Bicycle repair workshops can be found in a variety of locations. Since college students typically comprise a larger-than-average cycling population, many short-term bike repair or maintenance courses are sponsored by colleges and universities on a non-credit basis. Community organizations, such as Bicycle Inter-Community Action and Salvage (BICAS), provide bicycle repair courses to the community as a means of promoting sustainable transportation (www.bicas.org). Additionally, bicycle shops often sponsor bicycle repair and maintenance courses for the general riding public.
Here is an outline of common concepts taught in bicycle repair courses:
- Chain, gear and brake repair
- Flat tire maintenance
- Hand-on experience
- Wheel truing and repair
- Bicycling tours
- Terrain familiarity
- Building workshops
List of Common Courses
Basic Bicycle Maintenance and Repair Course
Usually intended for bicycle riders with limited repair experience, this course teaches fundamental methods for performing standard bicycle maintenance. It may begin as simply as the identification of bicycle parts and tools for working on them before moving into basic adjustments and maintenance. The basics include repairing gears and chains, changing flat tires and adjusting and replacing brake mechanisms. Other common tune-up procedures and emergency repair techniques are also covered. Part direct instruction, these courses generally involve more hands-on practice with the bike. Students usually bring their own bicycles to work on in class.
Intermediate Bicycle Maintenance and Repair Course
Some programs go beyond basic bicycle maintenance education and move into more advanced topics in a separate course. Intermediate-level topics may include wheel truing and adjusting headsets, hubs and bottom brackets. Intended for a more experienced rider, or one who seeks information beyond the basic course, intermediate bicycle maintenance primarily teaches intimate familiarity with bicycle systems so that students are able to perform regular repairs upon completion. Like in the basic course, students typically work on their own bicycles.
Because all cyclists need basic repair knowledge, general riding courses typically include some instruction in bicycle repair and maintenance. Typical topics covered are the principles behind cycling for fitness and the study of routes and terrains, in addition to a basic mechanical education. Students learn, for example, how to repair and replace tires, brakes and chains.
Using a hands-on approach, this course teaches students the concepts of bike building from the ground up, beginning with headsets, hubs and bottom brackets before moving into the drive train and brakes. The class culminates with students building their own bicycles for personal use. The goal of the course is for students to have a working bicycle that they know thoroughly and can maintain and repair with complete independence.