Cytech Qualification, becoming self employed mechanic

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  • Cytech Qualification, becoming self employed mechanic
  • Premier Icon sprocker
    Subscriber

    Basically not willing to spend the rest of my working life sat in front of a computer and decided I need to do something new.

    Considering setting up at home as a mechanic. I have been mending mine bike and riding mates for years and consider myself reasonably proficient at most repairs.

    I am fortunate in that I don’t need to make a great deal and would do it in conjunction with other things but essentially I want to work for myself.

    Anybody got any pointers in particular with regard to doing the Cytech training, is it really needed, cost and where you can do it (based in Derby).

    Cheers

    wors
    Member

    Blimey, you sound like me and have been going through the exact same train of thought! 8)

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    It’s not needed if you are setting up yourself, but it can be reassuring to prospective customers, employers will most likely want it. It’s not cheap though & obviously experience counts for more
    Currently holder if theory one certificate, hoping to do the rest soon

    Why would you need it if you’re already proficient and you’re self employed?

    Price and you doing a good job is why people will use you, not the fact you have a cytech qualification

    Cytech 2 is the one to go for and worth doing. Bikebiz will have loads of info.

    It’ll teach you how to fix customers bikes not your bike and mates bikes, There is a huge difference.

    home mechanics/man with a van are 10 a penny now so make you know how well the business will work and how to make your self stand out.

    Premier Icon sprocker
    Subscriber

    I was thinking of cytech for more credibility as well as giving more general bike experience. Judging by the waiting time at my local bike shops there is definately room for me. Will have a look at bikebiz

    baznav73
    Member

    I can never understand the waiting time in bike shops, these shops and or mechanics must be a shower if you have two or three week waiting time.

    orangeboy
    Member

    Why must they be bad if there is a waiting time ?

    MTB Rob
    Member

    Few things,
    If the shop/mechanic is good people will book it in.
    You don’t just turn up at a garage to have a service do you?
    If it just a service I get them to book it in, if it’s “broken” I try and fit them in so they not with out a bike for long.

    You don’t need cyctec, but if you do it normally brings down company insurance, and looks better if someone asks, like above it covers a lot of “types” that will come in handy.

    Yes lot more people are starting up as “mobile” few don’t last, it is hard, location is key.

    Also parts/spares can be an issue what to carry, how much stock, money to buy it, correct tools etc, not cheap or easy to start with

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Also parts/spares can be an issue what to carry, how much stock, money to buy it, correct tools etc, not cheap or easy to start with

    Yep even if you are service only then you will still need cables, inners/outers, ends, lubes, grease, cleaners and the rest. Add in some of the more specialist tools and it’s a big investment.

    My experience would say there are plenty (the vocal on here) that can’t understand why anyone would pay for a bike fix/service but there are more who have no idea or time who will pay.

    walleater
    Member

    I just watched the Level 3 video to see what they are offering, and found it quite amusing to see that the front tyre is mounted the wrong way around at 50 secs 😆

    http://www.cytech.uk.com/technical/technical-three/

    As someone who is self / shop trained and now runs a workshop with 9 mechanics and a similar number of builders, I find the pricing of the Cytech courses horrific. It looks like to could get better pricing if you got a job in a shop and then got sent to Cytech?

    if you are already proficient then simply go and do your assessment only which is £350+

    mtbmatt
    Member

    I just watched the Level 3 video to see what they are offering, and found it quite amusing to see that the front tyre is mounted the wrong way around at 50 secs

    I didn’t realise it was against the STW law to mount a tyre against the manufactures direction. People have been doing it for years.

    Premier Icon eddie11
    Subscriber

    There you go op, It looks like the gap in the market is an easier to access, cheaper training and acreditation body. Keep cytech on their toes. 🙂

    walleater
    Member

    I didn’t realise it was against the STW law to mount a tyre against the manufactures direction. People have been doing it for years.

    Those are the people who probably NEED to go on a Cytech course 😉

    If you want to roll on Nevegals the wrong way round and make the rolling resistance even worse then give’r.

    bencooper
    Member

    make the rolling resistance even worse

    Fitting tyres backwards increases rolling resistance?

    bencooper
    Member

    Your edited link is less amusing than the first link you posted 😉

    Still no evidence for rolling resistance, though – I can see how it would make a difference to traction or cornering (a slight difference, maybe) but rolling resistance I can’t see how directionality would affect that.

    toxicsoks
    Member

    *S’cuse me – kind of, thread hijack*
    Soon to take early retirement and was considering doing up to Cytech 2 in order to –
    a) keep meself occupied for a bit
    b) have something in writing in case the oportunity of some part-time work in a shop turned up.( Also doing some on-line food hygiene quals for similar reasons although not for working in a bike shop, obviously) 😉
    (/thread hijack)

    RichieBoy
    Member

    I have cytech 2 and 3, various wheel building certificates and manufacturers qualifications. Experience is so much more valuable than any of them. I’d work in a professional workshop first.

    crisslater
    Member

    as we all know Cyctech is the industry standard qualification, although not necessary and not a seal of competency (some of the best mechanics i know are not cyctech qualified) what you will find is that it has further reaching benifits

    – insurers offer more favorable premiums to cyctech trained mechanics
    – it reassures customers
    – you never know you might learn something, if not you have it for life and will be looked upon favorably by a prospective employer as it allows them to advertise cyctech trained mechanics.

