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Bicycle Mechanics Overview

At Freewheelin’, apron colors are used in the same way as in karate belts: to mark a student’s level of mastery. Each apron color (Green, Red, Purple and Black Apron) indicates a specific level of mastery over particular skills and principles. Kids build their confidence with each new apron and can mentor other youths to build their skills.

Yellow Apron Workshop – (coming soon) This workshop is for ages 8-9 who would like to get an idea of what our EAB programs look like. In this course students will learn Bike safety, traffic signs, helmet and bike sizing, and learning how to ride with traffic. 

Green Apron – This is a pre-requisite for the advanced mechanics classes below.  Click here for more information about the Green Apron Program / Earn-A-Bike Class

Red Apron - Introduces Science/Technology/Engineering/Math (STEM) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) concepts.

STEM aspects include:

  • Fine adjustment
  • Precision vs. accuracy
  • Chain pitch and measuring wear
  • Friction
  • Tension
  • Compression

SEL aspects include:

  • Asking open-ended questions
  • Mirroring and active listening
  • Emotional labor
  • The reflexive relationship between physiology, emotions and mechanical work

Purple Apron - provides the opportunity to level-up mechanical skills with the introduction of adjustments to all major bearing systems, wheel truing, and a deep dive into gearing.  Additional SEL aspects are also introduced.

STEM aspects include:

  • Mechanical stress
  • Leverage
  • Ratios
  • Torsion

SEL aspects include:

  • Interpersonal communication
  • Reflective and reflexive practices
  • Stress and its impact on the body and relationships

Black Apron - Focuses on the overhaul of all major systems of the bike, and includes disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling a bike and replacing parts.  This capstone course requires students to meet high standards, with an eye toward mastering competencies required by employers. 

SEL aspects include:

  • Showing respect
  • Kindness
  • Empathy

At the Black Apron level, learners are able to identify their individual interests to ensure they will stay engaged in a lifetime of learning. 

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