A new initiative to combat further mechanic education and update skills has launched, with regular interactive classes planned throughout the coming year.
Cycle Systems Academy has been training mechanics since 2009, first in in trendy Hoxton and now in sleepy Devon. While the demand for professional Level 2 and 3 courses continues and the CSApodcast reaches a global mechanical geekdom, director and lead instructor, Sean Lally has been devising a new way to access cycle mechanic training in these changing times.
Get Your Skills Dialled 2018 is a series of webinar modules, aimed at the experienced and skilled professional mechanic who wants to keep up to date.
"We all know how quickly new technology replaces the old and that a mechanic who trained five years, or even five months a go could be out of date or simply a bit thin in some areas,” says Lally. “The first lessons we have delivered for the Suspension Forks 2018 module have been outstanding and far beyond my expectations, which were high to begin with,” he added.
Lally has hand picked a ‘who's who’ of the world's top bike mechanics, each of whom is a specialist in their particular area, to teach the five modules. Confirmed so far are Mat Clark from Plush Suspension, who has led the three lessons delivered so far, Graeme Freestone King from Campagnolo, Scott Dedenbach from the Bike Shop CX Show and Cyclocross Network Racing, Matt Bracken from Predros Bike Care and Hope Technology. The brand also has Caroline Stewart, ex CSA instructor and now DS for Bianchi Dama race team, performing some TT bike Di2 wizardry. Lally himself will lead the e-bike module after extensive dealer training in various manufacturers systems.
Just the first in a series of webinars, Get Your Skills Dialled 2018 covers the most requested areas by CSA graduates and mechanics across the world. These are: suspension forks, rear shocks, road bike electronic groupsets, e-bike technology and advanced wheel servicing including a tubular tyre masterclass.
Each Module runs over one month for one hour per week, operating at a time for mechanics from a variety of timezones to access live. Members can ask live questions to the instructor and then join the virtual classroom, in a members-only Facebook group to further discuss the areas covered over the course of the module.
"It really has been the quality of instructors,as well as the access to them that has proved the big hit so far," added Lally. "You simply can't download a manual with twenty years experience ready to answer your questions. Mat Clark has proved to be not just a consummate suspension expert, but a fantastic and engaging teacher also. I am really looking forward to Module 2.”
"One of the reasons shops are closing down in such an alarming rate, I think, is a reliance on retail, which has gone elsewhere," says Lally. "The workshop could save your shop, and therefore you do not want to be turning away suspension or electronic products just because your mechanic is not confident or competent to service them. Even more importantly, you want a reputation for excellent service and repair, not breaking customers bikes!"
The fact that mechanics can access the training online at home or even on their phone means no time lost out of the workshop for training and the lessons are all available for re-watching on the members page virtual classroom. Priced in individual modules, or as a whole series shops and mechanics can pick and choose which skills they want to hone.