a fair amount of experience. But to start with, you need to learn the basics.
Steps on How to Become a Bike Mechanic
Step 1: Finish Basic Repair Course
Firstly, you want to make sure you like working on bikes. Signing up for a basic repair course is the way to do it. It will equip you with the essentials and will give you an idea on whether you like working with your hands and get them dirty.
It also will provide you with the theoretical foundations of different parts of a bicycle. For example, during Rothar's beginner level bike maintenance class, you will learn the right seat and handlebar positions, brake adjustments, and tyre replacement.
Step 2: Earn a diploma
There are not many diplomas in Ireland to become a bike mechanic. In fact, there is only one, the City&Guilds Level 2 certificate in bike mechanics that Rothar delivers. This will give you a good understanding of what more in depth mechanics involve, but it will not make you a head mechanic in any shop. To become a good mechanic, you will need to get a lot of experience.
Step 3: Gain experience and work in a bike shop
The best way to hone your skills is working in a bicycle shop for a certain amount of time. By working in a bike shop, you can obtain holistic experience to understand more about the industry. The on-the-job training you get will have a positive impact on your career long term.
Initially, you will start as helpers to actual bicycle technicians. You will assist them with the intricacies of repairing and fixing a bike. By simply observing, you can learn a lot about the proper way to maintain a bike shop.
After gaining enough experience, you are now ready to hold an entry-level position of being a technician. This time, you can perform tune-ups and bike assembly on your own. The knowledge and techniques you gained from being an assistant are helpful to the next position you will be holding.
Step 5: Continue to pursue your education
Once you completed the most challenging steps of being a bike mechanic, you are now a certified and skilled bike technician. Meaning, you are well-prepared and ready to take on more responsibilities and functions in your workplace.
However, it must not just stop there; you must also need the right motivation to level up and continuously improve your skills and technical know-how. I recommend that you always stay up to date with the current innovations in the cycling world.
It is essential to know new technologies and techniques while obtaining fresh sets of skills to learn more to be a bike mechanic. It helps you to achieve your full potential. You can do this by subscribing to magazines and bike publications that regularly provide information about the current innovations in the cycling world.
You can also sign-up for seminars and workshops that are directly related to the bicycle industry.
Being a bike mechanic is a long process. You need to acquire the right knowledge, gain skills, and get the necessary experience. It will take time. However, if you dedicate yourself to it, you can become a professional bike mechanic.
It is a great skill and knowledge investment once you complete the necessary process to learn to be a bicycle mechanic. In the long run, you can make it a lifetime career. Additionally, you can have a stable source of income. It is a good foundation when you plan to start a bike shop business. The bike industry keeps expanding, and you will not be without a job.