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Cycle Mechanic

Bicycle mechanic adjusting derailleur using a screwdriver

A cycle mechanic is responsible for building, repairing and servicing all kinds of manual bike and e-bike (electric bicycle). 

The Work

You could be: 

  • identifying problems with a customer’s bike, discussing what repairs are needed and giving an estimate of repair costs 
  • building a new bike, or customising an existing bike, to a customer’s specification 
  • cleaning, degreasing and lubricating bike parts, or repairing or replacing broken or worn components such as wheels, bike chains, gear sprockets or brake cables 
  • working with tools such as wrenches, spanners or pliers, and chemicals such as cleaning products or greasing agents 
  • carrying out bike services or safety checks 
  • ordering bike parts and keeping a stock inventory 
  • liaising with suppliers or bike dealers 
  • making sure the workshop, equipment and tools are maintained 
  • running bike health workshops for customers. 

 You might also work at cycling events to provide technical support or repair racers’ bikes.  

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on: 

  • where you work 
  • the size of the company or organisation you work for 
  • the demand for the job. 

Salaries for cycle mechanics tend to start at around £19,000 a year, rising to around £25,000 a year with experience. Senior cycle mechanics can earn around £30,000 a year. 

You may receive additional benefits such as a bonus scheme and be part of a cycle to work scheme. If you are working with a chain retail store or larger organisation, you may also receive other benefits such as a pension scheme, or discounts on company products. 

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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Useful Subjects

Getting In

  • There are no formal entry requirements, but a good general education is useful, including National 5 English and Maths or Practical Metalworking.
  • Normally you should have some knowledge and experience of working with bikes. There are many day and evening classes in bike maintenance on offer from local colleges or organisations to get you started.  
  • You could enter by getting a job as a retail assistant in a bike shop and applying for a trainee cycle mechanic role. 
  • Alternatively, you could take a recognised Cytech or City and Guilds qualification course in cycle mechanics - many employers expect you to attain these. See the ‘Training’ section below for details. 
  • You could take the Cytech Home Mechanic 2-day course, which gives you a good level of mechanical ability and covers a range of maintenance areas. BikeforGood Scotland run accredited Cytech courses.  
  • SQA also offer the Cycling Award qualification at SCQF Level 1 or 2 – this can be a helpful introduction to bike maintenance. 
  • You may need a driving licence for some jobs. 
  • For some jobs, you may need a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland, if you are working with a community or charity organisation for example. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2023
16255
2.3 %
RISE
2028
16625
  United Kingdom
2023
190154
2.4 %
RISE
2028
194725

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What Does it Take?

 You need to have: 

  • a keen interesting in cycling 
  • good practical skills 
  • attention to detail 
  • patience, for finding and fixing faults 
  • good communication skills, particularly with customers. 

You need to be able to: 

  • work as a part of a team 
  • manage your time effectively 
  • work without supervision 
  • work to health and safety guidelines. 

Training

  • Training is mostly on the job. 
  • You can work through the Cytech scheme to gain technician status. This involves working your way through a series of technical qualifications to attain accreditation at the following levels: Cyech certified (Cytech technical one qualification); Cytech technician (Cytech technical two qualification); Cytech senior technician (Cytech technical three qualification); and Cytech master technician (Cytech technical three qualification and/or assessment within the last 3 years with regular validated assessments). 
  • Once you have achieved technician status, if you want to work with e-bikes, you can work towards the Cytech e-bike certified status by studying the Technical e-bike – Giant module. 
  • You could take the City and Guilds Entry level 3 Award in Cycle Mechanics, Level 1 Award in Cycle Mechanics and the Level 2 Certificate in Cycle Mechanics as an alternative route of training.  
  • You need to keep your knowledge up to date with the latest developments and products in bikes and bike components. 

Getting On

  • With experience you could become a senior technician or mechanic, where you could be responsible for training other mechanics.  
  • You could be responsible for maintaining a fleet of bikes for an organisation, such as a local authority bike hire service. 
  • You might be able to join a larger organisation such as Scottish Cycling, where you would work on bikes for a racing team.  
  • You could start up your own bike shop or repair workshop. 
  • You might specialise in one area, such as frame or wheel building. 

More Information

Employment opportunities are good with social enterprise and charity organisations as cycling is increasingly being promoted as a healthy lifestyle option. There are also local authorities who run bike hire schemes nationwide to promote a healthier lifestyle and a healthier environment. Bike for Good (see Contacts below) is a charity and social enterprise who refurbish bikes to make cycling accessible for everyone in the community, as well as offering training courses. 

You may be interested in visiting the Cycling Scotland website, a national cycling charity who provide lots of useful information about cycling in general.   

Video

Courtesy of Cycle Tech UK

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Association of Cycle Traders (ACT)
Tel: 01273 427 700
E-mail: info@theact.org.uk
Website: https://www.cycleassociation.uk
Website (2): https://www.cycleassociation.uk/careers
Twitter: @theACT_UK
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theact

The Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) is the largest cycle trade membership organisation in the UK and has been promoting cycling for over 100 years.

Bike for Good
Tel: 0141 248 5409
Tel (2): 0141 261 1609
E-mail: glasgow@bikeforgood.org.uk
Website: https://www.bikeforgood.org.uk
Website (2): https://www.bikeforgood.org.uk/cytech-training-scotland
Twitter: @BikeforGoodGla
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BikeforGoodGla

Bike for Good is a Glasgow based cycle charity and social enterprise who refurbish donated bikes to make cycling more accessible to the wider community. They run accredited Cytech courses.

Cytech
Tel: 01273 427 700
E-mail: info@cytech.training
Website: https://www.cytech.training
Twitter: @cytech_training
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cytech.training

Cytech is the internationally recognised training and accreditation scheme for bicycle technicians. Cytech delivers training and promotion of technical skills to the cycle trade and enthusiasts worldwide.

The Bike Station
Tel: 0131 668 1967
Tel (2): 0173 844 4430
E-mail: info@thebikestation.org.uk
Website: https://www.thebikestation.org.uk
Website (2): https://www.thebikestation.org.uk/velotech-training
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheBikeStationEdinburgh/

The Bike Station is Scotland's largest bicycle recycling organisation. They are involved in community work and run accredited cycle mechanic training courses.

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Garage Services

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Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

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