Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about our courses? If it's not answered here, please contact us.

Yes, we include general material on bicycle suspension, as well as a hands-on lab in which we overhaul a semi-oil bath, coil spring, oil-damped (compression and rebound) Manitou fork.  The number of diverse suspension models and manufacturers precludes extensive labs, yet the specific model we overhaul has all the basic elements found in all suspension forks.

Yes, we include general material on disc brakes as well as hands-on labs installing and setting up mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes, rotor installation, and bleeding a hydraulic system.  The number of diverse disc manufacturers and systems precludes us offering a wide assortment of specific models to work on, yet the models we have cover all the elements common to all disc brakes.

Guelph has the usual variety of small to mid-sized name brand motels/hotels, as well as a variety of B&B's.  At least one or two students in most of our courses to date have stayed at the London House B&B and found it be quite good.  Since Guelph is a university city, there is also lots of student rooming available.  In addition, we have negotiated a special long-stay rate at the new Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites.  This full-service hotel is located at the corner of Hwy 6 and Laird Rd, a short walk from our location.

See our contact page for a GoogleMaps locator and our address.  We're located in the Hanlon Industrial/Business Park at the south end of Guelph.  From highway 401, take highway 6 North to the traffic lights at Laird Rd, turn right, then turn left the second time you come to Southgate Drive (Southgate is a big loop; don't turn the first time you encounter Southgate).  We're about a 40 minute drive from Toronto's Pearson Airport.

There is roughly two hours of homework each evening.  The first evening is the heaviest, with three to four hours.  The homework includes reading and answering a set of short-answer questions in preparation for the following day's content and labs.  This approach allows maximum hands-on time during class hours. The first evening is the longest since there's catch-up from the first day's material, plus prep for the second day.

As well, there is some course pre-work.  Once registered, students receive a userid and password to a protected area of this website where they can download a set of readings and homework to prepare for the course.  This assignment takes one to two hours to complete.

Students successfully completing the course with a passing grade receive a frameable certificate from Winterborne Bicycle Institute that also bears Shimano's and Conestoga College's logos.  In Canada there is currently no formal or industry-recognized trade certification process for bicycle mechanics.  Accordingly, the WBI certificate is actually a "Certificate of Completion" for the course.

Students are evaluated in a multi-stage process that encourages and rewards learning through doing, and that emulates a bike shop environment as much as possible. A passing grade is 70%.  During the two weeks, there are three evaluated labs worth 10% each.  Each of these labs verifies that proficiency has been gained in a specific area following two or three prior hands-on labs.  These evaluated labs include wheel building, shift system setup and tuning, and V-brake setup and adjustment.

Another 10% is based on a homework assignment that stretches over the entire course.  Each student is asked to compile a master "assembly checklist" containing all the outcomes one would expect in the assembly of a new bike destined for the showroom floor.

20% is based on a comprehensive multi-choice written exam on the final Friday morning.  All questions are drawn from the homework assignments.

Finally, a full 40% is based on proficiency in assembling a new bicycle.  Local bike shops support us by providing new bikes in unopened boxes direct from the manufacturer.  These bikes range from mid to high level road, mountain, hybrid, touring and urban styles, including brands such as Norco, Devinci, Lemond, Giant and Trek.  Students are evaluated on the assembly and setup of the bike, including all safety and performance considerations.  At the end of the course, the bikes go to the retailers' showrooms to be sold as new.

There are two considerations in choosing how to dress for this course.  First of all, our shop is in a poorly-insulated concrete block industrial building, and it gets cool and drafty in the winter time.  Dress with a couple of warm layers, and for sure put on some warm socks.  Secondly, this is a shop course and you'll be handling grease, oil, cutting fluid and so on.  While our shop bikes have never been ridden, and have never been outside in the mud and dirt, it's still a shop environment.  Be prepared to deal with the usual shop dirt and stains.

There have been several snow days in which local schools, including the College campus, were closed.  We were open as usual.  Since instructors are local, at least one of us will be available and able to run the course on any given day.  Regardless of radio announcements relating to local business and school closures, assume we're open. 

