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Bicycle industry jobs ? Immigrating to Europe.


Styvie
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Hey guys and girls ! 
 

so after all this covid nonsense and loosing my job due to it. Bummer ... I am an EU citizen and I have a unprecedented love for bicycles and building bikes etc ... pretty much anything to do with a bicycle ???? 

 

iv built a good few bikes helped some mates out etc I however have no formal training in the industry. 
 

my partner and my self are leaving to Europe at the start of next year in search of greener pastures and to start our life together and make a future. 
 

The dream would be to work in the bicycle industry maybe even start off with an internship or something along those lines. (follow your passion and never work a day in your life )
 

but how do I go about this ? What can I do whilst I’m still here to better my chances of employment? 
 

are the mechanics courses worth the money ? Do they help or is it just a pice of paper that nobody really cares about? 
 

Any pointers, advice, where to look ? Who to contact ? Contacts will be massively appreciated! 
 

willing to smuggle parts in to SA for you all one day ????????

 

cheers happy Sunday and hope you all had a lakker morning ride ! 

 

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9 minutes ago, Styvie said:

..are the mechanics courses worth the money ? Do they help or is it just a pice of paper that nobody really cares about? 

Few worry about it when you're doing the job well, but it may however be advantageous when trying to secure the job.

Good luck ... I'm always a little envious of those brave enough to take that leap of faith rather than stay stuck in a rut. ????

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21 minutes ago, Styvie said:

Hey guys and girls ! 
 

so after all this covid nonsense and loosing my job due to it. Bummer ... I am an EU citizen and I have a unprecedented love for bicycles and building bikes etc ... pretty much anything to do with a bicycle ???? 

 

iv built a good few bikes helped some mates out etc I however have no formal training in the industry. 
 

my partner and my self are leaving to Europe at the start of next year in search of greener pastures and to start our life together and make a future. 
 

The dream would be to work in the bicycle industry maybe even start off with an internship or something along those lines. (follow your passion and never work a day in your life )
 

but how do I go about this ? What can I do whilst I’m still here to better my chances of employment? 
 

are the mechanics courses worth the money ? Do they help or is it just a pice of paper that nobody really cares about? 
 

Any pointers, advice, where to look ? Who to contact ? Contacts will be massively appreciated! 
 

willing to smuggle parts in to SA for you all one day ????????

 

cheers happy Sunday and hope you all had a lakker morning ride ! 

 


Where in Europe are you heading to? It’s quite a big place????

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I will be visiting a few places to start off. 
 

Spain Germany and Greece. (Greece is just a paperwork trip ) 

 

the idea is to land up in Spain and go from there however if I can get something into motion from this side I will go to where the job is as long as it’s in the euro zone. 

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I know in Germany, if you work as a bicycle mechanic you have to be qualified through a recognized institution. I would imagine is probably the same in most EU countries, I'm sure a little Google research would point you in the right direction.

In UK, you can qualify through CYTECH -  https://www.cytech.training/ - possibly their qualifications are recognized in EU - Reach out to them.

Here locally, Torque Zone Academy do all the training for Cytech - https://www.torqzoneacademy.co.za/

 

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Thanks for the links. I assume the torque zone training centre is the same as the cytech in the uk just based in sa. 
 

I suppose reaching out to torque zone would be one of my 1st ports of call. 
 

And then potentially level up to the UCI training once the ball is rolling as the costs are quite intense. 
 

would trying to get my foot in at a LBS be an advantage to you think ? Even if it’s just helping out odd days of the week to gain some time on a CV ? 
 

thanks for the response @madmarc

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Basically, do whatever you can to improve your skill and knowledge. Rest of EU, I dont know regarding qualifications needed, but when I swung some spanners in London, they wanted to know if you can do it, and then prove it. And it was in two different bike shops. Cyclesurgery being one of them. 

 

Go to your bigger shop and tell them your plans and ask if you can help out when you can. Mechanics are very please when thet can pass the mundain jobs to an "intern". Even in the workshop, you will pick up a lot of tips and help out where you can. 

 

Good luck!

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6 minutes ago, Styvie said:

Thanks for the links. I assume the torque zone training centre is the same as the cytech in the uk just based in sa. 
 

I suppose reaching out to torque zone would be one of my 1st ports of call. 
 

And then potentially level up to the UCI training once the ball is rolling as the costs are quite intense. 
 

would trying to get my foot in at a LBS be an advantage to you think ? Even if it’s just helping out odd days of the week to gain some time on a CV ? 
 

thanks for the response @madmarc

Yep getting some time in locally on the sales floor would always be a good idea and help once you get there.

