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Gears Bike Shop
109 Vanderhoof Avenue, Toronto, ON
Phone: 647-729-2500
Hours: Mon-Fri 10-8, Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5
Gears Bike Shop is always hiring mechanics. Contact

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Schrader Vs Presta Valves

If you read my post about Bicycle Mechanics in Leaside Toronto then you know I purchased two things today: #1. A Presta-Schrader valve adapter, and #2. a bicycle pump that is compatible with both Schrader and Presta valves.

I already have a Schrader bicycle pump, which is pretty standard. But I didn't have a working Presta one so I decided to get a new one (that works) and in the event it ever breaks and I need an adapter, I therefore bought an adapter too. I call it the Mechanic's Rule of Tool Redundancy - when in doubt, get two or more in case you cannot find the other tool, it breaks, or cannot be used for whatever reason. This is why you can never have too many toolboxes, screwdrivers or tools in general.

Since the invention of the pneumatic tire many valve types have come along but for bicycles the two most popular that are still in use are Presta and Schrader (or as I like to call them, de French one and zee German one - not because that is their country of origin, just because they sound like they are French and German).

The Presta valve is the skinny one of the two and is slightly more cumbersome to use, having a lock nut instead of a spring to make sure it is closed and doesn`t leak air. The Presta valve is more popular on racing bicycles because it is skinnier and doesn`t leak air easily.

The Presta valve also enabled racers to inflate tires with a simple pump with attached chuck (pump head) and no hose. Having no valve spring to overcome it is therefore faster and easier to pump gas into the tires. If Schrader valves had a valve depressor it could speed up the process, but it would make the pump head larger, heavier and impractical.

Because of the small diameter of the Presta valve it requires a smaller hole in the rim, which means that the bicycle rims can be narrower. This saves on weight and increases overall speed.

However Presta valves break easier, are harder to fix, are not widely used except in racing bikes, and Presta pumps break easier too (based on my first hand experience with them). Some Presta valves have been made with removable cores to make them easier to fix, but demand is so small that they are uncommon. Removable Presta cores can be identified by two wrench flats on the coarse valve cap threads.

In contrast Schrader valves are robust, universally used, and have an easily removable core. And they are easier to fix. Spring closure makes them simpler to use because one needs only to press the inflation chuck onto them at any gas station that has an air pump. With foot or hand pumps, a screwed or lever chuck provides the valve depressor - and it can tell you what the pressure is in the tire too.

My advice for my fellow bicycle mechanics? Get a Schrader pump and a Presta adapter. You might never use the Presta adapter, but at least you will have it when you need it.

Bicycle Mechanics in Leaside Toronto

Sandy's Bikes and Books

Address: 95 Research Rd #1, Leaside, Toronto, ON M4G 2G8
Phone: 416-467-1035

As you can see above Sandy's Bikes and Books is just that, a bicycle mechanic / bicycle store that also doubles as a book store. Oh and vinyl too. Don't forget vinyl.

Sandy himself is very nice, very talkative and I am sure I will be going back there again to buy bicycle parts. Today I purchased a Presta-Shrader nozzle adapter there for a mere $3.04 (tax included).

GEARS Bike Shop in Leaside

Address: 109 Vanderhoof Ave, Leaside, Toronto, ON M4G 2H7
Phone: 1-888-984-3277

GEARS is all about racing bicycles - and I make this review with the knowledge that GEARS has been sponsoring this blog for the last 2 years and hopefully will continue to sponsor the Bicycle Mechanic. So, knowing that these are high end racing bicycles expect that if you want to purchase a bicycle at GEARS that you will be spending a pretty penny. However at the same time I will point out that their service was excellent when I said I was looking for a Presta pump. What I got was an Evo Hurricane pump which is compatible with both Shrader and Presta valves. Cost was $29.99 + HST.

Enduro Sport in Leaside

I am not going to list Enduro Sport's address or phone number here.

Why? Because they snubbed me. I think they saw my GEARS bag and then chose to snub me. Didn't even ask if I wanted help, if I was looking for anything, etc. So I am snubbing them back in return. Nyah nyah!

Seriously though, I have been to Enduro Sport twice before and they were rude both times. This is the third strike / last straw in my opinion. I have given them three chances to redeem themselves and they were rude twice and snubbed me once. I doubt they remember me from the previous times I went there. Both times was in 2009 when I first started this website. So having been treated poorly three times I shall now return the favour.