    If your setting up on your own i would recommend looking at the start up loans scheme, (plenty of funding available) growth accelerator if your set up and there are a few other and would be a great way to get your self qualified and fund your venture.

    Also look at becoming a member of act the cycle retailers association being a member gives you a discount on the training.

    Also bear in mind that a lot of distributors wont deal with you unless you have a bricks and mortar business address that isn’t your home address.

    You need to contact (just examples there are tons of distributors) madison for shimano (also park tools), fisher for sram and also speak to other distro’s such as fat spanner who do spares such as cables etc at good rates to see what they can offer accounts wise.

    i hope this helps + Good luck with your venture.

    Chris

    Premier Icon tom200
    Subscriber

    There is always cycle systems academy, seems like a more tech focused business than cytech. Most cytech mechanics I know are shit.

    Premier Icon sprocker
    Subscriber

    Cheers for the tips going to be over the next 12 months and am likely to stay doing my current job for a couple of days a week to build up slowly.

    RichieBoy – Member
    I have cytech 2 and 3, various wheel building certificates and manufacturers qualifications. Experience is so much more valuable than any of them. I’d work in a professional workshop first.

    Yeah, I have Cytech 2 but have been in the trade for years too. I find it quite amusing that you can do a week long course and be more employable than a guy that has loads of experience.

    bencooper
    Member

    Yeah, I have Cytech 2 but have been in the trade for years too. I find it quite amusing that you can do a week long course and be more employable than a guy that has loads of experience.

    As someone with absolutely no industry qualifications I have some sympathy for that view. However I’ve also known very experienced mechanics who have just been doing stuff wrong for decades 😉

    Cytech is a basic benchmark of competence – like a driving license, it shows a certain level of knowledge and ability.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Yeah, I have Cytech 2 but have been in the trade for years too. I find it quite amusing that you can do a week long course and be more employable than a guy that has loads of experience

    Taking things like insurance etc. into account and being able to advertise that all our mechanics are qualified goes a long way towards it. If I was in the position you were in and looking at new work I’d do the course and make sure I was the most employable by backing experience with a qualification. The guy with the certificate is not more employable than you, it’s the guy with as much experience as you and the certificate that is more employable.

    If I was recruiting and the right person came along without the qualification I would consider a conditional offer based on them getting it within 3 months etc.

    LoCo
    Member

    You can get to be a fox ‘approved’ service centre by doing a 2 day course which is £600 or thereabouts :-/ not very reassuring.

    Referring to Cytech ashop i worked in had the assessor round for cytech 2, 1 of the mechanics did all assessments very quickly and all right another on took virtually all day and had to be prompted and corrected by assessor, both got the same qualification. Hmmm… In terms of setting up a mobile service business, not sure whether it’d be worth the cost if you know what you’re doing already

    We recently recruited went on the person and aptitude not bits of paper

    walla24
    Member

    Crisslater- can you link to some of these startup loans please?

    Interesting thread

    Premier Icon bobmac892
    Subscriber

    Sprocker

    I recently started volunteering at a bike recycling and repair charity and found that a great experience. Still doing a full time shift type job as well so I’m limited in the time I can spend there. Great banter and good experience with bikes which has taught me one thing, bikes can be a total pain in the arse to fix sometimes. I don’t mean technically tough I mean they can take on a life of their own and that 10-20 minute job becomes an all afternoon one for no apparent reason.

    I’d recommend the volunteer route if you have a set up near enough to you. They seem to be springing up all over.

    The group I’m with even paid a chunk of the cost to put me through a Weltech Silver course. Formalised 20 odd years of mucking about with all sorts of bikes but I still learned a lot on the course. Experience is key though. Spotting the wreck that needs more than the 5 minutes the owner thinks is an art. And you have to be brutal with your time. Fix what the customer ordered and not fettling the whole bike back into shape is difficult.

    Could also be a good way to transition into it to see if it really fits before jacking what you have job wise already.

