I've heard Barnett's Manual is the best, but looking at the table of contents it doesn't even seem to cover internal hubs. What else is it missing?
Is there a book out there that covers everything? The be all and end all of bicycle mechanics? I know that it would be better to learn from an expert, but my impression is that the folks at the local bike places don't know what they're doing. In fact, that's my main motivation for wanting to learn it myself. It seems to be the only way to get competent work done.
I don't mind paying a premium for a good book, but it needs to be comprehensive. I have bikes with unusual parts or that use parts in unusual ways. So books that only cover typical arrangements aren't going to work for me. Furthermore, I have bikes with parts that aren't "bike parts". Roller chains, belts, etc that meet real international manufacturing standards such as ANSI, ISO, JIS. Some people would call these parts "nonstandard", it is really bike parts that are non standard (or, should I say, not in accordance with a standard code, but instead according to a traditional convention). I need a manual that I can ask, "Is this a 'bike part', yes or no?" So that I can distinguish proprietary parts, from traditional bike parts, from standard manufacturing parts and when possible compare/contrast their specifications to determine appropriate repair, maintenance, and compatibility. Ideally I'd like to be able to understand bicycle operation so well that I could replace a "bike part" with a JIS standard part or vice versa and take reasonable guesses at how operation might change.
So is there a comprehensive book on bicycle mechanics? Perhaps one that bike design engineers might consult?