Classes

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Learn how to fix almost anything on your bike! Sign Up for Newark Bike Project’s four-part Bicycle Mechanics course series, composed of 10 hours of hands-on sessions where you’ll learn how to work on every system of common bicycles using the Park Tools’ curriculum for “Basic Bicycle Mechanic.” No prior experience with bikes is necessary. Bicycles will be provided.

Classes are currently scheduled for…

  • Round 1 – February 2020

Time: 6:00-8:30pm

    1. February 4th : Class 1 – Bicycle basics, safety, and how to fix a flat
    2. February 5th : Class 2 – Wheels, brakes, and cables
    3. February 11th : Class 3 – Drivetrains
    4. February 12th : Class 4 – Bearings and cranks
  • Round 2- March 2020

Time: 6:00-8:30pm

    1. March 24th : Class 1 – Bicycle basics, safety, and how to fix a flat
    2. March 25th : Class 2 – Wheels, brakes, and cables
    3. March 31st : Class 3 – Drivetrains
    4. April 1st : Class 4 – Bearings and cranks

If you’re interested in future dates, email us at info@newarkbikeproject.org to get on our notification list for future class series announcements.

Our classes are a great way to boost your independence as a cyclist, help your friends and family members with their bikes, or jump start your participation as a volunteer mechanic in our shop. The best way to reinforce your new mechanic skills is to optionally volunteer in our shop during after having taken at least one class! You can help customers with their repairs during our DIY repair evening hours, or work on our inventory bikes to practice a skill you want to target. We’ll pair you with a more experienced mechanic so you can safely practice what you’ve learned. If you practice all the skills taught in our course, you will be qualified to work in most bike shops.

Instructor – Your instructor is Tom Price. Tom is our lead teaching mechanic at Newark Bike Project. Tom is fresh with knowledge from the Professional Repair and Shop Operation course at the United Bicycle Institute (UBI). He is a former NBP board member, volunteer mechanic, Delaware native, and a lifelong cyclist. 

Who should take the classes?We recommend Class 1 for all bicycle owners. Classes 1/2/3 are recommended for commuters, and mountain or road cyclists who ride multiple miles, multiple times per week. We recommend ALL classes for touring cyclists, volunteers bike mechanics at NBP, novice career mechanics, and bicycle restoration hobbyists.

Location – All classes are at Newark Bike Project’s shop at 136 South Main Street, Newark DE 19711. There is free car and bicycle parking, and we are along a DART and UD bus stop.

Fees – Class registration costs $20 per class, or all four classes for $70. Fee includes use of a loaned copy of the illustrated book Park Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repairs, 4th Edition for pre-class readings for Classes 2, 3, and 4. Alternatively, students can purchase their own copies of the book through us at a discounted price of $25, and an online version is available through Amazon.

TO REGISTER

Email us at info@newarkbikeproject.org with “Mechanic Class Sign Up” in the subject line to sign up or with questions, and be sure to include your name and in which class(es) you’re interested (Feb or March, and class 1, 2, 3, 4). We will confirm an offer of attendance via email within a few hours, and you’ll have a couple of days to pay for the registration online or at NBP to hold your spot. After payment, students taking classes 2, 3, or 4 can drop by NBP to borrow a copy of the text book for the assigned readings. You can return your borrowed book at your last class, and also opt to buy a copy.

Class Descriptions

Class 1: Bicycle basics (Maintenance, safety, flat tires) – 2.5 hrs

Learn about types of bikes, tools, and more bike terminology than you care to know! You’ll learn hands-on how to properly remove and replace a wheel and repair a flat tire. This class will demystify the world of bicycle tire sizes. Understand the elements of bike fit and how to size and adjust a bike to suit the rider. We’ll also cover preventive maintenance and safety items that any bike owner should know to get maximum life, smooth performance, and safe use from their bike.
  • Tools and bike terminology
  • Bike anatomy
  • Tires, tubes, fixing flats, pedals
  • Adjustments to handlebars, stems, seats
  • General maintenance and safety tips

This class is for all experience levels and prepares you for any of the classes below.

Class 2: Wheels, Brakes & Cabling – 2.5 hrs

Dive into adjusting several of the most common types of brakes, including side pull, center pull, cantilever, and linear-pull brakes. Learn to fix weak braking, brakes that rub and slow you down, and how to fix that embarrassing brake squeal.  Note: coaster brakes and disc brakes are not covered.  We’ll also cover simple lateral truing of a wheel to afford smoother braking. You’ll even un-stick, clean, grease, and replace cables, the most common source of braking problems.

  • lateral wheel truing, particularly for smooth braking
  • adjusting brakes and replacing brake pads
  • adjusting various types of brakes
  • cable maintenance and replacement

Class 3: Drivetrains (chains, gears, derailleurs, shifters) – 2.5 hrs

Learn how to adjust your derailleur equipped multi-speed bicycle for smooth and reliable shifting. Understand how to fix clicking, mis-shifts, skipping, and other chain-related issues on both the front and rear derailleurs. You’ll remove and replace a chain, too. Note: If you want to fully master the mechanics of shifting, we suggest you take Class 2 before this one, so that you’ll learn about cabling.

  • front & rear derailleur adjustments
  • shifter adjustments, compatibility, and installation
  • chain removal, cleaning, sizing, and replacement

Class 4: Headsets, Bearings & Cranks (cranksets, bottom brackets, headsets, hubs) – 2.5 hrs

You’ll really get your hands greasy in this workshop that delves into the inner parts of a bicycle. Overhaul a wheel hub, cleaning and repacking ball bearings for smooth and efficient operation. You’ll do the same for the headset (steering) and bottom bracket (where the cranks are connected through the frame). We’ll also take apart, clean, and re-install the most common types of cranksets. Lots of grease is involved, but don’t worry… we top it off with complete instructions on how to properly wash up with mechanic’s soap! Note: If you have a modern, well maintained bicycle, your bike is unlikely to need these repairs except every five to ten years. This class is intended primarily for mechanics working on older and neglected bikes that we often see in a community shop environment, as well as riders who want to be able to fully understand the inner workings of and overhaul or build-up any bicycle.

  • overhauling and adjusting wheel hubs
  • overhauling and adjusting headsets
  • overhauling and adjusting bottom brackets
  • removing and replacing cranksets 

Class size is limited to 8 students, so reserve your space today!

You do not have to bring a bicycle or any tools. Our classes do NOT cover: disc brakes, coaster brakes, hydraulic lines, wheel building and spoke replacement, adjustable suspension, and electronic shifting, however we can sometimes help with these topics during our Learn to Do-It-Yourself Open Workshop hours.

Youth under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Youth under the age of 18 must have a signed parental consent form.