The Bicycle Mechanic – A Job with a Future for the Future

With more and hopefully still more bicycles coming back into use for personal transport, the trade of a bicycle mechanic is definitely one that is surely going to make a comeback; it just has to.

While many shops, the likes of Halfords, Argos, and many others, are rather good in selling – often “cheap” - bicycles they just about can assemble such bikes to make them ready for the sale and just about – and I do stress “just about” - ready for the road. Most do not appear to have “properly” trained cycle mechanics capable of doing a proper service (yes, bicycles should also have a regular service, either carried out by a capable owner or best still a capable mechanic) and especially capable of actually building, rebuilding and repairing a bike, especially an older one. You take your car to a trained mechanic, often one trained specifically for your make of car, and not to old Joe round the corner who likes to tinker with motors, or to the local grocers, don't you. So why then do so many trust their lives into the hands – and that is what they do if they take the bike on the road and have no idea as to how it has been repaired and whether the job was done proper, etc. - of people who are just a little above amateurs?

With the government(s) trying to get people to get on their bikes again for personal transport in order to reduce the country's overall carbon footprint people will be needed again capable to keep bicycles running and especially roadworthy. Not every cyclist is a bicycle “geek” and capable of doing the technical bits all themselves. The ordinary businessman wanting to use the bike to commute may just about be capable of fixing a puncture himself. So, bicycle mechanics will be needed again and many of them we will need.

While the sales of bicycles are increasing the actual number of real bicycle mechanics appears not to be able to keep pace with it; in fact they seem to be in decline.

Help, however, is at hand by way of a proper training agency that trains people up to be cycle mechanics and that to a very high standard.

WELDTECH, part of WELDTITE Products Ltd. ( offers professional bicycle mechanic courses for shops and workshops, as well as for the ordinary general public. These are NVQ kind of courses but to a far higher standard of proficiency – though government funds do not appear to be available to take any of those courses. Maybe the government needs to wake up to the fact that if they want people to get on their bikes and use cycles as personal mode of transport, at least for around town, to the shops and journeys under, say, four miles, they must find a way of aiding the creation, for lack of a better word, of skilled and thoroughly trained and competence-checked bicycle mechanics. Without such technicians the entire idea will not be workable, unless the government also sees a way of making money (yes, I am a cynic) out of people, when a bike no longer properly works, throwing it and buying a new one. In theory with some of the cheap ones that are coming in from the Far East, such as China, with prices as low as £70 for a about-town/light off-road bike, this is possible feasible, as repairs might work out more expensive than purchasing new. But, where does that again leave the carbon footprint?

In addition to this Weldtite designs and produces a large range of bicycle specific tools. Many of those tools are entirely new developments and designs by members of their own team.

I cannot say as to whether Weldtite is the only company/agency that offers courses for bicycle mechanics but, from what I have seen, they seem to be one of the best if not the best on the market.

© M V Smith, October 2007