Mechanic Monday p/b Abbey Bike Tools
#mechanicmonday honors Lewis Huggins
It’s Mechanic Monday again! We had so much fun last week featuring our first international mechanic of 2018 that we’re proudly introducing you to another international mechanic “from the other side of the pond” today: Lewis Huggins of Reading, UK!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with PBMA’s Mechanic Monday series, this is where we feature one mechanic each week who is chosen randomly from the pool of nominations that we receive. Mechanic Monday is all about mechanics supporting fellow mechanics, and we are proud to partner with Abbey Bike Tools, Cycling Industry News, and People for Bikes to share these great features with you.
Lewis Huggins started working at Reading’s own A.W. Cycles in 2007. In the eleven years since then, he’s progressed up to Head Mechanic and he now oversees all of the shop’s service-related activities. Lewis has a fairly extensive background, including Bosch and Yamaha e-bike systems and Campagnolo, Brompton, and Cytech technical certifications. He’s also got some pretty cool stories to tell, which we’re excited to share with you in his own words.
PBMA: How did you become involved in cycling and cycling mechanics?
LH: Back in March 2007, I applied for a job as a Mechanic at A.W Cycles in Reading and joined a team of 3 mechanics, one now being the shop owner. From a fairly young age, I took a very hands-on approach to all things mechanical, so I settled down and before I knew it I was put forward for my Cytech 1 and 2 apprenticeships at ATG Training in Aylesbury. This gave me a huge morale boost and kicked me up a gear for years to come.
PBMA: Do you have a favorite moment or story from your time in the industry?
LH: Building bikes for celebrities (not going to mention names), but the chemical brothers, the Pirates of the Caribbean cast, and Formula 1 bosses have all been very good customers.
PBMA: One of the photos of Lewis in today’s feature is of him with a custom frame Argos racing bike that he built for a rugby player.
LH: The top tube was up near my chest! Nobody [at our shop] was tall enough to ride the thing! It was HUGE!
PBMA: What motivation or advice would you give to aspiring professional bicycle mechanics?
LH: Do not be afraid to go in your local shop and ask for a Saturday job. Have your CV printed out and make sure it is perfect. Your first impression is on that sheet of paper. Once that CV gets to where it needs to be you have to sell yourself to who is reading it. Make it stand out! Boast about how much you love cycling and what you like to ride. See if the shop you want to apply for does evening shop rides. This is a fantastic opportunity to show your stuff and meet staff members who could help you to getting your first foot clipped in at the workshop. And lastly make sure your personal bike is in good working order when you are invited in for an interview. If you look after your own ride your already halfway to the handshake and welcome aboard.
PBMA: What is your favorite tool?
LH: Well this is a tough one. My trusty Record No. 6 vise would have to be a high-ranking tool. Then there is my Park Tools TS-3 wheel truing stand, or my Snap-on roll cabinet. But my all-round favourite tool for sure is our Morizumi spoke cutter and threader. It’s just so simple to use and saves us a huge amount of money on pre-cut spokes.
That’s all for this week! Thank you for following along with our series and sharing our support for our fellow mechanics. We’ll be back next week with a new feature. In the meantime, click here to learn more about our 2018 Mechanic Monday series, and here to learn more about how to nominate your favorite mechanic!
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