bike advocacy, bicycle tour, bicycle safety


Curriculum For Youth & Young People Bicycle Maintenance Education Programs





Our content is
provided free as
a public service!

IBF is 100%
        solar powered

Follow us on Twitter


blue bar

Video suggestions

How-To Manual For Developing a Youth Bicycle Program

  • Bikes Not Bombs Earn-A-Bike Instructor Training Manual
  • Transportation Alternatives (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 recycling program. "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:

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.

  1. Introduction
    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.
    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.
    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
  2. Wheels
    : 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.
  3. Hubs
    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.
  4. Brakes
    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,
  5. Drive Train
    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.
  6. Bottom Bracket, Headset & Handlebars
    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, hex 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.
  7. Safety
    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.
  8. Overall Review
    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.

Bicycle Safety Videos

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 techniques!

  • 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. About the crack down on Critical Mass in New York City (~2004).
  • 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.

Suggestions for Maintaining Decorum at a Community Bike Program

Youth & Young People Bicycle Recycle, Earn-a-Bike Programs

Our Bibliography lists books on bike maintenance.



Home | About Us | Contact Us | ContributionsEconomics | Education | Encouragement | Engineering | Environment | Bibliography | Essay Contest | Ibike Tours | Library | Links | Site Map | Search

The International Bicycle Fund is an independent, non-profit organization. Its primary purpose is to promote bicycle transportation. Most IBF projects and activities fall into one of  four categories: planning and engineering, safety education, economic development assistance and promoting international understanding. IBF's objective is to create a sustainable, people-friendly environment by creating opportunities of the highest practicable quality for bicycle transportation. IBF is funded by private donation. Contributions are always welcome and are U.S. tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Please write if you have questions, comment, criticism, praise or additional information for us, to report bad links, or if you would like to be added to IBF's mailing list. (Also let us know how you found this site.)

"Hosted by DreamHost - earth friendly web hosting"
Created by David Mozer.
Copyright ? 1995-2024 International Bicycle Fund. All rights reserved.