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teaching wrenching skills

lph2012-06-10 02:11:45 +0000 #1
Anyone here teach wrenching skills, or recently attend a good class? I'm looking for good tips on everything from class size to what to teach.

I've held some free (mtb) wrenching classes for beginners at work, and am mulling the idea of offering them at home too, for a small fee. (I.e. just big enough to make people take it seriously, i.e. show up.) I would like to offer classes for women only. My personal preference is for a small group of max 4, but realistically I should be able to teach more than that. But with only 4 I had time to show a procedure and for everybody else to try it too, with assistance if necessary.

The classes I held at work were:

1. wheels: how to fix a flat or change tires, how to remove the rear wheel and put it back on, correct tire pressure

2. brakes (rim only): how to check brakes and cables, switching brake pads, maintenance, adjusting

3. drivetrain: how to check for wear, lubing a chain, switching a chain, switching a cassette, a little bit about adjusting gears.

A lot of people wanted to learn how to adjust the shifting, but I didn't want to promise them that I could teach them enough to fix problems, but I could teach the basic routine to try for themselves. IME there are so many different things that can influence bad shifting on an old bike, and troubleshooting it can be pretty difficult.

It would be great if anybody has any feedback on this. I don't have any other teaching experience, so I'm a bit clueless as to what works. I also don't know diddlysquat about suspension forks or disc brakes, but I see that more and more everyday bikes are sporting this.


Sky King2012-06-10 02:17:23 +0000 #2
Questions we get

1. fenders, taking on and off

2.racks, bottle cages and other stuff that gets added to the bike

3. grips and handlebar tape

4. taking a bike down to the packing stage, packing and then rebuilding (we have had 3 requests in a month) the Bike Hermit is teaching that to someone today
lph2012-06-10 02:25:18 +0000 #3
Thanks! Good points on what people might be interested in. I'm now thinking maybe a short session first to look over bikes, find out what people already know, and what they want to learn.
Muirenn2012-06-10 02:57:55 +0000 #4
As an add-on to the tire: how to change a flat while sitting on the side of the road without getting a pound of greese on your 90 dollar jersey!

(No, I haven't done this, but have a feeling it will happen someday).

And, best lightweight tool-kit to have on the road.
Muirenn2012-06-10 03:45:40 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sky King

4. taking a bike down to the packing stage, packing and then rebuilding (we have had 3 requests in a month) the Bike Hermit is teaching that to someone today

Don't suppose you could put this on your blog, with photos perhaps?

I have a Honda Civic, and want to be able to put my road bike in my trunk, and let my dogs ride in the back seat. As it is, can't take them and the bike in the car at the same time. Have to lay down the seats to fit the bike. (No, they do not run next to me while I ride the road bike, you'd have to nickname me 'Crash' if I did that ).
OakLeaf2012-06-10 04:00:39 +0000 #6
Quote:

Originally Posted by Muirenn

Don't suppose you could put this on your blog, with photos perhaps?

I have a Honda Civic, and want to be able to put my road bike in my trunk, and let my dogs ride in the back seat. As it is, can't take them and the bike in the car at the same time. Have to lay down the seats to fit the bike. (No, they do not run next to me while I ride the road bike, you'd have to nickname me 'Crash' if I did that ).

Taking a bike down is really more time consuming than you'd want to do for daily transport. Even if you only pull the handlebars, seatpost, pedals and front wheel you're probably talking at least 15 minutes on either end of your trip. A rack is a better option.

Depending on how far you travel and what the roads are like, you might be able to just pull your front wheel, wrap the bike in a blanket and bungie your trunk lid. Although I'm pretty sure someone I know used to have a Civic and she could get her bike all the way in the trunk with just the front wheel off. It was a smaller frame though, 50 cm or less.

Taking a bike down for packing is more involved: you'll also pull the rear wheel and rear derailleur; you may have to rearrange or disconnect cables to let you position the handlebars in the box; and best practice is to remove the water bottle cages. You definitely don't have to do all that for car transport.

I'll be packing mine up in a week or two and I'd offer to post pictures, but there are lots of photo blogs and videos already online - just ask Dr. Google.
PamNY2012-06-10 05:11:36 +0000 #7
I think allowing time for everybody to try the task being taught is important.

Will people bring their own bikes? I was confused by the different types of brakes in the class I took, and there wasn't a bike with brakes like mine available.
lph2012-06-10 05:09:38 +0000 #8
Yup, I agree. Some people can learn by just watching, but most I think learn best by doing. I was planning on them bringing their own bikes. But I risk being stumped by some setup I've never seen before...

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