Barnett Bicycle Institute is a school founded by John Barnett that offers classes in bicycle mechanics and materials for bicycle repair shops. Our specialties are suspension service, wheel building, and wheel truing techniques. Our bike repair manual, Barnett's Manual DX, is the most comprehensive guide to bicycle repair and maintenance in production anywhere.
Request more information or request answers to tech questions by email or by phone. We make every possible effort to reply to emails promptly, but for the fastest technical-question support, please give us a call during our normal business hours. Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, mountain time.
The BBI Difference: Philosophy and Instructional Approach
Bicycle Mechanics is science, not art.
Eliminate reliance on subjective "feel".
- Eliminate reliance on memorization, and eliminate the need to take notes.
We provide you with a 13,000+ page manual that covers every aspect of the course, plus thousands of other topics.
We give you incomparable personal attention.
We teach to all five learning styles (see it, hear it, read it, do it, share it).
Our commitment to help you to continue learning after you graduate is unmatched.
Our Philosophy of Bicycle Mechanics
Bicycle Mechanics is science, not art. Whether just tightening a bolt, making a delicate bearing adjustment, or precisely truing a wheel, we believe measurement quickly achieves accurate and repeatable results. We strive to eliminate subjectivity in every way. This means that you don’t have to "get it," or have "a knack." We believe we are unique amongst bicycle-mechanic schools in this philosophy.
Eliminate guesswork. How much of an adjustment is needed? In the old-school tradition of bicycle mechanics, you would use a trial-and-error method (a guess), then do it again differently when the results were unsatisfactory—in our approach, you analyze the problem, calculate the corrective action, then check the result and you are done!
Eliminate reliance on subjective "feel." Is that shift quick? Does that axle rotate smoothly? Does that wheel spin so truly it doesn't even look like it's moving? Does that bolt feel like it's about to "bottom out?" These are all subjective judgments, and as long as they are the basis for mechanical technique, then results will be inconsistent. Each of these examples can be evaluated with non-subjective methods; learn these methods at BBI!
Eliminate reliance on memorization, and eliminate the need to take notes. Good mechanics know they don't know everything, but they know how to look up the answer when they need it. In order to do that, a good mechanic needs to be trained from the beginning on how to rely on information resources. Only BBI writes and publishes a manual for professional bicycle mechanics (Barnett's Manual DX). The manual is the heart of our training program, and it will become the most frequently used tool on your workbench. It's over 13,000 pages long, and includes over 14,000 hi-res color photos and illustrations. Two things our students never need to worry about is whether they'll be able to remember everything they were shown or whether they did enough note taking during class!
Our Instructional Approach
Incomparable personal attention.
Our class size is limited to 16 students—larger classes would enable us to boast about our total enrollment, but would you benefit?
With at least two instructors in the labs at all times (and usually three), the maximum student-to-teacher ratio you would encounter is 8 to 1, but most of the time it's only 5.3 to 1! For most labs your instructor is monitoring just two or three other benches in addition to yours.
Five levels of learning.
See it, hear it, read it, do it, and share it. Our instructional approach starts with great instructors giving demonstrations that you watch from just a step away, while you hear the instructor carefully explain the method and reason of each step. At the same time, from worksheets in your hand or from the overhead projection screen, you can read the step and see the accompanying illustrations. After just a few minutes, it's your turn to do the same procedure at a workbench with a lab partner. You and your lab partner get hands-on time, while sharing with each other your insights and challenges about the procedure. And throughout the lab, a supervisor is close at hand giving you encouragement, feedback, and tips, while answering questions you might have.
Our commitment to help you learn after leaving the classroom is unmatched.
By providing you with written materials in excess of the subject matter covered in class, and by providing you with detailed worksheets that guide you through all procedures down to the last detail, you will have us at your side for years after you leave our classroom. In addition, we provide free technical support by phone or email any time you run into a challenge in the field that you can't resolve on your own.