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How-To Manual For Developing a Youth Bicycle Program
- Transportation Alternatives, with New York's
Recycle-A-Bicycle, (thanks to a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) has
published a start-up guide for people interested in doing their own local youth bicycle
"Tools For Life"
covers setting up a workshop, staffing a project, developing a curriculum,
organizing collections, funding strategies and safety and liability issues.
At one point, thanks to the EPA, copies were free, except for $3.00 for postage
and handling. For more information contact: Transportation Alternatives, 115
W 30th St. #1207, NY NY 10001 USA. Tel:1-212-629-8080.
Email: [email protected].
e-mail: [email protected].
Bikes Not Bombs
Earn-A-Bike Instructor Training Manual
Bicycle Driver Training Course Curriculum Outline
Curriculum For Bicycle
Maintenance Education Programs
Note: This curriculum was prepared as an outline for a youth bicycle maintenance
class. Over the years that it has been used it has been modified in various ways by
the users, but there has been no attempted to modify or update the outline.
Objective: Students will understand the class, its rules, procedures, their
motivation; be able to identify and tell the us of some of the tools; and begin to be
aware of the importance of bicycle safety.
Materials: work stand and tool kit (tire levers, adjustable wrench, 4 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm
hex (allen) wrench set, phillips screwdriver and blade screwdriver, pliers, old toothbrush
or gear cleaning bush, chain lubrication, freewheel removing tool, metric wrenches:
8mm-10mm, 9mm-11mm, spoke wrenches: DT, Japanese, cone wrenches: 13mm-14mm, 15mm-16mm,
crank bolt wrench; 14mm/15mm/16mm, crank puller, adjustable cup pin spanner, adjustable
cup slot spanner, bottom bracket lock ring spanner, freewheel pin spanner, pocket vise,
pedal wrench, headset wrench 30mm-32mm, chain rivet tool, 12" adjustable wrench, vise
grips, file, tire gauge, grease, wire ties, hose clamps, tape: electricians and duct.
Lesson: Discuss Bike Zone organization, discuss Bike Zone rules, discuss use of Bike
Zone equipment, do Personal Goal Setting, discuss the name and function of bike tools and
parts of a bicycle (overview). Do general bicycle safety check including: adjusting the
seat and adjusting the handlebars. (Bike Safety
Checklist (PDF format))
Points: always grease bolts
Objective: Students will know the parts of a wheel, remove and
install most wheels, be able to repair a flat tire, and know the concept and
importance of truing a wheel.
Materials: work stand, adjustable wrench, 15mm wrench, tire
levers, patch kit, old tubes (for practicing repairs), spoke wrenches, blade
screw diver, bike with quick release and nutted axles, wheel truing stand.
Lesson: Identify parts of a wheel: tire, tube, rim, rim
strip, spoke nipple, spoke, hub, flange, axle; Removing and installing a
wheel a front and rear wheel; Using tire levers to remove a tire from the
rim and remove the tube, finding and properly patching a hole (if you don’t
have any flat tires on hand you can use a thumb tack to create on, but don’t
let the kids see it (they might get ideas), remounting the tube and tire on
rim and installing wheel; demonstrate truing wheels (overview)
Points: check for stuck objects, burrs in casing, rim
strip, "X" mark puncture, rough, cement, wait, patch, press, whip
inside of tire, inflate tube round, insert stem, work bead ¾ around, last
portion of bead parallel to stem should pop in.
Objective: Student will know how to maintain, repair and adjust a hub.
Materials: work stand, 12" adjustable wrench, cone wrenches, grease,
rags, freewheel removing tool, bench vise
Lesson: Identify and discuss the parts of a hub and their function;
overhauling a hub. The initiation into ball-bearings and grease begins with the front
wheel, simplest of the ball-bearing assemblies. The hub is taken apart, totally cleaned
and repacked, then reassembled. Some time is devoted to the concept of friction and the
reason for using bearings. After the front wheel is finished the back wheel can be
demonstrated, which introduce the challenge of removing the freewheel.
Points: proper tools, check for pits, bearing size, amount of grease,
proper adjustment, campy dollar trick, no grease on spindle, grease treads on bolts.
Objective: Students will know how to install brake cable and adjust brakes.
Materials: work stand, cable cutters, cable caps, forth hand tool, third
hand tool, toe clip straps, 8mm-10mm wrench, hex wrenches.
