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Becoming a cycle mechanic.

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Andy 71, 27 Jul 2007.

  1. Andy 71

    Andy 71 New Member

    Location:
    Chelmsford
    Hopefully, I will be in the position soon to get a severance deal from my current employer.

    I am looking at my future employment options.

    I know it's a long shot, but I fancy a chance at doing my dream job.

    I'm 35 and would love to build on my extensive amateur experience and become a professional cycle mechanic, full time. I am currently tackling wheelbuilding as the final 'holy grail'.

    My severance package would enable me to pay for my own professional training, but I would need to be employed in the field and obviously need to get hands-on experience.

    Could I ask any pros how I might go about getting employed in this field. Is the pay usually pathetic? I don't have a mortgage but do you think the average job would enable me to pay for food, utilities and council tax?

    Is it the case that many aspiring mechs start off of the shop floor in customer service? Is this the best route in? Again, is the money awful for these sort of jobs. Money is not important to me any more (hence me wanting to leave my current job) but I would need to be able to at least feed myself. I appreciate people do these jobs for love and not money. I could probably get away with earning something around £15k p.a. as my partner is disabled and can't work.

    At the end of the day I want to be happy in what I do, and as long as I can keep the wolf from the door, I'll be OK.

    Grateful for any advice.
     
  2. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    A quick google search yielded the following links:
    Training for Professional Cycle Mechanics
    Cytech is the industry recognised standard for cycle mechanics
    Hope that give you a starting point.
     
  3. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    I would imagine the best way of getting started in this game is get a reputation for being convenient.
    Where I live certainly, if I want a job of more than 10 minutes doing (which is rare, almost never in fact, but still) I have to wait at least a day for them to fit it in. My bike might not be rideable, and if I have to leave it at the bike shop how do i then get from there to work...
    If there was someone who was mobile, could pick my bike up from home or work and drop it back again, and/or could get jobs done within 24 hours, then I'd use them every time, even if they were marginally (say up to 20%) more expensive.
     
  4. Jack

    Jack New Member

    Location:
    UK
    I don't really know is the simple answer to your questions, but these are my thoughts:

    I'm guessing you're right about the pay for working in a cycle shop, but really the only way to find out is to look around and enquire. It does seem like a good way to build up experience. What are you aspiring to do, own your own shop? Or work in one as a mechanic? Or perhaps something mobile like bonj suggested..?

    Good luck with this, I think its great you're trying to do something you love. :thumbsup:
     
  5. Monty Dog

    Monty Dog New Member

    Location:
    Fleet
    From somebody who's had experience both front and rear of a bike shop when between jobs - you're probably about right about the money - you're not going to retire rich! You can develop a lot of experience building-up bikes and doing general tune-ups/services before getting into the major jobs. I'd go and talk to a few shops to see if you can get some experience - but maybe after the summer hols as they'll be full of kids looking to earn pocket money. Whilst doing a Cytech course will help, you'll learn as much on-the-job as you will on a week-long course.
     
  6. beanzontoast

    beanzontoast Veteran

    Location:
    South of The Peaks
    Maybe you could find someone out of your area (and thus who you wouldn't be competing with for business) who does a mobile collect-and-return repair service, and who would be willing to give to advice, warts and all.

    As someone who took a 50% salary cut to do a job he wanted to, I'd really advise you to do your sums on the money and bill paying front before you go for it. Getting experience seems really sensible. Keep your options open in case it doesn't work out.
     
  7. rustychisel

    rustychisel Well-Known Member

    Not to dissuade you, but I suspect you'll learn how to turn a slightly obsessive hobby into JAJ (just another job).
     
  8. fuzzy29

    fuzzy29 New Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    I worked in my LBS many years ago. I spent most of my time fixing dirty, old bikes, repairing punctures and other simple jobs. If you were to work in a popular specialist shop, you would probably get to work on more high end bikes. But the reality is doing the mundane stuff and selling kids bikes most of the time. Add to that the low wages and the dream job is not so dream like. I prefer to sit in a boring office earning enough to buy the nice kit for myself.
     
  9. Pottsy

    Pottsy ...

    Location:
    SW London