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.
Many of our graduates have gone on to become the top mechanic in their respective shops.
Lacing and truing a wheel for those who just wish to learn this skill. You will learn to true and tension wheels which is essential to wheel longevity. This includes tension balancing, a final step in wheel truing, which is often not done at bicycle shops and is the main reason wheel truing does not last on your bicycle. You will also learn how to lace up a wheel. Given a hub, rim and pre-measured spokes you will learn the best method of wheel lacing as well as how to avoid wheel lacing myths.
If you pass the wheel tensioning test a certificate will be issued. $500 with residence, $400 without.
Arrive Friday evening and learn on Saturday and Sunday. Space permitting you will join other bicycle students already in residence. Otherwise, secure alternative residence space on Quadra Island, with my help.
Each of the three parts of the course lasts 7 days and costs $800 plus GST.
Residence cost for each of the three parts is $167 plus GST
You need to purchase your own bike manual from the BBI in advance: BBI Manual. ($169)
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.
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 five and a half 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 at a print shop works best for your hard copy.
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.
A Certificate of Completion for New 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 & torqueing
- 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 wheel truing, 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 installation, careful checking of seat-post diameter
- Stem greasing, alignment and installation
- Headset greasing, replacing retainers, adjustment.
- Threadless headset adjustment
- Handlebar & brake/shifter 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
- Seat installation
- Fit of seat posts to frame
Bicycle Assembly and Tuning is 7 days x 5.5 hours and costs $800 plus GST. Residence cost is $167 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 to it everything that is necessary for the professional.
There are 7 class days of five and a half 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 as well as on 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 preparations
- Use of lubricants, cleansers, solvents & Loctite compounds
- Alignment of fork dropouts, rear triangles
- Identifying frame problems
- Identifying fork defects and sizing replacement forks
- Cartridge bottom bracket installation
- Special bottom bracket installation for stripped threads
- Installation and removal of pressed pieces
- Troubleshooting headsets
- Headset measurement and calculation of stack heights
- Hub and freehub bearing overhaul
- Hub and freehub bearing adjustment
- Freehub body replacement
- Thread identification of axles
- Hub cone replacement
- Troubleshooting hub bearings
- Calculation of spoke length, and lacing wheels
- Assessing damaged rims
- Identifying tire and rim compatibility
- Identification of tire wear and damage
- Correcting chainline errors
- Identification of chainring wear, installing replacements
- Installing cottered & cotterless cranks, as well as BMX cranks
- Freewheel/freehub cog installation and removal
- Adjusting freewheel bearings
- Troubleshooting freewheels
- 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
- Hydraulic disc brake setup and bleeding
- Cutting steerer tubes
- Re-threading forks
- Tapping and facing bottom brackets
Professional Bicycle Repair is 7 days x 5.5 hours and costs $800 plus GST. Residence cost is $167 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 advanced training at bicycle schools.
Rather than having to help mechanics unlearn their bad habits it was decided 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 and 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 customers. These range from simple “beaters” to high-end custom bikes. The practicum as developed in the original Toronto course led to our graduates being hired in bike 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, students can decide when they are ready to get tested on each component group, as well as on wheel truing and on a total bicycle build (overhaul).
After Parts 1, 2 and 3 are completed, those who feel they need additional practicum time are allowed up to 4 days of extra time to continue honing their skills before finishing their testing. This is at no extra cost to the student.
The Bicycle Repair Practicum is 7 days x 5.5 hours and costs $800 plus Goods and Services Tax of 5%. Residence cost is $167 plus GST
CertificationAfter 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 come in to show students 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!