Budding Home Mechanics Course

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Introducing Broken Spoke’s ground-breaking 4 part mechanics course: Go, Turn, Shift and Stop!

It’s a modular course, each module is a stand-alone 6 hours of mechanical delight. Taken together the modules make up a complete education for the budding bike mechanic. Anyone can take this course however experienced or fresh-faced you think you are, it’s about the depth of insight you want to get to, not where you’re at before you begin.

What’s so ‘ground-breaking’ then?

Our courses have always emphasised ‘learning by doing’ but we are taking this to a whole new level, here’s how:

  • We have removed the stress that inhibits learning, for instance participants work on our demo bikes rather than the one they plan to cycle home on.
  • We celebrate mistakes, in fact sometimes you will be asked to do things wrong and figure out why that didn’t work.
  • We focus on learning, not outcomes, we will not measure success on perfectly working bikes but on whether you understand why and how the bike works.
  • We’ve introduced lots of creative and collaborate learning techniques, ‘monkey see, monkey do’ just ain’t our motto. We are trying to get you to discover for yourself through experimentation, structured activities and working with other participants.
  • You have nothing to prove! There will be a mixture of skill and experience levels in every group. We think that more experienced mechanics can learn an awful lot from beginners and everyone’s learning is the responsibility of the tutor, so you can relax.

In short, we’ve put a lot of thought into the quality of your learning experience and that’s what we think makes the new course ‘ground-breaking’.

The course

Our 4 modules cover all the essentials of how bikes work, taken together they will give you a comprehensive bike mechanics education. However, all the modules are stand-alone and it’s not necessary to take them in any particular order or even to take every module (if you lack the time, money or inclination to do so). Start with one that tickles your fancy and take it from there.

The modules

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This one is all about the transmission, the bits of the bike that are essential to making it move forwards when you turn your pedals (ok we know that lots of parts could be included in this category but humour us). We’ll explore how rear-wheel-drive bikes work and delve into the world of chains, cassette and freewheel sprockets, chainsets and bottom brackets. Get ready to get on your bike and GO!

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Time for a change of gear? We think so. This one takes you on a journey into how and why derailleur gears work, by the time we’ve finished with ya you’ll be able to calculate gear ratios, understand how to set up front and rear gears and troubleshoot what’s happening when your gears just won’t co-operate.

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You spin me right round bike-y! ‘Spinning’ is a word synonymous with cycling these days, but does it just happen like magic? Oh no, there is lots more to it. This one is about how the turn-y parts of the bike do what they do. We focus on the wheels and the steering system or headset. You’ll also learn the highly useful skills of installing wheels, tyres and tubes.

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This course could save your life, it’s the all-important brake module. In this one we address the big existential questions like, how do brakes actually work? You’ll play around setting up different types of systems from scratch, learn to troubleshoot what’s happening when brakes don’t…brake. And explore the things which affect braking that you don’t normally think of, like fixing a buckled (or out-of-true) wheel. It’s time to stop!

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