Call it the Golden Rule of Shopping - If you are rude to the customer with the gold, they take their business elsewhere. And the customer is always right.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Men's Cycle Fashion could use a little more High Fashion

As I have made clear in previous posts I am not a big fan of some of the cycling gloves or cycling helmets that are sold in stores. So I apologize if I rant about cycling fashion for a bit.

They're not very manly and I wouldn't get caught dead wearing some of the outrageous form fitting clothing that are often sold in cycling stores.

Just because Lance Armstrong wears it doesn't mean you should. There are lots of things Lance Armstrong does that you should NOT do.

Are you a professional cyclist who races for a living?


Then stopping wearing those ridiculous clothes.

Sorry if I go all fashion police, but I firmly believe that men can dress much more sensibly when on a bicycle.

Let us say for example that you are meeting someone for a date. Possibly even at a fancy restaurant. And if you are a true Toronto cyclist then you will probably bicycle there because you don't own a car.

Now when you show up at Ritz Hypothetical your date is not going to be very impressed if you show up all sweaty and wearing tight fitting latex.

But she might respond quite well to your handsome appearance if you showed up looking like one of these guys from Kish Wear - Men's High Fashion:

It is basically following the same golden fashion formula all cyclists do...

The Cyclist Golden Fashion Formula - Wear form fitting clothing that is fairly tight to the body. Nothing baggy that might get caught in spokes or gears.

That means you can wear dress shoes and socks.

It also means you can wear tight fitting pants, like the pants below also from Kish Wear. Or the sweater, again, same place. This means you don't have to look like a sweaty cyclist and can show up looking posh and suave for your date. First impressions matter.

Next let us pretend for a moment that you are going to a job interview instead of a date. Assuming this is an office job you probably don't want to show up for the job interview looking like a sweaty cyclist who doesn't know how to dress properly.

But you would probably score points if you showed up dressed like this:

"Oh but I am an individual and a non-conformist. Why should I have to wear an uniform to get a job?"

Seriously. What world are you living in?

If I was the HR rep you are meeting and you show up in either:

A. Cycling gear covered in sweat.

B. Dirty jeans and a ripped t-shirt.

Then I guarantee that unless your job is to be a cyclist fashion model or a construction worker, then you are not getting the job.

So if you're hoping to get a job in an office then you better get with the program and wear the uniform. And to be fair, all clothing is uniforms. It is just different kinds of uniforms.

If I taking my girlfriend to the ballet - eg. The Ballet Creole, which I love - then I will be dressing accordingly. Washed, freshly shaved and wearing nice shoes too.

Same goes if I were to go to a classical music concert. Or any event where it is expected that people dress accordingly.

And truth be told, I admit, I probably would not take my bicycle there because I live in uptown Toronto now and it is rather a trek to either of those locations via bicycle. So we would probably take the TTC or drive instead. (Sue me.)

If it something super important, like a wedding or a funeral, I might even wash the car first.

What I am definitely not going to do is show up at a funeral wearing cycling clothes, sweaty, and then bicycle from the funeral home to the cemetery.

Not such a big deal to go to the cemetery when you are just cycling through and enjoying the purty trees et al. But not such a good idea when you are actually there for a funeral.

I think part of the problem with some cyclists - the ones who wear cycling clothes a LOT, like on their way to work, on their days off, on dates, etc - is that they really have no life outside of cycling, that they are essentially cycling snobs, and that they are also clueless of how ridiculous they look.

And I am not just talking about the ridiculous helmets cyclists sometimes wear.

Nor am I talking about the idiots who buy professional cycling team jersey kits. You know, the ones with matching socks, shorts and jerseys that look completely idiotic when you wear them. Especially if you have belly flab sticking out the bottom of your too tight shirt. Buy clothing that fits and actually looks good. Looking ridiculous only makes you look like a moron.

Nor I am talking about the guys who wear baggy pants and then get "rookie" grease stain marks on their pants from where the chain and gears are rubbing against your calves. That is clearly a case wherein people need to learn how to wipe down their bike regularly and learn how to dress themselves properly for cycling.

Now I am talking about the idiots who wear hydration packs on their backs because they are too lazy to get a water bottle installed and then use it accordingly. Oh look. Its a camel back. Are you riding a mountain bike in rough terrain far away from the convenience of Starbucks? No? Then taking that stupid thing off your back.

What I am talking about is all these things and much more. The people out there who apparently have no fashion sense, wear ridiculous things that they don't actually need, and then apparently think that everyone else is an idiot for not wearing a special helmet, jerseys, hydration packs and everything else that you THINK you actually need.

