Evoke Outdoors offers bike maintenance classes
New bike shop in Vail Village is offering a number of bike maintenance classes tailored for women, children over 8 and aspiring bike mechanics
This week, the Evoke Outdoors bike shop in Vail Village is offering a number of bike maintenance classes tailored towards women, children and aspiring bike mechanics to teach people how to keep their bikes in good shape and be prepared for repairs on the trail.
Brady Schlichting, owner and head mechanic at Evoke Outdoors, said the goal of the classes is to get people more comfortable interacting with the mechanics of their bicycles, both in and out of the shop.
“Before I owned a bike shop and I was going to get my bike worked on, it was very intimidating to go and talk to a bike mechanic,” Schlichting said. “There are so many parts on the bike that have specific names, and it can be hard to describe what’s going on.”
Evoke Outdoors is offering three different courses: a bike maintenance clinic for women on Sept. 19, a maintenance clinic for kids over 8 on Sept. 19 and 26, and an introduction to becoming a bike mechanic on Sept. 18.
The women’s and kid’s clinics will focus on teaching the basics of bike maintenance, including going over each part of the bike, learning how to change a flat tire and brake pads, how to adjust suspension, fix a chain on the trail and other foundational skills.
Schlichting is offering the women’s course to make participants feel more comfortable.
“It will be a very open class — women only — and that way I hope women won’t be intimidated, because they will be with their peers,” Schlichting said. “If a big man who knows everything about bikes is sitting there, they might think ‘I don’t want to ask a stupid question.’ In the bike world, there really aren’t any dumb questions, and if there are, I’ve already heard them, and I won’t laugh at you. These classes are a place where I hope people can come and feel comfortable to ask any questions that they have.”
As a father of two young kids, Schlichting also believes it is valuable for children to be prepared with the tools and techniques to take care of their bikes.
“Even if they don’t do it on the trail, if they have the proper stuff with them and they get a flat, they can ask for help,” Schlichting said. “Even if they’re just trying, that makes a huge difference.”
The course on becoming a mechanic is geared towards people who are already comfortable with the basics and are looking to delve into a deeper level of understanding of the form and function of their bicycles.
“The people who would sign up for that maybe already know how to change a flat, but might be asking questions like, ‘What does a bottom bracket look like, what does it do, why is the right side cross-threaded and the left side normal-threaded?,’” Schlichting said. “Things like that, where we actually take off a cassette and look at the free hub, take it apart to really learn about why these things work and how they work.”
Schlichting has been a Vail resident and avid biker in the area for over 20 years, and he started Evoke Outdoors this past May in the wake of the pandemic.
“It was finally my time,” Schlichting said. “I saw a need last summer, a lot of bike shops were out of bikes and guests were having to go from store to store just to learn that they were rented out. I’ve always wanted to start my own business, and the pandemic kind of put things into perspective for me, like now is the time. If things are going to change, I might as well change too, and if you’re going to do it, now is the time to give it a shot.”
It may seem counterintuitive for a bike mechanic to be sharing his tricks of the trade, but Schlichting is motivated to make his shop and craft an inclusive space for everyone.
“Making people feel comfortable coming into the shop is the main goal,” Schlichting said. “If I can teach people a few little things that they can do at their house, then when they need those bigger things done I would hope that they would come to me because they feel comfortable coming into my shop and asking me questions.”
The classes are 90 minutes long and cost $50 per person for the women’s and kids’ clinics and $75 for the bike mechanics course. The price includes a free Evoke hat and 15% off retail at the shop. Reservations can be made at EvokeOut.com. Evoke Outdoors will remain open through the month of September, and customers can reserve bikes in-store or through the online booking system.