There is a huge difference when comparing our local bikeshops with those I've visited in Europe (Germany & France) The Floor sales people really know their stuff and can give proper advice and recommendations. The shops are really serious about investing in product training to their staff.

Over here most shops mainly focus on MTB; ROAD & now Gravel bikes - Over there you need to add commuter bikes for all ages from kids to pensioners and on top normal and E-Bikes in the mix - Commuter market is huge overt there, in fact i would hazard a guess its is far bigger than MTB & ROAD bikes.

So you need to be able to deal with Mom coming in looking for a bike for young Hans as he is starting school and will need to get there by bike with all the safety gear required. Next will be Granpa Fritz looking for a high end commuter E-Bike because walking to the Brauhaus every evening is becoming a challenge. And then on top you get the MTB 7 Road guys like we have here.

All these customers will bring their bikes back for service and repairs - Not like here where we buy a bike from a LBS and mainly repair and service it ourselves - so the repair and service industry is very big over there and regulated to ensure the work is done safely by qualified mechanics.

 

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14 minutes ago, FrancoisdeVille said:

Basically, do whatever you can to improve your skill and knowledge. Rest of EU, I dont know regarding qualifications needed, but when I swung some spanners in London, they wanted to know if you can do it, and then prove it. And it was in two different bike shops. Cyclesurgery being one of them. 

 

Go to your bigger shop and tell them your plans and ask if you can help out when you can. Mechanics are very please when thet can pass the mundain jobs to an "intern". Even in the workshop, you will pick up a lot of tips and help out where you can. 

 

Good luck!

And then get the bicycle shop to provide a letter of recommendation if they are comfortable with the level of work you provided.

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Wow, thanks to all that have added some input here this morning ! 
 

@FrancoisdeVille cool to hear from someone who did it for a while the UK wouldhave been my 1st stop but with brexit it’s made things a little more challenging for an EU passport holder. I’m pretty good with tools etc always been a maker and a repair guy from bikes to cars you name it. Obviously there are some tricks of the trade that I’d like to pic up before embarking on this journey.

there arnt any big box stores as such where I stay but some smaller shops some of which are really awesome I do all my builds and repairs on my own with the advice of YouTube and this forum. But I’ll definitely visit one or two of the shops and ask if they would be open to an appy pulling in to learn I’m massively eager so I hope this would work in my advantage. 
 

@madmarc love the way you put that post together “grandpa fritz “ ???? absolutely the commuter market is huge evey time I have been that side I have noticed this as here other than a few not many use bikes to commute. 
 

With it being regulated and all that good 1st world stuff this is why I’m thinking if I can provide some experience on my cv as well as an internationally recognised qualification it may help me out a lot when finding that job. 
 

it’s very much been a dream of mine for ages iv just always been tied up with a job that just paid the bills but wasn’t very for filling it’s a big jump in life but I guess you never know if you don’t try.

worst case I’ll have to pack shelves in a super Market till I can land that dream bike job ???? (will Probs still make more than my 6 day a week job paid here) ????

 

so to recap.

1) I should get some form of internationally recognised qualification. (Even though it won’t be the be all and end all but may make getting in the door just that little bit more simple ) 

2) gain some floor/junior mechanical experience whilst I have the time 

3) be prepared to pack shelves as this may take a while to get right????

do you guys think having a record of bikes that I have built for my self helps ? 

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If you show initiative it is already a huge factor I recon for any form of employment. Set up a short youtube clip if you can of your builds, or even some work being done. 

If you have vid editing skills you can also swing the angle of producing content for the shop free of charge to help the business grow, or at least also assist with a social media platform.

If you can get a recognised certificate it would/should surely assist you to get into a prof. cycling team later down the road if you wish. But see if you can build a recognised portfolio of skills while you are working there .... you could find a need to focus on suspension, or I would imagine in Europe, with them adopting e-bikes more, a course or two in servicing these specific machines and motors?

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  • 11 months later...