The truth is you don't need any of it.

What you do need is your bicycle, some shoes and socks that fit, some shorts that fit, possibly some cycling gloves, and that is it. (And for female modesty, maybe a sports bra and a shirt.)

And if you are going somewhere special then you should dress appropriately for your DESTINATION.

Dress for your destination and dress stylishly when appropriate. Dressing like a loser / cyclist snob isn't going to score points with anyone else.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Brazil Prison Bicycles

Apparently there is a prison in Brazil that allows inmates to bicycle and produce electricity, which in turn is tracked and reduces their sentences.

Presumably this program is only offered to inmates who commit minor crimes (like theft, etc) as opposed to the more violent criminals.

I would be curious to learn how much electricity is actually produced this way.

It might be, for example, more financially viable to have the inmates build windmills instead and those windmills be used for producing electricity. Longer term results as opposed to short term gain.

Not dissing bicycles or anything, just saying windmills seems like the smarter solution if their end goal is electricity.

Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Fix a Sturmey-Archer 3-Speed Internal Gear Hub

Hi Charles,

I have an older model Raleigh Sports with a Sturmey-Archer internal gear hub that I've been having troubles with and was hoping to get repaired.

I've taken the bike to a couple of different repair shops already and it has always been returned with the same troubles.

I stumbled across your site when I was searching online for Toronto-area bike mechanics that appear to have experience with 3-speed internal gear hubs.

Would you be able to take a look at it? If so, what's the process and where should I bring it.

Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Steven S.

Hello Steven!

My advice:

Buy a new internal gear hub, possibly from a different company.

Internal gear hubs are basically supposed to require a little bit of oil once or twice per year for maintenance and that is it. If it broken however, your best options are to return it to the manufacturer for a replacement (if it is still on warranty) or if the warranty is up, buy a new one.

What has most likely happened - in the event it is broken - is that one or more pieces inside the gear hub have SNAPPED IN HALF or into several pieces, and then the smaller pieces have jammed up inside the internal mechanisms, possibly doing other permanent damage. The internal pieces are not designed to break, but with age, wear and tear, metal gets fatigued and can eventually just snap.

It is possible that a piece inside has just come loose, or bent, and it just needs to be bent back into shape or placed back in its proper location. Now there are some experts out there who know how to repair internal gear hubs - but it is pretty rare knowledge. A bit like finding a clockmaker who knows how to fix pocket watches. Not many people go into that sort of thing as a career these days.

Thus it might save you a lot of time and effort just to buy a new one.
Now you might wonder why I suggested possibly buying a new internal gear hub from a different company. I am not dissing Sturmey-Archer's quality, I am sure the quality of their internal gear hubs are just fine. But feel free to shop around anyway and browse your options. No doubt the higher quality gear hubs will be more expensive, and the lower quality ones cheaper. You get what you pay for. So if you find an internal gear hub from Sturmey-Archer that you like, that is in the right price range, absolutely, go ahead and buy it. However if you find one you like from a different company which is higher quality - and possibly has a lifetime warranty, you might want to buy that one instead.

Here is a YouTube video about fixing a Shimano 3-Speed Internal Gear Hub which might help you a bit if you decide to try and fix your gear hub yourself.

And here is another video about Sturmey-Archer three speed gear hubs and how they work, and should give you insights on how to fix yours depending on what is broken on the inside. Between this video and the one above you might be able to fix yours.

Happy Repairing / Shopping!

Charles Moffat
The Bicycle Mechanic

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to make a bow out of a bicycle wheel

While it is an amusing design for how to make a bow to practice archery with, I do NOT actually recommend the bow designs shown below.

My reasoning is fairly simple. I have been doing archery since 1989. I have over 12 bows myself, and two things I have learned over the years are the following...

#1. Decurve bows do not make good bows. (The designs shown below are definitely decurve.)

#2. The bow below isn't really a bow. It is really more a kind of complicated looking slingshot using a giant rubber band.

The end result is a slingshot that really is not a bow, doesn't really work that well, and would ultimately be a waste of time for anyone who is not into slingshots.

So if you are into slingshots, go ahead and use the designs below. If you are into archery I have suggestions to make at the bottom for how a person could make a proper bow - in this case a recurve bow - using bicycles parts.


You will need...

