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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083

    teaching wrenching skills

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    Anyone here teach wrenching skills, or recently attend a good class? I'm looking for good tips on everything from class size to what to teach.

    I've held some free (mtb) wrenching classes for beginners at work, and am mulling the idea of offering them at home too, for a small fee. (I.e. just big enough to make people take it seriously, i.e. show up.) I would like to offer classes for women only. My personal preference is for a small group of max 4, but realistically I should be able to teach more than that. But with only 4 I had time to show a procedure and for everybody else to try it too, with assistance if necessary.

    The classes I held at work were:
    1. wheels: how to fix a flat or change tires, how to remove the rear wheel and put it back on, correct tire pressure

    2. brakes (rim only): how to check brakes and cables, switching brake pads, maintenance, adjusting

    3. drivetrain: how to check for wear, lubing a chain, switching a chain, switching a cassette, a little bit about adjusting gears.

    A lot of people wanted to learn how to adjust the shifting, but I didn't want to promise them that I could teach them enough to fix problems, but I could teach the basic routine to try for themselves. IME there are so many different things that can influence bad shifting on an old bike, and troubleshooting it can be pretty difficult.

    It would be great if anybody has any feedback on this. I don't have any other teaching experience, so I'm a bit clueless as to what works. I also don't know diddlysquat about suspension forks or disc brakes, but I see that more and more everyday bikes are sporting this.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Questions we get
    1. fenders, taking on and off
    2.racks, bottle cages and other stuff that gets added to the bike
    3. grips and handlebar tape
    4. taking a bike down to the packing stage, packing and then rebuilding (we have had 3 requests in a month) the Bike Hermit is teaching that to someone today
    Last edited by Sky King; 03-26-2012 at 06:47 AM.
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    Thanks! Good points on what people might be interested in. I'm now thinking maybe a short session first to look over bikes, find out what people already know, and what they want to learn.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    As an add-on to the tire: how to change a flat while sitting on the side of the road without getting a pound of greese on your 90 dollar jersey!



    (No, I haven't done this, but have a feeling it will happen someday).

    And, best lightweight tool-kit to have on the road.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    Quote Originally Posted by Sky King View Post
    4. taking a bike down to the packing stage, packing and then rebuilding (we have had 3 requests in a month) the Bike Hermit is teaching that to someone today
    Don't suppose you could put this on your blog, with photos perhaps? I have a Honda Civic, and want to be able to put my road bike in my trunk, and let my dogs ride in the back seat. As it is, can't take them and the bike in the car at the same time. Have to lay down the seats to fit the bike. (No, they do not run next to me while I ride the road bike, you'd have to nickname me 'Crash' if I did that).
    Last edited by Muirenn; 03-27-2012 at 05:34 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Don't suppose you could put this on your blog, with photos perhaps? I have a Honda Civic, and want to be able to put my road bike in my trunk, and let my dogs ride in the back seat. As it is, can't take them and the bike in the car at the same time. Have to lay down the seats to fit the bike. (No, they do not run next to me while I ride the road bike, you'd have to nickname me 'Crash' if I did that).
    Taking a bike down is really more time consuming than you'd want to do for daily transport. Even if you only pull the handlebars, seatpost, pedals and front wheel you're probably talking at least 15 minutes on either end of your trip. A rack is a better option.

    Depending on how far you travel and what the roads are like, you might be able to just pull your front wheel, wrap the bike in a blanket and bungie your trunk lid. Although I'm pretty sure someone I know used to have a Civic and she could get her bike all the way in the trunk with just the front wheel off. It was a smaller frame though, 50 cm or less.

    Taking a bike down for packing is more involved: you'll also pull the rear wheel and rear derailleur; you may have to rearrange or disconnect cables to let you position the handlebars in the box; and best practice is to remove the water bottle cages. You definitely don't have to do all that for car transport.

    I'll be packing mine up in a week or two and I'd offer to post pictures, but there are lots of photo blogs and videos already online - just ask Dr. Google.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 03-27-2012 at 06:32 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,560
    I think allowing time for everybody to try the task being taught is important.

    Will people bring their own bikes? I was confused by the different types of brakes in the class I took, and there wasn't a bike with brakes like mine available.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    Yup, I agree. Some people can learn by just watching, but most I think learn best by doing. I was planning on them bringing their own bikes. But I risk being stumped by some setup I've never seen before...
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Taking a bike down is really more time consuming than you'd want to do for daily transport. Even if you only pull the handlebars, seatpost, pedals and front wheel you're probably talking at least 15 minutes on either end of your trip. A rack is a better option.

    Depending on how far you travel and what the roads are like, you might be able to just pull your front wheel, wrap the bike in a blanket and bungie your trunk lid. Although I'm pretty sure someone I know used to have a Civic and she could get her bike all the way in the trunk with just the front wheel off. It was a smaller frame though, 50 cm or less.

    Taking a bike down for packing is more involved: you'll also pull the rear wheel and rear derailleur; you may have to rearrange or disconnect cables to let you position the handlebars in the box; and best practice is to remove the water bottle cages. You definitely don't have to do all that for car transport.

    I'll be packing mine up in a week or two and I'd offer to post pictures, but there are lots of photo blogs and videos already online - just ask Dr. Google.
    Agreeing here re. the transport in the car. If you often drive to ride you are going to be soooo much happier with a rack over stuffing your bike into the trunk. We like the Saris racks
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Quote Originally Posted by lph View Post
    Yup, I agree. Some people can learn by just watching, but most I think learn best by doing. I was planning on them bringing their own bikes. But I risk being stumped by some setup I've never seen before...
    Regardless, I think people really appreciate your willingness to teach them!
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    Quote Originally Posted by lph View Post
    But I risk being stumped by some setup I've never seen before...
    And then you can teach them all of the cool online resources for figuring out bike stuff Seriously though, after several years, I still see unfamiliar components at work that require me to read the instructions or visit Park Tool's website.

    I think it's great that you're teaching people how to be self-sufficient

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    Thanks I think that's why I enjoy it so much, I really feel I'm making a small but useful contribution.

    I forgot about bike fitting. The most elementary bike fitting should be in there, and a little bit of info about saddles.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    lph, you are so cool. I wish I could take your class...but I don't think I can ride my bike across the ocean!
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Derailleur adjustments? I still haven't quite figured that out.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903
    I had two hours of instruction at my LBS last night, and it was a very worthwhile spend. Instruction was one on one, and we covered changing tubes, fixing stiff chain links, mending a broken chain, straightening a handlebar that has been knocked out of line and a couple of other bits that I'd asked about. What I really valued was that he didn't assume any knowledge for granted and covered everything from the easiest way to turn the bike over to how to tighten QR skewers. He was also brilliant at either working alongside me or showing me what to do then stepping right back while I did it. I'd just asked for skills that would help me get going again if I had a problem whilst out on a ride, so it wasn't a full maintenance course. It was so good though that I would like to do more.

    slightly o/t but once my daughter's in bed tonight I'm going out to the garage to do some practice
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

 

 

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