Spread throughout 5 evening sessions, our Maintenance Series is designed to provide riders of all experience and skill levels a welcoming and accessible learning experience. We tailor the specifics of the course material to the bikes that our students have and ride. Our priority is to ensure that you leave the shop with the necessary skills and tools to maintain and repair your bike. The Maintenance Series consists of four days of structured topics and one day of guided project work. On the fifth and final day, students can bring their bikes to perform a full tune-up. They can also bring their parts and bikes to complete a project of their choice with professional guidance and the benefit of a full shop space. Bicycle repair can seem intimidating and complicated, but we are here to help! Knowing how to stay ahead of significant maintenance repairs and fix things when they go wrong gives riders a whole new level of confidence in their cycling experience. It also strengthens the bond between the rider and their bicycle.
Meet Your Instructor
Dylan Varekamp has worked in the bicycle industry as a mechanic for the last 11 years, working in New York City, Baltimore, Anchorage, and Portland, OR. He has taught maintenance classes in New York and Baltimore, focusing on valuable techniques for the home mechanic and handy ways to fix your bike on the side of the road. Dylan has been a cycle commuter his entire life and has put in many miles of bike touring and long-distance off and on-road adventure riding. After graduating from Reed College in 2008 and working at the Bike Co-Op there, he started his first industry job at Bicycle Gallery (now Trek Bikes of Portland), where he moved from a seasonal Sales staff. From there, he was moved up to becoming a Production Mechanic. After 3 years, Dylan was hired as a Junior Mechanic doing assemblies and consignment bike work at Sellwood Cycle Repair. This shop really made him fall in love with the bike industry. A few moves later, including time working at NYC Velo, Racepace Bikes in Baltimore, and Bicycle Habitat in New York, Dylan settled in as service manager at NYC Velo. There, he worked extensively to develop and grow the capacity of the Service Department. After 4 years at Velo, Dylan took a seasonal opportunity to work in Anchorage, Alaska at The Bicycle Shop. When he wasn't working, he had the opportunity to ride mountain bikes in the woods to his heart's content.
Five 2 Hour Courses
2 Hour Session
Don't want to take the full Maintenance Series? Get a two-hour private session with a Professional Mechanic. This gives you the flexibility to get a personal curated deep dive into the topic(s) of your choice. Maintenance, changing components, or just learning something new, you'll get an unparalleled one-on-one experience and a chance to pick the brain of one of NYC's top mechanics. Bring your bike, or we can take you through one of ours.
Ride Brooklyn's Maintenance Series
Overview & Basics
The first session of our Maintenance Series is an introduction to the anatomy of a bicycle. We will discuss guidelines that not only will make you safe but effective in the workspace. Next, we will cover essential tools for your home workshop and travel tool kits. We will then dive into common issues that may happen on the road. You will learn how to perform repairs that will help get you home safely, including flat fix techniques, essential adjustments, and more, all while using minimal tools.
In our second session of the Maintenance Series, we will focus on Brakes. As you know, there are many different Brake Systems on the market today, so we will begin with an overview that discusses the pros and cons of each. Once we have covered the basics of what's out there, we will jump into setting up and adjusting each Braking System. You will learn how to tailor the braking performance to the rider's preference. After covering the initial setup, the class finishes with preventative maintenance tips and tricks to keep your brakes working throughout the wear life of the parts.
Drivetrain & Shifting
For our Third session of the Maintenance Series, we dive into the world of Drivetrains and Shifting. After a brief overview of the Drivetrain Systems, we then discuss the advantages and weaknesses of the more common drivetrains currently used on the market. Next, we dive straight into setting up a derailleur and shifter, aligning a derailleur hanger, and replacing a chain and cassette. Lastly, we will discuss troubleshooting techniques for diagnosing the bike's drivetrain and shifting to help restore the entire drivetrain system to optimal performance.
Wheels & Bearings
The Fourth session of the Maintenance Series covers what some may say is some of the most complicated parts of the bike. We start off by discussing the anatomy of a wheel. Next, we talk about some of the most common issues you may run into and look at effective troubleshooting techniques. Although wheelbuilding is not covered, we will go through extensive wheel truing techniques. Following that, we will learn about the bearings system to see when either an adjustment or replacement is needed. Towards the conclusion of this course, we will discuss the past sessions and address any problems and concerns you may have that have carried over.
By the end of this class, students will be familiar with the techniques, tools, and parts necessary to complete a thorough Tune-Up on their bike(s)!
Bring Your Own Bike Day!
The Fifth and final session of the Maintenance Series allows students to choose their own adventure! You will have the opportunity to take everything you've learned and transfer that to the real world by working on your own bike. We can replace a drivetrain, move through a full tune, or help with whatever project falls in the scope of 2 hours! Throughout the course, we will set the stage to provide a satisfying project. We encourage the project to cover most of the tools, techniques, and parts you have learned in past sessions. By the completion of this class, students will have an extensive base knowledge of the Bike and how to maintain it properly.
HOME BIKE REPAIR
We recommend having a few products at home to help you keep your bike in excellent working condition between your annual tune-ups. Here at Ride Brooklyn, we have an excellent selection of essential tools, lubricants and cleaning products, and quality work stands. Shop online and pickup your items for free on your next shop visit.