Most students are local, or at least staying in local accommodation, and travel is not an issue.  Where a student is commuting a longer distance and unable to make it in, we'll try to make arrangements to make up the material, including any hands-on labs missed.  As always, each student needs to make the decision with regard to their own safety in whether or not to venture out on the roads.

Class starts each morning at 8:30 a.m. sharp, usually with a review of the previous night's homework.  Lunch time each day runs from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., and may be compressed if the day is running tight.  Class wraps up by 5:00 p.m. each day, and often by 4:00 p.m. on the middle Saturday.  There is at least one 15 minute break mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

As a service to WBI's students, our parent company, Winterborne Custom Bicycles, offers a one-time opportunity during the course to order tools, parts and accessories from any of Winterborne's suppliers, at a good discount below suggested retail prices. Home mechanics often use this opportunity to assess their needs and supplement their home tooling at a reasonable cost. It's also an opportunity to order bike parts which can be installed on the follow-up day.

WBI has six fully-tooled student workbenches and a fully-tooled instructor bench for use during classes.  To help us manage our tooling inventory, we request that you do not bring your own tools to class.

In a word, "No".  We provide each student with a shop copy of Barnett's Manual, 5th Edition, Volumes 1 - 4, and a shop copy of Dr. Arnie Baker's "Bit Fit", both for use during the course.  We also have a full reference library including Sutherland's Handbook, manufacturer technical documentation, and distributor catalogues available for students' use during the course.

WBI has a full stable of shop bikes that are configured and maintained for the hands-on labs. Each bench has a vintage bike with simple fully-serviceable bearings, a Trek 6500 mountain bike, a Lemond Tourmalet 10-speed road bike, and a Trek Mystic juvenile bike. These bikes provide us with the full diversity of components needed for the hands-on work.  In addition, we have a complete set of frames, components and wheel building parts used in specific labs. If you bring your own bike, we'll provide shop time outside class hours so you can work on it. In addition, if you commute to WBI by bicycle, we provide secure indoor storage during class hours.

All shop supplies used during the course are included in your course fee.  This includes all the miscellaneous bits'n'pieces such as spokes, grease, cutting fluid, cables, housing, ferrules, nitrile gloves, suspenion oil, hydraulic fluid, and so on.

Conestoga College issues a T2202 Tuition Deduction tax form for our Pro Bike Mechanics course.  This is sent out from the College in February of the year following the year in which you take the course.  There are three parts to a possible deduction:

1. Tuition fees. The fee for our course is paid to a recognized, accredited community college in Ontario and is more than $100.  Accordingly the College issues a T2202 form.

2. The education deduction (a fixed amount for each month spent as a full-time student) does not apply since our course doesn't qualify as a "full time" course (not at least 3 weeks long).

3. Deduction for textbooks. This doesn't apply since there are no required texts that you need to purchase.

In addition, if you're self-employed (your own business, on contract as a mechanic, etc) then you could legitimately claim travel and accommodation expenses as a business expense.

If you're employed as a mechanic, you might explore having your employer pay your way in return for a written agreement to stick around for a minimum period. If you then quit before that period is up, you repay on a pro-rated basis. All the costs paid by your employer would be valid business expenses in their hands for tax purposes. That's a win-win: you get the benefit of the training, and your shop gets the benefit of a well-trained and accredited mechanic sticking around for their customers.

The course cost is $1,599 Cdn, inclusive of HST.  This fee is payable to Conestoga College when registering for the course.  The cancellation and refund policy is the College's, and is administered by the College's registration department.  The course cost includes use of all shop facilities, tooling, shop supplies, texts and bikes.

At this time, it's not clear to us that there is sufficient demand to schedule a summer course.  Most of our students are shop owners and mechanics, and the summer is busy season.  We have had some queries from enthusiast home mechanics, including some teachers, for a summer offering.  If this is something you'd be interested in, please drop us a line and let us know.  We'd be pleased to run a summer course if we could get at least 4 or 5 people. 

