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 provides the real-world bicycle shop experience: tune-ups and complete overhauls of bicycles brought in for repair by Quadra riders. This way you will be prepared for the real world of bicycle 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

BBI Manual. I am ordering the Barnett Manuals from Quality Bicycle Parts in advance for  students. You can receive the download of Version 5 of the Manual when you have paid your deposit. This allows you to study the beginning material immediately. The DX Version 14 be here when you arrive. 

Version 5 can be read on your computer. It also lets you to print one copy if you like to read a paper copy. You can avoid printing ALL of Version 5 by consulting the study guide I send. The study guide directs you to read the chapters in the order you will need them in this course. If you print the Manual, the study guide lets you skip printing chapters which will be looked at in the later part of the course. By then you will be using the full colour DX version 14. If you don't want to print a paper copy, I've found 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)

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.

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 a question sheet has been developed to help students remember the salient points of the chapter they have studied. When everyone has had their questions discussed satisfactorily we start the practical work for the day. This usually involves a demonstration after which everyone works on mastering the technique. Most days, 80% of the time is spent in the bicycle shop. Some videos are also viewed to show critical components being 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 $1660 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 $1660 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 students in the BAM programme in Toronto in 2010.

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 $1660 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 Wheel Truing Certificate.


          There are also very large Procyonidae on the island


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 jsmokeydymny@gmail.com.
To apply to Quadra Bike School, click here