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Fort Collins Bike Coop Training Manual

Overall Course

Our mechanics training workshops happen in the winter, when things are "slow" and is usually a 10 session program to get new volunteers started in bike mechanics. We teach all the basic stuff: Name,location and function of all parts as well as the right tool for the right job. We try to keep it simple to avoid confusing volunteers with too much information. We limit each class to only the judging and problem solving knowledge needed to be a successful, efficient and happy CO-OP volunteer and not to be a Sheldon Brown ( R.I.P. ) wanna be. From there, people can take their skills as far as they wish to go...

This is the layout of the course we use to train new volunteers to the coop. This is a multiple session train setup and walks new volunteers trough the major systems of a bike one by one. The first two courses deal with the theory of bike and then we move into hands on training. Each hands on class begins with a demonstration by a head mechanic say disassembling a threaded headset. During which the mechanic names all the parts and talking about the most common problems of that system. The mechanic will point out how to tell if a part has gone bad and share tips on what to avoid or watch out for. The Mechanic will then reassemble the component and allow time for individual questions. Once that's done the volunteers split into smaller teams, each with it's own team leader, and repeat the work that the head mechanic demonstrated on their individual bikes. The team leader is only there for guidance, the new volunteers should do all the hands on work. We find that smaller teams are better, and it's best if the teams remain the same from the first to the last workshop and work on the SAME bikes every class, this helps students become familiar with the team leader's style of teaching / mentoring. It also helps dealing with the same bikes every time to help remember what was wrong with it and what it took to fix it..."The right BB cup on the red fuji was so hard to remove !" or "the headset bearings on that blue ten speed where completely destroyed because whoever donated it put them upside down !!". Not to mention that usually by the end of the entire course, most strangers that joined the team become friends and that is a major factor in people having fun and enjoying their work while adding to the organization's success and promoting healthy, respectful interactions. The Goal of these courses is to provide each new volunteer with a valuable skillset, and at the same time to have between 3 and 5 bikes per team that cover all the most common shifting and braking systems, types of BB, types of headsets,brakes, etc. Completely overhauled and in top-performing shape by the end of the training season due to the student's collective efforts.

When we're done with the classes, students go through a short and simple test that will help them and the Co-op develop an idea of where their current knowledge is, as well as for shift and task assigning purposes.

Basic Bike Knowledge I & II

These courses are all theory, and include a slide show and talk about the most common bike systems. The main idea here is to expand the volunteers knowledge as well as bike vocabulary. The following is a list of major topics we touch on, within each group you can see subsets as well as examples. Going through this list is accompanied by images of each of the items that clearly shows any major similarities and differences.


  • Frame
    • Mountain
    • Road
    • Mens
    • Womens
  • Front Wheel
    • Hubs
      • Sealed
      • Cup and Cone
    • Spokes
    • Rims
    • Tires
    • Tubes
      • Presta
      • Schrader
  • Brakes
    • Cantilever
    • Sidepull
    • Centerpull
    • V-Brake
  • Fork
  • Headset
    • Quill (Threaded)
    • Threadless
  • Stem
  • Handlebars
    • Drop Bars
    • Riser Bars
    • Straight Bars
    • Ape Hangers
  • Lights
  • Brake Levers
    • Road
    • Mountain
  • Shifters
    • Friction
    • Index
  • Cables
    • Brake
    • Derailer
  • Water Bottle Cage
  • Seat Post
    • Diameters
  • Seat
  • Bottom Bracket
    • Sealed
    • Cup and Cone
  • Front Derailuer
    • Top Pull
    • Bottom Pull
  • Chain
    • Single Speed
    • Multi-speed
  • Cranks
    • Single Piece
    • Three Piece
    • Crank Length
  • Chain rings
    • 1-2-3
  • Pedals
  • Rear Derailer
  • Rear Wheel
  • Hub
    • Cassette
    • Single Speed
    • Fixed
  • Helmet

We often take the time to focus more on the "average" bikes we see at the coop. Mainly touching on 21 speed mountain bikes and 10 speed road bikes. Throughout the meeting we study component quality and how to recognize superior vs inferior quality parts.

The goal on these first two classes is to provide enough knowledge for volunteers to be able to "read a bike" or "read a frame" BEFORE they actually get to handle any tools or start picking parts to put a bike together; you know,teach 'em to recognize: "oh, this is a MTN frame, made for CANTILEVER brakes,TOP pull front derailleur,with singlespeedable DIAGONAL dropouts,etc..."

This is also a great time to teach volunteers how to use a pair of calipers so then they can determine: "...and needs a 1 inch headset, 25.4 seat post and 68mm BB "

Headsets

Component breakdown

  • Both a Threaded and Threadless Headset

Bottom Brackets

Brake Systems

Drive Train Theory

Drive Train

Wheels

Single Speed Conversion

See Also