Pro Bike Mechanics is scheduled throughout the bike shop off-season, late September to Spring. Spring sessions are usually a favourite time for enthusiast/avid home mechanics.  We can also schedule a custom offering and tailor the content to any length of course you're seeking if you have a group of at least 4 or 5 people.

Familiarity with bicycles and hands-on experience in choosing and using tools for repairing stuff is definitely an asset.  No specific bicycle mechanics experience is required.  Those in doubt are encouraged to explore the weekend Park Tool School, also offered by WBI. 

The primary target for this course is new or lightly experienced shop mechanics, shop owners, those with experience as a home mechanic perhaps seeking to become a shop mechanic, anyone in the bike industry seeking to better understand bicycles, or the enthusiast/avid home mechanic.  Accordingly, this is an intense course with 11 full days in the shop, and homework every night.  Someone seeking to become more confident with basic maintenance on their own bike is directed to explore taking the weekend Park Tool School, also offered by WBI. 

Guelph has the usual variety of small to mid-sized name brand motels/hotels, as well as a variety of B&B's.  At least one or two students in most of our courses to date have stayed at the London House B&B and found it be quite good.  Since Guelph is a university city, there is also lots of student rooming available.  In addition, we have negotiated a special long-stay rate at the new Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites.  This full-service hotel is located at the corner of Hwy 6 and Laird Rd, a short walk from our location.

See our contact page for a GoogleMaps locator and our address.  We're located in the Hanlon Industrial/Business Park at the south end of Guelph.  From highway 401, take highway 6 North to the traffic lights at Laird Rd, turn right, then turn left the second time you come to Southgate Drive (Southgate is a big loop; don't turn the first time you encounter Southgate).  We're about a 40 minute drive from Toronto's Pearson Airport.

There are two considerations in choosing how to dress for this course.  First of all, our shop is in a poorly-insulated concrete block industrial building, and it gets cool and drafty in the winter time.  Dress with a couple of warm layers, and for sure put on some warm socks.  Secondly, this is a shop course and you'll be handling grease, oil, cutting fluid and so on.  While our shop bikes have never been ridden, and have never been outside in the mud and dirt, it's still a shop environment.  Be prepared to deal with the usual shop dirt and stains.

There have been several snow days in which local schools, including the College campus, were closed.  We were open as usual.  Since instructors are local, at least one of us will be available and able to run the course on any given day.  Regardless of radio announcements relating to local business and school closures, assume we're open. 

Most students are local, or at least staying in local accommodation, and travel is not an issue.  Where a student is commuting a longer distance and unable to make it in, we'll try to make arrangements to make up the material, including any hands-on labs missed.  As always, each student needs to make the decision with regard to their own safety in whether or not to venture out on the roads.

As a service to WBI's students, our parent company, Winterborne Custom Bicycles, offers a one-time opportunity during the course to order tools, parts and accessories from any of Winterborne's suppliers, at a good discount below suggested retail prices. Home mechanics often use this opportunity to assess their needs and supplement their home tooling at a reasonable cost. It's also an opportunity to order bike parts which can be installed on the follow-up day.

WBI has six fully-tooled student workbenches and a fully-tooled instructor bench for use during classes.  To help us manage our tooling inventory, we request that you do not bring your own tools to class.

All shop supplies used during the course are included in your course fee.  This includes all the miscellaneous bits'n'pieces such as spokes, grease, cutting fluid, cables, housing, ferrules, nitrile gloves, suspenion oil, hydraulic fluid, and so on.

Class starts each morning at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. Lunch time each day runs from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. There's also a mid-morning and mid-afternoon break.

Students receive a frameable Park Tool certificate for completing the course.

An individual copy of Park Tool's "Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair" is included in the course fee, and it's yours to keep. We also have a full reference library including Barnett's Manual, Sutherland's Handbook, manufacturer technical documentation, and distributor catalogues available for students' use.

The Park Tool School cost is $260.75. The course cost includes use of all shop facilities, tooling, shop supplies and bikes. It also includes a copy of Park Tool's "Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair".

Yes, our Park Tool School is run during the summer. Check the Event Calendar for dates.

Our Park Tool School is run approximately every other month. Check our event calendar for the next offering. We can also schedule a custom offering if you have a group of at least 4 people. Contact us for this.