Lesson: Define the types of brakes (coaster, caliper, side-pull,
center-pull, cantilever, u-brakes), discuss the parts of the braking system (brake levers,
cables, cable housing, brake pads, cross-over cable), then a standard caliper brake cable
is removed, replaced, trimmed and capped. The brake is then adjusted with toe-in using
"third hand" tool, lubricated and checked. The difference between the adjusting
nut and the main nut is clarified.
Points: 4 barrel turns, center adjustment, 3-4mm on preference, pads
centered and toed,
- Drive Train
Objective: Students will know the parts and maintenance of a
bicycle drive train.
Materials: work stand, pedal wrench, 9mm-11mm wrench, hex
wrenches, old tooth brush, gear brush, rags, chain breaker.
Lesson: Many kids (and adults) don’t have the foggiest
notion of what goes on when a shift lever is pulled. Start the class with a
demonstration of haw to shift gears on a elevated bike. Discuss the parts of
the drive train (pedal, crank arms, crank, gears, chain, cogs, derailleur)
(note that different bikes use different size chains.) Removing and
installing a pedal; remove and replace a cable and perform various
adjustments, demonstrate breaking, removing, cleaning and replacing a chain.
Points: Rear Derailleur: 4 turns barrel, adjust
"H" limit, adjust cable, stretch cable, readjust, adjust
"L" limit, check adjustment, check integrity of springs, cage
play. Front Derailleur: parallel with rings, cage 1mm-3mm above ring, cable
taught not tight, check integrity of springs, cage play.
- Bottom Bracket, Headset & Handlebars
Objective: Student will know the parts, adjustment and maintenance of the bottom
bracket and headset.
Materials: work stand, crank bolt wrench, crank arm puller, mallet,
lockring tools, adjustable cup tools, fixed cup tool, 30mm-32mm wrench, adjustable wrench,
Lesson: Discuss and demonstrate parts of the cranksets and bottom
bracket. Quality bikes come with 3-piece cotterless cranksets, but many common bikes have
Ashtabula, or 1-piece, cranks. Overhaul the crankset. Discuss and demonstrate parts of the
headset and handlebars. Headsets may not seem as important as the other classes because
they are "only" for steering, but it should be noted that this class also
includes stems and handlebars, which are areas of potential danger if not maintained
properly. For this reason, stem expander bolts are explained in detail. Adjusting the stem
and headset. Time permitting demonstrate taping handlebars.
Points: Bottom Bracket: proper tools, check for pits, bearing size,
amount of grease, proper adjustment, campy dollar trick, no grease on spindle, grease
treads on bolts and caps. Headset: check for pits, seated well, good grease, clean/new
bearings, virtues of loose cage bearings, size of bearings, proper tools, good threads,
stack heights, amount of grease, proper adjustment, lock ring bottom out.
Objective: Students should be introduced to the aspects of safe cycling
Materials: helmet, visual aids, safety literature.
Lesson: Review importance of maintenance; review the importance of
wearing a helmet while bicycling; discuss safe cycling, traffic flow, rules of the road,
off-road rules (IMBA), where it is safe for them to ride, defensive riding and hazard
awareness and identification.
- Overall Review
Objective: To reinforce the lesson already taught.
Materials: exam, party supplies.
Lesson: Review the lessons in the course, have students take test and
have a little party at the end of the test.
Inspirational Bicycle Videos
The following videos have been suggested for use with youth bicycle programs.
It might need to be pointed out that these don't always demonstrate safe riding
- Bike Like You Mean It, by Susan Kirr and Rusty Martin (2002). Issues and
culture surrounding Austin's bike scene: Critical Mass, Yellow Bike Project,
Spinning Wheel Project (46 min)
- We are Traffic, by Ted White (1999). Chronicles the history and development of
the "Critical Mass" bicycle movement.
- Still We Ride (2005). About the crack down
on Critical Mass during the 2004 Republican Convention in New York City.
- Red Light Go (1999). New York City bike messengers and Alleycat racing.
- Return of the Scorcher, by Ted White (1992). Half-hour documentary looks at
bike culture and bike lifestyles around the world with beautiful and inspiring
scenes of bike use filmed in China, The Netherlands, Denmark, and the U.S.
- Get on Your Bike, three short "infomercials" from
Transport for London
encouraging cycling. They used to be posted on their website but we have
lost track of them.
- Bicycle Film Festival. Tons of great bike movies and shorts.
Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels" (2000). An African-America army
corps that road 2000 miles Montana to St. Louis in 1897 - amazing story.
lists books on bike maintenance.