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Mechanics association working with UBI on certification program

Published January 26, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (BRAIN) — The newly formed Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association is working with United Bicycle Institute to develop a standardized mechanic certification.

Once completed, the certification process would allow instruction and testing by multiple organizations, including UBI, said James Stanfill, the president of PBMA.

Developing a basic, uniform certification program has been a priority for the PBMA, which formed less than a year ago. In October, the group issued a "call to action" to get the process off the ground, with the goal of unveiling a draft at Interbike 2017. 

"Every level of the bicycle industry will benefit from this process," said Ron Sutphin, UBI's owner. "After communicating with the PBMA over the past few months it is clear that UBI shares the common goals of providing all cyclists with the highest level of safety and performance as well as recognition of the demanding skillset of the professional bicycle mechanic," Sutphin said.

Sutphin founded UBI in 1981. The school is based in Ashland, Oregon, with a second campus in Portland.

Stanfill said the PBMA's connection with UBI is "a great match."

"Ron personally has more than 30 years of teaching and his team of seasoned professional instructors provide an insurmountable bank of knowledge to tap into," Stanfill said.

Stanfill said he continues to try to get other groups engaged in developing the certification system. He said UBI's involvement does not preclude the involvement of other mechanics schools, including Barnett Bicycle Instiute in Colorado, which is now owned by the National Bicycle Dealers Association.

Stanfill met with NBDA president Todd Grant and the association's board chair, Arizona retailer Brandee Lepak, at the IBD Summit in Arizona last week.

"Todd, Brandee and myself discussed education, training and finding a place where the PBMA, NBDA and Barnett Bicycle Institute can work and fit together. I look forward to continuing that conversation soon," Stanfill said.

Stanfill noted that both the PBMA and UBI will be at the CABDA show in Chicago next week to discuss the certification project with retailers.

For more information about the PBMA Certification Project, visit

Topics associated with this article: Retailer education

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