A bicycle mechanic is a mechanic who can perform a wide range of repairs on bicycles. A person who works in a cycling store is usually only considered a bike mechanic if that person has experience repairing bikes. Bike mechanics can be employed in various types of stores, ranging from large department stores to small local bike shops; cycling teams, or bicycle manufacturers.
Classification and wages Edit
The New York State Department of Labor describes bicycle repair as a "realistic" occupation, meaning an occupation that would be enjoyed by somebody who likes "practical, hands-on problems," dealing with "real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery," and one that "does not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others." They classify it as a job that "usually requires a high school diploma and may require some vocational training or job-related course work. In some cases, an associate's or bachelor's degree could be needed. Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees." They indicate an "annual wage" in the neighborhood of $25,000, but can earn up to a little more than $40,000. "In 2002, employment for bicycle repairers in New York was 360." Template:Ref
Skills and training Edit
The skills involved in maintaining racing bicycles and other specialized bicycles of course go beyond the basics outlined in New York's "occupational brief." Well-known schools offering advanced training for bicycle mechanics include the United Bicycle Institute of Ashland, Oregon and Barnett Bicycle Institute of Colorado Springs. The Park Tool Co., a well-known maker of bicycle mechanic's tools, has an outreach training program called the Park Tool School which is made available at many local bike shops, taught by local bike shop personnel with the assistance of training materials and manuals from Park Tool.
One common avenue for entering the trade is to start as a bike builder or assembler at a local bike shop. This job can range from simply finishing the assembly started at the factory (attaching wheels and handlebars) to more thorough builds in which all systems are re-adjusted to a given level of quality. The range of assembly involvement varies from shop to shop.
In Canada there are a variety of bicycle mechanic training programs, including the BAM (Bicycle Assembly & Maintenance) program in Toronto which has been accredited by the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC) and funded by the Ontario government in Canada. Students in the BAM program complete an 8 week program at the Learning Enrichment Foundation followed by working one week in a local Toronto bicycle shop of their choice proving their skills by assembling new bicycles and fixing old bicycles.
Among many references on bicycle repair, Barnett's ManualTemplate:Ref is a comprehensive four-volume set that includes detailed coverage and diagrams of bicycle components from many different manufacturers. The Lonely Planet cycling guideTemplate:Ref says, "If you want to know more about maintaining your bike... Richard's Bicycle BookTemplate:Ref is a classic. If you want to know absolutely everything get Barnett's Manual... or Sutherland's Handbook.Template:Ref."
- Template:Note Bicycle repairers (.pdf) New York State Department of Labor "Occupational Brief"
- Template:Note Barnett, John (2003). Barnett's Manual: Analysis and Procedures for Bicycle Mechanics. VeloPress. ISBN 1-931382-29-8.
- Template:Note Connellan, I et al. (2001), Lonely Planet Cycling Britain (Cycling Guides), Lonely Planet Publications, ISBN 1-86450-037-9
- Template:Note Ballantine, Richard (2001). Richard's 21st Century Bicycle Book. Overlook TP. ISBN 1-58567-112-6.
- Template:Note Sutherland, Howard (1995). Sutherland's Handbook for Bicycle Mechanics. Sutherland Publications. ISBN 0-914578-09-X.