Bike Mechanics Course Curriculum


The following curriculum is intended to be used for the BWIRC Bike Mechanic Course taught by BWIRC volunteers for students from the Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy.  The Bike Mechanic Course is designed to provide participants with extensive training in bike repair and maintenance. The course is divided into modules.  To successfully complete the course, each student must demonstrate all of the skills listed for each course module.  The course is designed so that each student can complete each module at his or her own pace.  There is no set time for completion of the course.  However, each student is expected to attend class every week (other than excused absences) until he or she completes the course.


Each course module contains a series of videos.  The student are required to watch all videos for each module prior to beginning the in class work on that module.  It is recommend that the students stay one module ahead of wherever they are in class.

Module 6:  Servicing Derailleurs and Shift Cables 

Concepts to be Covered
Crank Types
Crank Parts
Crank Removal Including Specialty Tools
Bottom Bracket TypesBottom Bracket Parts
Bottom Bracket Removal Including Specialty Tools
Bottom Bracket Service
Bottom Bracket Installation
Crank Installation


Module 2:  Chains

Module 10:  Bike Fit and Routine Maintenance

Skills to be Demonstrated
  • Evaluate, remove, clean or replace and re-install headset bearings


Module 7:  Servicing Front Headsets

Module 5:  Servicing Wheel Hub Bearings and Free Hubs

Module 3:  Cranks and Bottom Brackets

Concepts to be Covered
Saddle Adjustments to Optimize Bike Fit Washing a BikeRoutine Maintenance Including Cleaning and Lubing Chain and Cleaning Metal Shavings from Brake Pads
Skills to be Demonstrated
  • ​Evaluate bottom bracket for service
  • Identify crank type
  • ​Remove crank​
  • Identify bottom bracket type
  • ​Remove bottom bracket
  • Service bottom bracket 

Skills to be Demonstrated
  • Cut a spoke
  • Replace the cut spoke
  • Check spoke tension on both front and rear wheels and true both wheels as needed
Concepts to be Covered
Determining Cassette/Freewheel Type and Removal Tool Required
Cassette/Freewheel Removal
Determining When to 
Replace Cassette/Freewheel


Skills to be Demonstrated
  • Identify the different types of brakes
  • Remove and reinstall at least one brake pad
  • Adjust brakes front a rear

Module 11:  Bike Safety

Skills to be Demonstrated
  • Identify chain size
  • Determine chain wear
  • Remove chain
  • Install a chain reusing a pin
  • ​Install a chain using a master link​
  • Clean and lube chain
Skills to be Demonstrated
  • Remove rear wheel bearings and free hub, if applicable
  • Clean, inspect and reinstall rear wheel bearings and free hub, if applicable
  • Remove front wheel bearings
  • Clean, inspect and reinstall front wheel bearing
  • Reinstall cassette or freewheel


Module 9:  Brakes

Skills to be Demonstrated
  • Check bike fit and adjust as necessary
  • Wash bike
Concepts to be Covered
Removing and replacing spokes and nipplesThe purpose of rim tape
Spoke configuration (e.g., two cross, three cross, or four cross)
Using a spoke wrench to adjust spoke tension    

Using a wheel truing stand to true a wheel


Concepts to be Covered
Different types of rim brakesBrake pad replacement and adjustmentBrake levers and cables, including cable tension


Skills to be Demonstrated
  • Explain the difference between a cassette and a freewheel
  • ​Explain how to determine when to replace a cassette or freewheel
  • Remove cassette or freewheel


Concepts to be Covered
Chain Removal Including Master LinksDetermining Chain Width
Determining Chain Wear
Chain Cleaning and LubeDetermining Chain Length
Chain Installation
Click here to read about chain compatibility


Module 4:  Cassette and Freewheel Removal

Concepts to be Covered
Tire PressureTire OrientationValve Types and Valve Cores
Tire and Tube SizingWheel Removal and Reinstall
Tire and Tube Removal/Reinstall
Patching Tubes
Releasing BrakesMetric Measurements
Rim Strips    


Module 8:  Spoke Replacement and Wheel Truing

Concepts to be Covered
Threadless versus threaded (quill) stemsEvaluating headset bearing condition and tension Headset bearing removal, servicing and replacement
Tensioning headset bearingsUsing a small torque wrench


Each student must complete BWIRC Adult Bike Safety Course which can accessed by pressing the button below.


Skills to be Demonstrated
  • Identify metric tire size from tire sidewall and confirm with a tape measure
  • Explain the the difference between presta and schrader valves
  • ​Demonstrate the proper use of a quick release skewer
  • Remove and reinstall at least one wheel, tire and tube
  • ​Repair flat using a vulcanizing patch
  • Inflate tires to correct presssure as listed on tire sidewall
  • Explain why rim strips/tape is important and how to determine if properly installed

Module 1:  Tires

Concepts to be Covered
Wheel bearing removal, inspection and replacementFreehub removal, inspection and replacement
Differences between sealed and unsealed wheel bearings
Cassette and freewheel installation 
Concepts to be Covered
Removing, cleaning and installing rear derailleursReplacing shift cables and housings
Adjusting rear derailleurs including cable tension, B screw and high/low stops
Adjusting front derailleurs including cable tension and high/low stops


On Bike Skills
  • Starting Up - Correct Gear and Power Position
  • Braking
  • Hand and Audible signals
  • Shifting, Including Starting, Stopping and Riding Hills
  • Riding in Bike Lanes
  • ​Riding in Travel Lanes
  • Riding on Sidewalks
  • Traffic Control Devices
  • Changing Lanes
  • Group Riding 
  • Dealing with Obstacles
Skills to be Demonstrated
  • Remove, clean and re-install rear derailleur
  • Inspect rear shift cable and housing, lube or replace as needed
  • Adjust rear derailleur including cable tension, B screw and high/low stops
  • Clean front derailleur on bike (do not remove unless non-functional)
  • Inspect front shift cable and housing, lube or replace as needed
  • Adjust front derailleur including cable tension and high/low stops