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Bicycle engineer jobs...
#1
Hi! Second post. I'm about to finish my second year of a Mechanical Engineering diploma in Vancouver, and I might continue 2 more years for the degree.

My questions are for the engineers who work for bike companies, the bike mechanics out there, and anyone with an opinion to give. Once I finish my diploma, if I'm looking for a job with a bike company (as an engineer), would taking a bike mechanic course like the one at BBI (Barnett Bicycle Institute) in Colorado, help me land a job?

Does anyone know if the bike companies are looking for engineers with diplomas, or are the only jobs available to engineers with degrees or higher?

Are there any courses in Canada that are as comprehensive as the ones offered at BBI? I've searched a little, and haven't even found a place that formally teaches how to service forks.
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#2
If you are truly interested in pursing that kind of career I would suggest you talk to people like Calvin Jones from Park Tool, an Engineer from a bicycle manufacturing company, Engineer from a parts supplier/manufacturer like Shimano, and other Big companies to get some good opinions. Also look for a job at a local bike shop to get a little manual experience even if it is part time. Alex Ramon, that owns this site could probably have quite a few good pointers for ya too. Start with basic repair books from the library covering anything from fixing a flat tire to wheel building to frame building. There is many resources on the internet too. Going to BBI would help immensely, but I am not sure of it landing you a job. Many places do not like to get into the mix of servicing front and rear suspension systems (guessing that is what you mean) due to the dangers. Now if you mean using one of these http://www.parktool.com/products/detail.asp?cat=49&item=FFS-2 , then BBI would cover something like that. Also Park tools has a school, taught by certain local bike shops, for repair maintenance. Back to the fork maintenance, with everything going to Carbon Fiber and other cheap brittle material the days of frame and fork straightening are pretty much over for newer models because the outlook is to throw it away and just buy a new one.
Sorry if this really doesn't help you much, but it is the best I know.

Good luck and Cheers,
Bill
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#3
Hey thanks for your suggestions. I should've mentioned that my passion is for mountain bikes, hence the interest in servicing suspension. I'm quite sure that BBI does that (their website says they do).

Your comment about building bike frames really intrigued me. I've already worked a couple of years at a bike shop maintaining, tuning, and fixing a fleet of rentals (it's just the harder stuff I want to learn now, like suspension). So are there any frame building books you recommend? Wouldn't the setup to weld aluminum frames and machine the smaller pieces be really expensive and hard to learn?

Thanks for the help Bill, I'm already writing at least one email to Trek to ask a couple of questions.
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#4
There are a couple frame building and mechanics schools here in the UK that I know of:

http://www.downlandcycles.co.uk/

http://www.daveyatescycles.co.uk/

I've recently read a couple articles that suggest that the popularity of custom and hand built steel frames is on the rise at the moment.
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#5
Books on frame building, hmmm. Looked at the sites xerxes showed and found them interesting Big Grin . As far as other books always try searching Amazon.com (for reference) and well google. Here ya go a multitude to choose from http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_14?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=frame+building&x=0&y=0&sprefix=frame+building&ih=13_1_0_0_1_1_0_0_0_1.94_220&fsc=10 . I personally have not got this far yet, but plan to. I am still working on wheel building which a few of the longer joined members got me into. So I really am glad that helped guide ya in the right direction.


Bill
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
  Reply
#6
I am a mechanical engineer in a electronic company. I do not want to work for an electronic company but that is all I have here in the Bay Area. If you want to work for a bicycle design company I'd think the 4 year degree would give you most of the knowledge. However, getting into aerodynamic, vibration, dynamic, FEM may require a MS degree. Of course, getting to know how to do bike repair, being a cyclist would also help tremendously.
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