The primary target for this course is the home mechanic. Whether you're a recreational or serious cyclist, the Park Tool School will give you the skills and confidence to tackle your own basic repairs and adjustments. You'll also know when to seek skilled assistance from your local bike shop, and you'll have the knowledge to talk about your bike's needs. The Park Tool School is also a good introduction for those interested in taking our advanced Pro Bike Mechanics course, and wondering whether they've got the necessary foundation to take on the tougher challenge of the 11-day immersion course. 

Guelph has the usual variety of small to mid-sized name brand motels/hotels, as well as a variety of B&B's.  At least one or two students in most of our courses to date have stayed at the London House B&B and found it be quite good.  Since Guelph is a university city, there is also lots of student rooming available.  In addition, we have negotiated a special long-stay rate at the new Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites.  This full-service hotel is located at the corner of Hwy 6 and Laird Rd, a short walk from our location.

See our contact page for a GoogleMaps locator and our address.  We're located in the Hanlon Industrial/Business Park at the south end of Guelph.  From highway 401, take highway 6 North to the traffic lights at Laird Rd, turn right, then turn left the second time you come to Southgate Drive (Southgate is a big loop; don't turn the first time you encounter Southgate).  We're about a 40 minute drive from Toronto's Pearson Airport.

There are two considerations in choosing how to dress for this course.  First of all, our shop is in a poorly-insulated concrete block industrial building, and it gets cool and drafty in the winter time.  Dress with a couple of warm layers, and for sure put on some warm socks.  Secondly, this is a shop course and you'll be handling grease, oil, cutting fluid and so on.  While our shop bikes have never been ridden, and have never been outside in the mud and dirt, it's still a shop environment.  Be prepared to deal with the usual shop dirt and stains.

There have been several snow days in which local schools, including the College campus, were closed.  We were open as usual.  Since instructors are local, at least one of us will be available and able to run the course on any given day.  Regardless of radio announcements relating to local business and school closures, assume we're open. 

Most students are local, or at least staying in local accommodation, and travel is not an issue.  Where a student is commuting a longer distance and unable to make it in, we'll try to make arrangements to make up the material, including any hands-on labs missed.  As always, each student needs to make the decision with regard to their own safety in whether or not to venture out on the roads.

As a service to WBI's students, our parent company, Winterborne Custom Bicycles, offers a one-time opportunity during the course to order tools, parts and accessories from any of Winterborne's suppliers, at a good discount below suggested retail prices. Home mechanics often use this opportunity to assess their needs and supplement their home tooling at a reasonable cost. It's also an opportunity to order bike parts which can be installed on the follow-up day.

WBI has six fully-tooled student workbenches and a fully-tooled instructor bench for use during classes.  To help us manage our tooling inventory, we request that you do not bring your own tools to class.

All shop supplies used during the course are included in your course fee.  This includes all the miscellaneous bits'n'pieces such as spokes, grease, cutting fluid, cables, housing, ferrules, nitrile gloves, suspenion oil, hydraulic fluid, and so on.

Guelph has the usual variety of small to mid-sized name brand motels/hotels, as well as a variety of B&B's.  At least one or two students in most of our courses to date have stayed at the London House B&B and found it be quite good.  Since Guelph is a university city, there is also lots of student rooming available.  In addition, we have negotiated a special long-stay rate at the new Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites.  This full-service hotel is located at the corner of Hwy 6 and Laird Rd, a short walk from our location.

See our contact page for a GoogleMaps locator and our address.  We're located in the Hanlon Industrial/Business Park at the south end of Guelph.  From highway 401, take highway 6 North to the traffic lights at Laird Rd, turn right, then turn left the second time you come to Southgate Drive (Southgate is a big loop; don't turn the first time you encounter Southgate).  We're about a 40 minute drive from Toronto's Pearson Airport.

