Why use a qualified mechanic?
I always ask ‘would you use a electrician with no qualifications to rewire your house?’
Hopefully most of you answer no! I know I wouldn’t.
I'm not going to bore you with the technical jargon on everything involved in qualifications, the aim of this is to give you an idea of what it means when you see a Cytech qualified mechanic and a bit about my journey.
ACT developed and Cytech, the bicycle industry's internationally recognised training and accreditation scheme for bicycle technicians.
Starting out as a mechanic the first thing I did was to pester anyone I knew that could fix a bike, picking their brains for tips and tricks to build up my knowledge. Luckily for me the guy I used to hassle on a regular basis set up his own shop and employed me as a trainee. To start with this was me watching everything he did, hoping to one day be allowed to touch the shiny expensive components and the specialist tools. After a bit of time learning the basics and building my confidence I started to get the technical geeky bug to learn not just what a component is and what it does, but to see how it does it and the technology that goes into it. After a year of daily tinkering the opportunity came for me to get qualified. This scared me!!! Was I good enough? Did I know enough? Could I do what was required?
I did my Cytech level 1 and 2 over the following year. This was very well taught and accredited. I had regular assessments at my workplace and 2 weeks at the Cytech training centre. I learnt so much in that year and picked up a lot of little tips and tricks which I still use today. I am still in contact with Jules my original assessor from 15 years ago and meeting him made me realise that I could be a great mechanic.
Along my journey I have met some brilliant mechanics and have learnt valuable stuff from all of them. This is an industry that you can never stop learning. Every time you turn around another company has designed some new tech that will no doubt be in the workshop very soon. I can guarantee that some of you pop for a toilet break at work and check your social media etc. Well mechanics don’t! We ‘geek up’ reading tech docs, manuals and reviews to get us ready for when that new tech is there in the workstand.
The Cytech qualifications teach us about this stuff and give us an engineering background to help us understand the ever changing world of cycling.
Whether your bike is one that lives in the garden and gets ridden twice a year with the kids or a bike that is mounted on the living room wall that’s ridden hundreds of miles every week. When you saddle up and head out for a ride you want the peace of mind that your bike is going to function correctly and safely.
Taking your bike to a qualified mechanic can give you this peace of mind, as having the Cytech name next to yours means that you are saying ‘I have carried out the work to the correct standards’. Every component on your bike has a manufacturers guidelines for set up and must pass British standards. If the mechanic is unaware of these guidelines then your bike will not be meeting standards or performing to its intended function.
At the beginning of 2016 I completed by Cytech Level 3 qualification meaning I am now a Cytech Master Technician. This means I have achieved a Cytech technical three qualification and/or assessment within the last three years, showing that i have demonstrated up-to-date knowledge and understanding with regular validated assessments. The level 3 is very engineering orientated and has given me a new outlook on design and function of components.
I am not saying there aren’t any good mechanics without qualifications but from my experience they are hard to find.
The choice is yours, take you bike to be serviced by a mechanic with industry recognised qualifications and up to date knowledge or the next door neighbour who used to fix cars and has just had a quick look on Youtube!
Thanks for reading
Tom - Cytech Master Technician