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Bike Mechanic Challenge will put local techs wrench to wrench

Posted by on May 27th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Who’s the best bike mechanic in Portland?

Also, who’s the best mechanic in Portland at getting a slightly tipsy crowd to cheer for them the loudest?

A June 14 benefit for the Community Cycling Center is now accepting contenders and inviting onlookers. More than eight local shops have signed up so far to compete, each nominating two mechanics for the friendly competition.

It’s a first-time event here in Portland, being held at Velo Cult, 1969 NE 42nd Avenue in Hollywood.

Competitors will race to complete four challenges: changing the front and rear brake cables, changing handlebar tape on a road bike, changing the rear tire on a quick-release hub road bike and a surprise final event, plus tie-breaking knowledge questions.

The event will run 6:30 pm to 10 pm on Saturday, June 14. Food will be available from Fuego Food Carts and beer and other beverages can be purchased from Velo Cult’s bar.

Bike shops pay $50 to compete, and public entry will cost $10 per person or $5 per person for bike industry workers. There’s also a raffle to win a new Bike Friday cargo bike. All fees benefit the Community Cycling Center, Portland’s nonprofit bike shop and biking-for-everyone advocacy group. You can register your shop to compete (PDF).

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  • Kara May 27, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    We at Block Bikes are pretty stoked about getting our wrenching on. 🙂

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  • Simona Bava May 28, 2014 at 3:49 am

    Great idea! i wish i was there!

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  • Mike Quigley May 28, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Sounds like the “best” bike mechanic will be the one who gets the job done fastest.

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    • Bill Walters May 28, 2014 at 9:05 am

      Yep, dubious “at best” — brake cables especially.

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    • mitch May 28, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Fastest does not equal best, so this will be pretty funny to watch!

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  • Justin May 28, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Great idea! Like the others said, probably best also to have quality metrics, and if they do again perhaps the challenges are a bit more complex.

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  • dan May 28, 2014 at 10:46 am

    I think there definitely needs to be a “find and eradicate the intermittent squeak / rattle” component to this competition

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  • Dave May 28, 2014 at 10:57 am

    How about a test wherein each mechanic is handed a bucket of disparate drive train components and judged on who can assemble the best-shifting drive train out of them? A combination of Food Network’s “Chopped” and a test given in the old Schwinn mechanic’s course. Schwinn school’s final exam on internally geared hubs required us to correctly assemble three or four different Shimano and SA hubs out of a 5-lb. coffee can of loose parts.

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    • Buzz May 28, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      LOL, I could not get a single Portland bike shop to work on my Sachs 5-speed internal hub, so I ended up doing it myself, successfully…

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  • KLM May 30, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Sounds like a fun event, but the CCC already has a budget of over a million a year… would be nice to help out smaller outfits.

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  • Smash June 13, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Citybikes is also stoked to be competing! We’re hamming it up with two mechanics who are under the weather. One with a broken fibula, and one with a recently install titanium plate in her skull (me). Let the hilarity begin!

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