I can give some advise on this topic, especially in regards to Germany. I am in the same boat. I am in the process of relocating to Germany, and I want to work in the bicycle industry, but i dont have any official qualifications. I had the same concerns, and i went to a few bike shops to enquire. There is a huge demand for bike mechanics in Europe, but not enough labour. If you have the following documents in place, then you should be able to find something in Germany, or Europe. Firstly you will have to apply for a work permit, or have the relevant visa/ passport in order to work legally in Europe. Secondly you need to make sure that your health insurance covers you for accident and injury in the work place, as this is a requirement. The Germans are crazy about insurance. LOL. Many places will take you on as an apprentice/ junior mechanic but you should look for the cities in Germany that have many internationals/ foreign nationals, or international universities/international programs that attract english speaking people to that city. If you work in a smaller city, where not much english is spoken, then you may find it difficult to get in, because they would prefer someone who speaks the local language. That is a big disadvantage, however if you are in a city that has a large population of foreign nationals/ international students etc. then it might be easier for you to fit in, and convince the bike shop owner/manager that your english is an asset to the company. I am back in Cape Town until October-November. I live in Green point. If you need any more pointers please reach out to me. I am also looking for a temporary part-time job at any local bike shop close to city centre. I am not qualified as a bike mechanic, but I believe I can do many of the basic things a junior mechanic can do, and  I also have a ton of sale expereince. Jack of all trades, lol... Please email me, or message me. jamiedouglasholloway@gmail.com/ +27658439066. 

Edited by jamiedouglasholloway@gmail.com
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4 hours ago, jamiedouglasholloway@gmail.com said:

I can give some advise on this topic, especially in regards to Germany. I am in the same boat. I am in the process of relocating to Germany, and I want to work in the bicycle industry, but i dont have any official qualifications. I had the same concerns, and i went to a few bike shops to enquire. There is a huge demand for bike mechanics in Europe, but not enough labour. If you have the following documents in place, then you should be able to find something in Germany, or Europe. Firstly you will have to apply for a work permit, or have the relevant visa/ passport in order to work legally in Europe. Secondly you need to make sure that your health insurance covers you for accident and injury in the work place, as this is a requirement. The Germans are crazy about insurance. LOL. Many places will take you on as an apprentice/ junior mechanic but you should look for the cities in Germany that have many internationals/ foreign nationals, or international universities/international programs that attract english speaking people to that city. If you work in a smaller city, where not much english is spoken, then you may find it difficult to get in, because they would prefer someone who speaks the local language. That is a big disadvantage, however if you are in a city that has a large population of foreign nationals/ international students etc. then it might be easier for you to fit in, and convince the bike shop owner/manager that your english is an asset to the company. I am back in Cape Town until October-November. I live in Green point. If you need any more pointers please reach out to me. I am also looking for a temporary part-time job at any local bike shop close to city centre. I am not qualified as a bike mechanic, but I believe I can do many of the basic things a junior mechanic can do, and  I also have a ton of sale expereince. Jack of all trades, lol... Please email me, or message me. jamiedouglasholloway@gmail.com/ +27658439066. 

Hey man, as a junior mechanic, there are quite a few things people overlook. You work long hours and deal with a lot of people who have no clue what they are talking about. The pay isn't great (but you may not care about that). This should be obvious, but it is extremely frustrating at times, whether it is that one tubeless tire that just won't seat no matter what you do, or a person who comes in with a dead drivetrain and only replaces the chain - this means it won't shift right no matter what. But my personal worst is when someone asks you to find a creak on their bike... it drives me insane as some bikes are just normally creaky and you end up taking it apart and reassembling it to no avail.

There also is a learning curve and a lot of tricks to know when it comes to brakes, gears, suspension etc. 

I guess to summaries; I am just saying it is not as glamorous and fun as you may think, it is hard and frustrating work for lowish pay.

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On 8/5/2022 at 5:57 PM, MTBRIDER1234 said:

Hey man, as a junior mechanic, there are quite a few things people overlook. You work long hours and deal with a lot of people who have no clue what they are talking about. The pay isn't great (but you may not care about that). This should be obvious, but it is extremely frustrating at times, whether it is that one tubeless tire that just won't seat no matter what you do, or a person who comes in with a dead drivetrain and only replaces the chain - this means it won't shift right no matter what. But my personal worst is when someone asks you to find a creak on their bike... it drives me insane as some bikes are just normally creaky and you end up taking it apart and reassembling it to no avail.

There also is a learning curve and a lot of tricks to know when it comes to brakes, gears, suspension etc. 

I guess to summaries; I am just saying it is not as glamorous and fun as you may think, it is hard and frustrating work for lowish pay.

Aaah the creaking bike - I love this challenge, its become a kind of fetish for me, nothing more satisfying than fixing a creak that you spent a couple of hours looking for. I have yet to find a bike that has beaten me, but i'm sure its out there somewhere.

 

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12 minutes ago, madmarc said:

Aaah the creaking bike - I love this challenge, its become a kind of fetish for me, nothing more satisfying than fixing a creak that you spent a couple of hours looking for. I have yet to find a bike that has beaten me, but i'm sure its out there somewhere.

 

Warranty replacement from Cannondale if it does not creek😄

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