Getting bike shop work

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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russianbear
Posts: 757
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:40 am

by russianbear

I know we have some owners here, thought they'd have a tip or two. I'm moving to a new city soon (Tucson!) and want to get out of my current profession for a while (Food and Bev). I've always wanted to work in a bike shop, but don't have any direct experience. How keen are bike shop owners to take on someone who's never worked in a bike shop before? Have a lot of bike related knowledge on the road bike side and do my own wrenching. I'm probably not that fast on the latter, but that takes practice I imagine. Should I just go up and ask, drop off a resume (even if my job history is unrelated)?

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AGW
Posts: 477
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

by AGW

You can probably apply online to some of the larger stores (Performance, Trek, even *gulp* REI). The brick and mortar shops are probably best handled in person. I don't know if a résumé or a huge amount of wrenching experience is always necessary; plenty of stoner teens doing tune-ups on beach cruisers and trek-alized bikes. Sales experience is probably more important. You also have your pick of specialty shops (CX, MTB, high-end road). Maybe make the rounds and get a feel for the vibes first. See you around!
Last edited by AGW on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

bombertodd
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:23 am
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by bombertodd

I've never worked/managed a bike shop but I've managed a shop in another industry. I'd print up a resume that contained some past info, but put the focus on skills related to working in a bike shop. I'd also write an letter or introduction explaining your intentions of leaving the Food and Bev and seeking employment in the bike industry. Often I was too busy managing employees or helping customers I didn't have time to talk to people about work opportunities or we weren't hiring. I'd keep all the resumes that had a possibility of employment and call them when I needed employees. It was much easier to look at them later after the store closed or during my lunch.

Hopefully some bike shop owners have some insight and tips.

milehighcyclist
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:41 am

by milehighcyclist

I just started working at my local bike shop a few months ago. Im only 17 and it is my first job but the reason I got hired is because I know a lot about bikes and parts. You cant work at a bike shop if you dont know anything about bikes. And there are other jobs besides wrenching. Hope that helped!

milehighcyclist
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:41 am

by milehighcyclist

PS the pay the highest so dont think you will be buying new bikes every week etc. Even the owner of my shop doesnt have the newest bike every year and we are one of the top 50 shops in the US

wojchiech
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:33 pm
Location: bay area, california

by wojchiech

Scope out the family-owned (non-chain) shops. They may not have the high-end appeal of bigger nation-wide shops, but chances are they will give a you chance where most bigger stores will very likely never follow up with you.

kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

You can start doing sales work and express interest in wrench. The might start you out building new bikes rather than wrenching on customers bikes.
It also would help if you took a bike building class at BICAS as an inexpensive training credential. You could always volunteer there to further increase your experience.

kramnnim
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:18 pm

by kramnnim

Good luck surviving on bike shop wage!

kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

It's Tucson, you can buy a house for a nickel

Zoose
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:42 am
Location: Arizona

by Zoose

Another good thing about Tucson is that we are loaded with all kinds of bike shops. Seems like the smaller ones it's just best to go in and talk with the managers/owners to put your name out there and get a feel for the shop.

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Frankie - B
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Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2003 8:17 am
Location: Drenthe, Holland

by Frankie - B

Good to hear that you are looking into getting a job in the bike industry. Most of the time here in Holland people from the food and beverage industry are highly wanted, because they know how to be friendly and how to work hard.

It is funny that you mentioned moving to Tucson and that nobody has mentioned Fairwheel bikes yet. They must be the coolest shop around. Jason, the owner is a member of this board. I'm not going to give you a link to his profile on a silver plate. Please do a search and you will find him.

Good luck!
'Tape was made to wrap your GF's gifts, NOT hold a freakin tire on.'

russianbear
Posts: 757
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:40 am

by russianbear

Thanks for all the responses everyone. Fairwheel crossed my mind, but I didn't want to be presumptuous just because this board is affiliated with them. I'll shoot him an email Frankie.

I know I won't be making bank, but I love cycling and need a change job for the sake of variety in life. Been in the industry since I started working in my late teens.

520 Dan
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:15 am
Location: tucson
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by 520 Dan

kulivontot wrote:It's Tucson, you can buy a house for a nickel


Haven't been paying much attention to real estate/rent prices huh?

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AGW
Posts: 477
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

by AGW

Yeah, really. My house cost a few billion nickels.

kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

Sorry, houses south of skyline dr cost a nickel.

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