Old Bicycle Wheel
Giant catapult rubber band - $5. (You could use a rubber inner tube, but it isn't as powerful.)
Saw to cut the bike rim
Drill and drill bits.
Scissors / Tin Snips or some way to remove the spokes from the wheel
Metal file to tidy up the cuts
Pliers for bending
Eyelets + Retainers for the eyelets (plasterboard expanding grommets work well)

The design above is pretty much self explanatory just by looking at the photo. It is basically just a frame for holding rubber band for the slingshot. The bicycle wheel does bend a bit like a bow, but it is the rubber band that does 90% of the work.

Cut the wheel, smooth down the rough edges, drill some holes in it, add the eyelets, etc, attach the rubber band and you're done.


#1. Cut the wheel into quarters instead of halves.

#2. Line the quarters up like below


#3. Weld them together to make the classic recurve bow shape.

#4. Drill holes in the top of the bow and the bottom of the bow, roughly one inch from the ends.

#5. Using bicycle cable, string the bow between the two holes.

#6. Find a sturdy way to affix the bicycle cable to the bow. I recommend drilling the holes big enough to fit a bolt through there, wrap the cable around the bolts a bit, slide the bolt through the hole, tighten with a nut on the opposite side and make it super tight so the cable won't come loose. Repeat process both ends of the bow.

#7. Wrap bicycle handlewraps around the handle where you will be gripping the bow.

#8. Optional - Make an arrow rest using random parts from a scrap bicycle.

#9. Optional - Make stabilizer using random parts.

#8. Use a crimp to add a bead on your bowstring so your arrows don't slide up and down.

#9. Practice with your new recurve bow!

#10. Send me photos of the finished product so I can show others what you did!

Gas Engine Bicycles - For lazy gasoline lovers?

I am not going to pass judgement and not talk about gasoline bicycles, but I am going to say that many cyclists see gasoline powered bicycles - and sometimes even electric bicycles or e-bikes - as a betrayal of what bicycles are supposed to be: clean and efficient means of transportation.

The video further below is an example of one such gasoline powered bicycle or g-bike.

Whether you like g-bikes, or despise them, the video is an interesting example of one way to tinker with bicycles and try something new with them.

After all, this wouldn't be a bicycle mechanic blog if I didn't showcase examples of people tinkering with their bicycles and trying something different.

RB Inc Sports is hiring bicycle mechanics

 RB Inc Sports of Toronto is hiring bicycle mechanics and sent me the email below.

:) CM

We are looking for a mechanic. If you are interested or know someone that would be interested,  please come by around 11 till 3 for a job interview if you are interested also please send in a resume if you have one.

Full Time Bicycle Sales and Bicycle Mechanic Job Request $12 to $20 per hour depending on experience.

We are a boutique bicycle Jamis Bicycle Outlet (you can google our info) store looking for an experienced bicycle salesman that is also a good bicycle mechanic. Perfect articulation in English is important. Characteristics we are looking for: Neat and Tidy, ability to follow direction, effective sales person that can absorb information quickly and is familiar with all parts of the bicycle. Efficient bicycle mechanic that can put together a new bicycle quickly, and effectively but also one that can keep his work area clean and also not lose or break tools. Experience and ability to work on all types of used bicycles from clunkers, road, mountain, and hybrids.  Important to be friendly and deal with a variety of cyclists from professionals to leisure enthusiasts. Please understand as well no use of text messaging, skype or e-mails that are not work related during work.

Important to live close to work. The job is 5 days a week but includes Saturday and Sunday. The job also requires good and fast ten finger typing and the ability plus experience to work on iPads and Apple computers.

Richard Browne President
RB Inc
79 Wingold Ave Unit 10
Toronto Ontario Canada
tel 416 787 4998
fax 416 787 2709

Saturday, November 2, 2013

How to Fix a Slipping Chain and Gears

Tools You Will Need

Bike stand
Chain tool
Small screwdriver

One of the most important things to maintain on your bicycle is the drivetrain. This includes the shifters, chain, front and rear derailleur, the cassette and crankset. They all work together. Several of these parts can be responsible for slipping gears, making it important to perform regular maintenance of you bicycle. A well maintained bicycle increases the safety and enjoyment of your ride and decreases the chances of getting a gear stuck, jammed, or the chain slipping right off the gear cassette.

How to Fix a Slipping Chain and Gears

Step 1

Place your bike in a bicycle stand. This will allow you to clearly access all the parts and spin the pedals to see how the drivetrain is performing. If you do not have a bicycle stand, put the bicycle upside down and rest it on the seat and handlebars.

