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  1. #1
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    barnett's manual...disappointing

    So I bought a volume of Barnett's Manual and I've been reading a few chapters online.

    Overall I have to say that I don't like it. It's confusing and uninformative. Too many definitions, too many words lacking actual detail, and not enough pictures. Many sections read something like this:
    "Definitions:
    front widget- widget towards the front of the bike
    rear widget- widget towards the rear of the bike

    Widget adjustment:
    Use adjusting screw of front widget to adjust towards front of bike.
    Use adjusting screw of rear widget to adjust towards rear of bike.

    Troubleshooting:
    Problem- Widget not straight.
    Solution- Straighten widget."
    Most of what is said is obvious, while the important questions go unanswered. Things like "How do I distinguish between different types?", "How do I know what it should look like or how it should feel?", "What are the best techniques to accomplish such and such?" are generally not addressed. It reads like a high school textbook whose words are meant to be memorized and repeated, when it should read like a manual with practical tips.

    On the other hand, I really like Sutherland's Handbook, but it's more of a reference for compatibility and types, not methods. I also like sheldonbrown.com, but the topics covered are limited. Can anyone recommend a well written source of methods like sheldonbrown, that's as comprehensive as Sutherland's?
    Last edited by makeinu; 12-16-07 at 07:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Wow! Makes me wonder if you're talking about the same Barnett's Manual I have. It answers virtually all of my questions thoroughly and concisely and is well illustrated. Using the troubleshooting tables I'm usually able to pinpoint problem causes and solutions quickly.

    Looking at the 13 Amazon.com reviews, 9 customers rate it 5 stars and 4 customers rate it 4 stars.

    Just sayin' ...
    Last edited by Scooper; 12-16-07 at 06:24 PM.
    - Stan

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    Wow! Makes me wonder if you're talking about the same Barnett's Manual I have. It answers virtually all of my questions thoroughly and concisely and is well illustrated. Using the troubleshooting tables I'm usually able to pinpoint problem causes and solutions quickly.

    Looking at the 13 Amazon.com reviews, 9 customers rate it 5 stars and 4 customers rate it 4 stars.

    Just sayin' ...
    Read Sutherland's section on brakes (http://www.sutherlandsbicycle.com/Chapter11.pdf) and then look at Barnett's.

    The difference is like night and day. Sutherland's proceeds in logical fashion, first over viewing the various kinds of brakes, then discussing compatibility, and finally going over adjustment (type by type) including exact measurements, torques, and complete contextual diagrams. Barnett's on the other hand is a mess. First he jumps into a sea of circular definitions where he hides information on the various kinds of brakes available. Then he suddenly starts discussing various procedures in random order with hardly any indication of which procedures apply to which kinds of brakes. Finally he concludes with a trouble shooting section containing nothing but the obvious.

    Neither discusses effective methods such as how effectively secure brake pads during tightening. Aligning the pads within 0.5 mm of perfection doesn't do me one bit of good if tightening them makes them move 20mm. Of course, I have my own methods for doing this, but that's not the point. I'm perfectly capable of playing Macgyver. I bought the book so I wouldn't have to.

  4. #4
    cab horn
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    Barnetts is a procedure manual, completely different from say the park manual which
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  5. #5
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    The difference is like night and day. Sutherland's proceeds in logical fashion, first over viewing the various kinds of brakes, then discussing compatibility, and finally going over adjustment (type by type) including exact measurements, torques, and complete contextual diagrams. Barnett's on the other hand is a mess.
    I think it was a moral decision.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Barnetts is a procedure manual, completely different from say the park manual which
    Which is what?

  7. #7
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    I think like any reference manual, you should pick and choose the best parts of each to the job at hand. I haven't looked through a Barnetts manual but Sutherlands is one of my favorites as a pure encyclopedia of bike stuff. Its what we pull out when we come across some weird (like french and swiss bottom brackets)

  8. #8
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    Park's Big Blue Book has been of great use to some of the recent apprentices I've had. Don't count out Barnett's though. I tell new employees that if they encounter something that just has to get done and no one is around to help, to consult Barnett's. I understand your complaint though. It's somewhat robotic: telling you step-by-step how to adjust or fix something, but not really why it needs fixing or what you're adjusting . . .

  9. #9
    Downhill Racer PhilThee's Avatar
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    Yes I bought it along with the big blue book.
    Barnett's is a mess like you said.

    The information is there you just have to wade through a lot of repetitive material and skip sections.

    Maybe, hopefully in the next volume they will fix it.
    "I didn't see him/her" is a confession, not an excuse.

  10. #10
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilThee View Post
    Yes I bought it along with the big blue book.
    Barnett's is a mess like you said.

    The information is there you just have to wade through a lot of repetitive material and skip sections.

    Maybe, hopefully in the next volume they will fix it.
    John Barnett himself said there will not be a volume 6. Updates will be published in CD format, and will be just that. Updates. No more complete volumes.
    Who knows though, it was last winter when I last spoke to him, he may change his mind.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  11. #11
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmalmquist View Post
    I tell new employees that if they encounter something that just has to get done and no one is around to help, to consult Barnett's.
    I'd tell them that if something just has to get done, then better bust your ass to get it done for 4pm cause the customer is probably coming back in a week. If they say "take your time" that means they'll stop by every couple of hours until it's done.

  12. #12
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Barnetts is a procedure manual, completely different from say the park manual which
    Hey, operator; you ok?
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

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