Build A Bike

Event Type: 

Gain a comprehensive overview of bicycle mechanics in this 8 week Build-A-Bike course. We cover overhauling and adjusting bottom brackets, headsets and hubs, wheel truing, brake, shifter and derailleur adjustment and any other finishing work, detailing or fitting. There are many options for project bikes. You can use your own, borrow one from us or get something that needs a complete overhaul. Participants can get a lot of value out of the class by fixing up a bike of their own or a friends. The minimum donation for the class is equal or less then it would cost to have a shop perform the work.

West Town Bikes will provide basic supplies such as cables, housing, bearings, grease and other shop supplies. Used parts are available at WTB and new parts and accessories can be purchased through our sales shop, Ciclo Urbano. WTB has storage space for the project bike, parts and supplies while the class is running. Participants must take the bike and all other belongings from WTB at the end of the course.

Check out our schedule of classes and workshops on the calendar.

For the class, you get the most value by using your own bike or one that is a quality, complete, bicycle that needs a total overhaul.  In some instances a project bike can be provided for you if you don't have a bike for the class. This class is best suited for multi speed bikes. West Town Bikes will provide certain materials such as cables, cable housing and bearings as well as consumables such as grease, lube, and cleaners.  You may want to upgrade existing components or make a change to the bicycle and this can be done with new parts available from our sales shop Ciclo Urbano, or from the used selection we have in the workshop. A discount is offered at Ciclo Urbano for BAB class participants.

The general outline of work for the Build-A-Bike class is as follows:

Week 1 - Overview of West Town Bikes including history, shop policies, and other info. We will also go over the anatomy of the bicycle learning the names of all the parts. We will also have a general overview of tools at student workstations, their names and appropriate use. There will also be a section on Basic Bike Maintenance that will go over fixing a flat, changing a tire and basic adjustments. 
The first day is a lot of talking that will pay off in the following weeks.

Week 2 - Bottom Brackets. We will overhaul the bottom bracket on project bikes including removal of crank arms. This will include an overview of the parts worked on and the tools used for this procedure. We will also discuss types of bottom brackets (Adjustable Cup/Cartridge Bearing).

Week 3 - Headsets. We will overhaul the headset on project bikes including removal the stem and handle bars. This will include an overview of the parts worked on and the tools used for this procedure.

Week 4 - Hubs. We will overhaul the front and rear hub of wheels including removal of the freewheel/cassette. This will include an overview of the parts worked on and the tools used for this procedure.

Week 5 - Truing Wheels. We will true (straighten) wheels as well as go over the fundamentals of how a spoked wheel works. This will include an overview of the parts worked on and the tools used for this procedure.

Week 6 -  Review of previous week. Demonstration on Brakes. We will add new brake cables and housing to project bikes as well as brake pads (if needed). We will also service and adjust brakes including tensioning cables, adjusting brake pads (toe in) and balancing brake arms. This will include an overview of the parts worked on and the tools used for this procedure.
Week 7 -  Shifters and Derailleurs. We will add new shifter cables and housing to project bikes. Chains will be installed and we will cover how to measure appropriate chain length We will also check and align front and rear derailleurs as well as check and adjust the limit screws of the derailleurs. We will cover the difference between friction and index shifting and go over how to adjust shifting of both. This will include an overview of the parts worked on and the tools used for this procedure.

Week 8 - Complete all finishing work on project bikes including adding accessories (racks, fenders, lights, etc) and other finishing work such as taping up handlebars.

West Town Bikes workshop.
Suggested Donation: 
$200 total for the 8 session class. Flexible payment arrangements are available.