Welcome to Dctec.co.uk. I am Derek Coates and on this page I share with you how I came to be a bicycle repair shop.
After many years working in other bike shops and with bike manufacturers, I started on my own in January 2017. I have worked as a bicycle technician for over 18 years. Starting my career after school at Leek Cycle Centre, close to where I grew up, I helped out at the shop with repairs, bike building and of course the ever important general customer service.
After this, I started full time work in the Bike Pedlar, Biddulph, where I was one of two staff in the store. I was in charge of mechanics all week and responsible for sales and shop care on the manager’s days off. I worked there for just over 6 years. In 2007-08 I worked with Cytech and Aylesbury Training Group to achieve my Cytech qualifications to support my skills and career. I now hold NVQ Level 2 & 3 in bicycle maintenance, where most shop based bicycle mechanics only hold Level 1/2.
Level 3 is to the level of master technician in bicycle maintenance, and allows for a few extra skills such as advanced wheel building for Mavic wheels, straight pull wheels and unusual setups such as tie and solder the spoke crosses for track bikes. This Level 3 course also includes hydraulic maintenance for suspension forks and rear shocks, as well as bleeding and rebuilding hydraulic brake systems – basically anything and everything that you’d need to repair on a bike. Passing these in 2008, I now have over 10 years experience using my qualification to apply these high level skills to all modern bicycles in commercial settings. I take pride in keeping my skills current by attending trade fares and completing additional courses, such as those geared towards the recent advancements in e-bikes.
With the closure of the Bike Pedlar, I swiftly moved onto work for Cycle Center, Congleton ( www.Cyclestore.co.uk ) where I worked alongside their longstanding mechanic, who at the time had been fixing bikes for them for 20 years. Bike technology never stops advancing and therefore I never stop learning. During my time with the Cycle Center I continued to learn more about bicycle maintenance, from workshop set-ups and systems to speedy diagnosis and sales.
I am often regarded by customers and local clubs as a ‘top bicycle mechanic’, a status I feel I have earned through many years of developing skills and my innovation to the changing technologies of the bicycle world. Fixing bikes has always been my passion and not just my job but I now find I am so comfortable with bicycles, that the daily bike repairs are quite relaxing, somewhat therapeutic and simply a key part of my life. Most people prefer to read a book or listen to music to relax; I love to get stuck into a complex bicycle repair – much to the annoyance of my family at times!
A little more about myself outside of my profession…
…when I am not fixing bicycles, you’ve probably guessed that I also spend a chunk of time riding bicycles – however – you will also likely find me enjoying time with my family by the sea or in the mountains, going on long walks with our spaniel or simply working in the garden. Aside from family time, when opportunity arises I like to help my local mountain biking club CMTB (Congleton Mountain Bike Club), such as running guided rides and trail maintenance. My personal biking, away from the family, is on my own or with friends – I enjoy riding my fat bike off-road usually up and down mountains like Snowdon, Helvellyn or Cadair Idris, or simply around more local tracks in the Roaches Estate, Goyt Valley or the multiple local woodland areas I am fortunate to have on my doorstep. I am also very keen on biketrials, competing to national level and coming 2nd in senior novice level 2014, and more recently bmx racing.
In summary, bikes are my entire working life, and together with my family and friends, my personal life too. I just love bikes!