The Course

The Quadra Bike School teaches students the complete theory and proper assembly of new bicycles in the first course: Bicycle Assembly & Tuning. This is followed by Professional Bicycle Repair, which teaches advanced mechanics.  This includes wheel building and truing to exacting standards. The final course: Bicycle Repair Practicum is real-world bicycle shop experience: tune-ups and complete overhauls of bikes brought in for service by customers. This course prepares students for the real world of bike repair.

The student successfully completing all three courses will receive a Mechanic’s Certificate and a separate Wheel Truing Certificate when they pass the practical testing.

Course Manual 

You need to purchase your own manual in advance:  BBI Manual. (the price is not certain at the moment because the Quality Bicycle Products company is the new owner of the product and I hope to get some details of the new price soon.) 
Buy your manual well in advance to give yourself lots of time to read. 
This manual can be downloaded and allows you to print one PDF version for your own use. OR, you can avoid printing all of the PDF version if you like reading paper rather than screen versions. Purchase volumes 1, 2, & 3 of the 1995 paperback version of the 5th Edition at on-line booksellers. (you won't need the out-dated volume 4 which is about 1995 suspension forks)
I will also send you a study guide when I have received your deposit. This will tell you which order to read the chapters of the Manual in, so that you will have a head start on the course.

Course sections

1. Bicycle Assembly & Tuning

This course is for shop owners who want to better supervise the work of their mechanics; bicycle assembly mechanics themselves; home mechanics who want to increase their skills; or bicycle rental personnel who service a fleet of bicycles. Everything to do with assembling, adjusting, lubricating and maintaining new bicycles is taught.

Bicycle Assembly and Tuning consists of 7 class days of six hours each, an introductory day of bicycle history, that is, the development of all the necessary technologies which led to the development of the modern geared bicycle, and a day of testing.

All students should purchase, and read well in advance the current Barnett's Manual DX . This can be used on your laptop or tablet computer, and also allows you to print one copy of Version 5 of the manual if you wish to read and/or underline a hard copy. Spiral binding or three hole punching for a binder can be requested at a print shop.

Each morning begins with a review of the question sheets pertaining to the day’s practical lessons. For each part of the bicycle or each component group or category a question sheet has been developed to help students remember the salient points of the chapter they have studied. When everyone has had questions answered satisfactorily we move on to the practical work for the day. This usually involves a short demonstration after which everyone works on mastering technique. Most days, 80% of the time is spent in the bicycle shop. Some videos are reviewed to teach how critical components are manufactured.

A Certificate of Completion for Bicycle Assembly and Tuning can be available but most students move on to parts 2 and 3 of the course for the final full mechanic’s certification and full wheel truing certification. You will learn:
  • Crankarm removal and installation
  • Pedal installation, Loctite & torquing
  • Adjustable-cup bottom bracket installation & servicing
  • Cassette/ freewheel removal and replacement
  • Cassette & chain wear assessment
  • Chain removal, sizing, and installation
  • Assessing if a wheel should be trued or just replaced.
  • Lateral & radial wheel truing, dishing, proper spoke tension
  • Stressing and stabilizing wheel true, tension balancing
  • Tire and tube installation, flat repair
  • Checking and correcting dropout alignment
  • Chain line assessment and correction
  • Wheel installation
  • Seat-post diameter verification, seat installation, adjustment for rider ergonomics
  • Stem greasing, alignment and installation
  • Headset greasing, replacing retainers, adjustment.
  • Threadless headset adjustment
  • Handlebar & brake/shifter optimum alignment, road bike bar alignment
  • Shift lever installation, optimal cable routing installation & stressing
  • Rear derailleur installation, with Loctite
  • Rear derailleur limit-screw adjustment
  • Rear derailleur indexing adjustment
  • Front derailleur installation, limit-screw adjustment
  • Front derailleur indexing adjustment
  • Brake lever installation and alignment, cable routing and installation
  • Dual-pivot brake installation and adjustment
  • V-brake installation and adjustment
  • Mechanical disc-brake installation and adjustment
Bicycle Assembly and Tuning is 7 days x 6 hours and costs $1127 plus GST. 
Residence cost is $200 plus GST.

2. Professional Bicycle Repair
This course is the next level as required for bicycle shop mechanics. We build on what was learned in Bicycle Assembly and Tuning and add everything that is needed for the professional.

There are 7 class days of six hours each. Students are also expected to practise their skills after class time and on weekends. Because the student residence is next to the bicycle classroom, access to the shop is open to participants at those times.

