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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am a junior in high school and am looking for a job for after school and weekends. my first choice is to work at my LBS, the only thing is i don't know if they would have a position for me or if they would laugh in my face. i am pretty knowledgeable when it comes to bikes, mostly MTBikes, but i don't have a degree or anything. any input would be helpful.
 

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I actually got my first job in a LBS a year latter then yours. What I did was make pretty good friends with them (if you cant do that without having to fake it, you might not want to work arround them) and just let them know who you are..... Then one day I walked in and he asked he if I needed help, and I replied "Actually I was wondering if you needed help." blah blah, and I ended up getting an application. (I have several piercings on my face, and just about everywhere) I came back, with my hair cut, and all my piercings hidden, and looked good, application and resume in hand, got the job on the spot. To be brutally honest, im actually doing the same thing right now, me and my old boss had our spats about only selling a single product. So I parted with them, and am now trying to get myself established in a higher-end shop a bit down the street.

First starting is hard, I myself have about 10 years experiance with autos (restoring, and such) thought bikes would be a sinch, they can be little brats sometimes. Yet, you catch on quickly, and its more fun then anything else.
 

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My first "job" was also at a bike shop building cheap bikes and watching the front counter. I was too young so the shop owner paid me under the table. I worked for two weeks after school and was paid only $40. Building bikes was fun, cleaning the shop sucked, the worst part was having to deal with the public.
 

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the thing is, the fact that you are knowledgable in mountain bikes is nice, but it doesn't mean you are familier with other (crap) bikes, bmx stuff, wall-mart stuff, road-stuff, etc. There's a lot that i've done over the years, and I am applying it at the shop i'm working at right now, but just because I know high end mountain bikes doesn't mean that I am automatically knowedgable on even half of the stuff going on in a shop. There's a lot more than fixing high end mountain bikes, although in most instances I wish that high end bikes was all we had to deal with...

best things are still a willing attitude, being dependable as far as being on time and working hard, and be willing to learn...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the input.

Jm-i am probably more familiar with high-end bikes (cause they're so cool :cool: ) but i do have experience with low end stuff. i have been riding a $330 spec. hardrock for a couple years and have dealt with many problems concerning that bike. however i realize that a $330 bike is pro level compared to a $100 mass produced wal mart piece which i have little to no experience with.

is it important to go in to the shop all ready knowing about high/low end MTbikes, road bikes, bmx, etc., or would i learn that stuff as i went along?
 

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judgment call...

Well, I would do a little research if you feel you need to. I myself am looking into a lot of cannondale stuff, and rocky mountian....why? Because at my old shop we were an exclusive trek dealer. That said I know a lot about trek: how they run there rep's; what their machines are capable of; warrenty issues and results; etc. Yet going into a new shop claiming I have a background in sales, and all that good stuff, I would rather not let him down by revealing the knowlage that I only know trek, and he is going to have to teach me the rest. You catch my drift. Conclusion....try to impress without trying....if that makes any sence?
 

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C'mon, Jim...

Jm. said:
the thing is, the fact that you are knowledgable in mountain bikes is nice, but it doesn't mean you are familier with other (crap) bikes, bmx stuff, wall-mart stuff, road-stuff, etc. There's a lot that i've done over the years, and I am applying it at the shop i'm working at right now, but just because I know high end mountain bikes doesn't mean that I am automatically knowedgable on even half of the stuff going on in a shop. There's a lot more than fixing high end mountain bikes, although in most instances I wish that high end bikes was all we had to deal with...

best things are still a willing attitude, being dependable as far as being on time and working hard, and be willing to learn...
You know how much fun we have working on those cool Motiv dual suspension DH machines. I mean...how cool can it get...LOL!
 

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A few ideas you may want to consider:

1. Talk to the owner of your LBS, tell him you desire a career in bikes and ask him his opinion on what you should do to prepare yourself. Ask him what he looks for in an employee as far as knowledge and experience is concerned.

2. Get some books out of the library on a variety of subjects bike related. When I was your age, my brother and I both laced our own wheels using instructions in a book from our HS library. I couldn't quite get one of the wheels true, so I asked for help from our LBS. This impressed him greatly, that we stuck with this project to the end. Take an old wheel from the trash, take it apart and put it together for practice.


3. Consider, if available, taking the Park Tool Co. course on bicycle maintence. Check their web site for locations. There is a cost involved, so this may not be for you or it may not help in the long run.

4. Be willing to accept the kinds of jobs that no one else wants and make sure you are available to work when needed. In many cases, being responsible is more important than being a top notch mechanic.

Just keep in mind that some LBSes are run by idiots that are into it for money only. Quality is not at the top of the list of priorities. You may be able to get a foothold in one of these shops, then move on later, once you have some professional experience. I bought a bike from a LBS for my daughter, I had to completly take it apart and re-assemble it. I even had to true the wheels. I would have not taken delivery of the bike, but my wife didn't know any better and we were busy moving at the time.

ON EDIT: You should not be laughed at for asking. Persistence pays off when trying to get this kind of job. They may not have a position for you at this time, but asking is often the only way to get what you want.

just my 2 cents...

Good luck,

Tom
 
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