Bicycle courses

mlgt Posts: 366
edited October 2013 in Road general
Has anyone been to or tried such a course?

Im interested in learning how to properly index gears, remove/install groupset.

I know you can learn alot from youtube, but theres nothing better than human interaction in such cases.

Else would any enthusiast in London want to show me for some pizza/beers in return?
N2 - SW1

Canyon Endurace 9.0


  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    Bikes are incredibly simple and I don't really think there's any point spending money to learn to do something you can easily pick up from the internet. If I was in London I'd take you up on the beer/pizza option and I reckon I could teach you how to strip and rebuild a bike in a couple of hours.

    Save your money and spend it on some specialist tools that make the job possible/easier.

    Good Luck
  • simona75
    simona75 Posts: 336
    I'd say it depends on your learning style. If you can learn how to do things from books, videos, websites etc in general then you should be able to learn how to do bike maintenance this way. However many people's preferred learning style is to be physically shown then to have a go yourself. If this is the case then a course (or an expert friend) would be better
  • In person is always good, because they will have the knowledge of the little gotchas that you wouldn't get from youtube. Like my local bike shop knew that my Tektro brakes needed a little end adapter on them before the cable outer went into the caliper, but the 105 brakes didn't, I would have got that bit wrong.

    With the rest there's so many other little things like Tiagra cassettes don't need spacers but the rest do, goes on and on.
  • mlgt
    mlgt Posts: 366
    They are indeed. Being curious allows one to simply bring a tool and start to take it apart.

    Good advice on tools. I think I invest in a bike stand at the first instance. Makes indexing much easier!
    N2 - SW1

    Canyon Endurace 9.0
  • mlgt
    mlgt Posts: 366
    Sadly expert friends tend to ride fixies and Im catching up on fitness levels.
    So their set up is ever so different, having to use lbs to install a cassette, reindex gears on a few occasions I looked on youtube.

    Parting with such money made me feel to learn such skill will be beneficial.

    Will have a mooch online for pdf guides on such things or just buy a book and then slowly teach myself once I have the bike stand.

    Currently looking on wiggle for one. At least the forthcoming months will mean I have time to give this a go.
    N2 - SW1

    Canyon Endurace 9.0
  • I managed a cassette reinstall myself, not too difficult once you've worked out what tools you need. Reindexing however I was trying to fix a problem where it would skip one of the gears, followed youtube precisely, it would now only shift into two of the cogs and no others; to be fair it turned out the cable was dodgy, but it had me fretting over it for a good 2 hours before I gave up.
  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    I tend to change outers every year and inners around every 6 months. Lots of lube, check the top and bottom stops on the derailleur, screw all adjusters in, get chain sitting on the smallest cog, pull cable tight and tighten bolt, shift 1 gear on the shifter, turn adjuster until gear changes to next cog, then shift up and down the gears to make sure it all works well. I like to make sure the middle chain sits over the middle of the middle cog when in the middle gear.
  • My local Bike Station have repair/mechanics courses at two levels - not tried it myself ...
  • kwi
    kwi Posts: 181
    Bike maintenance is more a matter of confidence than anything else IMHO. Some people need to be shown how to do something and then try it while supervised before gaining confidence, if that's you then it may be worth while.
  • pan280
    pan280 Posts: 88
    You can try the london bike kitchen the money goes into a good cause (they provide classes and fix bikes for local kids for free) the people who run it are great and friendly.
    I've done the basic course myself and it was very useful in learning some of the basics. Also you can use their workshop at certain times and they have all the stands, tools etc you need and will help you use them.
  • city_boy
    city_boy Posts: 1,616
    I did a one day intensive maintenance course last weekend with Edinburgh Cycle Store and was really good. It cost £44 for the full day - less than the cost of a basic service! I would agree with Luke and highly recommend it. For me it just gave me the confidence to have a go and it gives you a practical background to use alongside the YouTube videos if you need them as a reminder.
    Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.
  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    In reply to all of the comments about bikes being simple - I'm in my 4th bike shop at the moment, done countless amounts of services, full builds, everything you can think of. Probably well over 1000 bikes, and I'm still making mistakes.

    Being a good mechanic CANNOT be learned from watching youtube videos. When I was learning how to do various things I used them, but you never get anything right the first time, and not all youtube vids are actually done by people who know what they're talking about.

    I've seen some horrific cases of people doing their own work on their bikes, bring them into the shop because something isn't right, then it turns out the bike is in an unrideably unsafe condition - the sort of thing you wouldn't dare ride down the street on.

    Yes, doing a course is a great idea.
    As I've never taken a bike to a LBS for work, please tell me what is likely to be wrong with the 6 bikes I've built myself and all the work I've done since?

    Being a good mechanic CAN be learned from a variety of sources, including magazines, chats and youtube. It really is the simplest of simple engineering, every bit of it. It's scaremongering that stops people learning about their bikes and struggling to fix them when they're out on a ride and a long walk from a LBS.