Join us for our free series of Volunteer Mechanics Workshops, where we focus on demonstrating a skill and then performing it with volunteers, while fixing donated bikes in the process, every Thursday at 5 PM.
The Volunteer Mechanics Workshops are held Thursdays from 5 to 7. We can accommodate a limited number of students, so please RSVP [firstname.lastname@example.org] to ensure there is space.
If you wish to address and fix or overhaul an issue on your personal bike covered in that session we request a donation.
Current Class Schedule:
9/6 wheel truing: basic assessment, radial and lateral truing, tensioning, and stressing wheels
9/13 cables and housing: assessment, overhaul, basic adjustment
9/20 brake adjustment: pad placement and cable tension for linear pull, cantilever, caliper, or disc
9/27 derailleur adjustment: limits and tension for friction or indexed shifting
10/4 general maintenance: changing tires and replacing tubes, cleaning rims, lubricating drivetrain, and what to look for in a well-tuned bike
10/11 hub overhaul: cassette/freewheel removal, hub disassembly, cleaning, regreasing, reassembly and adjustment
10/18 headset: the third major bearing system: stem removal, headset disassembly, cleaning, regreasing, reassembly, and adjustment
10/25 bottom bracket: crank removal, bottom bracket disassembly, cleaning, regreasing, reassembly, and adjustment
11/1 wheel truing: basic assessment, radial and lateral truing, tensioning, and stressing wheels
11/8 cables and housing: assessment, overhaul, basic adjustment
11/15 brake adjustment: pad placement and cable tension for linear pull, cantilever, caliper, or disc
11/22 derailleur adjustment: limits and tension for friction or indexed shifting
Historically, our Volunteer Mechanics Class met Thursday nights for 3 hours and worked through a 10-week, once-a-week curriculum concerning all of the systems found on a bicycle. This was developed and taught by Chris Nelsen for years, and the class successfully spread mechanics’ knowledge through the community with dividends. For those of us lucky enough to have taken the class with Chris over the last few years, we know its value. Since his move to Seattle in 2017, we have been working to decide how to fulfill the educational component of our mission beyond the hands-on learning at the shop, co-ops, or external events.
Now we offer a more abbreviated and ongoing series of 2-hour sessions that involve a brief lecture followed by a hands-on component. With weekly sessions, the work performed can be integrated into the life of the shop; repairs can be completed as students learn how to do them.
This approach has several benefits:
Shop staffers can reserve a handful of bikes that, say, need a front hub overhaul, and stage them for the class, prioritizing and moving forward on other projects, saving the repair as a learning experience.
Students hoping to maintain their own bikes can look forward on the calendar, see a system they know needs attention, come in to fix it using our tools and grease, and learn the overhaul process.
A new student could breeze through the class in a month and get an introductory DIY degree in bikes, while someone else could dabble as their schedule allows to build up knowledge that way.