The same manual as was used in Part 1, Barnett's Manual DX is required for Pro Bicycle Repair. Testing on each component group, wheel truing and tension balancing as well as a complete bicycle build can begin as soon as each individual feels they are ready. But most will wait until they have finished Part 3: Bicycle Repair Practicum

You will learn:
  • Spline-fit crank arm removal and installation
  • Thread identification and preparation
  • Press fit installation and removal
  • Use of lubricants, cleansers, solvents & Loctite compounds
  • Alignment & straightening of fork dropouts, rear triangles
  • Identifying frame problems
  • Identifying fork defects and sizing replacement forks
  • Cartridge & loose ball bottom bracket installation
  • Special bottom bracket installation for stripped threads
  • Headset measurement and calculation of stack heights
  • Hub and freehub bearing assessment
  • Freehub body replacement
  • Thread identification of axles
  • Hub cone replacements
  • Troubleshooting hub bearings
  • Calculation of spoke length, and lacing new wheels
  • Assessing damaged rims
  • Identifying tire and rim compatibility
  • Identification of tire wear and damage
  • Assessing & correcting chainline error
  • Identifying cassette & chainring wear, installing replacements
  • Installing square tapered, splined cranks, & BMX cranks
  • Lubricating freewheel bearings
  • Assessing chain damage
  • Chain/freewheel compatibility
  • Overhauling rear derailleurs, checking capacity
  • Troubleshooting brake levers, adjusting fit to rider
  • Criss-cross brake cable routing and sizing
  • Mounting of side-pull calipers, and adjustment
  • Disc-brake rotor installation & adjustment
  • Hydraulic disc brake setup and bleeding
  • Cutting steerer tubes
  • Re-threading forks
  • Tapping and facing bottom brackets
Professional Bicycle Repair is 7 days x 6 hours and costs $1127 plus GST.  
Residence cost is $200 plus Goods & Services Tax (5%).

3. Bicycle Repair Practicum
When I first created this course in Toronto in consultation with the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada it was agreed that mechanics who take the basics and then go to work in a bicycle shop can pick up many “bad habits” or erroneous techniques in the workplace before returning to take their advanced training.

Some of the 2010 students in the BAM programme in Toronto

Rather than having to help mechanics unlearn their bad habits it was decided that they would learn the advanced material in the same course, and that a third course component was necessary: practice on actual used bicycles. This would allow students to hone their skills in a way which best approximated the real environment of a working bike shop. The additional advantage is that students learn when it is best to repair a component or when it is necessary to replace one. This cost/benefit training creates a mechanic who will be able to run their own shop, or be a great asset if working for someone else.

There are 7 class days of five and a half hours each. Students can continue to practise their skills after class time or on weekends. Because the student residence is next to the bicycle classroom access to the shop is open to participants.

All the skills learned in Bicycle Assembly and Tuning, as well as in Professional Bicycle Repair are honed to excellence by tuning and overhauling a variety of bicycles brought in by Quadra Island residents. These range from simple “beaters” to high-end custom bikes. This practicum as developed in the original Toronto course has resulted in our graduates being hired in bicycle shops not just for new bicycle assembly (and why would beginners be given the task of assembling new bicycles anyway?), but in the repair shop fixing customers’ bikes with the other experienced mechanics.

After repairing bikes in the Practicum component, students can decide when they are ready to pass individual testing on each of the component groups, as well as wheel truing and on a total bicycle build (or overhaul).

After Parts 1, 2 and 3 are completed, those who feel they need additional practice time are allowed up to 4 days of extra time to continue honing their skills before finishing their testing. There is no extra cost for this.

The Bicycle Repair Practicum is 7 days x 6 hours and costs $1127 plus GST of 5%.  
Residence cost is $200 plus GST.

Certification:  After the successful completion of all three parts the student receives a Mechanic’s Certificate and a separate Wheel Truing Certificate.

Special Course Components
During the course, a Qi Gong instructor will show you exercises to help combat the wear and tear that mechanics experience.  Hand, arm, and shoulder exercises are an excellent habit to get into. Just as a well-maintained bicycle will give you peak performance, a well-maintained body will work its best for you!

Qi Gong helps keep your hands & arms limber

We also visit Nimbus™ Kayaks and Velomobiles to experience a ride in one of their velomobiles, when the weather/time permits.

Contact Quadra Bike School

For more information email
To apply to Quadra Bike School, click here