request more information

Phone: (719) 632-5173
Fax: (719) 632-4607
2725 Ore Mill Road Ste 23
Colorado Springs, CO 80904


Approved and Regulated By The Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools

First Rate Elite Instructors

Our graduates report a 95% satisfaction rating with the lectures and lab supervision.
Our instructors have all been certified by the Colorado Department of Higher Education Private Occupational School Board.

Instructor, Founder, and Program CoordinatorJohn Barnett

Founder/Barnett's Manual DX Managing Editor

Founder and director John Barnett has worked in the cycling industry since 1973, having been a mechanic and service manager for four shops. Beginning in 1980, Mr. Barnett was the first to offer independent bicycle-mechanic courses in the bicycle industry. In addition to his shop mechanic and service manager experience, Mr. Barnett writes the only technical manual for professional mechanics – Barnett’s Manual: Analysis And Procedures For Bicycle Mechanics, which has been in publication since 1989. He also has served as a columnist and associate editor for bicycle-industry consumer and trade periodicals. He invents and manufactures tools for bicycle mechanics, consults with several bicycle tool companies about tool design, and designs and builds software for use in managing service departments. Mr. Barnett was also one of the founders of the BSE (a national mechanic certifying body). He has also worked as a team mechanic for a team in the Coors Classic (an international 10-day stage race).

  • Started in bicycle industry in 1973.
  • Has taught professional mechanics longer (since 1980) than anyone else in the field.
  • Experience in four shops as mechanic or service manager.
  • Race mechanic experience.
  • Author of Barnett’s Manual, The Service Manager’s Handbook, Selling Service, The Ultimate Flat Rate Chart, and The Complete Checklist System.
  • Founding member of the BSE.
  • Columnist and associate editor for consumer and trade bicycle magazines.


IMG 5275 copyJohn Ellis


Students notice John's quiet, calming deameanor first, but quickly come to realize the authority that results from his 15 years of experience in this industry and his determined inquisitiveness. The three bike shops he has worked for could not be more varied. One was a huge shop in the Chicago area with an emphasis on volume. Another was a high-end shop in Colorado Springs noted for its expertise and service, and the third was small shop specializing in antique and recycled bicycles. Never satisified with the superficial answer, he is known to dig relentlessly for the deepest and most complete explanation, but this bulldog-like tenacity is well contrasted by his friendly humor and patience. When not teaching fulltime at BBI, he pursues painting, pottery, and playing the guitar. His background includes:

  • Started in bicycle industry in 1995.
  • Experience in three bike shops as a service technician.
  • Graduate of BBI Comprehensive program.
  • BSE Certified Master Mechanic.


Chris CauntChris Caunt 2


A cycling enthusiast, mechanic, and former shop owner for over 30 years, Chris brings to BBI a perspective covering all aspects of the bicycling community. His passion, while in retail, for assisting cyclists to be successful, carries over in his teaching students to become successful mechanics. His involvement with the cycling world, spanning 50 years, adds a wide perspective that enhances the students’ experience at BBI. After fixing flats for all his neighborhood friends, Chris’ first formal employment in the bicycle industry was at a local shop in New Jersey in 1965.

Founded Criterium Bicycles in 1973. Criterium has received numerous local and industry accolades, winning each award multiple times:

  • Bicycle Retailer and Industry News: ‘Top 100 Dealers’
  • Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph: ‘Best Bike Shop’
  • Colorado Springs Independent: ‘Best Bike Shop’
  • Specialized Bicycle ‘Top 100 Dealers’
  • Trek Bicycle ‘Top 10 Dealers’
  • Trek Bicycle ‘Top 100 Dealers’

Fostered cycling organizations:

  • Strada Cycling Club
  • Dyno Club (a USCF-affiliated racing club)
  • Medicine Wheel (a trail maintenance group)
  • Pikes Peak BMX (local race track)
  • Barnett Bicycle Institute

Served as Team Manager for a race team during the 1980 Coors Classic, a 10-day international stage race in Colorado.


IMG 5249 copyKate Brandon


Kate brings an exceptional combination of shop experience and teaching experience to the position, so we expected her to perform at the highest possible level as quickly, or more quickly, than have any of our previous new hires. She has met or exceeded every expectation we've had of her.


Kate got her start in the bicycle industry with a three year stint as a mechanic in 1994 in Atlanta, Georgia. For the next 15 years, she developed, honed, and expanded her skill set while working both as a mechanic, a head mechanic, a service writer, and as a service manager at numerous bike shops in Georgia, Virginia, Montana, and California. She has experience in small "family-style shops", boutique specialty shops, mobile repair shops, and large-scale "full lineup" shops.


Also during this period, Kate worked for a non-profit group that helped at-risk youth by training them to recondition donated bicycles. In this capacity, Kate functioned both as a mechanic and as a mentor for the kids by helping them learn basic bicycle-repair skills.


In 2009, Kate came to our attention by attending BBI and participating in the Bicycle Repair and Overhaul program, the Suspension Service and Tuning program, the Managing the Service Department program, and the Effective Sales of Service program. Additionally, Kate earned a high level of certification by taking the BSE Certification Exam.


After attending BBI, Kate worked for several other bike shops as a service manager. During this time, she applied her BBI training to raise standards in each of these shops. All together, she has seen the retail cycling industry through her involvement in twelve highly diverse bike shops. This diversity gives her a unique capacity to help our students understand how the skills they are learning at BBI will apply regardless of the style or size of whatever shop or shops they will work at after graduation.


Also through this long and diverse career, Kate has had the opportunity to work with (and train) a substantial number of professional mechanics. This experience benefits her in the BBI classroom, because as she encounters students of every learning style, she sees in each of these students a similarity of learning style to someone she has already trained and/or worked with at some other point in her career.

Graham Thompson ResizedGraham Thompson


Graham’s passion for teaching and bicycle mechanics is evident in his enthusiastic style. His service-first focus and retail experience offer a unique perspective beyond the “nuts and bolts” instruction.  

Working in the bicycle industry since 2003, Graham’s experience runs the gambit from an IBD in Mystic, Connecticut to a large national retailer with over 140 locations. Over the course of that time Graham has worked in a variety of roles from sales to authoring and overseeing mechanical training programs that would be applied on a company wide scale. This background gives him a rare holistic view that he is eager to share.

We first met Graham when his company sent him to a custom two-week training program at BBI in 2011. He subsequently returned four times as his company’s coordinator for the same two-week program. He quickly embraced the BBI methodology, recognizing the value in the quantifiable and repeatable results it provided. He applied this methodology as a trainer for his company training service technicians in multiple new locations.

This adds up to Graham having more experience as a "de facto" BBI instructor than anyone else we have ever hired. Having had so much opportunity to see him in action as an instructor, we were highly confident that Graham would hit the ground running once he officially started at BBI, and he has met or exceeded every expectation we had of him.

When not at the school or on a bicycle, Graham is an avid outdoor enthusiast enjoying hiking, rock climbing and backpacking. In addition, he is a self-proclaimed foodie and musician dabbling on various instruments.