Step 2

Look over the chain for excess wear or bent links. Using a chain tool, slip each of its ends through the links of your chain and check your chain against its wear indicators. If the chain is worn out, replace it. Don't bother trying to fit it, once a chain is worn out it is no longer good for using on a bicycle. If a link is bent, either replace the link or the entire chain.

Step 3

Check your gear sprockets. The sprockets are under pressure from the chain, especially when climbing. If any of the edges are no longer rounded at the ends and instead resemble a shark's tooth, it's time to replace the cassette because it's probably causing your chain to slip.

Step 4

Examine your rear derailleur. If the chain and sprockets are fine, chances are this ghost shifting is caused by either a bent derailleur hanger or the derailleur is out of alignment physically. This is common, especially as new cable stretches, often causing the derailleur to shift incorrectly.

Step 5

Inspect the derailleur hanger from the rear. The pulleys should line up. If they appear out of alignment, the derailleur hanger is likely to blame for your poor shifting. This is a cheap and easy part to replace, but change it as soon as possible to decrease the chances of it breaking off or flying into your spokes.

Step 6

Adjust the limit screws on the derailleur with a screwdriver. If the hanger looks straight, adjusting the screws is the next logical diagnostic tool. There is a high- and low-limit screw on the derailleur as well as a tension-adjustment screw. These are marked by an "L," a "B" and an "H." These screws set the parameters on where the derailer can move.

Step 7

Adjust the B screw until the pulley is rubbing against the largest sprocket. When it is adjusted to just clear the chain, tighten the screw.

Step 8

Turn to the H-limit screw. First, relieve any pressure on the cable by loosening the cable adjuster. Examine how the chain is riding on the smallest sprocket. If it's rubbing on the next gear, loosen it until it's centered. If it appears to be moving toward the axle, tighten the screw. Readjust the cable tension and see if this solves the problem.

Step 9

Shift down to your lowest gear and check the L-limit screw if you are still experiencing problems. If the chain is pulling toward the axle as it rides on the sprocket, tighten the screw clockwise until it is lined up underneath. If the opposite is happening and the chain is pulling down, loosen the screw. Before riding, run through all the gears to ensure the derailleur will not shift into the axle.

Tada! You're done!

Keep on riding!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

12 Step Derailleur Tuning

Want to learn how to adjust and fix your derailleurs? Here is the 12 step program as set forth by Jerzy "Smokey" Dymny of the Quadra Bike School.

1. Rear derailleur. Shift to high gear (small ring) and disconnect DR cable. (If DR has a reverse-rise spring the DR travels in opposite direction when released. In that case reverse these instructions for high and low cogs.)

2. Set high limit screw. Chain must travel smoothly on smallest cog but not go past it.

3. Check the complete cable path and reconnect rear derailleur cable.

4. To tune rear shifting, shift chain to middle chainring in front & tighten rear barrel adjuster until each shift click produces one clean downshift in the rear.

5. Adjust the low limit screw to let the chain reach large (low) cog but not shift past it. Check guide pulley spacing and adjust “B” screw to increase spacing if necessary.

6. Test up shifts. Turn barrel adjuster slightly in, if any shift is slow. Repeat till perfect.

7. Leave rear DR in low (large). Disconnect front cable. Adjust height of front derailleur 1–3mm above large ring.  Set front DR low limit screw. Tightening low limit screw pushes derailleur outward from frame.

8. Check complete cable path. Reconnect front cable.  Leave front DR in small ring. Test rear DR shifts up to second highest cog.

9. Shift front DR to middle ring. Test rear DR shifts through all gears.

10. Place Chain/String tool on smallest rear cog and largest chainring. Rotate front cage to match the cage engagement gap to the string angle.

11. Shift to the large ring. Set high limit screw. Test rear shifting to second lowest cog.

12. Check that front derailleur shifts through whole range & downshifts quickly.

© 2012, Quadra Bike School

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Why Bicycle Mechanics are not licensed and so underpaid...

For a combination of complicated legal and political reasons bicycle mechanics don't have licenses, certificates are basically just bogus, and bicycle mechanics are ridiculously underpaid.

It comes down to this...

You can make more money PER HOUR if you operate your own backyard or garage bike repair shop. Or better yet, open a bicycle repair shop and you are the OWNER. The reason is because if you work for someone else's bicycle repair shop then you will be making minimum wage - or barely above minimum wage.

As a career therefore I actually discourage people from becoming a bicycle mechanic unless they are ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS about it. Otherwise it will just be a lark or a hobby for them.

