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Written by Richard Belson

Some of you might have noticed that the bike industry has been in the news lately – and not the way that many of us hope it might be.

With our major industry trade show's status in flux at best for 2019, and a major national chain of bike shops, owned by a company that happens to also own some very historic brands, announcing bankruptcy, store closures, and liquidations, some might see this as the time to panic.

By Rich Bernoulli

The United Bicycle Institute’s frame courses provide the opportunity to build a lot of different bikes. From the 148mm-Boosted, 160mm hard tail, (for better or worse, this does exist); to the horizontal dropout, disc-braked DJ; to the flat mount, T47, gravel bike; and of course the smooth road bike, there are enough combinations of components, and frame designs to make your head spin. To peek into the process of what is available at UBI and why we choose the frame bits we do, we’ll use the newer road disc brake design, the disc brake flat mount, as an illustrative case study.

Compilation by B Vivit

Guilty pleasure means different things to different people, to some, it means splurging on version that is more expensive than necessary. To others, it is the one tool you keep around despite there being better versions. Still, to others, it can be the mind-blowing pleasure that one has while having or using that thing, or possibly a reminder of the influence we have as people on one another, including the old-time tradition of passing down tools from master to apprentice. One thing we can all agree on, is that mechanics need tools to do their job. Sometimes those tools are expensive and soemtimes they aren't. That doesn't necessarily mean we can't have nice things, does it? Check out the interesting things that our instructors consider necessitives to have in their toolboxes! Maybe it'll help inspire your thoughts about what to get mechanic who has everything...

Opinion by B Vivit

In my experience, allowing customers to do some of their own work, and possibly even empowering them to do so, can actually increase the profitability of the service shop.

While I have no illusions about a free-for-all service area, here are a few models in which customers are allowed to do some or all of their own bike work. And I’ve seen them work well, for the customer and for the shop. We can discuss a full-access model and a partial-access model.

" In the many years I've spent in the bicycle industry, this was the best two weeks. This group showed me more than bicycle mechanics - leadership, acceptance, grit and confidence. The experience is beyond words. Thank you. " Jennifer Drinkwalter " Confidence inspiring & immersive. It's like studying abroad but everything is bikes, and it exceeds all your expectations. " Ana Josepha " Life changing, unforgettable, inspiring & humbling! " Carolyn Thompson " An opportunity to discover your life direction with your relationships with others , your career and your future self. " Carolyn Weber