Volunteer Mechanics Workshops

Historically, our Volunteer Mechanics Class met Thursday nights for 3 hours and worked through a 10-week, once-a-week curriculum concerning all of the systems found on a bicycle. This was developed and taught by Chris Nelsen for years, and the class successfully spread mechanics’ knowledge through the community with dividends.

For those of us lucky enough to have taken the class with Chris over the last few years, we know the value of that class and the extent to which it was Chris’s unique creation. Since his move to Seattle in 2017, we have been working to decide how to fulfill the educational component of our mission beyond the hands-on learning at the shop, co-ops, or external events.

We’re inviting you to a more abbreviated and ongoing series of 2-hour sessions that involve a brief lecture followed by a hands-on component for the remainder of the class. The current schedule may be found below.

Class is in session!

With 2-3 sessions a week, the work performed can be integrated into the life of the shop; repairs can be completed as students learn how to do them. This approach lends to a variety of outcomes:

  • Shop staffers can reserve a handful of bikes that, say, need a front hub overhaul, and stage them for the class, prioritizing and moving forward on other projects, saving the repair as a learning experience.
  • Students hoping to maintain their own bikes can look forward on the calendar, see a system they know needs attention, come in to fix it using our tools and grease, and learn the overhaul process.
  • A new student could breeze through the class in a month and get an introductory DIY degree in bikes, while someone else could dabble as their schedule allows to build up knowledge that way.
We look forward to continuing to increase access to bikes by learning and sharing skills.

The Volunteer Mechanics Workshop is held Saturdays from 11am to 1pm and Thursdays from 5 to 7. We can accommodate a limited number of students, so please RSVP [info@b4hpdx.org] to ensure there is space.
If you wish to address and fix or overhaul an issue on your personal bike covered in that session we request a donation.

Saturdays from 11-1 and Thursdays 5-7
our volunteer mechanics workshops,

where we focus on demonstrating a skill and then performing it with volunteers, and fixing shop bikes in the process

thursday 11/2, 5-7 general maintenance: cleaning rims, lubricating drivetrain, and what to look for in a well-tuned bike
saturday 11/4, 11-1pm
brake adjustment: pad placement and cable tension for linear pull, cantilever, caliper, or disc brakes
thursday 11/9, 5-7
hub overhaul: cassette/freewheel removal, hub disassembly, cleaning, regreasing, reassembly and adjustment
saturday 11/11, 11-1pm
derailleur adjustment: limits and tension for friction or indexed shifting
thursday 11/16, 5-7
bottom bracket: crank removal, bottom bracket disassembly, cleaning, regreasing, reassembly, and adjustment
saturday 11/18, 11-1pm
headset: the third major bearing system: stem removal, headset disassembly, cleaning, regreasing, reassembly, and adjustment
thursday 11/23,
THANKSGIVING!! [no class]
saturday 11/25, 11-1pm
cables and housing: assessment, overhaul, basic adjustment
thursday 11/30, 5-7
wheel truing: spoke install, tension adjustment, and radial, lateral, and dish truing
Saturday 12/2, 11-1pm,
general maintenance: cleaning rims, lubricating drivetrain, and what to look for in a well-tuned bike

Download our Curriculum

Bikes for Humanity is dedicated to demystifying bicycle maintenance. In support of this goal, we offer our curriculum as a download. This is the same curriculum used to train volunteers at our shop and co-ops. Enjoy!






External Workshops

At all of our external repair events, the bicycle owners can observe and learn from our repair techniques and processes. B4HPDX can host external workshop events, depending on resource availability, scheduling, and equitable consideration. Please email info@b4hpdx.org with External Workshop inquiries.