There are two considerations in choosing how to dress for this course.  First of all, our shop is in a poorly-insulated concrete block industrial building, and it gets cool and drafty in the winter time.  Dress with a couple of warm layers, and for sure put on some warm socks.  Secondly, this is a shop course and you'll be handling grease, oil, cutting fluid and so on.  While our shop bikes have never been ridden, and have never been outside in the mud and dirt, it's still a shop environment.  Be prepared to deal with the usual shop dirt and stains.

There have been several snow days in which local schools, including the College campus, were closed.  We were open as usual.  Since instructors are local, at least one of us will be available and able to run the course on any given day.  Regardless of radio announcements relating to local business and school closures, assume we're open. 

Most students are local, or at least staying in local accommodation, and travel is not an issue.  Where a student is commuting a longer distance and unable to make it in, we'll try to make arrangements to make up the material, including any hands-on labs missed.  As always, each student needs to make the decision with regard to their own safety in whether or not to venture out on the roads.

As a service to WBI's students, our parent company, Winterborne Custom Bicycles, offers a one-time opportunity during the course to order tools, parts and accessories from any of Winterborne's suppliers, at a good discount below suggested retail prices. Home mechanics often use this opportunity to assess their needs and supplement their home tooling at a reasonable cost. It's also an opportunity to order bike parts which can be installed on the follow-up day.

WBI has six fully-tooled student workbenches and a fully-tooled instructor bench for use during classes.  To help us manage our tooling inventory, we request that you do not bring your own tools to class.

All shop supplies used during the course are included in your course fee.  This includes all the miscellaneous bits'n'pieces such as spokes, grease, cutting fluid, cables, housing, ferrules, nitrile gloves, suspenion oil, hydraulic fluid, and so on.

Guelph has the usual variety of small to mid-sized name brand motels/hotels, as well as a variety of B&B's.  At least one or two students in most of our courses to date have stayed at the London House B&B and found it be quite good.  Since Guelph is a university city, there is also lots of student rooming available.  In addition, we have negotiated a special long-stay rate at the new Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites.  This full-service hotel is located at the corner of Hwy 6 and Laird Rd, a short walk from our location.

See our contact page for a GoogleMaps locator and our address.  We're located in the Hanlon Industrial/Business Park at the south end of Guelph.  From highway 401, take highway 6 North to the traffic lights at Laird Rd, turn right, then turn left the second time you come to Southgate Drive (Southgate is a big loop; don't turn the first time you encounter Southgate).  We're about a 40 minute drive from Toronto's Pearson Airport.

There are two considerations in choosing how to dress for this course.  First of all, our shop is in a poorly-insulated concrete block industrial building, and it gets cool and drafty in the winter time.  Dress with a couple of warm layers, and for sure put on some warm socks.  Secondly, this is a shop course and you'll be handling grease, oil, cutting fluid and so on.  While our shop bikes have never been ridden, and have never been outside in the mud and dirt, it's still a shop environment.  Be prepared to deal with the usual shop dirt and stains.

There have been several snow days in which local schools, including the College campus, were closed.  We were open as usual.  Since instructors are local, at least one of us will be available and able to run the course on any given day.  Regardless of radio announcements relating to local business and school closures, assume we're open. 

Most students are local, or at least staying in local accommodation, and travel is not an issue.  Where a student is commuting a longer distance and unable to make it in, we'll try to make arrangements to make up the material, including any hands-on labs missed.  As always, each student needs to make the decision with regard to their own safety in whether or not to venture out on the roads.

As a service to WBI's students, our parent company, Winterborne Custom Bicycles, offers a one-time opportunity during the course to order tools, parts and accessories from any of Winterborne's suppliers, at a good discount below suggested retail prices. Home mechanics often use this opportunity to assess their needs and supplement their home tooling at a reasonable cost. It's also an opportunity to order bike parts which can be installed on the follow-up day.

WBI has six fully-tooled student workbenches and a fully-tooled instructor bench for use during classes.  To help us manage our tooling inventory, we request that you do not bring your own tools to class.

All shop supplies used during the course are included in your course fee.  This includes all the miscellaneous bits'n'pieces such as spokes, grease, cutting fluid, cables, housing, ferrules, nitrile gloves, suspenion oil, hydraulic fluid, and so on.