By TVR Staff
This article reviews the top 10 best books about bike care and maintenance available online.
No matter what level of experience an individual boasts, cycling is one of the most enduring and useful sports in which anyone can engage. Knowing how to care for and maintain these machines is both a point of pride and an essential skill because they do constitute an investment. As well, the best books about bike care and maintenance will provide practical and intelligible approaches for solving problems, repairing damage, and understanding the mechanisms that make everything work smoothly. They are a valuable addition to any tool kit. By including one or more of them in the practical home library, cyclists of every variety can take to the trail or the road with confidence, because even the most severe malfunction can be repaired if one knows how.
1. Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance
Playing on Robert Pirsig’s Inquiry into Values, this text by Franklin Zinn offers readers a simple and engaging manual to care for their wheeled investments. Whether it’s a detailed description of the best way to repair a flat tire on the trail or an in-depth examination of drive trains and braking systems, this book has it all. Never be worried about purchasing a used bike again. With this book in hand, readers can confidently repair or maintain less-than-new mountain bikes. It also details complex operations, such as replacing worn pedals, building new wheels in your home workshop, and even ways in which new electronic shifting systems can be maintained without taking it to the bike shop.
2. Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance
Road bikes differ from other types of wheeled recreational vehicles. The potential damage to their structure comes from different stressors than mountain bikes. That’s why Franklin Zinn has compiled a useful and readily understood manual to walk bikers through every step of repairs and basic maintenance operations. It even includes vital information such as the best way to repair a broken chain while out on a ride, so you’ll never be stuck walking your bike home after an accident.
3. The Complete Bike Owner’s Manual
Whether readers are engineering enthusiasts who want to build their own bikes from scratch or need a clear step-by-step repair guide for fundamental issues, this book will walk them through the process. With precise diagnostics that demonstrate each repair or crafting step and a visual toolbox that shows which tools are required, it’s a vital addition to any biker’s library. Mountain bikes, road bikes, leisure bikes—every type is covered in the pages in easy-to-understand language. It even includes diagnostic and repair techniques for electronic shifters and other components that typically require expensive technical assistance.
4. The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair
Now updated to match technological advancements, the sixth edition of this guide offers readers everything they need to know about repairing and maintaining their bicycles. Whether they pursue the most rugged mountain trails or are training for long-distance road races, Downs’ text offers them a way to make the most of their machines. Keep a bike in good repair, and it will last for decades. No matter what the skill level, every reader can approach even complex repairs with confidence.
5. The Bicycling Big Book of Cycling for Beginners
Many cycling manuals offer instruction for maintenance and repair, but they may do so in a way that renders the matter opaque for individuals new to the sport. This text, by Tori Bortman, starts at the beginning and explains techniques, cycling philosophies, and routine maintenance in such a way as to welcome all to the sport. More than a repair manual, it is a manual for life—exploring reasons for and benefits of cycling, from psychology to physical fitness.
6. How to Build a Bike
This unique text, by Jenny Gwiazdowski, walks readers through the process and the mechanics of building their own single-speed bicycle. As a primer, it also offers a unique and deconstructed perspective on the engineering of the machine itself—familiarizing the reader with each component and demonstrating how they work together to create a functional bicycle. It’s a perfect gift for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of their world, who loves to build functional creations or anyone who may want to take a more in-depth approach to cycling.
7. Pocket Bike Maintenance
Whether riders favor a road bike, a mountain bike, or a hybrid creation, this miniature maintenance guide, by Mel Allwood, has everything they need to keep their machine in top running condition. Written for veterans of the trail as well as those new to biking, the guide offers clear and easily understood operations for every instance. Worn brake pads, punctured tires, or broken chain drives won’t stall them for long. It’s an essential part of any repair bag and covers mundane maintenance as well as emergency repairs.
8. Barnett’s Manual
A bicycle is a machine, which means that it can be broken down into each component and understood from that perspective. Barnett’s Manual, by John Barnett, has become the industry standard because it takes this simple, logical approach. Every reader can follow easy-to-read diagnostic procedures that explain the essential functions of each part before incorporating them into systems of incremental complexity. Detailed drawings provide a visual aid to understand how these components and their resultant systems work together.
9. The Ultimate Bicycle Owner’s Manual
Since 2007, Eben Weiss has served as the voice of the entire bike community through various platforms. Leveraging his vast experience, he provides a comprehensive text accessible to neophytes and veterans of the sport alike, covering topics of routine maintenance and complex repairs. Additionally, his book tackles topics such as introducing kids to the sport, what new technology holds in store for both the machine and those who use it, and why cycling is an essential component for mental and physical health.
10.The Haynes Bicycle Book (3rd Edition): Step-by-Step Repair and Maintenance
For an all-in-one guide to bicycle repair and maintenance, the Haynes Bicycle Book offers a thorough understanding of the workings of a bicycle. With over 700 photos, this book breaks down the repair process step-by-step. Readers will learn about routine maintenance, how to troubleshoot problems and even the basic steps of setting up their bike. This book is easy to follow and gives suggestions and tips on all types of bikes, including road, mountain, cruiser, BMX and hybrid models.
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