There are a variety of schools where a person can go become a bicycle mechanic (the one I recommend is the Quadra Island Bike School), but when it comes to getting a job all the bike shops want is experience. They don't care if you have a certificate, an apprenticeship or whatever. They just want people with lots of experience that they don't need to train.

And even if you do have lots of experience, many shops won't look at you because they might think you are "too young" to be that experienced as it says on your resume.

Or they might just not like you for whatever reason. They might even have a store policy against hiring new mechanics because the mechanics they've hired in the past so often turn out to be duds.

I also want to note that once people get into the business, and get experience, many bicycle mechanics will often jump ship from store to store in an effort to get better pay, better hours, more likeable co-workers, nicer boss, etc. They might even leave the bicycle mechanic field entirely to become a bicycle courier or get - egad - an office job or something in construction / manufacturing.

Lets take Ontario as an example. Ontario has a Bicycle Mechanic Apprenticeship Program ... and it is basically a legal and political failure that looks good on paper but hasn't resulted in any actual "apprenticeships" of bicycle mechanics.

Between March 2013 and April 2013 the Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities made a Training Agreement with 113 Bicycle Mechanic Apprentices in Ontario and provided a 30 page Schedule of Training. However, now the apprenticeship is under pressure. The program is going to be de-listed because of those 113 proposed apprenticeships how many have led to people actually becoming an apprentice?


A lot of work went into the creation of this program. A lot of bureaucracy. But so much bureaucracy happened and no actual ball (wheel?) was rolled into place to get the apprentices into place.

Basically they made a program, signed it, and then just let it sit there on paper. That is all it is. A worthless document.

Why? Because they failed to amend a second document and then funnel money and effort into the program. The initiative was made on one piece of paper, but the second was never amended and carried out.

Here's the details...

The trade of Bicycle Mechanic was designated as a new apprenticeship program under the Apprenticeship and Certification Act, 1998 (ACA) back in 2012. However, the trade is yet to be prescribed / named under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009. Basically the 2009 document needs to be amended before the 2012 document can be put into practice.

When the 2009 Act came into effect on April 8th, 2013, the previous apprenticeship legislation and regulations governing apprenticeship programs, including the ACA, were revoked because the 2009 document was never amended to include the ACA document changes.

Before the Ministry can name the trade of "bicycle mechanic" in a regulation under the Act, a 45-day consultation period with industry and training stakeholders will be required to confirm support for Bicycle Mechanic to be named as a trade under the Act - however if members of the bicycle mechanic trade don't speak up and voice their concern within 45 days, nothing will happen, the 2012 document will be throw into the proverbial garbage.

Bureaucratic jibber jabber.

And even if support is confirmed the following events will also need to occur:

The trade will need to be named in Ontario Regulation 175/11 (Prescribed Trades and Related Matters), which means that regulation also needs to be amended;

The College will need to develop the scopes of practice in regulation (O. Reg. 278/11 – Scope of Practice - Trades in the Service Sector), which means that regulation also needs to be amended;

And lastly...

The College of Trades Board of Governors will need to establish a panel review to determine compulsory or voluntary designation. Which if they don't bother or don't feel like it, it will never happen.

As of April 8, 2013 and until all these events occur, no new apprenticeship training agreements can be registered for the trade of Bicycle Mechanic.

Active training agreements (of which there are zero) with existing apprentices will continue to be honoured. Which is funny because there isn't any. They (a sum of zero) will continue to be registered apprentices with the Ministry until such time as the trade is designated or not. Please note these apprentices (all zero of them) cannot be members of the Ontario College of Trades until the trade is named under the Act.

Which is probably never going to happen.

The start of the 45 day consultation period hasn't started yet. So the program hasn't been cancelled yet per se... but it does appear to be on hold indefinitely and is potentially going to be scrapped, mostly because the bureaucracy has grinded to a stop.

In theory people could contact the Ministry of Training and encourage them to continue with the program, but without a decent amount of public support the program will likely be scrapped because of the government's present cost cutting mood.

A decision on whether the program will live or die should come about in September. Unless it falls to the side thanks to bureaucratic incompetence.

Apprentices (all zero of them) who wish to cancel their registered training agreement may request a full refund of the $40 registration fee by contacting their local apprenticeship office. A complete list of apprenticeship offices is available on the ministry web site at


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Looking for a bicycle mechanic school in Canada? The Quadra Island Bike School in British Columbia is a Canadian bicycle mechanic school that trains professional bicycle mechanics against the backdrop of the beautiful Quadra Island.