    Good luck.

    rp16v
    Member

    as far as tools go dont skimp on allen keys, spanners and screwdrivers it will only cause problems in the long run when u round a bolt,always keep good stash of nut &bolts with good heads u WILL need them at some point for replacments
    cables look at bulk boxes eg jagwire for me moore large supplier
    mtb brake
    road brake
    universal gear
    look at stainless it will last longer but always keep some galvanised for the cheapskates there out there and dont like to pay for better quality.
    v brake / calliper pads can usualy get in 10s to start u off disc is harder to judge so best to get to order.
    brake and gear outer (thats the expensive bit) ferruls to match and end crimps.
    a minumum of 10 of each size & valve tube combo u may fit 2 but they may want spares 3 gone in 1 job
    bleed kits very specific but once u have it its there to keep and a pot of each fluid
    lube
    grease
    workshop roll
    gt85/tf2
    and a decent stand
    all minimun requirements for mobile there are more but il taking up loads of space and can go on for a while(plus batts about to die on phone)

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    if you are already proficient then simply go and do your assessment only which is £350+

    I was. I’d been working on bikes “forever”, knew how to build wheels, the lot. I’d have never passed the assessment without the training. I learnt soooooooo much in those 2 weeks, mainly, it has to be said, how important having the right tool is 🙂

    Yeah, I have Cytech 2 but have been in the trade for years too. I find it quite amusing that you can do a week long course and be more employable than a guy that has loads of experience.

    I was out of work and needed a job. I had no professional experience, and no qualifications. It’s hard getting a job like that, but you can get qualified and that makes it easier. My Cytech led me directly into a job, it was worth every penny 🙂

    rp16v
    Member

    i will say if u get it please dont get to bigheaded an forget the basics some of the qualified i no are some of the wost/slopyest mechanics i no
    and never turn away a small job iv seen mechanics turn away work like it wasent worthy of there touch
    then to miss out on having that customers next big job.

    I’d been working for a good number of years as a mechanic (including suspension servicing, disc brake servicing, full-suspension frame servicing, wheel building, etc.) before ever going nearing Cytech training

    it was moving from my last LBS to a big chain-store retailer (Evans) that actually got me onto Cytech training, which was paid for by the company.

    Cytech II was fantastic as we had one of the best trainers in the industry working in-house for Evans at their LCW site in Bermondsey

    I learned a huge amount of extra detail and information, including much of the theory side I’d never thought much about.

    Came away with some solid literature ( a huge binder ) which I have regularly used in the time since for reference and as legal defence (BS6102) for not undertaking dangerous work despite a store manager insisting a job “should be done”.

    Working under severe time pressure during the Cytech final exams was also interesting and very revealing, similar to that feeling of panic at the start of a run in a DH race!

    Is Cytech essential? No, experience counts for a huge amount.

    I have interviewed mechanics with Cytech II I would not employ in my workshops, because they were not competent. I have also interviewed “time served” mechanics with no formal training that I would also not employ because of bad practises and attitude problems.

    I’d say a combination of formal training, on job experience and certification is ideal.

    From an employers point of view, a Cytech or C&G qualification is something you always look for on a CV, and can be the difference between getting a job interview or not, when we have 10 CVs to go through.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY for any mechanic..a willingness to constantly learn, admit when you don’t know something (and ask for help), and be prepared to change your ways of working if new, better ways become evident.

    I really enjoy a day when I learn something new (I learnt something crucial about Shimano Di2 setup yesterday, that Shimano’s own training did not cover). I will always admit I don’t know everything, no one can.

    Any mechanic who says they know everything is dangerous in my opinion, and often resistance to change.

    The more knowledge you can gain, the better you can be.

    bencooper
    Member

    MOST IMPORTANTLY for any mechanic..a willingness to constantly learn, admit when you don’t know something (and ask for help), and be prepared to change your ways of working if new, better ways become evident.

    And to RTFM 😉 The majority of the Rohloff repairs I have had to do are because some other shop hasn’t read the manual or has tried to bodge something. Bromptons too – some mechanics just seem to get stuck in without thinking about what they’re doing or even trying to remember in what order they took parts off.

    @bencooper

    yeah the manual is an interesting one.

    in my current workshop we have comprehensive technical resources (in binders) for SRAM, Shimano mechanical, Shimano Di2 and the brand we sell

    its constantly used for reference, and new information is always being added

    the recent shift to 11 speed road transmission from Shimano has brought a raft of new information and even tools

    who would have known that 11 speed ultegra has a 19-page manual and plastic setup tool just for the front derailleur?

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    MOST IMPORTANTLY for any mechanic..a willingness to constantly learn, admit when you don’t know something (and ask for help), and be prepared to change your ways of working if new, better ways become evident.

    Oh yeah, so true. Every day is a school day!

    walleater
    Member

    I felt a bit of a tit having to watch an S-tec video on how to set up the Ultegra 11 front derailleur the other day. Still, better to admit defeat rather than bodge it when it’s someone elses bike. If it was my bike I’d have just hit it with a hammer.

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